[Taxacom] Human failure to be proactive rather than reactive (same for taxonomy)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Wed Apr 28 22:48:34 CDT 2010


Dear All,
      The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, is now resulting in Plan B (or
Plan C?), desperately setting areas on fire to burn away some of the
most volatile fractions of this human-produced pollution release.  But
if you are a whale or other sea-creature in that part of the Gulf, which
is more problematic, trying to surface to take a breath while it is
still on fire, or afterwards when an even thicker oil residue is waiting
to suffocate you?  Or waiting for detergent (dispersent)-soaked oil to
filter down to subsurface levels and kill you more slowly?    
      Whether this mitigates 5% or even 20% of the damage when this mess
washes ashore will most likely be largely immaterial.  A 95% or 80%
disaster ashore will be a disaster in either case.  Only the most
fortunate of weather developments can avert it (cross your fingers in
desperation).            
     The point is that this should have been prevented by restricting
oil drilling this close to the coast, and certainly NOT by expanding it
along the Atlantic coast (which just expands the coastline in future
jeopardy).  Politicians seem to be as ignorant and short-sighted as
their most ignorant constituencies.  I wonder if Wall Street will
somehow have foreseen a way to profit off of this disaster as well.
What do they care about future generations (except perhaps for the bank
accounts of their own children or grandchildren).   
      Anyway, I am so tired of it all, I don't know if I want to
continue watching the news at all (which is increasingly just commercial
interruptions for pharmacetical drugs anyway).  Likewise, I may decide
that internet service is no longer worth the cost either.  It might be a
blessing to cut off the source of so much negativity, and spend what
funds I have on organic foods (which tend to be relatively expensive,
but perhaps a wiser investment than a frustrating Internet that seems to
be becoming increasing a "Disinformation Highway" that drowns out the
"Information Highway" it was once envisioned to be).     
       When Quality is sacrificed for mere Quantity, you simply end up
with more garbage and waste.  Perhaps I should just finally retreat,
like a monk and ignore the frustations of the outside world.  Those who
are younger, but of a similar mind, clearly have more energy and funds
to fight the uphill battles.  Cutting off my internet service might not
only make me happier, but a relief to those on this list who still hate
paraphyletic taxa.  However, I still think the latter are unfortunately
still overly reactive against the old days of too much paraphyly, but
not proactive enough to recognize that the total elimination of
paraphyletic taxa is more reactive and harmful than proactive in the
long term.  I hope that a younger generation of biologists has better
luck fighting short-term reactivity in favor of long-term proactivity,
but at this point, I am not sure how much fight and energy I have left.
Maybe it would be better spent elsewhere on other endeavors.      
             ---------Ken Kinman
  
       





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