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deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,723
1
There is a little mailing list on which I participate, in part because it is related to professional concerns and in part, because I like the people involved. My role there is part as repository of memory, and part to reign in enthusiasm over new articles that promise the whole world will change because of this one weird thing -- you know the type.
With the last couple months being strikingly busy outside of work and normal home activities, I have not been participating much, and the list has changed quite a bit. In fact, when I returned to the folder where I store emails from this list, I was shocked at what happened: traffic surged, bloated, and then trailed off, to only a message or two a day at the present time.
Thermodynamics has won at a crawl. I started going back through the old messages, and here is what I saw. About the time that I got busy, a newish member announced that his daughter was missing. A saga followed: she had gone off to school in a small Texas city, done well for awhile, then done less well, and now was not answering the phone or emails.
I was glad to miss this thread, since I know that pattern too well. But everyone else was along for the saga. The suspense of having to make phone calls. The final outrage before he and the wife got in the car and roared down there in the dead of the night. The lying roommates. The unhelpful school (she is legally an adult, after all, so Not Our Problem). And, after a week of emotional messages, the discovery of the new boyfriend living in a trailer outside town, the bad habits, and the history of lies.
Whew, that's a lot to post on a public mailing list, I thought. I was not alone in that sentiment. A few of our oldest and youngest members told this fellow in no unclear terms that it was unwise to discuss this on the list, but they got shouted down by a group that might as well be the majority. So we tagged along for the whole drama, straight to the treatment center and academic probation.
Back to normal, I thought, leafing through the messages. But no: the list had changed, and by that, I mean that the people had changed. The hardware, software, addresses and topic were still the same. As this guy had been posting his daily list of tragedies, people fell into a rhythm. Everyone said something emotional. It didn't matter if it was pro or con, just that each person had to have his say about how this made him feel. How it affected his personal stability. That kind of thing.
And so now, each new topic was this way. Someone would introduce a new idea, and they would go right down the line, each person writing down his reaction to it. For some, it was pure emotionality. For others, it was to talk about how their personal domain of knowledge could re-interpret this new idea. Many just weighed in with total irrelevance, such as how they had a similar event which wasn't similar at all and how they acted and why they feel good about that.
Christ on crutches, we've become a support group. I had to go to one of these, a long time ago. Basically, everyone in the group had a problem, and it wasn't in the big scheme of things all that different than what got this fellow's daughter. So one guy stands up and says, "I'm an alcoholic, I ferment my mother's urine and drink until I pass out," and then everyone else throws in his general experience and his emotions, and soon it is a bunch of saps agreeing that they were all sad victims of life itself, so... well we might as well head out drinking to numb the pain. I saw the cycle forming right there.
If this long and rambling story has a point, it is this: beware emotional participation. Not all of us codgers and curmudgeons are as grumpy as we seem, but the other side, that participation trophy, it'll get you. Relish your inner cynic. Praise darkness as well as light. Revel in your ability to apply knowledge to help, but be wary of the hive-mind. Entropy killed that mailing list, and I'm not sure it can be resurrected. The culture -- the living part -- is gone.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,166
545
I moved this from General Pipes Smoking Discussion to General Discussion.
Is it even possible to ferment urine into alcohol?

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,723
1
If they're passing along enough sugar, probably, but I haven't tried it yet. I'll put it on the to-do list for later this week. I apologize for dumping this one in the wrong forum.

