Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Sea turtle- Bows with frogs made of sea turtle coming from China?


GMM22
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi Banzai:

The sustainability of capitalism is not at issue here. There still hasn't been any evidence shown by anyone here linking capitalism to ecological problems. There are lots of environmental problems, but I am not going to blame them on CEOs. I commute 45 miles each way to work in order to live in a town with good schools and low crime. That commute and that of my neigbors, many of whom commute farther isn't helping the environment any. I put all kinds of chemicals on my lawn to keep the trees and grass nice. Those chemicals will eventually wind up in the ocean as will all the chemicals that my neighbors use. It would be nice to blame everything on those CEOs, but the combined activites of 4 billion people affect the earth much more than 500 CEOs.

You mention FDR using the New Deal to save capitalism during the depression. You must be aware that Hitler rallied Germany out of worse economic problems by rallying his countrymen against the Jews and the bankers. It is always easier to blame "those other guys - not us". It worked in Germany and it might work again, except this time against the captains of industry, as you predict.

Don't you think it is ironic that you quote Ray Anderson, who is a CEO himself and one of those "captains of industry who will be regarded as criminals"? Perhaps also that Bean quotes Hawken, another CEO and entrepreneur? Will they be strung up alongside Ted Turner and Warren Buffet?

The thing that I can definitely agree with you is that it is reprehensible to kill sea turtles in order to make an attractive luxury. Or an elephant for their ivory, or bears for their paws that are believed to be an aphrodisiac in some cultures. I also think that buying attractive luxuries from dead sea turtles or ivory from dead elephants or paws from dead bears is morally reprehensible as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 167
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Now I see what the "problem" is. Before I venture to answer your question, I would like to understand better where you came from, if I may.

quote:


Originally posted by:
FINPROF

I commute 45 miles each way to work in order to live in a town with good schools and low crime. That commute and that of my neigbors, many of whom commute farther isn't helping the environment any.


The reason for you to commute to work is a common one, and also a good if you have younger kids. Now my questions are:

(1) Why do you (others are implied) have to drive to work? No public transportation?

(2) Why the qualities of schools are different by a large measurment? Otherwise, school won't be worth mentioning right?

(3) What is the cause for the lower crime rate in your neighborhood? Or alternatively higher crime rate in the neighborhoods near your work?

quote:


Originally posted by:
FINPROF

I put all kinds of chemicals on my lawn to keep the trees and grass nice. Those chemicals will eventually wind up in the ocean as will all the chemicals that my neighbors use.


Questions:

(1) How do you know the chemicals on your lawn to keep the trees and grass nice will eventually wind up in the ocean (your neighbors is also included)?

(2) Why do you have to use chemicals?

(3) What kind of chemicals do you use? Bio-degradable or not?

quote:


Originally posted by:
FINPROF

but the combined activites of 4 billion people affect the earth much more than 500 CEOs.


Questions:

(1) How do you know people outside of the United States live the same way Americans do?

(2) Do you know one man can change tens of thousands of lives in one small country alone? What do you use to equate the power of different capacities by the numbers?

(3) I suppose that 500 CEOs you meant the CEOs of the so-called Fortune 500? Let's if you add up the wealth of these 500 people, and also add up the salaries of all other human beings in the world, how does the result look?

quote:


Originally posted by:
FINPROF

The thing that I can definitely agree with you is that it is reprehensible to kill sea turtles in order to make an attractive luxury. Or an elephant for their ivory, or bears for their paws that are believed to be an aphrodisiac in some cultures.


Not to defend (over-)killing in any way. But some people forgot some "cultures" are much, much older than others. Some "beliefs" are carried over from thousands of years ago--big games were a means of survial. Some nations are obviously too young to have history way back to the stone age.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Miles,

Your habit of excessively lifting quotes is unreasonable and annoying. I counted ten quotes of mine, but there is probably ten times that many from you in total in this one thread.

Of course, I (and others) might be compelled address each consequent rebuttal of yours, but it is hard to answer clearly or adequately as the original quote is need for context and all continuity of thought is lost when posts get that large with multiple quote, reply, re-reply sequences.

