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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Default Natural Selection

    So, as I get older, and read headlines, the words 'natural selection' seem more and more appropriate.

    Thoughts on this? An I being cold and too much of an engineer? When someone wraps themselves around a tree at 95+ mph, or chooses to not use PPE or other safety equipment, I find it harder and harder to feel sorry for them.

    Unfortunately when there is natural selection, there is often peripheral collateral damage to other people and property. Those are the ones I feel sorry for.

    Feel free to bash me on this one, but sometimes I shake my head and ask 'what did you EXPECT to happen when you lifted the drawbar all the way up before pulling a stump? Because obviously the laws of physics won, and the tractor flipped...'

    Another great example: my brother in law left ham in his truck for two days last week on a jobsite, and then ate it for lunch. He spent the rest of the afternoon in the kybo yakking his guts out and commenting on how slimy the ham was.... DUH!!


    IowaAndy

  2. #2
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Natural Selection

    I have to say that the emails with the supposedly "Darwin Awards" never fail to show me that stupidity knows no bounds. The other thing that urks me is when the fatally stupid feel that they deserve some monetary compensation for doing their stupid stuff when the get hurt especially after declaring "hey everybody, watch this". Someone wrote once that you cant make something idiot proof because they are too smart.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member mwb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Selection

    I think it is easy to write off someones stupid mistake (or life style) as a "Darwin Award winner", and in many cases it is deserved. The problem is in most (all?) news stories you are not given all the details. Lots of stupid mistakes started with good intentions - even experience.
    I have no problem with someone driving at 95MPH; its the 'where' and 'what condition' they are doing it in is the problem. I have taken the opportunity to give my Crown Victoria PI a run but that was on a wide open, straight highway with no other traffic. Trying a stunt like that with other traffic, passengers, impaired, unsafe vehicle, etc would deserve a Darwin.

    I like to think things like fat people and smokers should not get free health care (in Canada) but then people who mountain climb, rodeo, drink, etc. should also be refused. I do lots of thinks that are "not safe" but I feel the risk is low and I would never get the job done following "all the rules". I do not wear my seat belt on my ROPS tractor and I doubt that 80% do. I have also gotten off my tractor with the PTO running.

    Something may not appear to be stupid when you do it; hindsight makes it stupid. There is nothing closer to nature than mountain climbing (I guess); try to explain that to someone after you have fallen off.

    Stupid is as stupid does (Forest Gump)

    Cheers,
    Mike
    Montana 3940HST
    Home made SS quick attach http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/s...d.php?t=141029

  4. #4
    Silver Member skipro3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Selection

    My dad always said, "Son, you can't idiot-proof the world. Besides, what's wrong with loosing a few idiots anyway?!"

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Kubota BX1500

    Default Re: Natural Selection

    It's all about risk management.
    Most thinngs could injure you or someone else, or your stuff.
    You just have to be able to "calculate" that risk, vs. the reward, and act accordingly.
    Those that do so better are more likely to survive.

    That said, I often hav ethe same thoughts as Andy.
    When someone slides off the road when it's snowing, I say they were going too fast.
    They say they were only going 10 mph.
    I say, judging by the evidence, 10 mph was in fact too fast.

    This is why, to me anyway, it's very important to learn the "why" things happen, as much as the specific rules. If you understand how things work and why things happen, you can apply that knowledge to a situation you haven't seen.
    If all you know is the rules ina specific case, that knowedlge isn't useful when you encounter a situation you've never seen before.

    If all you know is that "when in your car, wear your seatbelt", you will in general be safer than not doing so. But suppose there's a situation where that wasn't the case? Where wearning your seatbelt was not as safe as not wearing it? Would you recognize it? I note that those ice road truckers are required to NOT wear their seatbelts when on the ice.

    Anyhoo....

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Selection

    I note that those ice road truckers are required to NOT wear their seatbelts when on the ice.
    Yep, there just aren't many trees, utility poles, traffic lights, or even much other traffic they can collide with.
    Bird

  7. #7
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Selection

    Quote Originally Posted by BXRICK View Post
    It's all about risk management.
    Most thinngs could injure you or someone else, or your stuff.
    You just have to be able to "calculate" that risk, vs. the reward, and act accordingly.
    Those that do so better are more likely to survive.

    That said, I often hav ethe same thoughts as Andy.
    When someone slides off the road when it's snowing, I say they were going too fast.
    They say they were only going 10 mph.
    I say, judging by the evidence, 10 mph was in fact too fast.

    This is why, to me anyway, it's very important to learn the "why" things happen, as much as the specific rules. If you understand how things work and why things happen, you can apply that knowledge to a situation you haven't seen.
    If all you know is the rules ina specific case, that knowedlge isn't useful when you encounter a situation you've never seen before.

    If all you know is that "when in your car, wear your seatbelt", you will in general be safer than not doing so. But suppose there's a situation where that wasn't the case? Where wearning your seatbelt was not as safe as not wearing it? Would you recognize it? I note that those ice road truckers are required to NOT wear their seatbelts when on the ice.

