Ok, probably no one will think this is cool, except for me, so please try not to laugh at me! In this clip from Enchanted, at 0:54, she runs right past the EXACT SAME rock where we played croquet in Central Park! I think that is cool!


Here's a photo to compare:


Lingering Food thoughts

This 10 min. video just came out today from Penn and Teller about food. I don't agree with everything they say, but they talk about Norman Borlaug who won the nobel prize for saving 1 Billion people through genetically modifying food. Gordon B. Hinckley praised him at a BYU devotional last year:


Warning: Strong language in the video. At exactly 10:00 minutes turn off the sound to avoid the F-Bomb. Unfortunately, focusing on the message is hard since the messengers are so arrogant and emotionally charge the argument. If you are emotional about this topic then don't watch it.

Type Love

I took a trip to the BYU Maps department today. Here's a sampling of what I found. Pretty cool stuff down there!

Let us emulate

Cassandra Jones: BFA envy.

Thoughts related to envy: depression. Am I even capable of doing/making cool things anymore? It's been too long. Whatever happened to the button party Joey was talking about?


Gavin's Notes Condensed

No More Subsidies!
They are just as harmful as tariffs.

Gavin’s Random Notes on Food Inc.

I know people have better things to do but I feel like it is expected of me to give a response to Food Inc. since I was singled out as the one that "should watch the film".
Beware. This was written very fast. It has poor sentence structure! they are random thoughts...

It is funny. My very first post on my blog was about food...

1. Spoiled?: Only a rich country can produce a film like this. The farming practices have their costs but they produce high quantity of product. Cambodia would praise Tyson if it could bring its products to Cambodia. The production process is much cleaner and provides more food than traditional Cambodian methods. Fewer people would die each year from malnutrition in places like Cambodia if Tyson came to town. A poor country would never think to criticize a company that produces so much food at low cost because it does real good for the poor.

2. Myths about Health: Statistics on health show that people have been getting healthier for centuries all across the world. It is especially clear if you measure overall life expectancy from country to country. The interesting correlation is that the countries that have improved the most with regards to life expectancy have also been the most capitalistic and open to free trade. We can’t make choices if we think there is a gun to our head. We must realize that things are getting better. We can make them even better still, but the urgency goes away when the facts are more apparent. The environment is also getting better by the way especially in capitalist countries.

3. Economics: This movie used economic language such as unintended consequences and hidden costs but basic economics just wasn't there. One of the authors implied that it is wrong to patent crops. Patents might last too long, but they are essential for protecting the intellectual capital of companies. If the law did not protect this capital then no one would have the incentive to produce new technologies that bring more options to the public. The film says in one part that the companies have so much power to produce things the way they want, and in another part of the film an interviewee said that the market determines what kind of product, consumers want so it was giving inconsistent messages. The information of what the consumers want is communicated in the form of prices even though consumers might say that they want higher quality food. This is why all the food shortage predictions of the past have all been wrong.Also, the movie kept saying that the food companies have so much power. They would only have monopoly power because the government helped them get it. Decrease government and you will decrease this problem. Don't expand government like the movie suggests.

4. Trade-offs: Too often added rights lead to bad outcomes. Consumer rights try to increase quality or producer liability, both of which have costs. Too often there is no empirical evidence of whether or not the costs of increased prices are more or less than the increased value created by the rights. If the increased quality or enlarged responsibility of the seller were worth it, there would be profit incentives for the producer to raise his quality, responsibility, and price together without consumer protection laws.

For example: In the 80s the government started to mandate that car companies make cars safer. They had parents who had lost children testify in congress that cars were unsafe too. This made the price of new cars rise which meant that people held onto older cars for a longer time. This made the roads less safe. When people eventually bought the safer cars accidents increased substantially because a safer car means less risk when one gets in an accident. Deaths per accident went down so the health of drivers evened out. However pedestrian deaths went way up in the 80s as an unintended consequence of the safety laws. But, since the causal effects are so subtle, you don't get people testifying in court when their child was hit by a car. The surest way to promote safer driving is not to make cars safer but less safe by doing something like welding a knife to the steering wheel pointed at the drivers heart. That would surely make driving much safer than it is today. Food will have the same story. When the government forces companies to make food safer, self control and responsibility further decline.
Bans on trans fats in NY most likely going to make consumers less healthy by creating the idea that the government will do their homework for them.

5. Regulation: It usually helps big business the most. Why? because only big business can handle the increased cost of production caused by regulation. This puts smaller companies out of business and decreases competition for the big corporations. Big businesses love government oversight because it keeps them in business. The meat companies were the biggest supporters of the FDA in the early 1900s. There was never a substantial monopoly without the help of the government.

6. FDA: There is good evidence to strongly suggest that the FDA does more harm than good. Studies show that the FDA not only raises costs to drug providers which costs get passed on to the consumer as higher prices, but also because they wait far too long to release drugs that would save the lives of millions. Corporations don’t self regulate themselves in the absence of government oversight. The market does. As long as you have a working market consumers will buy from competitors if they think a company is providing unsafe products. Companies have in their own self interest to not harm their customers. Unfortunately the government has not allowed the market to work properly creating huge distortions. The film makers wanted more oversight from the FDA which means more centralized power. But the FDA gets filled with people, not angels. People are corruptible. Even if we could put an angel in office with all the power to regulate the industry, what will happen when he resigns or dies. By then the hype will be gone and a new administrator will get into office who has the desire for power and he will help special interests with the most money.

7. Subsidies: Why do we give subsidies to farmers? It is because the farmers have convinced us that they are poor and wouldn't survive global competition. Protectionism is why farmers have convinced government that they should steal our tax dollars and give it to them. We hear the bleeding hearts of farmers whose children would starve if it were not for subsidies. Subsidies distort the market. The only justified subsidies are in wartime. But even then, once we give subsidies to one industry it is hard to take it away during peacetime. Subsidies produce surpluses which we either must destroy or dump on other countries. We usually do the latter which destroys the farming in those countries, often in africa, which causes more poverty. Subsidies are very bad for the economy as a whole but great for those receiving them. The subsidization of sugar for example costs the average american family $1000s of dollars/year so that the sugar companies can stay in business for millions. We could essentially double the pay of all sugar workers including CEOs to do nothing, and we would save money. So I agree wholeheartedly with the film that we need to eliminate subsidies. I just hope that Big Organic won’t be subsidized also.

8. Good Guys and Bad Guys: I believe that the people in the movie are totally sincere and genuinely want to make a difference. The creators of the film however do not grant sincerity to those who they are opposing. Ancient tribes would see the leaves move and believed that the spirits made it happen. Similarly, the writers see things happening that they don’t like and imagine that it is fowl play with evil motives behind the results. They are only looking at half of the equation. The open air farmer that was interviewed said that if one “wrongly” exploited a creature would likely exploit other cultures, and peoples. He has no basis for this claim. He cannot look into the hearts of the owners of the food companies who probably sincerely believe that there way of farming.

Basically, the movie contradicts itself by saying that the regulatory agencies are not doing their job and that they are corrupted. Then they say that we need to grant them more power and replace the bad guys with the good guys to solve all our food problems. It is a pipe dream. The surest way to promote health is to limit the power of government, preach about the health costs to consumers, and let competition bring the consumers what they want and are willing to pay for. You cannot promote health by trying to impose your own standards as a 3rd party observer on other people who are making choices within their own set of constraints and incentives.


I like food, food tastes good, I like food, food tastes good.

Late night?

(Hopefully not yet.) Read this, while you listen to this.

Also, I missed you all and am happy to be back together again.

Also, I made the blog public again because I won't check it if it's not on my google reader.

No offense.