[Taxacom] Is there any thing the Internet can't do?

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sun Apr 26 22:38:10 CDT 2009

Hi Jim,
      Well, being the cynic that I am, I hope that this lesson from a
slightly virulent strain of flu might serve as a warning.  Why people in
Spain, New Zealand, U.S.A., etc. are sending their students into a
country like Mexico (with the present crime and drug problems) makes me
wonder how globalization and glamorized travel commercials have affected
their common sense.  
      Frankly in these tough economic times, people need to travel
closer to home anyway.  And given global warming, we need to cut all
unnecessary transportation (by planes or automobiles) as much as
possible.  For "Earth's sake" people, stay closer to home----avoid these
supposedly "exotic" places where you might pick up diseases, and also
reduce pollution from long-distance travel, not to mention all the
hassle and expense.  
      Frankly I really look forward to a day where most international
conferences (biological, business, or otherwise) are done online.  More
people working from their homes will also reduce pollution and traffic
congestion.  If a really nasty 1918 type flu virus starts spreading like
this, it will be too late for common sense to finally kick in.  The
pandemic will already be underway and unstoppable.  Restrict unnecessary
travel now and save yourselves from a lot of pollution, unnecessary
cost, and the potential of spreading disease.  Merely tracking the
results online after a pandemic has already spread, the damage will have
already been done.  Prevention is the key, not tracking it online after
it is too late.  Unfortunately, most humans in today's world tend to be
reactive rather than proactive.  Then they finally react and point
fingers after it is too late.
      -----My two cents worth,
P.S.  Why do college students in the U.S. want to go to Mexico to get a
sun tan and get drunk.  They could do the same thing in Texas, Florida,
or even closer to home for a lot less money and hassle and pollution.
What a waste of time and resources by a supposedly intelligent segment
of our population.  
Jim Croft wrote:
I am impressed! 
Go to sleep worrying about an alarming story of swine flu killing people
in N America, and getting as far a New Zealand (OMG!  What if it jumps
the species barrier again, this time to sheep?!) unbelievably quickly.
How fast is it spreading?  Where? 
Wake up in the morning and some dude the other side of the world (thanks
Rod) has already twittered an annotated map 
(http://bit.ly/qasp4) by some other dude the other other side of the
world, and has built and debugged an interactive spatial time series
visualization (http://darwin.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/flu/) using free 
on-line resources.  In less than twelve hours. 
Responsive biodiversity documentation in action.  This is the sort of
thing a few years ago we could only dream about. 
The looming International Year of Biodiversity is going to be our time
to strut this sort of stuff... 

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