Such quoting should be saved for occasional use and not for general discourse, at least if one is interested in maintaining clear and fair communication. It is possible to reply to posts without always resorting to this device, although you may find it involves more labor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Your habit of excessively lifting quotes is unreasonable and annoying. "...all continuity of thought is lost when posts get that large with multiple quote, reply, re-reply sequences. GMM22

Hi GMM22,

The annoyance you describe will increase exponentially if FINPROF uses the same 'lifting quotes' technique to respond to the 9 new questions asked by miles in response to the one question she claims he asked of her. (which is difficult to find if it even exists.)

This might be fun to watch albeit tedious!

I can envision Maestronet exploding with a really Big Bang sometime soon.

Jimbow

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bean_fidlheir,

Jimbow makes a most accurate observation. It may be acceptable or even desirable to read, but it is exeedingly difficult and fruitless to answer. Again, occasional use is fine, but when used excessively it is merely frustrating (although inducing frustration may well be the intent at times). It is not an effective way of communicating thoughts or ideas. I for one could have spent an afternoon responding similarly in this thread alone.

If everyone adpoted the same approach, reading Maestronet posts would become impossible in a very short time (as per Jimbow's second keen observation).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Miles;

It would be a bit tedious to respond to all nine questions, but I hope that I can clarify my position and yours, while responding to some of the questions in a roundabout way.

The basic premise you present is that capitalism is flawed because capitalistic decision makers ignore social costs in their decisions and create negative externalities. For those netters who might be reading this, here is a nice Wikipedia quote:

"Environmental pollution is an example of a social cost that is seldom borne completely by the polluter thereby creating a negative externality." That is, the polluter has an incentive to pollute because others suffer the costs of that pollution while teh polluter avoids most of those costs.

My position is that ignoring social costs and creating negative externalities are not limited to capitalistic decision makers. I gave couple of examples of externalities created owner/workers in atomistic industries where decisions made by individuals also tend to ignore social costs as well. You responded by claiming that the farmers and fishermen were forced into this behavior by large corporations. Then I gave some examples of negative externalities presented by my own behavior, which were not forced on me by some mega-corporation. I gave some examples of my behavior only to show that individuals frequently create externalities through their own behavior. If you want to know why people behave like that, perhaps the best answer comes from quoting Bill Clinton: "Because I could". If we knew more about you we could probably find examples of negative externalities created by your behavior, or anyone else's for that matter.

I believe that ignoring social costs is endemic in human behavior and certainly not a product of the capitalistic system. Humans were creating externalities when we lived in caves and we will be creating externalities if we return to living in caves. You are correct in stating that ignoring social costs is reflected in the decisions made by corporate managers, but fail to realize (apparently) that ignoring social costs is also reflected in decisions made by most everyone else as well. If capitalism is replaced by some other economic system, human behavior won't change. This is a rather depressing thought for those of you who believe that socialism will cure all of the world's ills. It is also why I believe that there is no natural linkage between capitalism and environmental problems.

To answer some of the other questions in a roundabout manner:

You indicated in an earlier post that you have become a naturalized American citizen and perhaps presumed that I am one. Although I expect to take out US citizenship in the near future, I was not born in the US and am not a US citizen. My wife is a US citizen, but she was also born outside the US (Taiwan) and graduated from university there before coming to the US for graduate study. We are both college professors, which allows us to take advantage of a large network of former colleagues and students all around the world to take junkets and visiting positions all over the world. Americans tend to be in the minority in our field, which is somewhat technical and requires a lot of math and stat, so we work primarily with non-Americans. We also live in a community that has a high proportion of recent immigrants, albeit highly educated and high-income immigrants. The mayor is also from Taiwan and the high school is about 30% Asian and Indian. My wife feels very comfortable in this community and so do I. Not that it matters to anything.

We have both seen how people live outside the US. In our travels I was somewhat aghast at the pollution in some of the Eastern European and Asian countries that I consider to be strongly influenced by socialist philosophy, although you might not consider them to be true socialist countries.

Please note that I didn't ask any questions and refrained from quoting any previous posts. I hope my position and yours are very clear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
GMM22
Miles, Your habit of

excessively lifting quotes is unreasonable and annoying. I counted

ten quotes of mine, but there is probably ten times that many from

you in total in this one thread. Of course, I (and others) might be

compelled address each consequent rebuttal of yours, but it is hard

to answer clearly or adequately as the original quote is need for

context and all continuity of thought is lost when posts get that

large with multiple quote, reply, re-reply sequences. Such quoting

should be saved for occasional use and not for general discourse,

at least if one is interested in maintaining clear and fair

communication. It is possible to reply to posts without always

resorting to this device, although you may find it involves more

labor.

