1338: "Land Mammals"

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xtifr
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby xtifr » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:44 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:We use millimeters here, but same difference. But how would one know what barrels were used? Did they use 1 l barrels? 1 m3 barrels? Maybe they were oil barrels of one of various standards or 1 gallon (imperial or US) barrels...


Standard barrels (= 0.5 hogshead).
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby addams » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:20 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
addams wrote:From this moment forward,
Chickens don't have Boobies.



Chickens:

Spoiler:
Image


Boobies:
Spoiler:
Image

You were expecting something else?

A Blue Footed Boobie!
The internet is wonderful.

New on the menu:
Chicken Pecks

Low calorie.
Memorable, not filling.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:43 pm UTC

addams wrote:A Blue Footed Boobie!
The internet is wonderful.


I love that almost every picture I could find of blue-footed boobies they have one foot in the air, like they are in the middle of a dance routine when the picture was taken.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby addams » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:06 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
addams wrote:A Blue Footed Boobie!
The internet is wonderful.


I love that almost every picture I could find of blue-footed boobies they have one foot in the air, like they are in the middle of a dance routine when the picture was taken.

They Are in the middle of a dance routine.
Allmost all Blue Footed Boobies know that dance.

Some two and three year old humans know it, too.
The humans do it when they get new shoes.
The Boobies do it when they want to get laid.

It's not only the dance, but who is doing it.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:17 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:We use millimeters here, but same difference. But how would one know what barrels were used? Did they use 1 l barrels? 1 m3 barrels? Maybe they were oil barrels of one of various standards or 1 gallon (imperial or US) barrels...


Standard barrels (= 0.5 hogshead).

Does this conversion mean that it's about wine barrels (and wine hogsheads)?

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:29 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:Does this conversion mean that it's about wine barrels (and wine hogsheads)?
Wine comes in "Casks". A water barrel would be 31.5 gallons (119 liters), or three-eights of a puncheon, if we want to give the European the run-around..
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby addams » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:58 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:Does this conversion mean that it's about wine barrels (and wine hogsheads)?
Wine comes in "Casks". A water barrel would be 31.5 gallons (119 liters), or three-eights of a puncheon, if we want to give the European the run-around..

Well...That's what I get for following Your links.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_g ... of_gallons

A list of Nations that use Gallon as a primary official measure.
What do You think of that list?

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:41 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:Does this conversion mean that it's about wine barrels (and wine hogsheads)?
Wine comes in "Casks". A water barrel would be 31.5 gallons (119 liters), or three-eights of a puncheon, if we want to give the European the run-around..

Wait, that's not a half a wine hogshead... Although wikipedia misses information on water hogsheads. How could I have known what you meant if you neglected to specify which standard barrel you were talking about?

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby orthogon » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:57 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:Does this conversion mean that it's about wine barrels (and wine hogsheads)?
Wine comes in "Casks". A water barrel would be 31.5 gallons (119 liters), or three-eights of a puncheon, if we want to give the European the run-around..

Wait, that's not a half a wine hogshead... Although wikipedia misses information on water hogsheads. How could I have known what you meant if you neglected to specify which standard barrel you were talking about?

Yeah, what we need is one universal standard barrel that covers everyone's use cases.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:18 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:Does this conversion mean that it's about wine barrels (and wine hogsheads)?
Wine comes in "Casks". A water barrel would be 31.5 gallons (119 liters), or three-eights of a puncheon, if we want to give the European the run-around..

Wait, that's not a half a wine hogshead... Although wikipedia misses information on water hogsheads. How could I have known what you meant if you neglected to specify which standard barrel you were talking about?

Yeah, what we need is one universal standard barrel that covers everyone's use cases.

No, we need people to not be ambiguous about what unit they're using.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:13 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:No, we need people to not be ambiguous about what unit they're using.
The type of barrel is dictated by the contents. There are similar, but moderately different, "barrel" sizes for dry goods, oil, alcohol, and other liquids (like water).

This would make things very difficult if you needed to convert between volume of flour and crude oil, but that rarely happens.

