Definition: Ultracrepidarianism

Ultracrepidarianism

The habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge.

 

Wow. Where was this word in my life 40 years ago??? For, both, me and others I know! Pretty much everybody’s been guilty at this at some point. It’s a matter of how much rather than having done it or not.

This will be a useful word for me for the rest of my life. It’s just too bad it’s so hard to say! I’ll remember it with the “ultra” bit, meaning going beyond. Then “crepi” is like scope creep to go beyond, so it’s like beyond going beyond. As for the “darianism”? Well, “how dare you” offer me advice on something outside of your knowledge??? 😉

From the podcast below, which is nice for other matters of getting out of ruts from stories you tell yourself, not ultracrepidarianism… which is not in the WordPress blogging platform’s spellcheck dictionary, I see. 🙂

The Real Shit on Biosolids

There’s a lot of shit going down in Halifax these days in the fight over the safety of biosolids, or human sewage used for fertilizers.

One side is claiming they can get all the bad shit out of the people’s shit so it’s safe to use. The other is claiming there’s no way that shit can be clean and appealing to people’s feelings on eating food grown in shit. I’m not going to advocate for either side because I don’t know shit about the shit data, but I don’t need to. What I will do is point out some interesting shit people who don’t know shit seem to be neglecting that makes this whole shit spit irrelevant. There are some healthy food that’s not subject to this, but most people don’t eat that shit when you look at the big picture.

First, would you rather eat food grown in your shit or someone else’s shit?

A lot of food in the grocery stores are grown in other places, fertilized by other people’s shit. California, Mexico, China and other places all allow shit to be used as fertilizers, and a lot of shit, too! (Halifax Herald story, with research from the Nova Scotia Environmental Network, via the Organic Consumers Association)

So are you telling me you’d rather eat food grown in their shit rather than food grown in your shit?

Hey, lots of people have prejudices against Chinese and Mexicans. They make lots of jokes about them, too. Ironically, the last laugh may be on those people cause they’re probably eating food grown from Chinese and Mexican shit. Ewwhahaha!

You and I are probably eating food grown from foreign shit, too. Maybe not fresh food as you may get your fresh food locally, but think about the processed food. Do you know where all of it comes from?

To be honest, though, if I had to eat food grown from people’s shit, I might well eat those grown from other people’s shit. Part of the fear about eating food grown in our own shit is all the chemicals we ingest that can’t get filtered out, especially drugs we take for illnesses or lifestyle, like birth control pills. The boomer generation is by far the most drugged up generation ever. In poorer parts of the world, those people don’t have access to such “luxuries”. I’d be willing to bet their shit is a lot cleaner than ours and would take the risk to eat food grown from their shit rather than ours. It’s just that they have pesticides and other chemicals that probably make them more harmful overall.

Second, would you rather eat food grown from animal shit than your own shit?

Have you seen or heard about the shit that’s been going into animal feed lately? There’s everything from growth hormones to genetically modified crops to low quality reject foods, and very possibly more of that shit than real food! Those animals are, well, animals! What did you think they were, people, to be worth feeding better shit to? And the shit they get fed is nasty shit, even in the world of shit! Birth control pills and medications are like organically grown peanuts compared to that shit. Watch Food Inc. on this site to get a little taste, though the superb documentary covers a lot more shit than that and is real good shit for anybody to know about the nature of the food they eat.

Animal shit has been used as nature’s fertilizer over the millennia. However, that was when animals ate stuff Mother Nature fed them, not the shit we’re feeding them today. If you know all the shit the animals you eat are fed, whose shit fertilizes fields other food you eat are grown in, I’d be willing to bet you’d take food grown from your own shit any day!

Finally, why are you concerned about fresh food grown in shit compared to all that processed shit you’re eating?

Seriously, few people these days don’t eat processed food, whether frozen dinners or fast food, not to mention drinking pop. Obesity is an epidemic for a reason, you know, not to mention a lot of other health conditions stemming from shitty diets. A little shit here or there that gets through from food grown in shit, or food fed shit in the case of animals, is nothing compared to all that bad shit out there people are eating. Even the good shit, if frozen or processed to much like frozen organic entrees, isn’t all that good shit to be eating.

Conclusions

All in all, worrying about a little shit that might get through after Mother Nature, and possibly filtration plants, have filtered your shit in which you grow your food is misplacing your concerns. There’s a whole lot of other shit out there you ought to be raising shit about.

