… I think William Gibson did not instil a love of wasps in me.
Yes, but freak zoo escapes aside, I can mostly avoid lions by staying out of the Serengeti.
Jerkish wasps are always trying to get into my beer, especially in the UK - they are really aggressive there.
Inquisitive is probably a better qualifier than aggressive. In my experience european wasps have low aggression: they're not going to sting you out of nowhere, but they tend to buzz and stay around and investigate pretty much anything that looks edible (foods, drinks, people, …), leading to people trying to swat them, and that's when things get iffier.
Even european hornets are not really aggressive, but they're big enough to trigger a more primal terror even in people who are generally fine with insects.
Now if you were drinking your beer right by where a wasp nest happened to be, yeah then there'd be aggression.
That reminded me of my last camping trip this summer. Right as we set up near a fountain and started eating, wasps started to gather around our food (apparently they love blue cheese scent) to the point we had to relocate to be able to eat (they were pretty insistent).
We ended up relocating with the sun falling so we missed a wasp nest in a rock about 3 metres away from our tent!
We noticed it a couple days later since we stopped caring after not being disturbed by any more wasps.
They got out of their nest at high vertical velocity, and it faced away from our tent, so we just weren't in their flight path. A few came to visit, but they stopped gathering around our blue cheese and mostly went hunting near tree roots.
Earlier this summer, I was pruning my tomato plants, when I came across a giant green tomato hornworm attached under a leafy stem. I looked up and noticed an entire stem's leaves had already been decimated by it! But lucky for me, I had a bunch of flowering plants right beside the tomatoes, and some miniature wasps had been frequenting them. They'd found the hornworm before me and laid a couple hundred egg sacs on its back, incapacitating it. Later on the larvae hatched and devoured the hornworm. Weeks later I found another similar hornworm, half-way devoured. In both cases, wasps saved my tomatoes from potential disaster.
They are allowed to freely roam around, as long as they take of all the summer bugs that happen to fly in during Summer time.
Ah and don't get too crazy with their webs.
Last year we had a yellowjacket nest in the garden and they mostly didn't bother us. I had to move my grill, but that was about it. Nobody got stung. They kept all the kale free of cabbage butterfly larvae, and as long as we didn't disturb them in their hunting, there was no problem.
I have a smattering of nests in the high ceiling of my machine shed. Sometimes I get out the wasp spray, sometimes I let them be.
Last year I had 50 nests and a very high population of wasps; this year hardly any. Do any birds eat wasps? Something is keeping them in check...
*One of the coolest experiences of my life spent outside was watching a tarantula hawk and tarantula engage in mortal combat right in front of my friend and I as we were sitting and relaxing in a park.
What sucks about yellowjackets is that they're easy to dismiss as bees. You can ignore bees; indeed, you should ignore them. Not ignoring bees is how you get stung. Yellowjackets have a reputation for being capricious. Ignoring a yellowjacket is how you get stung, not how you avoid getting stung. At least, that seemed to be the wisdom.
They sound different, they are build quite different, and they fly differently. Just observing bees on flowers for a few minutes every day in the summer and it's obvious, at least it is to me.
How can I not feel sympathetic with a fellow being that's just as inquisitive as I am and likes (among others) the same food that I do?
-- Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett
We read the bible every day - usually the violent and rather unpleasant parts of the Old Testament. I do believe old Mr C might have been teaching us a subtle lesson there which he couldn't do openly - it being a deeply religious community in the north of Scotland.
In the memorable words of Randolph Churchill (son of Winston) after being bet to read the Bible by a well meaning colleague: "Isn't God a shit!".
- David Attenborough
That people can't fathom an entity which is supposedly more powerful and knowledgeable than themselves, isn't also more <insert positive human attributes>. Who says God must only be positive? Who are humans to determine what God must be? Isn't the Old Testament God also a vengeful one?
In my humble view, each of us has a part to play in the greater order of the universe. Sometimes that part is to be rich and comfortable. Other times it’s to be a starving child. If you believe in re-incarnation, all of us are the starving child AND the billionaire.
It's not actually really an argument for the non existence of a higher power. It's an argument that if such a higher power exists, it is not benevolent. It's in fact quite malevolent to have created such evil.
Sorry, no, that's repellant.
When you think about it, expecting god (or the universe) to invest its full attention in you and your problems is really quite entitled.
But let's suppose you had it your way and there was no suffering anywhere. How would god achieve that? I imagine the only way is to force everyone to do the right thing at all times, thus eliminating the concept of free will, and then what even are we? Who are we to demand both the freedom to act as we wish and freedom from consequences?
I was an atheist for a long time, so I get the whole 'God is a dick' thing, but when you sit down and think about it deeply I think you'll see that it is only true for a particularly disingenuous construct of god.
That's even worse! All those dead children are just a way for the privileged people to understand how good they have it. Be grateful for what scraps I give you and reduce yourself to your insignificance, peasant!
None of which justifies the suffering of children.
>> When you think about it, expecting god (or the universe) to invest its full attention in you and your problems is really quite entitled.
That's exactly what most monotheistic religions promise.
>> But let's suppose you had it your way and there was no suffering anywhere.
That's not an argument I'm trying to make.
All of this is just squirming to relativise the unjust - the extreme suffering of children.
>> when you sit down and think about it deeply I think you'll see that it is only true for a particularly disingenuous construct of god.
No, when you sit down and think about it, children are being blinded by parasites at age 5.
Yes, quite ready to condemn that.
Nevermind you, though. If we accept that the universe is god's creation, then we accept that the suffering we see is a product of that creation. Consider that this may be unavoidable, and perhaps even necessary. We don't know for what purpose creation exists, do we?