The American water hogshead is listed here (it matches the English wine hogshead). Of course, hogsheads were only brought up to confuse, and this is exactly the worst context to be defining something in terms of hogsheads.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby ekwisner » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:09 am UTC

@GazongaGizmo:
I make it
496 units of cattle
358 of people (with, incidentally, an average individual weight of about 102 lbs if you take 7 billion as the rough population)
135 units of sheep
90 units of pigs
39 of goats
29 of horses (which, when you think about how much larger horses are than goats, that's a lot of goats)
Smaller units not labeled are:
13, 8, 7, 7, 6, 5, 3, 2
I suppose the "13" could be rodents. Or vermin may not be represented; domestic rodents would be a lot smaller heap of rodentflesh.

The wild animal mammal groups total 34 units:
1,2,2,3,4,5,7,10

Corrections welcome.

@Kiethl and others: I too would love to see the relative biomass of other categories.

@many, many others: I too went looking for the chickens. And then re-read the title.
I would hope that the wild vs. domesticated stats for birds, or marine mammals, would look a little better.

What could be really scary is to do the same rough plot for, say, 10,000 years ago, and then maybe every 1000 years or so. Don't know how we'd get the estimates for biomass, but it would be lovely data to have access to.
If this is a lilies-in-the-pond scenario, how long did it take us to get here? Are we doubling, or is it some even-more-extreme log scale?

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:15 pm UTC

ekwisner wrote:I would hope that the wild vs. domesticated stats for birds, or marine mammals, would look a little better.

Define "better". I kinda enjoy being on the winning team. Stepping out my front door without even having to consider defense against wolf packs and mountain lions is a nice benefit to the current domestic/wild spread.

Anyway... a chart of birds by mass, probably not. There might be a lot more wild birds, but we farm the heaviest ones.

A sparrow weighs a twentieth of a pound. A crow weighs about a pound. A bald eagle, about ten.

A farmed chicken (meat version, not egg-laying version), also about ten pounds. I assume egg-layers go a bit lighter.

A farmed turkey, about forty pounds.

I know there's way more farmed chickens in the world than large raptors.

And it takes a lot of flocks of sparrows to outweigh a single Thanksgiving turkey.

Pretty sure the "birds" chart wouldn't look a lot different than the "mammals" one (other than the missing "us" block in the middle, of course.)

Marine mammals would skew the other way, since we don't farm them for food on an industrial scale; they're almost all "wild". We just keep a few at Seaworld to entertain us.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Klear » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:52 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
ekwisner wrote:I would hope that the wild vs. domesticated stats for birds, or marine mammals, would look a little better.

Define "better". I kinda enjoy being on the winning team. Stepping out my front door without even having to consider defense against wolf packs and mountain lions is a nice benefit to the current domestic/wild spread.


...and if they are lucky, your grandchildren might live in the world where there are no wild animals at all!

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:15 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
ekwisner wrote:I would hope that the wild vs. domesticated stats for birds, or marine mammals, would look a little better.

Define "better". I kinda enjoy being on the winning team. Stepping out my front door without even having to consider defense against wolf packs and mountain lions is a nice benefit to the current domestic/wild spread.


...and if they are lucky, your grandchildren might live in the world where there are no wild animals at all!

That seems somehow unlikely, as any event that zeroes out the population of wild animals will almost certainly zero out the population of all life on the planet.

A+ for the snark, though. I laughed. 8-)

And I sincerely hope none of you & yours are ever consumed by a mountain lion.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:30 pm UTC

When would you guess wild animal attacks were last a leading cause of human death? Hundreds of years? Thousands? I guarantee that animals stopped being a relevant threat to human life long before they reached numbers as low as at present.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:53 pm UTC

A quick Google reveals that 22 people a year in the US are killed by cows...

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:57 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:When would you guess wild animal attacks were last a leading cause of human death?

Probably never. I assume infections/disease/parasites, and malnutrition, and accidents (drowning, falling off things), and (probably) war were always worse on us as a species. "Consumption by sabertooth tiger" may have been top-ten, but not "leading". :) But "effectively zero" is much better than "highly unlikely", when dealing with something as grisly as being eaten alive.

Much like modern medicine (and footwear) means I don't need to live in fear of a puncture wound to the sole of my foot due to something sharp on the ground, modern animal control means I don't need to live in fear of predatory critters wandering where humans congregate. The fact that most of the animals big enough to threaten us are now domesticated is a positive one, not a negative one...

rmsgrey wrote:A quick Google reveals that 22 people a year in the US are killed by cows...