I believe I was one of the first (in reply to a certain person) to

point out that it is dangerous to take sentences out of context. As

such, I had left this part of the board in hopes that it'd be

cooled down when I got back. It hasn't.

Take it easy, y'all! 2007 has just started. Woooosaa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi GM and jimbow,

(1) I apologize for not knowing what kind of writing style you would like. As I stated before, you are more than welcome to skip my posts. Not a problem for me.

Hi dfxlr,

(2) I believe that I don't have the power to delete the original posts I am/have been tring to respond (addressed to me or not is not a concern). So one can always go back to the whole post, can't one? I do not try to take things out of context. to mislead Like GM and jimbow, I have my own preferred style. My preferred style is to respond point by point. If anyone has doubts, the original is available in the same thread. If one doesn't like my preferred style, skip it and move on.

Hi jimbow,

quote:


Originally posted by jimbow

The annoyance you describe will increase exponentially if FINPROF uses the same 'lifting quotes' technique to respond to the 9 new questions asked by miles in response to the one question she claims he asked of her. (which is difficult to find if it even exists.)


Do you think a poster can only respond to posts, which were addressed to him/her? In this case, I think GM's post was addressed to me, not you if I am not mistaken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi FinProf,

Thank you very much for answering my quesitons.

First of, I think you might have mixed the posters' statements. When you stated my premise about capitalism, Allan's post came to my mind.

Secondly, when I first mentioned capitalism, I was responding to posters, who stated explicitly how intelligent humans were (as I explained to your first post addressed to me), I just saw no intelligence in a lot of things humans do, . In addition, my expressed view on capitalism in this thread is not what you thought it was although I would not disagree with such view by and large.

Thirdly, my reason for asking the "tedious" 9 questions was to provoke some thoughts--What does capitalism have done to/with our brain? Having lived in the US for near 2 decades and travelled in most cities, even if I don't have the first hand experience you described, I most likely heard of it before. My point is, take education for example, why does the quality of your schools in the US have to differ greatly from one district to another? Think about it.

Yes, it is probably safe to say that all of us, human beings, have contributed to environmental problems one way or another. But my interest is in the reason why the environment has degraded so much and so rapidly in such short period of time (relative in terms of history or evolution). If one put the environmental issues alongside with social evolution, the answer seems to be quite obvious to me.

Lastly, believe it or not. I still remember you mentioned that your wife was from Taiwan from other thread, and I figured that you were college bound. But when I write or speak, I don't have "a person" in my mind. That means, I only look at what they said, not who they are. I may misunderstand or my knowledge stand to be corrected, but my remarks don't usually aim as personal attack. That's why I prefer to quote the points/statements I want to dispute in a point-by-point fashion. If the statement or point to be debated is not made explicit, I don't know how other people can follow.

"I believe that ignoring social costs is endemic in human behavior and certainly not a product of the capitalistic system."

I agree with the first part, but not the second part.

"This is a rather depressing thought for those of you who believe that socialism will cure all of the world's ills."

I have not gotten the sense in other posts, but I can only speak for myself.

"Please note that I didn't ask any questions and refrained from quoting any previous posts. I hope my position and yours are very clear."

Just saw this statement, please allow me to at least quote Allan's post.

quote:


Originally posted by:
Allan Speers

quote:


Originally posted by:
bean_fidhleir
Capitalism as

practiced is based on the belief that the world is both an

inexaustible garden and an uncloggable sewer.

Nah, Capitalism as practiced is based on the belief (of the CEO,

etc) that they will die before the garden runs out and the sewer

backs up. OR:

Capitalism as practiced is based on the belief that someone else

will fix the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
dfxlr

I believe I was one of the first (in reply to a certain person) to

point out that it is dangerous to take sentences out of context. As

such, I had left this part of the board in hopes that it'd be

cooled down when I got back. It hasn't.


