Science and Perspective.


November 2017

My digital house

How do you describe social media to your students?

I use the house analogy.

My digital world is a house I build with social media. Each platform is a room within that house. Though they each have doors and windows that open to the outside world, I choose what people can see through those windows and doorways, whether or not I allow them inside and once inside, how far I allow them to go. Even if I let them in, I may still have my most precious possessions locked away like certain family photos. Or only allow certain people further in.

Each room has its purpose.
My art rooms include video on my Youtube channel, or my Youpic feed.

My workshops include my LinkedIn, Academia, and ResearchGate profiles.

Some of my rooms are connected so guests can move between those spaces as my facebook, twitter, and instagram profiles may post to one another and people can follow links from one to the others.

Most importantly, I remind students, if they want to be found for graduate study, internship or career opportunities, they need to have an address, where they can be found. Skype, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Groupme, and others also provide a kind of home phone for your digital home so colleagues, friends and family can reach you.

But just as importantly, if there is something you do not want your boss, teacher, or parents to see, don’t put it in these public rooms.

follow the links to connect with me let’s collaborate.



Sustainability and perspective

my friend Quentin asks in response to "Sustainability and Perspective"

How do you balance "trying to make a difference" with awareness of others and sensitivity to the full impact of one’s actions?

Quentin,There are a few ways I seek this balance.

Firstly, I use my doer’s code.

I am a human scientist and photographer. I live by my doers code. 1: Do something. 2: Do what you enjoy. 3: Do what you are good at or get good at it. 4: Do what makes a difference. 5: Do what is right.

secondly, I ask myself how much I know about the people I am speaking with, how much I have seen them (% of the day/year/semester) this represents how little of their life experience I have shared. usually infinitesimally small in comparison.

Thirdly, I judge my response by the ethics of the child substitute. (a measure I have developed and made my own.) how would my treatment of any other thing, animal, person, community be received if I substitute small children for the object of my actions?

for example: immigration: these children are seeking to escape persecution, death, torture, looking to be educated and be successful. should we close the doors on these children? knowingly leave them to face death, dismemberment, and every violation of freedom? or should we welcome these children with open arms, treat them as our own, provide them with every measure of freedom and success as is necessary to allow them to grow without fear, injustice, and pain.

Scientific Research: mist netting birds: we know these children pass through this area regularly. let’s set up nets to trap them. We can hold them in cloth bags for a while until we can take their blood and weigh them. yes they will scream and struggle for a bit, but when in the bags they will calm down. and when we are done we will let them go to continue their lives. it’s good. wiht this knowledge we can protect many thousands of these children. it’s for science.

Of course this is very simplistic and subjective, emotional and extreme.
For those that disagree, would you prefer, extremes in the pursuit of kindness or to continue to treat all others as if they are not equally worthy of respect as we are?

Sustainability and perspective

Today I saw a really interesting video. You should watch it before you continue.

From the perspective of the person in the video and CNBC, Lionfish are bad for the environment, because they negatively impact native fish populations. This in turn impacts the coral reefs. Norman’s is helping by removing Lionfish from that ecosystem, commodifying it and encouraging people to consume it.

As you watched the video were you able to appreciate the noble sensibility of such a sustainable venture? Turn an invasive species into a resource. You save the ecosystem and turn a profit (even if the goal is not to make the most money possible.
Here are some issues I have with the video.

1: THe Exumas are a part of the Bahamas, which is not a US territory and The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the oldest Marine and Terrestrial protected area in the world.
2: A Bahamian fishing license and an international seafood export license to take the Lionfish out of the country, do not seem practical in this case and from my research it does not seem as if he had either.
3: the transportation of 40 lbs of Lionfish out of the Bahamas into the USA and to the restaurant, is not sustainable on a small scale and because of the way Lionfish are caught and processed, not sustainable without a boutique style food experience, which not very one can provide.
4: he makes no mention of any Bahamian collaboration.

The sum impact in my opinion is negative. From a social perspective, impacting the sovereignty of the Bahamas, with no mention of the local and (Caribbean) regional efforts to eradicate the Lionfish, this is unsustainable. You are more likely to get pushback from local fishers who see a resource being stolen from a small Black Country, to enrich yet another foreigner. (Don’t kill the messenger, this is the sentiment in the Bahamas when a video like this does the rounds on the internet.)
From an economic perspective, paying the divers $5 a fish is definitely nice in the Florida panhandle, kudos. Again, the cost to risk for local Bahamians may be different. $100,000 in a year is also 8-10 times what most Bahamians make in a year. How can we scale this appropriately? How can we diversify this industry so it is not reliant on a single species fad?
Finally, environmentally, it’s awesome to teach people to eat invasive species as destructive as the Lionfish, but, right now climate change is as big an issue or bigger. Shipping Lionfish from a poor(er) country (or region within the USA) to the richer locations where the market is available, perpetuates a system of exploitation. And when the industry or species is unregulated or underregulated it also exposes other resources to excessive exploitation. The Bahamas cannot afford this socially, Economically or Environmentally the way it was presented.

Ancilleno Davis, M.Sc

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