An Anatolian tale: Wild Drummer of the Apple Village

In May 2021, as I was thinking “what shall I do for the 12th birthday of my daughter Elif Sumru, what shall I give to her as present?”, an idea came to my mind: I could write a short story whose heroin is a young girl like Elif Sumru. So I sat down and wrote this fairy-tale-like story in three days (originally in Turkish, titled “Elmalı Köyün Vahşi Davulcusu”). I wrote it in only three days but all the details of this short story has been on my mind for quite a long time.

Picture by Elif Sumru Kütükçüoǧlu (my daughter), for chapter 5

Latest events in the normally quiet Apple Village have confused 12-year-old Elint, who was called “Curly Nettle” in the village because of her curly hair and sharp tongue:

What was the Wild Drummer, a forest boy, trying to tell the people of the village with these words?

You’re all obsessed with apple and only apple,
You don’t see the other blessings of the forest.

Most of the village people, including Curly’s father and the village teacher named Meticulous, were against the Wild Drummer. They thought, this wild jungle boy should not to be allowed into the village. Who was right and who was wrong? Should she follow the majority, or should she try the understand and defend the Wild Drummer?

Did the Teacher really teach everything that needed to be learned, as his father said, or was there much to learn from Doctor Oma and Taleteller Opa, from others, and from the forest?

What should be done with the giant of a boy Stone-Head, who couldn’t bring two sensible words together and broke his school desk with a punch of his fist when he got angry? Was the Teacher right in wanting to expel him from school for good, or did the Stone-Head, who couldn’t express his feelings verbally, had a golden conscience that had to be understood?

Curly was terribly confused. Would she be able to make sound judgments and find the right path?

***

In this story, Wild Drummer tries to protect the forest, which he views as his homeland, from the ever-expanding apple plantations. He also rebels against the “monoculture of the mind” (a phrase by Vandana Shiva who has always been one of my prime inspirations).

This is a story for families and children who are not content with just school knowledge, and attach importance to ecological and philosophical consciousness. Read this story and have your children read (or hear) it too. You will see that this short story will be the subject of much discussion.

The book will be available for sale, first in three languages (Turkish, English, German) as soon as my daughter Elif Sumru has completed its pictures –a picture for each chapter– probably until February 2023.

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The man who never asked inconvenient questions

The case of Adolf Eichmann and industrial education

Adolf Eichmann, an ideal tamed technician for the industry, who was technically competent in his job, and more importantly, who never asked inconvenient questions about the system, purpose and meaning

I can say without hesitation that A Little History of Philosophy is the best introductory philosophy book I’ve ever read.

The author of the book, Nigel Warburton, has managed to explain the most important ideas of the history of philosophy in an enjoyable and immersive way, without using an esoteric jargon that is hardly understandable for a lay reader.

35th chapter of the book describes a case that I find very striking to highlight the industrial mindset: The man who does not ask questions!

Adolf Eichmann was a high-ranking bureaucrat in charge of European railways during the Hitler era.

Due to Eichmann’s meticulous work and oversight, all train routes in Europe at that time worked like a clockwork, so that hundreds of thousands of Jews and other “lower races” collected from all over Europe could be transported to concentration camps in Eastern Europe without serious technical problems.

You know the rest of the story: Most of the prisoners, including many women and children, brought to the concentration camps in crowded cattle wagons were murdered with poison gas in special shower rooms. Some of these prisoners were used as guinea pigs in the most perverse medical experiments. Only a very small minority of the captives could survive these hideous concentration camps. These few survivors were in an extremely miserable condition when they were finally rescued at the end of the Second World War.

Eichmann, who, like many post-war Nazis, fled to Argentina after the war, was captured by the Israeli secret police Mossad in Buenos Aires in 1960, and brought to Israel to stand trial.

The philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-75) dealed personally with the Eichmann case. What kind of a maniac, pervert and sadistic person should he be to have brought hundreds of thousands of people to torture and death without blinking an eye?

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Important economy lesson that I learned from aquariums

As experienced aquarium-keepers know very well, the biggest problem in an aquarium is water purification; that is, keeping the water and sand healthy in the long term, for several years.

biotope in my study

Nitrogen compounds such as nitrate and other chemicals accumulated in the water can make the aquarium uninhabitable for fish, plants, invertebrates and other creatures over time.