Dear dfxlr,

If I recall correctly, you are the one who wrote in the whole post,

"It is culture that bound women's feet. -- Said by me, a Chinese American"

What is the frame of context you took the "culture" from?

In addition, it appears that you forgot to read Bean_fidhleir's post and GM22's subsequent post responding to Bean's, which GM apparently changed his mind or position:

"It may be acceptable or even desirable to read, but it is exeedingly difficult and fruitless to answer."

If I read the statement correctly, the problem has been shifted from "style of quoting" to "practicality of answering questions". Therefore, the accusation of my taking things out of context should, in this thread at least, be exonerated.

Please read responses more thoroughly lest you might also violate what you were preaching.

Thank you and Happy New Year to you, too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
miles
Hi GM and jimbow, (1)

I apologize for not knowing what kind of writing style you would

like. As I stated before, you are more than welcome to skip my

posts. Not a problem for me. Hi dfxlr, (2) I believe that I don't

have the power to delete the original posts I am/have been tring to

respond (addressed to me or not is not a concern). So one can

always go back to the whole post, can't one? I do not try to take

things out of context. to mislead Like GM and jimbow, I have my own

preferred style. My preferred style is to respond point by point.

If anyone has doubts, the original is available in the same thread.

If one doesn't like my preferred style, skip it and move on.

[/img]
Hi jimbow,
quote:


Originally posted by jimbow The

annoyance you describe will increase exponentially if FINPROF uses

the same 'lifting quotes' technique to respond to the 9 new

questions asked by miles in response to the one question she claims

he asked of her. (which is difficult to find if it even exists.)


Do you think a poster can only respond to posts, which were

addressed to him/her? In this case, I think GM's post was addressed

to me, not you if I am not mistaken.

I think my post was in support of GM, not answering to him. Perhaps

you should read posts more clearly and abandon the

self-righteous preaching. Personally. I refuse to give you more

opportunities to show off your pseudointellectual discourse which

apparently helps nobody else except yourself. Having said that,

good luck in life and enjoy the soap box, 'cause I'm outta here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear dfxlr,

I believe I had addressed your points to my best ability with honest.

Thank you very much for your kindness. Life has been very kind to me, and I am grateful for the opportunities I've been given. May life be good to you, too.

[edited]

dfxlr,

RE: I think my post was in support of GM, not answering to him

You misread/missed "Hi jimbow", which appears on the 4th line of the body of the quote. Therefore, you ascribed the following statement was for you. Nope, it was not for you. Please check again before you jump to conclusion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*sigh*

I almost hate myself for writing this, because this is ranging

leagues off topic.  But oh well, I suppose I share no small

part of the culpability for that.  Here we go:

Ray Anderson:

FINPROF, by pointing out that Mr. Anderson is a CEO does not

invalidate a single point I made, nor does it make the words less

meaningful.  In fact, quite the opposite.  That Mr.

Anderson is one of those who sees the ground rushing up makes it

all the more compelling.  To attempt to quote Ray, (at a

business convention) "Do I know you well enough to greet you as

fellow plunderers?  Despoilers of the earth?  May I tell

you that I stand before you convicted, and not by my

peers...no...my peers would hail me as a 'captain of industry',

some kind of modern hero.  I stand convicted by myself and

myself alone, as one of those responsible for the horror that we

are leaving our grandchildren.  I cannot help buy imagine a

day when people like us will no longer be praised, but will be

ridiculed, and hauled off in chains..."

"A while back we started getting some interesting letters from our

customers.  They wanted to know our environmental policy.

 Of course, we didn't have one, but some eager young execs

signed me up to speak at an even about it.  On my way there I

read 'The Ecology of Commerce', and as I was reading, I came across

this phrase; the death of birth.  And that was like a spear

through my chest.  When I returned home, I was shocked to

learn just how much of the earth's resources...resources that

belong to all of us...are consumed for every dollar we make.

 And I realized, then, that this cannot last."

Nazis:

Democracies like capitalism (it's easier with everyone pulling

their own directions).  Capitalism abhors a democracy, and in

fact gravitates towards totalitarianisms.  That we have

confounded Democracy/Capitalism in this strange modern age just

shows how good the marketing and propaganda have been.  In the

1940's, those two concepts were not simply accepted as

coexisting.