...but it's always the quiet ones.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Klear » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:48 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:Much like modern medicine (and footwear) means I don't need to live in fear of a puncture wound to the sole of my foot due to something sharp on the ground, modern animal control means I don't need to live in fear of predatory critters wandering where humans congregate. The fact that most of the animals big enough to threaten us are now domesticated is a positive one, not a negative one...


Driving countless species to extinction is "modern animal control"? o.O

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:15 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Mikeski wrote:Much like modern medicine (and footwear) means I don't need to live in fear of a puncture wound to the sole of my foot due to something sharp on the ground, modern animal control means I don't need to live in fear of predatory critters wandering where humans congregate. The fact that most of the animals big enough to threaten us are now domesticated is a positive one, not a negative one...


Driving countless species to extinction is "modern animal control"? o.O

I think this has been going on for thousands of years, but peoples ideas of modern vary.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:21 pm UTC

My totally guess is that the number of species humans have driven to extinction in the past 2-3 centuries is greater than the number in the previous 20-30 millennia.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:00 am UTC

Klear wrote:Driving countless species to extinction is "modern animal control"? o.O

I suppose that would be natural selection at work, actually.

Less-snarkily, yes. When I was a wee tot, a mountain lion was spotted near our town. "The menfolk" got some guns and took care of it, before it took care of one of their wee tots (or pets, or farm animals). So yes, that's pretty much the definition of animal control.

I find it difficult to believe that most posters in this thread (people with modern computing equipment and enough free time to argue about pointless trivia on a webcomic's message board) don't live in an area free of such dangers. Or that, if they do, they would prefer that they didn't. That would be, to me, very very strange indeed. (Exception for any Australian posters. Y'all put up with some crazy critters down there. Whose bright idea was it to make a shark poisonous?)

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:46 am UTC

Killing the occasional dangerous animal sighted near a population center in order to protect your kids isn't what's driving countless animals to extinction, though. You're talking about something that's relevant in maybe a couple percent of human-caused wild animal deaths.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:43 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Killing the occasional dangerous animal sighted near a population center in order to protect your kids isn't what's driving countless animals to extinction, though. You're talking about something that's relevant in maybe a couple percent of human-caused wild animal deaths.

And I'm certainly not in favor of killing every lion in Africa because someone thinks lion spleen soup makes your wahoo bigger, or lion-fur rugs are totally stylin'. Sorry if I gave anyone that impression. :oops: (But if you look at my original quote, "that impression" requires a knee jerking hard enough to dislocate its kneecap.)

But when you've populated almost the whole state of Rhode Island with humans, there's really no room left for large packs of wolves (or herds of elk) there.

Even the packs re-introduced into Yellowstone Park a couple decades back are causing issues for the ranchers outside the park... the wolves just don't have the decency to hunt the hard-to-catch wild deer in "their" territory; they like to go after the nice easy-to-catch domestic herd critters just outside the park, instead...

It may be "unfair" that humans tend to win every war between human and large predatory mammal... but Charles Darwin is a harsh master. It turns out superior intelligence makes you "the fittest" in just about every environment.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:49 am UTC

And if being the fittest had any moral significance whatsoever, then you're talking about literal "might makes right", and whatever I am capable of doing is something it's okay for me to do.

Mikeski wrote:Even the packs re-introduced into Yellowstone Park a couple decades back are causing issues for the ranchers outside the park... the wolves just don't have the decency to hunt the hard-to-catch wild deer in "their" territory; they like to go after the nice easy-to-catch domestic herd critters just outside the park, instead...
I thought you were talking about people being in danger from wild animals. Now you're talking about other animals being in danger from wild animals, which is very different. Any argument you have for why it's a good thing to hunt down and kill a lion because it's threatening actual human beings is going to have to be reworked a wee bit if now you're talking about ranchers protecting their finances.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:10 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I thought you were talking about people being in danger from wild animals. Now you're talking about other animals being in danger from wild animals, which is very different. Any argument you have for why it's a good thing to hunt down and kill a lion because it's threatening actual human beings is going to have to be reworked a wee bit if now you're talking about ranchers protecting their finances.

Defense of property is a natural right.

Wolf = particular animal that I don't care about.
Calf = particular animal that I care about.

Therefore Calf > Wolf.

Killing the wolf = live calf.
Not killing the wolf = dead calf.

Therefore, the wolf should be killed to protect the calf.