After all, you give fish food to the aquarium every day. If this food cannot be recycled or cleaned in some way, the chemical substances contained in the food will be transformed and accumulated in the aquarium water or sand.

I have spent years with all kinds of water filters in order to have sustainable and healthy aquariums; mechanical filters, biological filters, chemical filters, ion exchangers and so on, whatever technology came to my mind!

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The Song of Ecological Ignorance

Have you ever listened to the song of ecological ignorance?

Probably not, because I composed such a song for the first time. Here it is:

I played the song of “Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics” on the ukulele

This is a little funny & simple song of ecological ignorance, and it is at the same time the song of my book Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics which is now available at amazon as e-book and and paperback.

The song is my own little composition based on a simple chord sequence:
C – Am – C – Am – G – F – G – C

Words (lyrics) and chords for ukulele:
Ecolo, ecological ignorance, ignorance
Ecolo, ecological ignorance, in mainstream, economics
How terrible it is, really sad

Download words and chords of the song as pdf file.

Are you a musician? It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, amateur or professional; you can play this song with your own interpretation, and publish it wherever you want (youtube, soundcloud, audiomack etc.). If you liked the message of this song, you can spread it by playing and singing. As the composer of this little song I have only two conditions:

(1) Add (copy & paste) following lines into the detail information of your video or audio:

Music and lyrics by Tunç Ali Kütükçüoǧlu
Information about the song: https://www.tuncalik.com/the-song-of-ecological-ignorance

(2) Send me an email with the link of your song. I will add your name and link to the list of interpreters below (my email: tuncalik1968 at gmail dot com)

List of interpreters

  1. Tunç Ali Kütükçüoǧlu, ukulele student, recording date: 9.12.2021
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My Book: Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics

My book “Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics”, which is a product of my PhD study at the University of Corsica (Università di Corsica Pasquale Paoli, 2018-2021), is now available at Amazon as ebook and paperback:

Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics: Why does mainstream economics ignore ecology, especially in the undergraduate education that shapes the minds of young students?

This book is a product of my PhD thesis that was an inquiry into the historical roots & causes of the ecological ignorance in mainstream (neoclassical, neoliberal) economics. Understanding these roots & causes is important to surmount the mental and institutional barriers to holistic and ecological thinking.

This book includes some additional sections like “the tragic story of my excommunication from the Church of Economism” (phrase and article by Prof. Richard Norgaard, one of the 17 contributors of my PhD thesis) that are not included in my PhD thesis. And vice versa; some sections of my PhD thesis are excluded from the book as they are too specific and technical for general interests and not easily readable.

I will update the book regularly for small corrections and improvements in subsequent editions, but the PhD thesis will remain as it is.

This book is for you, if you have questions about political economy and ecology in mind, like:

  1. What is economics, and what is it for? What are the primary features of mainstream economics?
  2. Is mainstream economics a social science, or an ideology of business & money posing as social science?
  3. How did political economy of the 19. century become first neoclassical economics, and then neoliberal economics in the 20. century?
  4. What is ecological literacy and how can it be obtained?
  5. What are the primary principles of deep ecology, and how do they collide with the main assumptions & myths of mainstream economics?
  6. What is wrong with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measure, and what is wrong with the economic growth (GDP growth) obsession?
  7. Why and how do the institution of mainstream economics resist to change for a more holistic and pluralist teaching of economics?
  8. What are the most important barriers to thinking and acting ecologically, and how can we surmount them?
  9. Why and how do some mainstream economists (the so-called “useful idiots”) often serve to the narrow interests of big money in climate discussions?
  10. How do some multinational companies and their investors profit from the destruction of self-sufficient & sustainable (social & biological) ecosystems?
  11. Why is the nature often seen as a passive (nonliving) raw material resource and dumping ground, rather than the active (living) primary reproducer of our planet?
  12. What are the most popular misconceptions and myths of mainstream economics, and what are their possible causes?
  13. Why do we need a totally different economics theory & education for the sustainable human life & wellbeing on the planet? How should such an education look like?
  14. What is the place of ecology in popular economics textbooks for undergraduate students?
  15. Why do big global investors prefer unhealthy & unsustainable industrial agriculture to healthy & sustainable ecological agriculture?
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