 

jvnshr

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2015
3,976
15
Baku, Azerbaijan
beware emotional participation
Totally agree. When I was a kid, hiding your emotions was "cool". Today, people try to find something to cry for. We are living in an apartment and there is a new neighbor who is doing some repair in his new apartment before moving in. It was last Saturday that upon entering the house, I heard an instrument destroying the walls, it felt like they were working on my walls. So I knocked the door of the new neighbor, a guy opened the door and told me that the owner of the house was not there. I kindly asked them not to work on the weekends and from 1AM to 4AM on the weekdays, because of my 2 year old's afternoon nap. The guy said "We will try not to make any noise", I said "Don't try, just don't do! Otherwise I will inform the authorities." The next day, when I wasn't at home, a lady knocks our door, my wife opens and the lady introduces herself as the new neighbor. She starts saying that she has just lost her 29 year old child, therefore they have to move to this house as soon as they can and they can't stop working on the weekends, blah blah. I mean, I understand that, I can share your pain, you can use my shoulder to cry but how in the f*cking earth your child's death is related to the noise you are making? Sorry for the emotional outburst :)

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,166
545
What is a hive mind? I mean I know that bees have to all coordinate flower locations and defend the queen for survival. But, I'm not sure how this could translate into a people thing. And, even if so, how is it bad? or good? Or, what is it?
So, you guys just passed along an email like a chain letter? Did you add something to the story, or just reply to it and pass it on... to the same people, or different people?
Sorry, so many questions...

 

prairiedruid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2015
1,682
14
Is it even possible to ferment urine into alcohol?
Actually it just says "I ferment my mother's urine and drink until I pass out" so instead of alcohol maybe something magical like fermented perique? Who wants to go on a fermented urine trip??? Does it taste like snozberries?

 

mayfair70

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2015
1,968
0
What is a hive mind?
Good question. I thought of it as Mob Rules or Ochlocracy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochlocracy

Definitely an H.P. Lovecraft thing. It may be closer to a biological state like Stockholm syndrome, but there isn't enough blood in my coffee stream to tell just now.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,256
184
Actually it just says "I ferment my mother's urine and drink until I pass out" so instead of alcohol maybe something magical
It is said the Philosopher's Stone can be derived from urine through an alchemical process.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,256
184
BTW: I have made a personal decision to not become emotionally involved in this thread.

 

brightleaf

Preferred Member
Sep 4, 2017
555
0
"It is said the Philosopher's Stone can be derived from urine through an alchemical process."
I have also heard that kidney stones will turn you into a praying man.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,412
3
I'm not sure they'll turn you into a praying man, but I know for a fact they'll turn you into a crying man.

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
4,794
0
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
"I'm not sure they'll turn you into a praying man, but I know for a fact they'll turn you into a crying man."
Indeed! Samuel Pepys would certainly attest to that. He endured his lithotomy the old fashioned way...good glug of brandy, rag in mouth and four burley men holding him down.
Regards,
Jay.

 

saltedplug

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2016
1,909
4
To be in a group requires adopting its beliefs, at least to some extent. I have experienced this on the many forums in which I've participated and also IRL. The norms may be healthy, or not, but to speak against those most strongly held invites censure. For instance a common belief on the forums is that anything that has any Lakeland is to be avoided like the plague. The small amount of Lakeland in Stonehenge or Dark Flake, which I've smoked more or less daily for a dozen years, only occasionally detecting it during the initial light, is enough to send some heading for the hills. When Stonehenge was being released there were at least two dozen posts on this forum expressing everything from distaste to disgust. Was this group speak? I think so. I've encountered this prejudice on multiple forums for years. . .and a lot of guys espousing this have never smoked anything Lakeland! All they know is what someone else said and because of the group, all they know is to repeat it.
No one really discusses how the tobacco tasted and why they don't like it. There are in fact many Lakeland essences, so to describe them in one word speaks more to ignorance than anything else. Some guys will mumble something about "granny's panties," which also says nothing.
In the end, this is just my opinion. You may dislike "Lakeland" as much as you like, for whatever reason, even if you've not smoked any!

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,166
545
Maybe... but we have a lot of guys who only smoke lakelands. We even have a guy who smokes Mixture 79, some like it goopy, some who like it dry, some in betweeners. I am in the anti-cake gang, while we rumble with those who can only get a pinch of tobacco in their caked pipes. There are even a few of us who... shhhhhh... smoke aromatics... in the closet.... sometimes. And some who are aro-curious. Maybe a hive mind. Or maybe factions of people agree and disagree on stuff. Maybe?