Re: Guest Post - Jellification

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I, for one, welcome our new jellyfish-filled oceans.


Posted by: Opinionated Sea Turtle | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 7:26 AM
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Big Jelly is watching you!


Posted by: William R. Perkins | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 7:32 AM
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Any good jellyfish recipes?
This sounds like the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Too bad you fucked up the world, Mickey.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:00 AM
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I now sincerely believe that it is only a matter of time before the oceans as we know them and need them to be become very different places indeed.

Unlike the land masses which are barely marked by humankind.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:00 AM
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Yeeeeeacch! AAAAAAAGH!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:01 AM
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5 to the OP.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:01 AM
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3. last is exactly right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:02 AM
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Ever since I read this article, I've been fervently hoping that someone would explain how it's all totally exaggerated. Now would be a good time for that.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:05 AM
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Hmm.. 30k square miles is a really tiny fraction of the total ocean surface?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:16 AM
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30K square miles would be a square of 173 miles by 173 miles.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:18 AM
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I think this explains Morgellon's syndrome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:19 AM
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I'm a bit of a sucker for stories of ecological catastrophe

I guess I'm the opposite? I find stories of ecological catastrophe basically unreadable because they are too upsetting, and so I fail to be able to attend to them enough to evaluate or consider them in any detail.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:20 AM
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I think these jellyfish propagandists are squarely in the pocket of Big Turtle.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:27 AM
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Or a rectangle 1 mile wide and 30,000 miles long, meaning the jellyfish have wrapped all the way around the earth.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:30 AM
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Ever since I read this article, I've been fervently hoping that someone would explain how it's all totally exaggerated. Now would be a good time for that.

Something something Simon won the bet with Ehrlich something something guano islands Haber-Bosch process something something genius of adaptation ... Oh fuck it, we're all doomed.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:31 AM
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it doesn't need a partner to reproduce, nor does it need to switch from one sex to the other, but can be both sexes at once.

Hott.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:32 AM
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GEOENGINEERING WILL SAVE US. AND BITCOIN TOO SOMEHOW.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ANARCHOCAPITALISTS | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:33 AM
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17, no it'll be Soylent Clear.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:35 AM
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stories of ecological catastrophe (like the sort that Harper's does occasionally)

I'm not generally a fan of the genre, but the one called "Weed Planet" from 1998 or thereabouts really stuck with me. The jellyfish plague fits squarely in the Weed Planet paradigm.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:36 AM
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This is from last year [NYT] but maybe it's reassuring. Non-NYT version.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:40 AM
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Our local aquarium has adopted the annoyingly pedantic policy of eschewing biological misnomers, so, for example, the jellyfish tank is labeled "jellies" and the starfish tank is "sea stars". The guides will gently correct you if you ask a question about "jellyfish".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:43 AM
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Okay, SP is doing very well with the reassuring, thank you, Knecht not so much. I don't even know what those words, and I fear to google.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:44 AM
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Don't think of them as jellyfish. Think of them as the ancestors to Slime Princess.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:47 AM
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23 also works for the Colorado wildfires.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:51 AM
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There's not much data. Although there are various indications and claims that jellyfish (i.e., scyphozoans, cubozoans, most hydrozoans, ctenophores, and salps) have been increasing at a global scale in recent decades, a rigorous demonstration of this has never been presented. Because this is mainly due to scarcity of quantitative time series of jellyfish abundance from scientific surveys, we attempt to complement such data with non-conventional information from other sources. Alaraming, but so was the news that the thermohaline circulation was disappearing, which got reassessed as "likely not catastrophic" a few years later.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:51 AM
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The guides will gently correct you if you ask a question about "jellyfish".

Those are the same idjits will tell you whales aren't fish. It swims, doesn't it?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:57 AM
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Clearly there an opportunity here for some enterprising chef to develop jellyfish based cuisine.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:58 AM
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Isn't that an ordinary Korean dish?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:58 AM
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mainly due to scarcity of quantitative time series of jellyfish abundance from scientific surveys
Whatever, just plot the incomplete data you have and connect the dots to make it look good.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:01 AM
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I think these jellyfish propagandists are squarely in the pocket of Big Turtle.

Clearly the way to address the problem is with an aggressive sea turtle breeding programme. If successful, it really would be turtles all the way down.