That was easy enough math, I think. If there was an option to trap the wolf and put it somewhere where it didn't interfere with humans, that would be better, but "wolves intentionally re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park" sort of precludes moving them somewhere else.

Or is there some reason that certain animals are considered "better" than others on a moral scale, such that wolves always outrank cattle? Who gets to decide this? Why do they have that right?

I can't shoot your pet dog for the fun of it, but I can if it's killing my pet dog. Likewise if mine tries to kill yours. Is there something morally wrong with either of those statements? Why does it change if the dog doesn't belong to anyone?

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:14 am UTC

I didn't say your new argument would be morally wrong. I only said that you can't rely on your previous point about protecting people now that you're talking about something different.

I'm also still curious as to whether you really think might makes right. I'm fitter than your dog, so why can't I kill it just for fun?
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby addams » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:45 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:A quick Google reveals that 22 people a year in the US are killed by cows...

... it's always the quiet ones.

That is so funny, it bears repeating.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:49 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I didn't say your new argument would be morally wrong. I only said that you can't rely on your previous point about protecting people now that you're talking about something different.

I'm also still curious as to whether you really think might makes right. I'm fitter than your dog, so why can't I kill it just for fun?

I'm unsure why you think I think "might makes right". I think my previous statements are basically "might makes a stronger critter, and Darwin said so", but that's fairly tautological. I mean, humans are stronger than tree frogs, too, but I hope I haven't said anything that makes you think I want to kill off tree frogs for some unknown reason.

But, for the sake of argument:

You can't kill my dog for fun, for the coexisting reasons that you have moral agency, and I have property rights to my dog.

If the former is untrue, you can kill my dog, though someone will probably lock you up to protect society from you. (q.v. Michael Vick.)

If the latter is untrue (the dog belongs to no one), you can kill it, too, though you may be considered a bit of a dick for doing it (q.v. feral dogs at Sochi Olympic village.) It is, of course, possible that there may be laws preventing you from killing random dogs where you are (like those Yellowstone wolves are protected; they "belong" to the federal government, I suppose.)

The wolf in the previous case doesn't have moral agency, obviously; I can't expect it to do the "right" thing and not kill my calf/child/whatever, so I have to defend my stuff/family from it.

This is also the reason that "being insane" or "being two years old" are affirmative defenses against a murder charge (though they may not absolve you of all punishment). Lack of moral agency.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Klear » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:07 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:I didn't say your new argument would be morally wrong. I only said that you can't rely on your previous point about protecting people now that you're talking about something different.

I'm also still curious as to whether you really think might makes right. I'm fitter than your dog, so why can't I kill it just for fun?

I'm unsure why you think I think "might makes right". I think my previous statements are basically "might makes a stronger critter, and Darwin said so", but that's fairly tautological. I mean, humans are stronger than tree frogs, too, but I hope I haven't said anything that makes you think I want to kill off tree frogs for some unknown reason.


You keep mentioning evolution like it somehow makes the alarming situation presented by the comic fine. There is a thing called Evolutionary Suicide - evolutionary adaptations are not necessarily beneficial to the species in the long run, and if we kept destroying the biosphere the way we are now, we could easily be headed that way.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:09 am UTC

And if you're not going for might makes right, then why did you bring up evolutionary fitness (i.e. might) at all in a discussion the rest of us thought was about whether it's right for humans to kill so many wild animals we drive a large number of species to utter extinction?
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:27 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:And if you're not going for might makes right, then why did you bring up evolutionary fitness (i.e. might) at all in a discussion the rest of us thought was about whether it's right for humans to kill so many wild animals we drive a large number of species to utter extinction?

Because in my view the "right" of it never comes into the question, and I've yet to advocate for "extinction", so chasing all these straw men hanging on moving goalposts is tough work? :wink:

Going back to square one:
I wrote:I kinda enjoy being on the winning team. Stepping out my front door without even having to consider defense against wolf packs and mountain lions is a nice benefit to the current domestic/wild spread.

There is no moral component to the previous statement. It does not advocate extinction, though it does advocate a human-favoring balance between "humans" and "things-that-can-eat-humans".

That is, the city of Minneapolis will exist in one of two states:
(1) with packs of wolves roaming the streets.
(2) without packs of wolves roaming the streets.

There is no moral component to the previous statement. It does not advocate extinction.

