OMG, Nerd p0rn!
OMG, Nerd p0rn!
and there are no other changes in that time, for instance, another million lazy overfed stupid people moved to Miami and overloaded the drainage system?
I mean in general. They still exist in other products.
Non-techies often giggle when I use the word "dongle". Can't we find a better word before HR hauls me in for alleged harassment?
Well, we have messed up many places in a misguided attempt to save them, (History of Yellowstone) so yes, doing nothing may be better!
Err... "Doing nothing" in this case doesn't mean leaving nature alone; it means leaving human modification of nature alone.
GN7? Hint: "recall'
The power and sophistication of say pattern matching can span a wide continuous range. For the high-end techniques, most are okay with calling them "AI". The medium and low end will invite more debate.
That marketers throw around "AI" a bit much, I agree. Whether its a misuse for this particular gizmo depends on how its done and how well its done.
Emacs: it's yoga for your fingers.
The abundance of one species does not a healthy ecosystem make. I have a friend whose family owns a 1700 acre island off the coast of New England. It used to support an enormous white tail deer population -- and not coincidentally it had a plague of ticks, because everything in nature is food for something else. You would not have wanted to visit there back in the 1970s because the tick problem was insane. Everyone in his family has had Lyme disease, which also feasted on the swollen deer population.
Then in the 1980s the Western Coyote made it to New England, and a pack swam out to the island. In a single season they took down most of the deer herd, and now the island is a pleasant and sanitary place to live. And this is not some kind of odd aberration; this is how ecology works. If you disturb an ecosystem (say by killing off all the native timber wolves), weed species take over and they end up riddled with disease.
Weed species the ones who by sheer luck can live in conjunction with or off of large human populations. In a healthy ecosystem they may be cute, but an ecosystem dominated by weed animals can be nightmarish. I know lots of natural science geeks, and for the most part animals don't scare them. I once went for a walk with a girl who picked up a rotting coyote head and put it in her jacket pocket. She was TA'ing an anatomy course and wanted to show it to her students. But even she wouldn't go near a racoon, because unchecked by predation suburban raccoons are chock full of leptospirosis, salmonella and roundworm -- not to mention rabies. Those diseases can and do cripple, even kill people.
A world dominated by weed species would be quite horrible to live in.
Really? All of them?
Does it have to be all of them for there to be a problem we need to think about?
I confess your reasoning seems incoherent to me. You appear to be implying that if a single species would have gone extinct anyway it makes no difference how many wildlife populations people destroy.
People per se have almost no impact on climate. It's what people do and how much in aggregate they do it.
Environmentalists are often stereotyped as pessimists, but really most of the people I know who've dedicated their careers are optimistic that technology can address many environmental problems. Sure, they'd like to see the global population stabilized, or even somewhat reduced, because that makes the job of preserving the environment much easier. But they actually believe the sustainability problem can be licked, even without reducing the global population by much.
I'll give you one example of how an actual environmentalist thinks. I was at a meeting with the sustainability director of a major sportswear manufacturer, and he was describing the research they were doing into improving the recyclability of polyester fleece clothing. He made the point that scale is critical to assessing the environmental impact. For a small band of hunter-gatherers, wild animal pelts would be the source of clothing with the least impact; wool would have intermediate impact; a chemical plant that reprocesses coke bottles into polyester resins would have a ridiculously large impact. But if you are making hundreds of thousands of garments, the impacts are actually reversed: the chemical plant has the least environmental impact. Once you turn those bottles into fleece you can continually recycle those molecules into more fleece. He describes recycling as "living off your environmental income instead of your capital."
Environmentalists -- by which I mean the people who are actually working on solutions to environmental problems -- generally believe that even with a large population we can make use of the products of ecosystems without disturbing the equilibria that sustain those systems. As one civil engineering environmentalist I know put it: I = P*S/T ; impact is proportional to population and standard of living but inversely proportional to technology. You can reduce the environmental impact of home heating by reducing the number of people; or you could do it by people getting used to being colder. But you can get the same result by insulating your house and heating it with renewable energy.
It's actually the anti-environmentalists who are the pessimists; they don't believe in people's ability to adapt, and they anticipate nothing but suffering from trying to do anything about problems. Their version of "optimism" is to discount any evidence that problems exist, or to convincing themselves if we do nothing everything will work out for the best.
I'm an old time leftie; I'm perfectly OK with a study that says rich people are bastards -- if it can back that up. However I'm a nerd first -- particularly a data nerd. Sloppy inferences really piss me off.
"What a wonder is USENET; such wholesale production of conjecture from such a trifling investment in fact." -- Carl S. Gutekunst