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09/21/2012

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Wheelerlucas


I will be voting because where I live -- Honolulu -- we actually have a choice for Mayor that appears to matter. The developers {including Sierra Club no real surprise there} are all for a "big rail" project that will enable us -- so we are told-- to "smart grow", the most isolated major metropolitan center on the planet, by up to another 300,000 residents. {and who knows by how many more, as we like to refer to them here in "paradise", visitors. But this proposed rail project is so f-ugly many are worried if it is actually completed, at this point a big if, that no one will want to come here anymore. Not that Honolulu, now, is what you would call an oil painting given all the ugly development that has already taken place.} This project will cost billions for what by Mainland standards, is a piss-ass amount of rail. But we are told that is no-never-mind because da federal government will pay for most of it. Any-who our former Gov Ben Cayetano is running against this rail scam so I will vote for good old {72} Ben.

I started reading John Gray a while back because Gail at Wit's End thinks highly of him. You do know Gail comments regularly here? Always in relation to her concern with tropospheric ozone and dying trees. She is a great source if you ever want to look-in to that generally overlooked environmental problem.

I hope your reading Gray will lead you to want to take a look at Schopenhauer -- if you have not already. His "Essays and Aphorisms" is simply great!

I had actually wanted to respond to your brilliant "The Crooked Timber" post. A Lisa suggested to you that Danniel Quinn's distinction between "taker" and leaver" cultures explains a great deal -- in particular how agriculture was an experiment we "takers" tried.

Well, I certainly do not agree with that view and I believe neither do you. I believe a better explanation is found in Craig Dilworth's "Too Smart For Our Own Good: The Ecological Predicament of Humankind". Dilworth is, unlike your humble self, one of those top-down thinkers. He is a philosopher, Like Gray, but unlike Gray he really knows his science. I would say that Dilworth has even made a important contribution to science with his "the vicious circle principle". I am going to let the good professor from Uppsla Sweden speak for himself:

"According to the vicious circle principle (VCP) the evolution of humans generally, and the development of Homo sapiens in particular, differ from what is the case for other species in that we are the only species to develop technology. Paradagmatically this development occurs in a situation of scarcity, and turns that situation into one of surplus. This surplus allows the human population to grow until it runs into the problem of scarcity again. And then, in certain cases, a new form of technology is invented/discovered, and the scarcity is once again transformed into a surplus, with subsequent population growth. And so on. This explains, among other things, why the human population has constantly grown, while the populations of all other species vacillate about a mean."

So we are stuck doing the same thing over and over but each time doing it bigger and more destructively. Dave I am going to go out on a limb and say for me you are Alfred Russel Wallace to Dilworth's Charles Darwin. Or maybe it is the other way around? All I do know is you do your bottom-up stuff and Dilworth has his big theory and you two are like a match made in heaven. I am going to end with some links to Dilworth on the web:

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/53100-the-vicious-circle-principle-of-the-development-of-humankind/

and

http://montreal.degrowth.org/downloads/papers/K074_Dilworth.pdf.

Plus a review:

http://www.compassionatespirit.com/wpblog/2012/04/20/too-smart-for-our-own-good/

As we say here in Hawai'i nei: A hui hou ...

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