Day 70: I Should Stop Mentally Comparing People to Fish

So the most crucial thing, in this, the Population and Migration class, is that the professor also thinks Thomas Malthus is full of shit. With that massively relieving piece of information out of the way (because you do have to cover historical theories, and he did have a historical theory, it’s just historical because it got disproven), the rest of the class has been pretty good. My only slight problem is that a lot of things that we talk about for people (birth rates, death rates, death rates by age, stock populations, etc) are also things that we talked about in the Fisheries Management class. but about fish. So I have a handful of institutions about population dynamics, they’re just all fish based. And it all translates over pretty well, except fish have fewer cultural factors and less angst about migration (they’re fish. there’s not a lot of room for angst in a fish). We’re just over-complicated terrestrial fish.

The class has been pretty reading/discussion heavy, and I forgot both a) how many just slightly sideways opinions I tend to have and b) just how peculiar the US is in a lot of respects. Not all bad, necessarily; the US is one of very few countries with automatic birthright citizenship, which is one of most correct immigration decisions we ever made, along with not having an official language or religion. It’s just kinda funny to be in a class about migration when I’ve been pretty agnostic about borders for years (for people; international tariffs on goods and trying to limit invasive species is fine). So the readings or the professor will ask something along the lines of, why do think people are so opposed to increasing immigration into their countries, even when there is a generally positive view of migrants? And all I can do is shrug violently and go: I don’t why people are stressed about immigration when they are a ‘””‘burden””” on the economy, never mind when they aren’t. Oh no, people liked your country so much they decided to show up and be part of it, how dare they. And besides, the whole point of society is that we built it take care of each other at scale; isn’t it the goal that more people are showing up and being sheltered? You don’t keep an umbrella inside because you don’t want it get wet; people are supposed to use social programs! That’s what they’re there for!

and then we pivot slightly awkwardly to a new topic. There’s only six of us though, all pretty left leaning, so it moves right along. We did accidentally get into rip roaring discussion today about longevity, specifically if humans lived for a few centuries if we would get any better at conceptualizing the future. I do have a soft spot for deeply impersonal 200 person lectures, but tiny classes do have their own charm.

The weather has shifted again; it has stopped being 10C and faintly sunny, and has moved back to -6C (plus bonus wind chill) and cloudy. It is still winter I suppose. I guess it’s still allowed to be cold. It was right around freezing today and not deeply windy so I went out to catch the sun as it was setting about 6pm behind the mountains:

Looking south-east into the fjord from atop the avalanche walls, sun setting off camera right. The inner fjord is all frozen over again

The key lime pie did end up being quite good; we don’t have a microplane, which I realized too late, so I peeled and diced the skin instead of zesting it, and it only turned out a little chunky. I also hand whipped some cream, and it takes so much longer than either with a motorized mixer or by passing it around the table and everyone beating until they get bored. I managed to fed slices to about 9 people and still have about a quarter left, which is a delightful amount to get to eat myself, even if these people are much more restrained and polite about dessert than I’m used to. It baffles me.

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