one solution to colony collapse disorder

jim altucher proposes a solution to the disappearance of bees: make some money. he favors buying up corn and soybean companies (crops that don’t require pollination) and artificial flavoring companies that will become more popular should tasty natural fruit flavors become more scarce.

there is a lot of bee buzzing pollination activity going on right now in the flowers and trees around me in ojai. but we were beekeepers for a while when i was a kid, and i remember losing all of our colonies in a short time to bee dysentery. our cars were all covered in insect diarrhea and our bees were all dead, and the haller family was out of beekeeping.

a caveat emptor in altucher’s article reflects the suspicion that some have about the brave new world of bioengineering and big agribusiness:

Monsanto uses genomics and advanced plant technology around the world to produce new, patentable — and profitable — plants. The company is based in St. Louis, but it operates worldwide, including in India. Of course, you should watch developments closely should Monsanto’s genetic engineering turn out to be the cause of the bee problem.

heterodoxy in economics

i just read a good piece in the nation. it’s somewhat long, but interesting. neoclassical economics is so dominant in the field, and so pervasive in our cultural understanding of our own economic agency (which in our society is equivalent to who we are). the more i look at the theory that markets, free of interference, will ultimately make the most optimal economic choices, the less i believe in its completeness. there are too many qualifiers that need to be applied and assumptions to be held to make the data fit the model. and besides when was the last time you saw a market free of interference?

in the 80s

since people are posting their pics from the 80’s and 90’s, i thought i would follow suit. i snapped this pic out of my high school yearbook. it used to be fun getting to school late on the bmw and writing “bike trouble” on the “tardy slip” or whatever it was. that’s marc hirschfield riding in the chair, or “monkey” as it is known in racing parlance.

coincidentally, my brother just pinged me from LA saying that he is going over to pull this baby out of mothballs today:

me in the 80s

back in ojai after a while in LA

i was down in LA for a while working on a TV gameshow pilot and hanging out in venice. now i am back in ojai and will be here through the 20th of june housesitting for my mom. it is pretty quiet here, but beautiful as well. i have been playing my piano a bit and working on a couple of songs. swimming. sitting out in the bright sun meditating in the back yard, i can almost see right through my eyelids.

so far i like the pace. down in LA there was always something going on, someone coming over, headed over someplace, going out to dinner. a lot of motion.  here, i wake up, walk outside, and listen to many  many birds chirping. i drink coffee and read my RSS feeds and watch stock prices, then close the laptop and swim some laps or ride my bike downtown. whenever the lid on this computer pops open, i am generally energized and slightly manic and devouring information. i am enjoying being in an environment where closing the lid really brings some peace and tranquility.

i suppose i will take some shit for this but i am thinking of going over and checking out the krishnamurti foundation. he had a pretty interesting story, and lived here. there is also the meher baba mount. “tommy” was always one of my favorite records, and “baba o’reilly” is a good song as well, both inspired by meher baba.

i also need to start thinking about a departure date for central america.  anyone feel like spending july and beyond down there?

on the road

well, sort of. since last wednesday i have been officially homeless, house and couch surfing. i was in ojai for a few days last week, then i headed down to LA on cinco de mayo and spent last week there. the city has changed some in the seven years i was gone, although it is a bit hard to tell what is different. when i left i was living in a house in the hollywood hills at the end of a long and perilous dirt road, and now i have been staying at bret and paul’s place in venice, a climatic and cultural shift.

LA seems a lot more alive and interesting than SF at the moment. this may be because i had patterns and a routine in berkeley, and now i have left them i improvise my days more. the weather here has kicked ass, leading to an impression that living in the generally overcast bay area might not be superior to flipflopping around sunny southern cali.

i hate to leave it on this note of slightly unfavorable comparison, but i have to sleep. goodnight from ojai.

unmade bed

i woke up this morning, and after firing up the lappie to look at the markets, i dismantled the bed, stuffed the down comforter and pillows into an old sailbag i had sitting around, and leaned everything against the wall.