Posts Tagged ‘everyone_panic’

Nature ISN’T fragile – nor a bossy mother-in-law

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

gaia-yarn

The Green movement needs to rethink its philosophy from the ground-up. That’s according to Peter Kareiva, a leading conservation expert and chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, the world’s biggest environmental group.

It must abandon the idea that nature is “feminine” and in particular that it’s “fragile”, he said, because not only is this artificial, it’s wrong, and so many bad ideas follow.

When people believe that a fragile “Mother Nature” is harmed by anything humans do, it’s actually the humans who suffer, Kareiva argues in the co-written essay called  Conservation in the Anthropocene.

Environmentalism is now dominated by “misanthropic, anti-technology, anti-growth, dogmatic, purist, zealous, exclusive pastoralists” – says Kareiva. Greenpeace’s co-founder Patrick Moore made similar points in an interview here.

The modern environmental movement views every human action – from fracking to flying – as both intrinsically evil and irreversibly harmful. But this is an artificial view, one generated out of convenience, says Kareiva. “The notion that nature without people is more valuable than nature with people and the portrayal of nature as fragile or feminine reflect not timeless truths, but mental schema that change to fit the time,” the authors write.

 

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Panic in The Chocolate Factory

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Is Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility is good for Android, or an expensive mistake for Google, made in a moment of irrational panic. Columnist Matt Asay thinks it “spells iPhone doom“, and he’s not alone. John C Dvorak thinks it’s “pure genius“. This supposes that Google performed a cost-benefit analysis and calculated that the cost of not buying Motorola’s phone and set-top box division was greater than $12.5bn.

I beg to differ. Not all business decisions, made in the pressure cooker, are as rational as they should be.

On Monday, I explained that Google hadn’t bought what it thinks it has bought. Since then some very interesting new detail has come to light. This suggests that the Chocolate Factory really doesn’t understand the value of its proposed acquisition, and snapped up Motorola not merely in a hurry, but a blind panic. Pulling out of the deal may now be sensible – but also costly for Google. The deal carries a $2.5bn break-up penalty, which is smaller than AT&T’s penalty for failing to complete its acquisition of T-Mobile US, but is still a hefty sum of money. Should this happen, Google will have paid almost as much to buy nothing as it did to buy Doubleclick, its largest ever acquisition.

Let’s look at some evidence.
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DRM: Paranoia and panic is the default setting

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Seven years ago, it was an effort to get people interested in DRM issues. Today, as the internet pulsates with rumour, paranoia and conspiracy, there’s a different kind of problem. This constant background noise – and people’s willingness to jump in fear at their own shadows.

Instead of information scarcity, there’s information overload. So to make sense of this Tower of Babel, people construct a “Daily Me”, establish informal social networks of news sources. These, in turn, tell people how to feel about a news story.

Many bloggers today are attuned to the slightest indication that the Imminent Crackdown has begun. It’s Black Helicopter country: “Net Neutrality” couldn’t have happened without it.

[DRM in 2000 and today: full story at The Register]