Thursday, September 6, 2007

653 Planning and Design for Human Behavior

Message no. 653[Branch from no. 584] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Sunday, March 18, 2007 6:12pm Subject: Re: Patricia Chapter 11 Relational Summary Planning and Design for Human Behavior

Well done! Thanks for the pics -- I think I do prefer old texas...

Message no. 654[Branch from no. 604] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Sunday, March 18, 2007 6:53pm Subject: Re: Relational Summary

What a cool picture of Manhattan under water! wow! Made me think of three movies which you must see if you haven't, given the "apocalyptic" tone of the first several paragraphs of this excellent relational summary:



The Day After Tomorrow

These all have imaginative sequences where somebody swims through a drowned New York.

How plausible are these nightmare scenarios? We shall see, unfortunately!

Your comment about the guy who is profitting from future disasters reminded me of the play by Bertolt Brecht called "Mother Courage". It is about a woman who says she hates war, but makes her living selling needed things to both sides of every war -- bandages and medicine and weapons and whatever the soldiers need. If there were no war, she could not survive economically. This turns out to be one of the great explanations for why the world is in the bad shape it is in. You must see the documentary movie "Why we fight". It explains alot. And then check out Nicholas Cage's film "Lord of War." Same idea!

What I liked most about your relational summary this time is that it is so HEURISTIC (we discussed that word in another post, remember?) Heuristic means "questions that lead to other questions." I like the way you pose question after question.

I hope each of you will dive into trying to answer the questions and riddles each of the others comes up with.

As for albino polar bears, I'm sure they must exist (genetic variation). I wouldn't write off Polar bears or any other animals just because the world is changing and because animals do go extinct over time. There is a difference between "natural extinction rates" and "murder". Think of it this way: We will all die someday and we don't consider it a crime to let somebody get old and die. But if we cause something to happen that kills somebody before they are old, we call it murder. And if we allow a child or young adult (or even old adult) to drown or burn in a fire, we may not call it murder, but we consider it morally wrong.

Similarly, when we cause environmental change, if that change kills animals, and they go extinct, then we are the murderers. If we hadn't interfered with the climate or their habitat they would have survived probably until the next time an asteroid or comet hit the earth, and that could be millions of years from now. So we are responsible for these species going extinct in the "prime of their life". Similarly, if there is a disaster that we didn't cause (a flood or fire or what have you) and we are around, and we don't try to save animals whose species are close to extinction (which is definitely because of what we have done to their environment earlier) then we are no better morally than somebody who stands by while a child who is weak from malnutrition (because a company we hold stock in downsized its labor force and mom and dad couldn't get a job) gets sick and it would only cost us a few dollars to give him antibiotics.

I don't know, I tend to hold us responsible for things that we can do if it doesn't hurt us. I think it is the least we can do. What do you think?

Anyway, great summary, cause you got me thinking!


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