Posts Tagged ‘endangered species’
* We shouldn’t be assessing the health of the humanities by market-share metrics that are far more about demographics and the changing face of higher ed than they are about the intellectual shifts at the heart of actual humanities practice. Besides, the actual numbers show long-term stability post 1980:
The interpretation: The chart never quite reinforces the point that something terrible is going on in the humanities right now. Anyone looking at it closely will notice, as Michael Bérubé has, that the real collapse of humanities enrollments happened in the 1970s. The Great Recession has been less ruinous to enrollments than were the mid-1990s. Sure, a few Harvard majors have switched from history to government in the last decade: is that really a story?
But it does succeed in making the humanities appear massively out of date. And that’s a compelling story for all sorts of people. It makes humanists feel as though they deserve a larger share of the university, and that their sense of being under seige is due to the some pathology in the culture at large; it makes traditionalist critics of the humanities feel secure in pointing out that something has gone very wrong in the field.
* Obama: PRISM Doesn’t Apply To U.S. Citizens. I don’t see how this could mean why Obama seems to be implying. Surely he’s saying that they’re collecting all data but only using data from noncitizens? How could they discriminate between citizen bandwidth and noncitizen bandwidth at the point of recording?
* But the real question: is Glenn Greenwald working for the ChiComs?
* And still another outrage of the day, as if your docket weren’t full: Hacker Who Exposed Steubenville Rape Case Could Spend More Time Behind Bars Than The Rapists.
One of the planned essays for our Green Planets book (from the brilliant Christina Alt) is about the prevalence of animal extinction and extermination fantasies in turn-of-the-century utopias like Wells’s. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw this link from Lawyers, Guns, and Money to this Prospect story on current plans to wipe out the gray wolf (again).
The reintroduction, he told me, had been one of the epic wildlife-recovery stories in U.S. history; in little more than 15 years, the number of wolves in the Northern Rockies had gone from 66 to roughly 1,600. Yet concerns about the threat posed by the wolves to cow, sheep, and elk populations had led to a stark reversal. After spending upward of $40 million studying the animals—then capturing, collaring, tracking, and protecting them—the federal government last year scheduled wolves to be killed in huge numbers across the Northern Rockies. In April 2011, following a series of lawsuits and an unprecedented intervention by Congress, canis lupus was removed from the endangered species list.
Japan has finally suspended its whaling fleet. (EDIT: Noting Tim’s important correction, should have said “only temporarily.”)
* “Someone should not be able to walk into a restaurant and order a plate of an endangered species”: Whale sushi illegally sold in California. Like Tim I’m disappointed to find out this was only a misdemeanor.
* The good guys are losing the messaging war on climate climate. More on these unfortunate poll results from Peter Daou, Kevin Drum, Amanda Marcotte, and Aaron Wiener.