Consider that yes, there are challenges, yes there is suffering, but also that we have the tools to make it better. And yet, even though it is completely within our power to prevent children from being blinded by parasites, we do not. But hey, it's god's fault, right? I suppose that's easier than accepting that we're just not as good as we think we are. Much simpler to point at the sky and say 'oh, there's an omnipotent being who could snap his fingers and end this!', which may even be true, but never ask why it is that being might choose not to even though we ourselves have our reasons for not helping.
I did not create a worm which bores into the eyes of children and blinds them, en masse, and has done so for millions of years. I'm sure my actions have had negative consequences, but I'm not an omnipotent creator, nor am I arguing that I am perfect and benevolent.
> Consider that this may be unavoidable, and perhaps even necessary. We don't know for what purpose creation exists, do we?
It would appear that it exists in order for such a god to torment and destroy its creations. You're making my argument for me there - a god that invents these forms of suffering is clearly not a benevolent god, and may have all sorts of other motives.
>> And yet, even though it is completely within our power to prevent children from being blinded by parasites, we do not. But hey, it's god's fault, right?
The one does not preclude the other - we can be bastards for not fixing it and god can be a bigger bastard for inventing it in the first place and letting it and its kin run rampant for millions of years.
>> I suppose that's easier than accepting
Oh please, this is another line of argument I am absolutely not making "God is awful therefore we are perfect", where did I lead you to think that I was making such a bizarre argument?
You invite me to consider versions of god which are not personal, benevolent, caring gods.
That's fine, but this argument is precisely about such gods, the gods that people try to sell us in mainstream religions, and how reality precludes them.
All of these things can be true and yet still produce the conditions we observe. For instance, god could be flawed or not have complete control over their creation, or the purpose for their creation necessitates that a certain amount of suffering occur. Consider that parents could prevent their children, whom they love, from being injured or emotionally harmed, and yet they do not for a wide variety of reasons. In fact, they inflict a certain amount of suffering on their own child under the belief that it is necessary to reduce suffering in the future.
No, it means one that is interested in and has a relationship with the individual.
> For instance, god could be flawed or not have complete control over their creation,
Then they are not omnipotent, something we are usually told that montheistic gods are.
> Consider that parents could prevent their children, whom they love, from being injured or emotionally harmed, and yet they do not
Frickin eyeball worms.
I give up at this point, AFAICT you're just being obtuse for the sake of it.
A person that invented and released something that blinded children, causing agony as it did so would be considered evil. Hands down. It would be no defence whatsoever were they to say afterwards "You're not seeing the bigger picture! I'm helping humanity to help itself!". I'm not really aware of any moral code that would say "Oh that's OK" outside of some freakish eugenics mindset or maybe the actual Nazis. I'm not sure why you think a creator god should be allowed to do the same and still be considered "benevolent".
That's literally the point of the conversation, and one you repeatedly seem to ignore.
This is at very least at odds with Christian teaching e.g. the personal god is one believed in by many.
This regardless of the lack of scientific evidence for the existence of God.
Old testament's God is a jerk. Only on afterlife will you be absolved of your sins (or sent to hell I guess).
This isn't because "God" mellowed out between the Old and New Testaments, rather, it's because humanity changed its definition of what a good and benevolent God should be, over time. Mostly.
It's a bit of a struggle to harmonize this with evolution, but Catholics are free to believe in it as long as they also affirm the existence of a historical Adam and Eve that did something to cause the Fall...
Historically, not all theologians were big on female agency (there's even a theory that a woman only fully takes part in the imago dei when united with man through marriage, whereas a man has it on his own; can't quite remember if that was a Jewish of Christian thing, though...)
There are countless video games, movies and other media that involve graphic display or description of severe torture. Aren't we the gods of those worlds?
What if we are on the level of a video game to some higher being?
Also, there are human parents that produced offspring only to torture and kill their children.
Src: Isiah 65:25
(Source: a 4-year degree from a somewhat well-known, mostly for negatives, Christian university.)
I have no intentions to debate theology in this forum. Hardly the right place.
Death and the Garden: An Examination of Original Immortality, Vegetarianism, and Animal Peace in the Hebrew Bible and Mesopotamia: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0qm3n0mt
Pain of smaller creatures might not be exactly same as what we experience, but there is no logical reason to think that feeling pain or other self-preservation instincts are absent.
There is no point to think that unless you hear screams and cries all is good and fine.
Plenty of animals react to negative stimuli, but not all of them experience suffering.
Karma is the basis of your actions, what that child might have done in a past life, but that doesn't stop your Dharma, the guy walking by from helping him. Its our Dharma (duty) to help those and not blame their past lives.
There is also a group in Reddit only about people who hate Wasps
This year there was a big active yellow jacket nest in one of my sheds. The day I put out some non-poison traps, I noticed there were very few bugs flying around. A couple days later there were none. Something got to them already. I don't know what would kill a whole nest like that unless they got into poison from one of my neighbors.
I think they're actually beautiful animals and I don't want to kill them, but I can't have them right near the house.
White faced hornets, also called bald faced hornets, are relatives of yellow jackets and technically wasps. They are misnamed hornets because of their size. They are even more aggressive than yellow jackets and one bug can sting you several times in a few seconds.
That stuff is nothing short of amazing. If you spray some in the air (at a flying wasp), the wasp will instantly drop dead to the ground. Not a quiver.
What on earth can make something be so instantly fatal?
But we learned the easiest way to get rid of wasps is to just open a door that leads outside. They will find it and go away.