Posted by: Ginger yellow | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:14 AM
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If only sea turtles didn't make such delicious soup!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:19 AM
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"Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening,
Beautiful, beauti--FUL SOUP!"


Posted by: Mock Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:30 AM
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You talking about the python HTML scraping library?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:35 AM
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27: When we toured the Monterey Aquarium, they mentioned that jellies aren't very tasty. It's basically like eating rubber bands.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:38 AM
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I have similar experiences with octopi, but squid is great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:48 AM
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Don't sperm whales eat lots of jellies? Too bad we killed them off too. It's not just Sorcerer's Apprentice, it's also Star Trek IV.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:49 AM
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Oh wait, that's giant squid they eat, not jellyfish. For some reason sperm and jelly were connected in my brain...


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:50 AM
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You and alameida.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:52 AM
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Wait, I read that as squid and jellies were connected in your brain.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 9:53 AM
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In Soviet contraception, jelly eats sperm!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:02 AM
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I find stories of ecological catastrophe basically unreadable because they are too upsetting, and so I fail to be able to attend to them enough to evaluate or consider them in any detail.

I should clarify, when I say, "sucker for" I don't mean, "I seek them out and enjoy them." I mean, "I find them hard to ignore and they stick with me for years."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:09 AM
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35: Good octopus is really good.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:13 AM
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23: or perhaps the return of Krongu.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:14 AM
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Ocean acidification, the lesser-known twin of climate change, threatens to scramble marine life on a scale almost too big to fathom.

If you want some more cheerful news about our oceans.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:16 AM
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Shark appears on pretty much every menu here on this Caribbean island. I understand that this trend hasn't been very good for the local shark population, but its hard to say for sure because its not like there is anyone keeping track of the data.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:22 AM
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Ocean acidification = pre-made ceviche.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:22 AM
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Although, I have to say, shark tastes a lot better than, say, haddock.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:23 AM
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47: Blistering barnacles!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 10:32 AM
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I read this article last week and it also scared the shit out of me. But I can't swim and this gives me another reason not to like beaches, and to convince travel partners that mountains are better.

Also slightly strengthens my feeling that I should have only one kid...man are we trashing the planet.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:14 AM
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The evidence for collapse of the ocean (or at least of fisheries) is so overwhelming and obvious right now and has been for years -- much more so than climate change-- that it's a bit of a political mystery to me why people don't seem to have noticed as much or care as much. I mean within living memory of people over, say, 40, there was a time when fish seemed endlessly abundant, was one of the very cheapest of foodstuffs, the Grand Banks were a major fishing area, etc. etc. That's obvious to anyone who has been to a supermarket. Whatever's gong on with the jellyfish population, the collapse of the ocean's isn't even a hard-to-tease-out slow moving future crisis, like climate change, it's something that's pretty much happened right now and from which people are already feeling the consequences.

I think part of the answer why it doesn't seem to "matter" is that people simply shifted their diet away from fish, and that global air-shipping allowed for relatively cheap replacements for whatever fish looks white and goes into the Filet O' Fish. Also I guess people just get used to new animal equilibriums -- 40 years ago, there were also frogs all over the place, now they are rare and people don't seem to miss frogs that much.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:21 AM
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I read 50 in a Kermit voice as a spoken intro into "It's Not Easy Being Green" (or maybe "It's Easy (for now) Not Being Green").


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:29 AM
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Many of Halford's comments benefit from being read in a Kermit voice. Anything involving Halfordismo, intellectual property, or fitness.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:31 AM
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This is going to sound stupid, but I have an easier time not thinking about fisheries destruction as an ecological issue because I do primarily experience it through grocery shopping. And that flips me into thinking of it as about consumption, rather than the environment: Man, it's so annoying that the fish I like isn't available any more, rather than what the hell is going on out there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:32 AM
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52 -- I'm going to assume you mean Kermit Roosevelt, badass CIA operative, and just leave it there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:33 AM
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53: Yes. Fish farming also reduces the visibility of the supply impact, while having significant ecological consequences that don't show up on the supermarket aisle. I think the supply chain efficiencies of rapid delivery of frozen fish have blunted the visible impact too. Concretely, I have noticed no real change in availability but a big difference in price.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:35 AM
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What's really depressing is that, unlike climate change, the collapse of fish populations due to over fishing is (was?) a fairly easy problem to solve and yet it's still apparently impossible for us to get our act together and solve it.

