Record Number of Countries Sign Up to Protect Sharks and Rays


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❝ Momentum for international protections for sharks and rays continues to grow, with a record 67 governments co-sponsoring one or more listing proposals in the lead-up to this year’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Conference of the Parties…Species listed under Appendix II can be traded internationally but only if the trade does not cause detriment to them in the wild.

24 December 2018 was the deadline for co-sponsorship of the Appendix II proposals, which would require all continuing trade of these species to be sustainable. The co-sponsors span the globe and include Sri Lanka, western and northern African governments, Dominican Republic, Palau—the first country to declare all of its national waters a shark sanctuary — and the 28 member states of the European Union.

Previous CITES listings have made significant advances in protection for endangered marine species. This is the first major attempt in this manner to protect species like sharks killed by the thousands just for their fins to make soup.

Is Trump the Chimp at the Top of our Pre-evolution Hierarchy?

❝ Donald Trump’s political stylings…evoke(d) memories of our people’s original civic leader — the large, angry ape.

“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” the anthropologist Jane Goodall infamously opined in the summer of 2016. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”

❝ Goodall was far from alone in this assessment. In his paper “The Appeal of the Primal Leader: Human Evolution and Donald J Trump,” Northwestern University social psychologist Dan McAdams argued that the mogul embodied “the social dominance form of human leadership” — and likened Trump’s Twitter tantrums to the violent rituals performed by ruling chimps.

❝ Trump intended his shutdown to be a spectacular display of his tribe’s supremacy in America’s dominance hierarchy. It became the opposite. Now, there’s a good chance that, over the next two years, this presidency is “going to go weaker, weaker, and just disintegrate.”…

One can only hope. Though I have no confidence in Trump’s echo of Reagan’s failed supply-side economics producing anything of benefit to working families, the mass of rural and urban Americans, the danger of stupidity overruling anything near unto common sense retains a risk of economic and social disaster. Often the fate of petty pimps and their claque…and innocent bystanders.

Quitting the internet won’t solve its problems

Everything you hate about online culture is created by other people

❝ The internet, with its constant presence, social media envy and endless fakery, is not some parasite that showed up in the 1990s, enslaved you by bodysnatching your brain and turned you into an eternally screen-clicking bundle of tendonitis and ADHD. (If it had, that would be technological determinism.) Rather, the internet came about as a result of our very human urge to communicate and socialize, and is a reflection of naturally-occurring phenomena…

In other words, the idea for the basic functionality of modern digital communication was inspired by the human brain.

❝ Shortly after the turn of this century, that development came full circle: As the internet grew into the biggest communication infrastructure in history, network scientists and sociologists made new discoveries about how we interact with each other, drawing new types of network maps…

Networks are natural to humans — powerful, efficient mechanisms for growth and dissemination of information — so we built the internet. But we create networks even if what is disseminated or grown is malignant, which is key.

Hardware designed to threaten life and liberty is pretty much restricted to military flavors of anti-human behavior. They are inanimate objects even with AI. Humans purpose devices. At least for the foreseeable future.