All right. Enough of this shit.

I hope I won’t get in trouble for talking about this shit…

Oh, shit.

What’s Your Song of Knowledge? (Part 4 of 7 on the World in Six Songs)

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Book and Theory Background

Daniel J. Levitin wrote an absolutely brilliant book called The World in Six Songs, supported by a great website with the many music samples referenced, among other great related material.

My basic paraphrasing of the concept is this. All the songs in the world could be fit into at least one of six categories providing an evolutionary benefit to humanity, often ultimately tied to our social nature.

The book and website offer far more detailed interpretations, of course, but I will expand on my paraphrasing with each post and the associated topic.

Daniel J. Levitin and The World in Six SongsIn a series of posts, I will describe each of the six categories in brief, one at a time:

  1. Friendship
  2. Joy
  3. Comfort
  4. Knowledge
  5. Religion
  6. Love

I will describe what the categories are about because they are not as limited in scope as the category names suggest. I will then supply one of my choices and ask all readers to do the same if they so wish. In the seventh post of the series, I will offer the chance to put the song choices all together so readers can read the entire set on one post. I do this because it would be a long post to describe all six categories at once, but to have all the answers in one place might be nice.

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This post focuses on Songs of Knowledge

July 30th add-on in italics, from Dan Levitin in a summary article
Historically, songs have been used to transmit various information such as religious texts, survival and life lessons, and even the ABCs. Studies have shown information set to song is memorized more reliably than when simple rote memory is used. Increasing the reliability of transmitted information provides the next generation with valuable information.

Songs of knowledge are aptly named because they preserve and spread knowledge. However, it’s not that simple since we have language, which is a far more versatile means of conveying and preserving language than music, having far fewer limitations in composition. Language, though, doesn’t have nearly the mnemonic power of music to help preserve the knowledge being conveyed. This was of great value before we had written language, though it should be pointed out that Daniel Levitin did not pick sides whether the musical or linguistic brain came first. Rather, he favoured the likely to be correct idea they developed together. Another limitation of language is that it can be too specific.

For difficult or awkward situations, a little ambiguity afforded by songs might actually help dissolve conflict, or at least manage social uncertainty, benefiting survival. Songs are also more genuine because it is partly an emotional output, not a rational one, and not as easily to fake.

Finally, knowledge songs are performed by many people, and often. That is partly how they are maintained as per oral history. You can neither preserve nor spread songs if only one person knew it and/or it were rarely performed. Too risky to lose those songs and their knowledge forever. These songs are also sometimes sung in groups, which helps identify those who can bond into groups that increase chances of survival and promote evolution.

As for some examples, many kids’ songs like those which teach counting and the alphabets are excellent, albeit simple examples of knowledge songs. With English as my primary language, the Alphabet Song comes to mind.

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This is the same tune as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by the way, although the latter helps teach things like rhyme rather than an alphabetical sequence… kind of like the video link demonstrates hilariously.

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However, on the other end of the spectrum is the Oral Torah, which, as a Christian metaphor if you are not familiar with it, is a bit like reciting the Bible by memory by song. That’s not entirely accurate, with the history of the Oral Torah being very interesting compared to the written Torah, but you get the idea. Despite the religious text, though, the “song” is meant to preserve and spread knowledge. Religious songs, covered next, are more about rituals. Finally, in the middle are songs like those sang by traveling minstrels and pop songs that tell of historical events like Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Audio sample of songs from the Knowledge chapter in The World in Six Songs can be found on the website. No direct link was available, but click on the Songs menu option and appropriate page number range link carrying pages 137 to 188. Please note that not all songs are meant as samples of Knowledge songs. Some are just referenced material in the book text.

Daniel Levitin talks more about the impact of songs in our lives, including songs of knowledge, in this video below.

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Author Daniel Levitin chose

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My choice for Song of Knowledge is

Woodstock, by Joni Mitchell (lyrics).

This was a really tough one for me to answer because I don’t live in a place and time of traveling minstrels and some choices I had thought about were covered (Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald). However, after thinking long and hard, I decided on my choice above. While not a full historical account by any means, Joni at least wasn’t there like most of the minstrel singers would not have been at the events about which they sang.

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What is your choice for Song of Knowledge?

Please leave your choice as a comment.

Lyrics and YouTube/audio link would greatly enhance your answer so readers can know more about your choice. They are not necessary, though, and not possible if no lyrics or version exist.

You can include songs you wrote as a choice, too!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.3