Doesn't bode well.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:37 AM
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Maybe it's that fish was a cheap foodstuff, but food generally got much cheaper as fish got much more expensive, so that it's an issue people notice but that doesn't really affect them that deeply.*

*(except to make them fatter by subbing out cheap bacalao for oversized muffins, or whatever).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:40 AM
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Wiping out Vietnamese mangroves to install shrimp farming operations is probably also bad, too.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:42 AM
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"likely not catastrophic"

Such reassuring, and rarely heard words regarding climate change.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:44 AM
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What's really depressing is that, unlike climate change, the collapse of fish populations due to over fishing is (was?) a fairly easy problem to solve and yet it's still apparently impossible for us to get our act together and solve it.

This inspired me to listen to "The Final Trawl" again, and I'm no thoroughly depressed.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:47 AM
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What's really depressing is that, unlike climate change, the collapse of fish populations due to over fishing is (was?) a fairly easy problem to solve...

This very good (but very badly written) book suggests that it's not an easy-to-solve problem at all.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:49 AM
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Interesting. I didn't know that recently fish might have been a cheap food option compared to other meats. (of course now frozen fried fish substances are still cheap)

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Here's a particularly bizarre case of economo-obliviousness.

Why are young people not moving cross-county?

Answer: People move cross-country for jobs. Job security no longer exists, and you don't want to move cross-country and find yourself out of work in six months. No mention of this in the article.

The exception, of course, is North Dakota. Look at these happy people who moved to North Dakota? Why don't millions upon millions of underemployed people move to North Dakota, which has enough unfilled jobs for almost 1% of them? What's wrong with those slobs? economists ask.

|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:50 AM
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Oddly, John Emerson's advice to buy land in North Dakota (in circa 2006 or so) was probably the best advice ever given on this blog.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:52 AM
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My dad (almost 64) has a whole lot of feelings about the disappearance of frogs , and there are probably others like him out there. Because that stuff is heritable I'm with rfts in 12.

I need something to do for a living and have no idea where to put my energy. That is one of my climate change quandaries. I have no job and need to find one, so if I just knew what to throw myself into, I could devote myself full-time to... uh... mitigating the effects of the end of the world as we know it? Political action? Bullshit consumer-based band-aid action? Are my standards for "something that would get something fucking done actually" too high, perfect-as-enemy-of-good? I am also not sure my 2-year-old would truly appreciate my heroically scaling an oil rig in the Arctic and being taken into custody by the Russian coast guard, and why make life suck for her any more than it's already going to?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:52 AM
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63: That's not really that odd, considering.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:56 AM
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also not sure my 2-year-old would truly appreciate my heroically scaling an oil rig in the Arctic and being taken into custody by the Russian coast guard, and

Not sure? Think of the memoir she could write?


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:57 AM
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Ok, that's 2 straight comments containing a ? where there should be an ! . No more phone-commenting.


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:58 AM
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"The Final Trawl"

After I posted that I went looking for a video of Archie Fisher when he was younger, just for contrast. Unfortunately in the one I found from 1986 his sunglasses and hairline make it look like Uncle Duke moonlighted as a Scotish folk musician. (but, really, he was more attractive when he was young).

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:59 AM
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Right, she could organize fundraisers for your release etc. Good college app essay stuff.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 11:59 AM
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This thread makes me feel that my recent trend of increased alcohol consumption is entirely justified.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:00 PM
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"My Gulag Dad: A Life Too Ordinary for State College."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:01 PM
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Global warming causes an increase in the alcoholic beverage (and oversized muffin) populations?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:11 PM
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63, certainly the best advice given by John Emerson, beating out "Abandon all hope of love", "Anyone but Hillary", and "Hire my friend the Mongolian-history expert".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:12 PM
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"That loss of biodiversity should matter to people just like a lack of diversity in your stock portfolio should bother people," said Jeremy Mathis, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "It works exactly the same way. If you go all-in on one stock and that stock crashes, you're stuck."

CAN I PLEASE GET AN ANALOGY BAN??

