Messenger is actually my primary use-case for Facebook. Talking one-on-one, contextualized by whatever each other are doing publically, is a great way to engage with someone meaningfully. There's always some fodder to initialize a conversation.
If you live in Washington state, please support Initiative 1401 (http://saveanimalsfacingextinction.org, http://ballotpedia.org/Washington_Animal_Trafficking,_Initia...) on the November state ballot (you have until Nov. 3 to submit your ballot). This initiative will help with reducing the amount of illegal wildlife products coming to the US. Most of these products come to the US from Asia so ports in Washington state are a prime destination for the ships smuggling these products. California has recently passed a similar law.
I'll be an opposing voice: please vote against Initiative 1401, which alienate the property of those who already own such items, and further reduces the incentives for those who live near such animals to farm them, rather than to poach them.
Elephants are endangered because they are not owned; cattle, for example, are not endangered because the demand for them is profitable. The right thing to do, if one wishes to preserve endangered species, is to make it possible for people to legally raise, own and harvest elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers and the like.
I suddenly found myself finding big-game hunting a whole lot less morally repugnant when I realized that the big money that goes into it is very much used to keep many species alive. Operators of paid hunting areas have a very strongly vested interest in keeping their revenue stream going, and thus, in keeping viable populations around.
I am not pro-hunting by any means, but given a world where wildlife is hopelessly outmatched by man for resource competition, the only way to keep endangered species populated is to harness some aspect of humanity to fight for their preservation in ways that matter. Paid big-game hunting and animal cultivation is an effective way to do that and should be done more.
The conflict between man and wildlife is one-sided enough that blanket "protection" is not sufficient to save many animal populations. They need active cultivation and encouragement if they're not to be wiped out through attrition (via illegal poaching, loss of habitat, etc). Simply making it more illegal isn't going to prevent that.
This works nicely in theory, but (just like with other humanitarian efforts in the region) there is no way of ensuring that the money the hunters pay actually ends up funding conservation efforts and not some official's new car.
There is nothing to indicate that the situation is dramatically different in other countries.
Also your argument doesn't explain why the populations of many of the species protected by Initiative 1401 have been declining. If what you are saying actually works in practice, the populations should have been increasing.
> alienate the property of those who already own such items
how does it alienate the property?
> further reduces the incentives for those who live near such animals to farm them, rather than to poach them.
why would they poach them if there is no market for ivory?
> The right thing to do, if one wishes to preserve endangered species, is to make it possible for people to legally raise, own and harvest elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers and the like.
Can you actually make a proposal how one would transition from the current state of affairs to the one you are proposing? Can you talk about some possible issues with your proposal? For example how would you prevent extinction of elephants in the wild?
They won't be able to sell their property; if one can't sell something, it has lost all value. As such, it violates the Fifth Amendment.
The initiative also enables law enforcement to seize such items without warrants, which violates the Fourth Amendment.
> why would they poach them if there is no market for ivory?
Because there is, and always will be, a black market for them. And because megafauna such as elephants are pests. Poor farmers would just as soon kill them than see their families starve because their crops have been eaten or trampled.
> For example how would you prevent extinction of elephants in the wild?
I imagine that elephant ranches would be pretty close to a wild environment. Even were they not, would you rather have elephants go extinct altogether, or survive on ranches?
> They won't be able to sell their property; if one can't sell something, it has lost all value. As such, it violates the Fifth Amendment.
It doesn't and you know it so stop bullshitting. The government isn't seizing property, it just makes some antiques worthless. Which, again, is not the same as seizing. And the government has every right to ban or restrict the sales of something. We, as a society, have already accepted this trade off.
> Because there is, and always will be, a black market for them.
The size of this black market would be a lot smaller. Ivory isn't drugs, people don't "have" to buy ivory, unlike say heroin. What's the size of the black market for Kinder Surprise eggs, another thing that's illegal to sell? It's probably pretty small, because people don't need to buy Kinder Surprise eggs.
> And because megafauna such as elephants are pests. Poor farmers would just as soon kill them than see their families starve because their crops have been eaten or trampled.
Sure, some farmers kill them and will continue killing them. The question is the magnitude. These farmers aren't killing nowhere near as many elephants are poachers are.
> I imagine that elephant ranches would be pretty close to a wild environment. Even were they not, would you rather have elephants go extinct altogether, or survive on ranches?
This would lead to extinction of elephants in the wild.
> you rather have elephants go extinct altogether, or survive on ranches?
Nice false dichotomy. I would rather have them survive in the wild. Which is achievable if there's a global ban on ivory sales.
As a Washingtonian, I'll be voting yes on 1401, but I have a general question for the crowd here.
Paul Allen has donated millions of dollars  to make sure this initiative gets through, which I think is great in a vacuum because I agree with what it accomplishes. However, in general I am against the concept of one individual person driving the success of an initiative because they feel passionate about a specific issue.
Is it more acceptable when the issue is seemingly benevolent?
Flip it around to Eyeman's initiatives, which when not being soundly turned down by voters, get overturned in the courts. My point being, even if it's one individual driving it, it's still one-person-one-vote (and the courts act as a buffer for when we collectively make a bad choice). I don't care who's behind 1401: is it a good idea or not? In this case, I vote "yes" regardless of what drove it. In the case of all of the Eyeman-driven "advisory votes" (what a waste of paper and ink), I vote "no" (which translates to "maintain" on the ballot) across the board.
Well buying robots will probably cost the same in China and America. But for US market, if you manufacture things in the US, you will shorten your supply chain and save on logistics. But yeah, your guess is as good as mine.
Yes. China is already running our of its cheapest new labor recruits. And while people haven't been looking many of the biggest African economies have started to get going. The time when you cannot outsource for cheap labor anymore is approaching fast.
I think the OP's point is that when the VC money is gone, they might have to go towards adverts in some way if they struggle to monetise otherwise, so it's too early to say that they are not ad-supported
It probably depends on the type of research that you do. Drug research is expensive. But I think that you can do something like Xerox PARC (it seems like YCR might be going for something similar) with relatively little money. It appears that in 2001 their budget was $65m (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=86872). I'm not sure if their budget was larger during the 70's but that's not that much money considering what came out of there.