Because Darwin knows what he's talking about, we are in state (2). There is no moral component to this statement. This statement does not advocate extinction, but it does advocate a local lack of wolves. And, as there are progressively more and more of us, there are progressively more and more places where wolves won't be.

I'm not even sure there's a moral component involved in how we always get to state (2), but that's at least an arguable point. But a moot one, since we'll always be in state (2).

We can get there by catching all the wolves and putting them in the Como Zoo. We can do like our ancestors did and use our intelligence and weapon-using skills to make them all dead. We can do the other thing our ancestors did and catch them all and breed out their dangerous traits until they, too, turn from wolves into dogs. But, being humans are superior to wolves, we will never be in state (1), where packs of wolves are denned up in the ruins of the Metrodome.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Klear » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:31 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:Going back to square one:
I wrote:I kinda enjoy being on the winning team. Stepping out my front door without even having to consider defense against wolf packs and mountain lions is a nice benefit to the current domestic/wild spread.

There is no moral component to the previous statement. It does not advocate extinction, though it does advocate a human-favoring balance between "humans" and "things-that-can-eat-humans".


You are taking your comment out of its context, the context being the comic we are discussion in this thread. FYI, "wild animals" doesn't just mean wolves and mountain lions.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby addams » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:34 am UTC

In parts of the West US, wild animals are problematic.
A decision was made to NOT exterminate those animals.

To live in balance with nature is difficult.
We make mistakes. The stupid animals do weird stuff.

In animal control we are doing ok.
The wolf is not back in most of the West.

The Lions never left.
The Bears have at least one sub-group, created by man.
That is a dangerous animal. Not as dangerous as Crocodile.

Many of the posters at xkcd do not live with wild animals that can and will hunt human.
I do. It is not all that bad. The numbers near towns are kept low. People do that.

The Europeans got rid of every wolf, bear and cat.
Russia has a few. Western Europe exterminated them.
Spoiler:
It was looking like they were going to get rid of people, too. (for a while there, nothing was safe.)


Little Red RidingHood Kicked Ass.
The Europeans said they were sorry and they won't do it, again.
I think the West of the US promised to not make our wild things extinct.

The cat is a frightening Truth we live with.
No matter how scary the Little Black Bear and the Mountain Lion are,
The Brown Bear is Scarier.

The Cats and the Bear will come into town.
Brown Bear won't do that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_bear

That animal can be 14 feet tall.
Scary Wild Thing!

The cows got 22 people last year.
Watch out for those cows.
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We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:55 am UTC

Klear wrote:
Mikeski wrote:Going back to square one:
I wrote:I kinda enjoy being on the winning team. Stepping out my front door without even having to consider defense against wolf packs and mountain lions is a nice benefit to the current domestic/wild spread.

There is no moral component to the previous statement. It does not advocate extinction, though it does advocate a human-favoring balance between "humans" and "things-that-can-eat-humans".

You are taking your comment out of its context, the context being the comic we are discussion in this thread. FYI, "wild animals" doesn't just mean wolves and mountain lions.

Well, there aren't going to be herds of elk, moose, and buffalo in Minneapolis, either. :wink: (Still dangerous to have in close contact, even if they'll just gore or trample you rather than eat you. Ask those 22 folks killed by "domestic" cattle last year.)

There are some "metropolitan" deer herds in the larger green spaces between the buildings. Enough so that we have in-town bow-hunting seasons to thin them. Since the alternative to that is lots of traffic accidents, or packs of wolves. :|

There will be smaller animals, but, that's what the comic says. There's not many "wild animal" boxes compared to the others. I mean, I've seen whitetail deer, muskrat, mice, a woodchuck, feral cats, foxes, and voles in my yard over the past year (there's a pond on the back boundary of my property, so maybe a bit more wildlife than usual). (And there's a heckofalotta voles, but I choose not to douse my lawn in poison to get rid of them.) But I, alone, outweigh all of those animals put together, and they, save the voles and maybe some of the mice, don't "live" on my property, so I think I'd have to add up the weights of all my neighbors and our pets and our non-local food-animal supply to get a "local" view of the comic... which would probably look a lot like the global view.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:58 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:My totally guess is that the number of species humans have driven to extinction in the past 2-3 centuries is greater than the number in the previous 20-30 millennia.