I get that this guy is just trying to illustrate his point in a way he hopes people will understand, but... seriously?? The fact that THE OCEANS ARE DYING should bother people a whole hell of a lot more than an undiversified stock portfolio. Jesus H. Christ.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:12 PM
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"The near total collapse of ocean biodiversity should matter to people just like having an insufficient number of outfits in your closet should bother people. It works exactly the same way. If you only have one go-to outfit for dinner parties, and it happens to be dirty when you get a surprise party invitation, you're stuck."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:16 PM
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49 -- Somebody mention mountains?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:25 PM
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"The near total collapse of ocean biodiversity should matter to people just like having to pick just one day for your wedding should bother people. It works exactly the same way. If you only have one day for your wedding, and it happens to be rainy, you're stuck."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:28 PM
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"The near total collapse of ocean biodiversity should matter to people just like having to pick just one day for your wedding should bother people. It works exactly the same way. If you only have one day for your wedding, and it happens to be rainy, you're stuck ironic, like jellyfish bouillabaisse."


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:36 PM
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and it happens to be rainy, you're stuck.

It's like if jellllllyyyyy-yyy fish were the only thing left.


Posted by: You know who | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:47 PM
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It's like 10000 jellyfish who sting you but you can't even feel it but you die 12 hours later anyway.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 12:58 PM
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I've been lurking here for a couple of years now. This seems like a good thread to introduce myself.


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:16 PM
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I'm disabled and spend a lot of time on the internet.

I got started reading blogs right after 9-11 2001 and was radicalized by the Bush administration. I used to be an apathetic libertarian. Now I'm well to the left of all my liberal friends. I am especially interested in the political threads here, but I just generally like the tone of the conversation here.


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:22 PM
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Hi Roger. As a token of welcom, please enjoy a nice fruit basket.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:27 PM
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What should I read from the archives?


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:34 PM
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Only the Fucking Archives. The rest of them are mostly irrelevant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:36 PM
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You might read the thread where urple conclusively proves that birds are not dinosaurs.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:39 PM
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Also, you could check the early years for some of Ogged's greatest hits.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:46 PM
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Quite a thread.


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:50 PM
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Hi Roger. Nice to have you here.

unlike climate change, the collapse of fish populations due to over fishing is (was?) a fairly easy problem to solve

I am increasingly convinced that the dividing line between problems that will get fixed and problems that won't get fixed is whether there is something visible to the eye. If you can see it, like litter, humans will react. If you can't see it, like empty oceans or climate change, humans will never fucking get it. Not visible = not a problem to humans, so far as I can tell.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 1:50 PM
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I like bob I've enjoyed his posts since the early days of Obsidian Wings. He is about the only person I know who comes off as freaked out as I feel.

read you seem kinda disagreeable and unamusing, which apparently isn't a word.


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 2:03 PM
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||

Thought experiment: Say you have a small organization of your own, and that you are also associated with a larger organization the performs essentially the same functions. You are asked, several months in advance, if you would like to co-promote your upcoming event with the larger organization. You respectfully decline. Then, with a short time left before your event, the larger organization sends out a communication to its membership about their similar event which takes place after yours. You then call someone at the larger organization and harangue them for 15 minutes about how they should be co-promoting your event, and you take it as a personal affront that they are promoting their own event instead.

What the fuck?
||>


Posted by: William Howard Taft | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 2:52 PM
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If you can see it, like litter, humans will react. If you can't see it, like empty oceans or climate change, humans will never fucking get it.

This may be right, but what's mystifying to me is that, like Halford in 50, I'd have thought "empty oceans" was clearly on the "can see it" list.

(And climate change seems like it used to be invisible but in recent years should be nudging its way onto the "can see it" list.)

Also, no, on reflection I think your theory is wrong. People still litter a lot. Just not in places where there are strong social norms against it (or actually-enforced strong laws against it). And not people who have internalized those norms.

What we need is to establish a blanket social norm that doing anything that causes more than the minimum possible level of carbon emission is immoral. It's watering your lawn in the middle of a bad drought. On a global scale.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 4:17 PM
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I put empty oceans in the not-visible category because the surface water from the beach looks the same whether there are fish under it or not.

I think it is a million times harder to establish a norm if there is no visible effect.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 4:31 PM
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96: 15 minutes is quite a serious harangue. Around here we're more passive-aggressive, usually.

98: Colorful algae to the rescue?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 5:55 PM
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More harrumphers than haranguers, then?

Also, in light of the major live thread,
K-K-K-Kombo Breaker!


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 09-23-13 8:12 PM
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I, for one, don't think we're ready for this jelly.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 3:29 AM
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