« Is There Intelligent Life In The Universe? | Main | "There Won't Be Any Fish Left" »

10/16/2013

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ken Barrows

"Scientists are unsure how to save them" in a way that allows human beings to avoid changing their behavior.

Oliver

Through my naivete (okay, I admit it, my crass stupidity) many years ago, when I started paying for life insurance a.k.a. death assurance, I am now worth a whole lot more dead than alive.

Therefore, next time any gun-toting assholes get the numbskull-itch to take pot shots at moose, I offer to take the place of one of these innocents - if the moose is guaranteed a safe haven away from fucking humans.

Don't forget to shoot to kill, you fuckers.

Oliver

Sorry about the language. Here's my correction:

Don't forget to shoot to kill, you moronic fuckers.

Brian

This is right in line with a short video I saw today. The context and subject are irrelevant because you can see the same thing all the time. The video was talking about some cool new technology and skill set and was urging the audience to all work together with these new tools because "together we can change the world".

I couldn't begin to count the number of times I've heard this claptrap.

What is virtually certain is that none of the people who have ever utterted this are even remotely aware of the true meaning of what they are saying, that is, "together we can change some symptom of our behavior so that we don't actually have to change the behavior that is causing the symptom."

Of course, even if they were conscious of what they really meant, they would be clueless about the reality that humans couldn't actually work together and couldn't change their nature if they tried.

Flatland, indeed.

Alexander Ač

Dave, what is different about us, those people who have hopefully usually insightfull comments? Not that there are too many people commenting :(. Are our brains different? Are we just more responsible, more concerned, more informed, less flat?

What is it? If there were (much) more people like you, what would be the result?

Best,

Alex

Dave Cohen

@Alex

If there were more people like me in the world -- let's say a couple million -- we would band together, buy a very small country, move there, and put up a state-of-the-art perimeter defense. We would stockpile weapons for defensive purposes only.

Our country would be strictly neutral in all conflicts occurring outside its borders because "laying low" is always a good idea around "normal" people.

Warnings would be issued when "normal" persons were visiting. These people would be issued colorful badges to be displayed at all times on their persons so that our citizens would always know who they were dealing with. No one would act in any hostile way toward the "normal" people wearing badges.

We would only mate with each other. Sex would be free of all the neurotic and instinctual baggage which inevitably accompanies it among "normal" people. The music would be great, and there would be plenty of it, with dancing.

And so on.

-- Dave

Jordan Drew

This reminds me of reading about the "mystery" of colony collapse disorder" in the industrial honeybee population.

Alexander Ač

Dave,

Thanks. That would actually be a nice start for a beautiful psy-fi (psychological fiction) novel.

Alex

Andy

On a lighter note I shot a couple of wild cats today. They kill the native birds in the area. Now if you want to see a truly invasive and destructive species, go and have a look in the mirror. I felt sad about killing the cats, they can't do anything but be what they are. Philosophically humans have free will, but in reality we are not different to those cats, though the cats don't have technology.

Mike Roberts

An incredible quoted article. And a great job of underlining the highlights. That linked to article about the 11 degree rise in mid-winter average temps (another incredible fact) includes, "The connection between rising temperatures and dying moose isn't clear." Everyone needs to read Decline of the Empire to be clear on the cause of this planet's demise.

Clyde

Mike, even if everyone in the whole wide world did, indeed, read Decline of the Empire, what do you think would then happen, really?

Ken Barrows

Dave,

Nice idea about the fortress society, but I figure that 90% of your two million would be men. Probably would be lots of frustrated bachelors. Or polyandry.

Dave Cohen

@Ken

Well, since we're making the whole thing up -- it is fiction and necessarily so -- why can't half the people of my "special" country be women?

And I pretty much reject your premise, which basically says that women are more limited than men in respect to their "Dave-ness" (for lack of a better term).

I never distinguish between men and women on DOTE. I refer to humans, among whom there are two varieties.

-- Dave

Frosty

Dave,
Thank you for this, I was hoping to read your reaction. The article pretty much typifies the willful blindness I've come to expect from what passes as news media. and how about the article's final sentence?

"The solution to the tick problem might be, paradoxically, more moose hunting. “It’s up to the public,” she said. “We could kill more if we want healthy moose.”

