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South-eastern Australia burns
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Author Topic: South-eastern Australia burns  (Read 7792 times)
Heq
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2009, 21:01:52 EDT »

But nature is natural, and human existance is un-natural because we are descended from supernatural origins.

Some predators evolved teeth, I evolved a brain and an understanding of basic leverage.  Me beating and eating a tasty treat is just evolution in practice, hell, me ordering food is the most awesome show of adaptiveness that I can think of.  If you think a Babboon wouldn't act the same were our places changed, you are sadly mistaken.
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"No common man could believe such a thing, you'd have to be an intellectual to fall for anything as stupid as that."-Orwell
Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2009, 19:35:11 EDT »

Frankly, animals always suffer.  Pain, fear, and worry are all better motivators for survival than pleasant feelings.  Do you think starving to death or being eaten alive are pleasant?  Those are for most species the usual causes of death.

Which is a major reason why I personally am not taking the attitude of "But those poor Koalas are suffering!" Pain and death are a part of life.

What I do object to is marginalizing suffering or loss of life (in particular that which senseless or otherwise unnatural) strictly because the victim or victims is not human. In this case, I think its important to acknowledge that humans are not the only ones who've died in this tragic fire.
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FireyTiger
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Keith Olbermann's Stalker, apparently...


« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2009, 02:15:34 EDT »

I think what I was trying to say is being misunderstood, but Blue Boy kinda got the gist of it.
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I'm sorry, you still seem to think your opinion is relevant.  Please re-examine the earlier posts and try again.
Heq
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2009, 11:05:12 EDT »

I merely take issue with the term un-natural.  Nothing can be un-natural, just as miracles cannot occur.  It is by definition impossible.
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"No common man could believe such a thing, you'd have to be an intellectual to fall for anything as stupid as that."-Orwell
Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2009, 22:08:59 EDT »

I merely take issue with the term un-natural.  Nothing can be un-natural, just as miracles cannot occur.  It is by definition impossible.

"Natural" is one of those ambiguous words, like "love", that it tends to make arguments murky.

In the grand scheme of things, nothing is "unnatural" as everything is subject to the universal rules that govern the material plane. Unless you believe in supernatural or divine forces, everything is "natural." I agree with you here.

On the other hand, civilization has allowed us humans to adapt in novel ways. Rather than adjust behavior to fit changing environmental pressures, we humans leverage our technology in attempt to maintain a preferable environment. Doing so, I feel, constitutes "unnatural" as it far outside the capabilities of any other animal. At best, they use crude implements fashioned from the environment by their own means; they don't have the kind of influence that leads to wide-scale and destructive disturbances of inorganic process (i.e. climate.)


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Heq
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2009, 23:15:24 EDT »

I'm of the opinion that the natural "un-natural" terminology is an attempt to use emotional leverage to support the enviromental argument.

I sneer at it the same way I sneer at hard right folks who say homosexuality is un-natural, as it's a code term for evil in the modern lingo.

Even if something was un-natural, it would hold no moral weight were it so.  Unless one says there is a divine plan and it should be followed (two different statements), arguments by nature should hold no weight.

This is part of why some folks (Looking at you Olbermann) really concern me, as they can be on the right side of an issue and have no fucking clue why it's the right side.
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"No common man could believe such a thing, you'd have to be an intellectual to fall for anything as stupid as that."-Orwell
Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2009, 20:30:47 EDT »

I'm of the opinion that the natural "un-natural" terminology is an attempt to use emotional leverage to support the enviromental argument.

I sneer at it the same way I sneer at hard right folks who say homosexuality is un-natural, as it's a code term for evil in the modern lingo.

Even if something was un-natural, it would hold no moral weight were it so.  Unless one says there is a divine plan and it should be followed (two different statements), arguments by nature should hold no weight.

This is part of why some folks (Looking at you Olbermann) really concern me, as they can be on the right side of an issue and have no fucking clue why it's the right side.

Though I don't disagree, I've always personally found that doing things that are too "un-natural" tend to have a lot of repercussions, especially in the long term. For example, a lot of research has shown that obesity in the modern world is due in part because our food is too processed; our bodies do little to no work to digest it. Another thing to consider is the rising rates of cancer - modern life is filled with lots of hidden toxins and carcinogens.


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Medivh
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« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2009, 05:36:53 EDT »

On the other hand, bacteria eating Nylon would be considered "unnatural" by the same token. Yet that happens.

Processed foods (and dairy, by the way!) mess with digestion because we haven't evolved to deal with them (and no, it's not that we do little work to digest things, it's that extras in things like salami aren't readily digestible... yet). But, eating raw meat would be more natural than cooked, and we can't do that any more; we evolved out of it. Same with vegetables.

