Got any ‘Sounds Crazy’ ideas?

The sounds crazy series on Alloporus has covered topics that bend logic out of shape and makes you wonder if the world is run by the insane…

Take a perusal at some of these and maybe see if you can come up with another, maybe something even crazier.

I am happy to take suggestions or a guest post.

Meantime here is more craziness from the most popular confused Confucius post for September…


Paying more for food


As regular readers of alloporus will know, posts on food appear quite often on this blog.

Not new recipes for banoffee pie [can be too bananary] or salted caramel tart [delicious with just the right amount of salt] but more about how we are going to consistently grow enough of food to feed the growing and increasingly fussy global human population, not to mention their pets.

Food securityA food security challenge | What we eat

Recently I asked a question in my confused Confucius series on the article site Hubpages to see if food security was something people thought about.

Being confused Confucius the question was just a tad lateral: Would you be prepared to pay more for your food if it meant food supply was secure? [The link takes you to the answers and comments] and there is also a summary Hub

Turns out that there were three main objections

  1. Could not pay more because it was already a struggle to cover the food bill
  2. Paying more would not solve anything
  3. We already pay

Social media is a great tool to canvas opinion but, unlike answers to exam questions from my long-suffering undergraduates, answers to questions are often oblique.

Not being able to pay is fair enough and no doubt very real for many people all around the world.

Paying more not solving anything did not really answer the question by making the assumption that it was not possible to pay for security. Bit of a dodge I think and quite common I suspect in our thinking. We jump onto the polemic in order to avoid searching ourselves for what we truly think.

The ‘we already pay’ because our production system is riddled with externalities, also didn’t really answer the question.

I guess all I was asking is if we would pay to be secure, pay more for our current food to know that we would always have enough food in the future.

So far the answer seems to be either ‘no’ or ‘not something I want to answer thanks’. This I find both curious and just a little disturbing.

Confused Confucius questions | #1 In the beginning

confused confucius questionsSocial media is a great tool to explore the wonders of human nature.

As billions of smartphones, pads and tablets beep or jingle to alert the world to a new message so each owner in a reflex action picks up and responds. It is now so natural to comment, post and message that nobody even thinks about it.

What has amazed me is how liberated our online talk is, far more so than if we were chatting in the pub or over the cooler in the office. We have no qualms at all about saying what we think online, and usually it is the first thing that comes into our heads.

This growing fondness for telling the ether our deepest thoughts and feelings creates a whole new opportunity for cheeky folk like myself to prod and provoke a reaction.

As an experiment in testing this ability of people to bare their souls via a digital device, I started asking some random questions on the online articles platform HubPages where there is an alloporus profile with a few articles.

Rather than the usual “How to” and “What is” type questions, I settled for the “Why do we” type under the tag

Confucius confusions | Do you have any answers to this modern question that would have baffled the wisest sages of old?

The first observation was that this particular online community seems to view questions and then write answers more than they read articles. I received more views of questions in a week that I have for my articles in 6 months. Not surprising though considering the audience is primarily would be writers who like to voice their opinion.

The next thing that struck me was the topics that get people excited. So far the most viewed questions are

Why is elegance so rare?

Why are business suits dark?

The more tax you pay the more money you earn, so why are we obsessed with paying less tax?

Why do we take so many photographs?

These ‘random’ questions with no real bearing on anything seem to fire people up. Many write short essays to get their message across. And maybe this is a good thing. Since it is now far too expensive to go and have a chat in the pub every night, maybe we can get into discussion online.

Not all questions get people going and alloporus will monitor the questions that drift away into the ether without a spark as closely as the ones that get noticed.

So far most questions were asked under the category ‘Religion and Philosophy’ so as to suggest they were thoughtful rather than deliberately controversial. The interesting thing though was how passionate people can be over these random questions. What seems to happen is that answering allows feelings to flow.

So far any overtly environmental questions seem to get only a fraction of the views of the esoteric conundrums and only an occasional answer. This is bad news for this wannabe best-selling author who writes about the travails of the dance between humans and the environment. Clearly the topic is not often on our minds.

More to come on this exploration of human awareness.