Bill Gates luvs Pam!!

So last night Im playing on the internet, minding my own business, and I stumble upon this video of Bill Gates giving a gushing plug for Pamela Ronalds book, Tomorrows Table!



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Pamela rocks as does her book.

Unfortunately her blog is in some sort of schitz comment loop:

Pamela posts something awesome about advances in transgenic agriculture.

Random beardy hippy allergic Luddite posts a wall of text and some oblique threats boiling down to "Don't Franken my tofutti Dood."

People who actually have some clue as to what she is posting about attempt to explain.

Random beardy hippy allergic Luddite links to Michael Pollan (author, journalist, activist, and narcissistic alarmist idiot) or Vandana Shiva (philosopher, environmental activist, eco feminist and morally repugnant vedic poverty fetishist).

"Screw you atavistic histrionic know-nothing." is exchanged for "Screw you corporatist puppet of the military industrial complex."

.....and thus tanks another potentially informative thread.

I feel sorry for Pamela because her work is so important and she is surrounded by people who pretend they have some understanding of what she is trying to do ....cause, hey, they eat food and stuff.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

ROFL @Prometheus:

Random beardy hippy allergic Luddite posts a wall of text and some oblique threats boiling down to "Don't Franken my tofutti Dood."

This is my life on the intertubes in a nutshell....

Who wouldn't gush over Tomorrow's Table? It's the best commentary on organic and biotech and how to move farming into a sustainable future. Plus recipes! I have to say I like Bill Gates more and more as he gets deeper into agriculture. He sees the potential for smart use of technology just as Pam and Raoul do.

It is awfully difficult to convince people that there is a difference between opinion and data. Very frustrating, and not made any easier by those few "scientists" with agendas.

I agree that Shiva is unfortunately a morally repugnant poverty fetishist but I have to disagree about Pollan being an idiot. While he wasn't as well informed as he could have been in his earlier books and articles, he has gotten better over time, while Shiva's gotten worse. My only complaint about Pollan is that he's willing to hitch his wagon to bad journalism like Food Inc that pick and choose from reality to make their point, which end up being far removed from reality. It would have been much better for him to choose to promote King Corn which as far as I can tell was well researched and informative rather than alarmist.

I will of course defer to the opinion of Anastasia the Corn Goddess but have you seen Pollan's lauds of the "slow food movement".

Those people are like Moonies with forks.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hey be nice to the slow food movement. Maybe it is just me and my rose colored eye balls but the crux of what they expound is that people should be cooking their own food rather then getting the preprocessed crap from McDonald's and that society should make cooking more appealing then deep fried crap on a white bun.

As far as GMO goes I think think it is rocking. We just need to keep an eye on it because the profit motive can lead to some real messed up incentives (the "option ARM" comes to mind). But biology is what will save our hides. A world with 9+ Billion people, we are totally BONED.

By the backpacker (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

@the backpacker: I understand what you are saying, and I don't have a problem with people thinking more about nutrition and basics of cooking. If it stopped there, it would be one thing. But they are actively antagonizing science and currently working very hard disrupting policy.

There was an interesting article about Raj Shah that I've always remembered:

But Shah seemed unhappy. âAfter I went to Berkeley to meet with the Food First people,â he told me, âI came away very much wanting to work more closely with agro-ecological groups. We talk to anyone who will talk to us. How could we aspire to be transformational if we didnât?â He paused, and then added musingly: âI guess I really donât know why there is so much hostility. I really think we have something to learn from them.â

In my experience they are actively hostile, like fundamentalist Christians on this topic. And unwilling to entertain any science at all.

I blush. THANKS for your support of our book project everyone. With both Bill and the bloggers behind the book, we must be on the right track.

now I just have to figure out how to post videos that Zoom into my favorite 5 minutes of the video as you did here.

By pam ronald (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I emailed you directions for how I did it, pam!

I learned how to do this stuff just by mashing keys and hitting 'Preview', so dont worry, its not just you :)

I haven't read Pam's book (sorry Pam!) but as someone who used to work on GM crops and is now in a lab competing for Gates funding for HIV... Bill and Melinda are too much into the technical side of things. The drugs are going to solve HIV/malaria... GM is going to solve the water crisis.. There's a human side of this that the Gates Foundation would do well to consider more. I heard a talk today that Gates is discontinuing twinning between US/African medical colleges because the Foundation is now focusing more on the technical aspects of malaria/HIV prevention.

Even you have to agree, erv, that PEPFAR, the most useful intervention we've seen in modern times, is a losing proposition when 3 people get infected for each person put on treatment. Gates, PEPFAR et al need to start focusing more on a top-down approach to these problems rather than these stopgap measures.