Rising rates of cancer is one, or a combination, of three things: earlier detection of tumours that spontaneously regress, overworked systems going berserk (processed foods have been shown to increase risk of G-I cancers, for instance), and horse-hockey. The idea that we're swamped with cancer is largely made up by the kinds of people who profit from fears of cancer. Alt-med quacks, mainly.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
Ihlosi
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« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2009, 05:49:46 EDT »

For example, a lot of research has shown that obesity in the modern world is due in part because our food is too processed; our bodies do little to no work to digest it.

I don't think that this "research" is valid. Even "processed" food doesn't come pre-digested. In fact, any food item that has undergone significant steps of the digestive process would be considered truly disgusting and inedible. And even "partially digested" food items (like cheese) have been around for centuries.

There are stronger links between obesity, easy availability of food, our bodys natural programming to eat food whenever it's available (which has been a crucical survival strategy for most of human history), and lack of exercise.

And of course the nasty positive feedback loop between obesity and sleep apnea.

Quote
Another thing to consider is the rising rates of cancer - modern life is filled with lots of hidden toxins and carcinogens.

Most of those are in plain view (cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, etc.). Also, we've been quite successful at eliminating many other diseases that people used to die from before they had a chance to develop cancer.
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« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2009, 07:14:55 EDT »

Quote from: Blue Boy from Red Country
For example, a lot of research has shown that obesity in the modern world is due in part because our food is too processed; our bodies do little to no work to digest it.
I don't know about the causes of obesity.  It is interesting though to point at digestion in this way.  We westerners have quite, erm, modern digestive systems.  We have a mutation that allows us to digest milk throughout our lives, a fairly recent development in genetic terms, one shared by people of East African decent.  Westerners, Africans and most Asians have better alcohol tolerance than some other ethnic groups because of other mutations.

I am, like Ihlosi, rather sceptical about this explanation.

Quote
Another thing to consider is the rising rates of cancer - modern life is filled with lots of hidden toxins and carcinogens.

Most of those are in plain view (cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, etc.). Also, we've been quite successful at eliminating many other diseases that people used to die from before they had a chance to develop cancer.
There were many carcinogens around in the past too.  A person in the developed world certainly comes into contact with a fair amount of carcinogens.  We don't really know though whether the present world is more dangerous than the past in this regard.

The most plausible explanations for the cancer rates we see today are smoking and old age.  In the past when the average lifespan was much shorter cancer was, for obvious reasons, less prevalent.  It is principally a disease of old age, a person doesn't have much chance of getting it if they have already died of something else.
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rwpikul
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« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2009, 18:57:25 EDT »

For example, a lot of research has shown that obesity in the modern world is due in part because our food is too processed; our bodies do little to no work to digest it.

I don't think that this "research" is valid. Even "processed" food doesn't come pre-digested. In fact, any food item that has undergone significant steps of the digestive process would be considered truly disgusting and inedible. And even "partially digested" food items (like cheese) have been around for centuries.

It sounds to me like a confusion about things like how some modern foods, such as white bread, are relatively unfilling for their calories.  It's not that they are any more fattening in and of themselves1 but that you end up eating more of them before you feel full.


1:  On a per slice basis, white bread generally has slightly fewer calories because it is slightly lighter than whole grain breads.
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Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2009, 19:15:40 EDT »

All valid points, so perhaps I picked poor examples to illustrate the point I meant to make - which was that modern technology allows us to greatly alter our condition to a degree that it overwhelms naturals checks and balances.

Hrm... looks like I successfully derailed this thread. So, um, how's South-eastern Australia? (Too lazy to look it up myself. Tongue)
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Medivh
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« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2009, 05:28:36 EDT »

The fires are out, and the last I heard of the appeal, it topped AU$100m in donations. The appeals have been doing well enough that the Australian Red Cross is closing the main one mid-next-month. Kinglake and the surrounding areas are damned near completely burnt out, though. There have been looters, and con-artists pretending to take money for a charity, but such lowlifes have been very few in number indeed. Apparently some houses are missing items that have turned up in police evidence rooms... As to why, I'm not sure. But I'd wager it has something to do with the arson theory.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2009, 20:37:41 EDT »

The fires are out, and the last I heard of the appeal, it topped AU$100m in donations. The appeals have been doing well enough that the Australian Red Cross is closing the main one mid-next-month. Kinglake and the surrounding areas are damned near completely burnt out, though. There have been looters, and con-artists pretending to take money for a charity, but such lowlifes have been very few in number indeed. Apparently some houses are missing items that have turned up in police evidence rooms... As to why, I'm not sure. But I'd wager it has something to do with the arson theory.

Good to hear the fires are out; bad to hear that people have been robbed.
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