Jim

Jumpin' junipers, Frosty! I didn't read to the end of the Times article. I was curious to see who the "she" is who said that - it's one of the most amazing statements I've seen in a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUwndnfmZog
http://www.wildnh.com/Newsroom/News_2006/News_2006_Q3/Moose_Biologist_Award_072506.htm

She's basically saying that hunters could kill more moose to control the tick population to save the moose. But the ticks aren't moose-specific - their main host is deer. The problem isn't that there are too many moose. There are too many deer (lack of predators besides humans) confined to wildlife areas with the moose, which makes it basically a land use and predator control issue, which makes it a humans issue. But oh well, gotta keep the mystery.

The "it's up to the public" statement reflects how quotas are set there. The public does decide how many moose to kill (based on hunter desire and on the Wildlife and Game recommendations) per year. Her statement would directly affect the qoutas - it's not just "up to the public".

Wow, just, wow.

Mike Roberts

Clyde, sadly, that's a good point. But as we're in fantasy land, maybe reading DOTE itself shows a willingness to understand reality.

As I said, fantasy land.

Diogenes

Lone Moose...

http://vimeo.com/73419397

2008 Nat Geo Wild, "Mysteries of the Moose"...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi-kdEgjCkc

Dave Cohen

@Jim

In that video you referenced "moose biologist" Kristine Rines talks about collisions between moose and cars, which were down a bit in New Hampshire when the video was made. No doubt the moose don't fare too well in those smash-ups.

I didn't see her statement about the ticks either, but it's all par for the course. As you said, the ecosystem where the moose live is totally out of balance.

It's a human world, and the moose are just walking around in it.

It's all entirely clear, in this case and countless thousands like it that humans just can't leave the X alone. They've got to fuck with X because that's what humans do.

On DOTE on occasion I would write something like the following --

humans don't know what they're doing, and have no idea why they're doing it

If any of you were mystified by that statement, now you know what it means.

Jesus Fucking Christ.

-- Dave

Cookielemons .

"We would only mate with each other. Sex would be free of all the neurotic and instinctual baggage which inevitably accompanies it among "normal" people."

Now why would you suggest this? For what reason would we need to continue our wretched species? If the problem is in our nature (i.e. "human nature," which you refer to time and time again) then the desire for power, money, and domination, all of which have devastated the planet as you have so eloquently shown on this blog, is innate and cannot be stamped out by creating some utopia. Moreover, since your utopia is a mere fiction, and an optimistic one at that judging that it is life-affirming, then this only proves how impossible it is to change our nature. We can't even point to a real world example in which humans have behaved responsibly.

I'm an anti-natalist, a position I thought you might have been sympathetic to, but it appears you might not have heard of it, so I want to at least mention it now.

Dave Cohen

@Cookielemons

In so far as the fictional utopia I would make would indeed be life-affirming and free from the unnecessary suffering which comes from living amongst "normal" people, the anti-natalist view makes no sense for that utopia.

Clearly, I was assuming that people in this utopia are created genetically. If offspring could be "normal" people, that would create obvious problems.

I see that Arthur Schopenhauer was anti-natalist, but of course he had no such utopia in mind in taking that view. He figured (correctly) that "normal" people are all there are, and ever will be, so what's the fucking point?

And with that conclusion, I pretty much agree.

Along these lines, I recommend "The Culture" series of books by Iain M. Banks. "The Culture" was also free of the unnecessary suffering engendered by living among "normal" people. Of course, there are many, many other assumptions (unlimited manipulation of matter and energy, a galaxy-wide society, etc.). It's all science fiction of course, as any utopia is.

The dream of a Utopia on Earth among Homo sapiens is delusional if you're serious about it, as many people are and were historically. In fact, the people I call "Doomers" are utopians of a very peculiar sort (e.g. localization movements, going back to the land, and so forth). They are delusional optimists like all the others who had utopian visions because they have no idea who they are -- unbeknownst to them, they are "normal" people -- not at all conscious in the sense I use that term -- and not too smart besides.

-- Dave

Cookielemons .

I think I see your distinction. I suppose you are right that your utopia wouldn't contain a great deal of the suffering incurred by the "normal." Though, on the other hand, it would still include things like cancer, children born with autism, etc, right? Or by "created genetically" do you mean these things wouldn't exist either?

At any rate, it's useless to think about, as all utopias are impossible, for the reason that our human (biological) natures are determined. For a utopia to develop along the lines that you or even the doomers describe, humans would have to be other than what they are. (The anti-natalist is simply somebody who sees this and decides not to further contribute to the cycle of suffering or of hoping for change in our species.) But I see in your last paragraph that you agree, so I guess I will retract my criticism above. Cheers.

smc

If only the Moose had guns, and were able to exercise their right to self defense. The bees too.

The comments to this entry are closed.