[ExI] collective expertise

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Tue Oct 26 14:55:08 UTC 2021



…> On Behalf Of Tom Nowell via extropy-chat

Subject: Re: [ExI] collective expertise




That looks like some kind of chestnut, but you live in California so your trees are probably a bit different to the ones in England. I would advise you to ask neighbours or check against images of local chestnut species to identify if they are toxic or not (I live in an area full of horse chestnuts, which are toxic to humans). Also, peel carefully to see how hard they are and if your teeth can handle them.


Depending on edibility, you may be able to have chestnuts roasting on an open fire, like that old Nat King Cole song. Alternatively, if they are inedible or just too tough, drill a hole in them, thread some twine through, knot at either side of the nut and you now have a conker. Make a second one, and find someone who enjoys destructive pastimes. Now takes turns swinging the nuts against each other until one breaks - you have joined the ancient sport of "Conkers".








This is brilliant, on multiple levels!  We could organize conker tournaments, a conker championship and so forth.


There is even a science or engineering related angle to the painful game.  If one’s conker string is either too short or too long, the business end achieves insufficient velocity to shatter upon impact with the cranium of one’s opponent.  There must be some optimum length and mass, but this optimuma would be a function of the konker wielder’s arm length, speed and strength perhaps.  So each player would need to optimize a custom konker to most effectively crack either the nut or the goddam skull of her opponent.


Regarding your reference to chestnuts and open fires, you brought back fond memories of a Christmas a decade ago when the old ones were still living.  The three grandchildren, then aged 4, 5 and 6, were at a family gathering when the oldest of the three told the others that the ancient relatives were listening to songs, one of which contained a reference to a Christmas monster of some sort who devoured people’s faces.  The 4 year old (my son) attempted to explain what he had heard, but I calmly assured him that there was no such song among the collection.


As the whole gathering enjoyed a nice peaceful holiday evening, the three young amigos suddenly shrook.  Today I shake, yesterday I shook, today I shriek, yesterday I shrook.  They suddenly and perfectly simultaneously shrook and bolted from the room.  My curiosity at what wretched demon had suddenly possessed the youth, I learned that this was the terrifying song.  I returned to the main room to the gentle mellow lyrics of Nat King Cole.  Most puzzling!  I restarted that song, which beings: 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… Jack Frost nipping at your nose…







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