I considered animal control to include local extinctions. I'm not aware of any complete extinctions of animals because they were considered bothersome, I think that's mostly a habitat destruction thing.
Mikeski wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:I thought you were talking about people being in danger from wild animals. Now you're talking about other animals being in danger from wild animals, which is very different. Any argument you have for why it's a good thing to hunt down and kill a lion because it's threatening actual human beings is going to have to be reworked a wee bit if now you're talking about ranchers protecting their finances.

Defense of property is a natural right.

I'm not sure if it's fair for most of those ranchers to pull the defending property card. I think they are mostly Anglo-Americans using stolen land to herd cattle (yes, they either inherited or bought the stolen land, but that doesn't change the dubious character of their claim to the land).

Besides, property exists in relations between humans, not in our relations with non-humans. This is also exemplified by humans keeping out the wolves prey from "their" grazing land, but this also means there cannot be "defence of property" in relations with non-humans. If there was such a thing as property in relations with non-humans the elk would have had dibs on the grazing areas and there still wouldn't have been any right for the humans to claim the cattle as it has been bred with stolen grass.
Mikeski wrote:Killing the wolf = live calf.
Not killing the wolf = dead calf.

What about creating a barrier between the wolf an the calf? It works fine in zoos and it works decently in African villages against lions eating goats (even though the barriers used there aren't great).

Those African villagers actually have a better reason to kill the lions as they need most of their livestock to sustain themselves, as opposed to keeping most of it just to buy luxury products (and lions are more dangerous for a human with a spear than wolves are for humans with a gun).
addams wrote:The Europeans got rid of every wolf, bear and cat.
Russia has a few. Western Europe exterminated them.
Spoiler:
It was looking like they were going to get rid of people, too. (for a while there, nothing was safe.)

While I mostly agree with you, it's a little over the top. Yes, lions were extinct in Europe by 100 AD, and bears are now limited to Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, and mountainous areas (Spain, France and Italy). Wolves are spreading again and have never been been exterminated on the Iberian peninsula (there is also the Iberian Lynx, which is nearly extinct, partially because of some horrible person in France deciding to introduce myxomatosis in Europe). Now that I think about it, Spain and Portugal seem to have been doing way better than their fellow Western Europeans.

It's mostly the British Isles, Germany, Northern France and the Benelux where you don't need to think about these animals (although I think all predators in Western Europe are now afraid of humans to an extend that they don't pose a thread, perhaps unless provoked). This does seem to correlate to the non-arctic lowlands of Western Europe though, so perhaps that has something to do with it.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:Going back to square one:
I wrote:I kinda enjoy being on the winning team. Stepping out my front door without even having to consider defense against wolf packs and mountain lions is a nice benefit to the current domestic/wild spread.
There is no moral component to the previous statement. It does not advocate extinction, though it does advocate a human-favoring balance between "humans" and "things-that-can-eat-humans".
Of course there's a moral component. You can't advocate for something without thinking it is good, or at least better than the alternative, and "good" and "bad" are moral ideas.

This statement does not advocate extinction, but it does advocate a local lack of wolves. And, as there are progressively more and more of us, there are progressively more and more places where wolves won't be.
Which logically, ultimately advocates local extinction.

I'm not even sure there's a moral component involved in how we always get to state (2)
This suggests that you place no moral weight whatsoever on the wolves themselves. If that is in fact the case, then this discussion with you turns out to be utterly pointless and I apologize for wasting your time.

PinkShinyRose wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:I thought you were talking about people being in danger from wild animals. Now you're talking about other animals being in danger from wild animals, which is very different. Any argument you have for why it's a good thing to hunt down and kill a lion because it's threatening actual human beings is going to have to be reworked a wee bit if now you're talking about ranchers protecting their finances.

Defense of property is a natural right.

I'm not sure if it's fair for most of those ranchers to pull the defending property card. I think they are mostly Anglo-Americans using stolen land to herd cattle (yes, they either inherited or bought the stolen land, but that doesn't change the dubious character of their claim to the land).
Yeah... I wasn't even gonna touch the absurdity of a putative right to defend stolen property and the herds raised on it from the creatures that were there first.

Like, if I remove you from your own house at gunpoint and start living there myself, I now have the "right" to defend my new property from you or your descendants, looking to take it back from me?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:24 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Of course there's a moral component. You can't advocate for something without thinking it is good, or at least better than the alternative, and "good" and "bad" are moral ideas.