Fortune magazine sung the praises of Adolf Hitler to the skies for

how good he was for business.  Same with Benito Mussolini.

 A regime that can crush the organization of labor, and that

supports big business without question will be loved by business.

 Mussolini himself equated "socialism, liberalism, and

democracy" all together in The Doctrine of Fascism.

Capitalism, without the very few socialist restraints we've placed

upon it would quickly become little more than thug law and

corporate hegemony...which is where it once almost was, and what

the system as constructed pushes towards.  A society in which

the vote of every person counts is anathema to capitalism, and

corporate interests in general.

There are currently piles of literature available linking precisely

the capitalist business model, and particularly the institution of

the corporation to ecological problems.  A term that they

teach in business schools; "Externalities", is a concept that just

begins to view the top of the iceberg.  A corporation as we

have structured it is an externalizing machine, much like a shark

is an eating machine.  

However, I've rambled long enough, and miles has already attempted

to rebuke me once for writing lengthy posts.

I'm glad to find that we are in agreement over the morality (or

lack thereof) of using sea turtles for a pretty bauble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Banzai. Your post pretty much answered my tedious questions, and provided the so-called the missing link.

Through marketing and propaganda (incidentally poorly distributed school funding methods?), we have been attuned to consume/stock a great deal of goods or luxurious items we do not (ever) need. As a consequence, there seems to be a vicious circle, that traps us inside a so-called rat race, a race which exhausts ourselves and our environment to death in the end.

I don't recall that I debuked you or anyone for writing lengthy posts. If I did, I am now rebuking myself for rebuking your lengthy posts. Are you going to write an even longer one now? Just kidding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
FINPROF
There still hasn't been any evidence shown by anyone here linking capitalism to ecological problems.

Okay, here's one. Common, zinc-coat, round-head wood screws are the utility screw. I've used thousands of them over the years, and probably you have too. They're listed in most/all DIY books as "the" utility screw. I've mostly bought them in boxes of 100, but a few times in pound boxes.

Try to find them today. You can't. Lowe's doesn't keep them except by 10s in expensive poly bags. Home Depot ditto. The local hardware stores ditto. The big fastener companies on the web ditto.

So what happened--did the world stop DIY? No, CEOs decided to increase their corporate profits by reducing their inventory and selling only in tiny quantities. Now instead of paying $4/hundred or $10/pound for a biodegradable white pastboard box with glued-on one-color-black label, people have to pay $14/hundred for their choice of 10 little pollute-the-environment-forever poly bags with multi-color labels silkscreened with petro-based inks or 10 little pollute-the-environment-forever blisterpacks on multi-color backcards printed with petro-inks . Overpackaging consumes more resources in manufacture, is bulkier and therefore consumes more fossil fuel in shipping, and pollutes for decades or even centuries. Multiply that decision across all products similarly treated and I hope you can now see one way in which capitalism connects to ecological problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to take anything away from Banzai's contribution in making "the missing link" (which I doubt anyone is able to), I would like to point out that Paul Hawken was already mentioned by Bean_fidhleir, whose intellectual capacity sparkles and speaks volume for himself throughout this thread.

The issues presented in this thread, with a doubt in my mind, open up our little self-world to our place as a species in space and time echoing Darwin's landmark works albeit on a smaller scale.

quote:


Originally posted by:
bean_fidhleir

FinProf, Miles can speak for herself of course, but my impression was that she was criticising capitalism wherever it's located, and the US only because it is the "apex (capitalist) predator".

Capitalism as practiced is based on the belief that the world is both an inexaustible garden and an uncloggable sewer.
As Paul Hawken among others has illuminated, capitalism refuses to account for all its costs. The costs expressed as pollution are ignored, but pollution cleanup is considered a positive value, which is crazy!

But Earth tallies up the costs accurately even if the accountants don't, and she's made it increasingly obvious that she's going to get rid of us completely unless we get our act together SOON. Yet we show every sign of
still
not listening. We have intelligent, mentally healthy professionals like yourself, with kids and grandkids who will bear the brunt of Earth's displeasure, still apparently not tuned in.

Paul Ehrlich remarked in an interview that every scientist he knows is "scared sh****ss" right now, and it's not hard to see why.

Happy New Year (I hope) to all!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...