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Comment Re:Article's stupid conclusion (Score 2, Interesting) 233

Yet that's the main point Rosenthal, one of the authors, is trying to make: "We tend to have this wonderful Pocahontas idea that before Europeans came in, everything was pristine and in harmony" but no such thing as "pristine" wilderness because humans have been radically changing their environment since forever. Therefore climate change alarmists and other environmental loudmouths moaning about species loss and soil degradation should just shut the fuck up. (And leave the thinking to Biology PhD.'s.) This is reductionist - it's called the Fallacy of Division. Specific changes to the environment, like loss of large prey animals, while doubtlessly catastrophic for the existing humans, was for the existing biosphere probably just a blip in a normally flexible dynamic (arguments for "keystone species" aside.) What INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY has done might appear to be just the same thing just a lot bigger. However because the environment (and life in general) is an emergent system and not just the sum of it's parts, you cannot scale up and down this way and expect to make intelligent decisions. Further, the "pristine wilderness" that the author ridicules is itself an emergent property of a functioning biosphere. Most people who spend enough time in those few parts of the world that haven't been deeply degraded by humans can feel it, and feel it's absence, despite not yet having tools that would specifically measure what we're feeling. That feeling of pure wilderness is certainly not just some lame projection of human society's materialist-moralist-sexist "Untouched and Pure" valuation of virginal young daughters. That's just an anthropomorphism, and Rosenthal's just calling Nature a slut. Asshole.

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Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.