Some decisions are purely logical with no moral component, even if they can be advocated for (especially when they can be advocated for, since advocating against them would be illogical, Captain).

Right and Wrong are moral ideas. Good and Bad just are. If you believe they are always synonyms, then I also apologize for wasting your time.

And, as I said, any advocacy for or against wolves (or buffalo) in downtown Minneapolis is meaningless. The point is 100% moot. There are none, and there will be none. It is what it is. The logical component of the argument is moot. The moral component of the argument is moot. Humans don't want to be eaten by wolves or trampled by bison, so we, as a society, have cleared them out and will not let them return. (It is possible that, at some point in the past, there were enough of us who thought otherwise that this would not have been true. I suspect most people who thought that way were eaten by wolves or trampled by bison.)

I can state these things are true as a logical statement, and others can state that they should not be true as a moral statement, but discussing how else it might be if wolves and elk had legal property rights is probably better done in a speculative-fiction forum somewhere. (Do we put the carnivores on trial for murder every time they eat? What if the carnivore in question is human? Who enforces "this land belongs to that deer herd"? Who is in the right if the maples want more sunlight, and the oaks ignore their pleas? Do we have enough humans to enforce those laws if we're never able to develop large-scale agriculture or industry, since the animals were on the land first?) It might be an interesting discussion, but I think I'll leave it to the speculative thinkers among us.

Edit in:
gmalivuk wrote:
Mikeski wrote:I'm not even sure there's a moral component involved in how we always get to state (2)
This suggests that you place no moral weight whatsoever on the wolves themselves. If that is in fact the case, then this discussion with you turns out to be utterly pointless and I apologize for wasting your time.

I think you missed the "always" in there. There can be a moral component to how we get rid of the wolves (death, imprisonment, turning them into dogs). The fact that it will always happen is not a moral thing. Darwin's theories are not moral pronouncements.

Similarly, "I will, someday, die". There is no moral component to the certainty of my death, though there may be a moral component to the manner of my death.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby addams » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:56 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Of course there's a moral component. You can't advocate for something without thinking it is good, or at least better than the alternative, and "good" and "bad" are moral ideas.

Some decisions are purely logical with no moral component, even if they can be advocated for (especially when they can be advocated for, since advocating against them would be illogical, Captain).

Right and Wrong are moral ideas. Good and Bad just are. If you believe they are always synonyms, then I also apologize for wasting your time.

And, as I said, any advocacy for or against wolves (or buffalo) in downtown Minneapolis is meaningless. The point is 100% moot. There are none, and there will be none. It is what it is. The logical component of the argument is moot. The moral component of the argument is moot. Humans don't want to be eaten by wolves or trampled by bison, so we, as a society, have cleared them out and will not let them return. (It is possible that, at some point in the past, there were enough of us who thought otherwise that this would not have been true. I suspect most people who thought that way were eaten by wolves or trampled by bison.)

It's a silly discussion.
That will not stop us.

Silly is some of the best stuff we have.
Maybe, deep inside, some people Know.

Just Know. Our rightful place in the universe is revealed in our relationship to other animals.
The human is both humbled and elevated by attempting to outrunning four footed beasts in urban landscapes.

They get together and play that game.
Then they get drunk have a steak dinner, if they live and are not on a liquid diet.

It's like going to Mecca for the Back to Earth Survivalists.
Some are 'Changed Men' by the experience.

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+run ... B455%3B310

Like any Religion, consent is an important component.
It is possible to stumble into one of those Rituals.

From what I understand, in the 21st Century, the Locals broadcast warnings in 18 languages.
Does it help? No. Tourists still show up and so do clueless wonders.

Do cows 'get' more Europeans?
Europeans tease them more.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:56 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Mikeski wrote:I'm not even sure there's a moral component involved in how we always get to state (2)
This suggests that you place no moral weight whatsoever on the wolves themselves. If that is in fact the case, then this discussion with you turns out to be utterly pointless and I apologize for wasting your time.

I think you missed the "always" in there.
No, I didn't miss the always. I simply focused on the word you chose to emphasize: "how".

As in, I interpreted it as, "There is no moral component to the manner in which this thing happens."
You apparently meant, "There is no moral component to the fact that this thing always happens."

Which would have been more clear if that's how you'd said it in the first place.
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