I'm brewing up a post on player connectivity, but here's something that really pisses me off. (Obviously, this is a rant.)
I've been reading up on sustainable farming, because I have a freakishly boundless curiosity. A lot of it is really interesting, and in America there's a huge crossover between organic and sustainable, to the point where there's really no clear dividing line.
It's pretty interesting. For example, to qualify as "organic", they can't really use normal methods for killing pests and treating diseases.
On the crop side, they got really clever: by switching up crops and planting at selective times, they interrupt the pest cycle and keep diseases from taking root. For example, a given kind of weed can be prevented from invading a fallow field by planting a fast-growing ground cover crop just before it might start (which also increases soil organics). Insect pests have similar solutions, plus the addition of nonharmful predators and competitors such as ladybugs. Once the populations and rhythms are established, the problem is apparently fairly manageable without any pesticides at all.
On the animal side, especially with cows, diseases are what you would expect to be trouble. It turns out that "organic" cows don't really get sick very often, because their conditions aren't so bad. So, that's good. Except, get this: they can't use any antibiotics on any of the cows, ever, or lose their "organic" certification.
While this is worrisome, they say that treating them homeopathically tends to work. They've said this multiple times in the papers I've been reading.
I can't... There is no emote... MUST I TYPE IN CAPS TO SHOW MY ANGER?
Stop getting your idiotic woo in my research.
What they mean is: "well, we give the cows plenty of water, and they usually get better on their own. Oh, and we pay through the nose for some useless sugar pills because otherwise those poor homeopaths would be diluting poison for no good reason!"
Similarly, you're not allowed to use any "genetically modified" crops if you want that all-important "organic" label and the 200% price increase it allows.
Now, admittedly, the majority of genetically modified crops (not counting the ones grandfathered in, such as every crop on the face of the planet) are modified in ways which really don't help a sustainable farm much. Most of them, for example, are simply herbicide/pesticide-resistant... immune to things these farmers won't use.
But there are a lot of modified crops that are good! Some metabolize specific soil contaminants, some provide specific vitamins, some are engineered to survive better in climates they aren't accustomed to. More are coming out every year, and this will only accelerate as we understand the genetics better and can do modifications cheaper.
Why a blind, flat ban? It's another case of woo!
Sustainable farming is a valuable field of research that can benefit everyone in every society across the world. I will not have everyone in every society across the world believing that homeopathy works, or that all genetically modified crops are magically bad.