    Anyhoo....
    What BXRick says is very true.
    What happens in real nature is things change and evolve to deal with the environment that nature provides. That means not only changing to deal with weather, for example, but also for food sources and predators and prey, etc. Man has done the same except he has changed the environment to suit him in some cases. Man is so good at this that it's changed his evolution. Mind you, this is all my personal opinion of course, and I don't say it's a bad thing either. It is good and has brought about significant changes in our way of life. I'm just thinking out loud here. And since this is a discussion about natural selection, these are my thoughts.

    Through his love of fellow man, his benevolence, caring, he has instituted safety laws, safety features, medical advances, and even welfare for those who can't do for themselves ... allowing those to survive like there's really nothing to it. It is nothing for a tall or short person, an obese person or a skinny guy or handicapped person to survive anymore. I'm generalizing here ... Man has made it possible for every kind of person to survive. Think about what an animal has to do to survive. It's a 24/7 job. Most animals look identical too, save for markings or something, but their body structure, size, weight etc is very close. They are that way for a reason. Ever see a herd of Gazelles and try to pick out an individual? You don't see any freaks of nature too much anymore because they just don't make it in the natural world ... unless they're taken care of, of course. Even fit individuals are tested in survival everyday. Just as man is too.

    With that in mind, is it possible that man has allowed his species to under develop in some areas? Is it possible that for all the goodness that comes out of it that there is a price to pay? On the other hand, what would our civilization be like without it? Also think about this, like when a Tsunami, earthquake, volcano eruption or hurricane hits and it kills thousands. Is that natural selection too? That doesn't fit exactly the scenario above. I don't know about you guys, but I believe that the Man upstairs is in charge in the end. I'm just living in his world and glad to do so. But as far as this discussion goes, and having crossed my mind, I find those thoughts interesting.
    Rob-
    ...The Older I get...the Better I Used to be...
    Member of the Month

  8. #8
    Gold Member actionaj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Selection

    Quote Originally Posted by skipro3 View Post
    My dad always said, "Son, you can't idiot-proof the world. Besides, what's wrong with loosing a few idiots anyway?!"
    My thoughts exactly.
    BX2350

    FEL, RCK54 MMM, 4' Farm Star BB, 5' Farm Star RB, 5' Rake

  9. #9
    Platinum Member ampsucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Selection

    i agree, these are interesting things to think about.

    in my personal opinion, the gene pool has definitely been diluted by man's actions to make things safer and help others survive.

    heck, i'm a perfect example. i wear glasses. corrective lenses were invented around the 13th century, but i probably wouldn't have been able to afford them until the 18th or so, so had i been born before that, i would have been at a serious disadvantage for survival.

    i also have to take a daily dose of thyroid hormone to stay alive. it was not isolated until the mid 1900's. had i been born at the turn of even this century, it's unlikely i would have survived past my early 20s.

    perhaps without the vaccinations i received early in life, i would be long ago deceased due to some common virus. or without the lives given by others in the defense of my ancestors, i would have been purged by the nazi's due to my inferior genes?

    the point? not sure what great thing i've done to justify the saving of my life by my fellow man. i consume resources. i try to live a decent and fair life and contribute to others, but does that justify my existence? i try to pay my own way and support my family and friends. but, my survival is not really up to me alone. it is a debt paid by other's time, energy and lives.

    i'm afraid, in most ecosystems, the "old fashioned" kind of natural selection has gone the way of true democracy and free enterprise. it was long ago diluted to a joke, a viral email or a talking point at cocktail parties for the elitest wannabees. don't believe these things are true? just last week, the government privatized fannie mae and freddie mac essentially saving the global economy from meltdown and literally saving the bacon of millions of investors. it is a classic case of man interferring with the natural selection and saving those who made terrible mistakes in judgement.

    in the modern world, it seems when we speak of natural selection, we are now thinking of a process that selects for our abilities to sponge off of technology and utilize the safety nets designed by our fellow man. that is what it means to adapt today. it is less of a physical selection and more of an intellectual one. sure, spectacturally stupid acts will still make the headlines, but they are just a blip on the evoluationary radar. we'll lose a few idiots here and there. i would hardly call that evolution, though.

    no, i'm afraid the human population will continue to grow without bounds being ever less and less selective in who survives because this is an inherent feature of our "human" nature. our population will grow without bounds until some truly spectacular event beyond our control brings our numbers into check. and it won't be something small like a handful of tractor accidents or strapping a JATO unit to an old jalopy and ramming it into a cliff.

    historically, it will be events on a much grander scale, something like a drastic change to the environment (comet, earthquakes, volcanos, etc.) or the introduction of a disease vector that cannot be easily contained. then, you will truly see natural selection at work. should you happen to not be selected, that is....

    amp
    Kubota BX24 (loader, hoe, 60" belly); Ford 800 tractor; Scott's/Deere 42" mower; 5' and 6' rear blade; 54" Howse tiller; 20' 7,000 lb carhauler trailer; 2 other trailers; 5' dethatcher; 10" single bottom moldboard plow; middle buster plow; 600 lb roller; 3pt auger; front tire chains; Stihl and Honda small engine equip.

    Growing with you season by season.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Natural Selection

    I am waiting to see the genetic stuff start to kick in. I know of a guy that just got stem cell stuff done and injected into his heart to help regrow the defective parts of it - this is in leiu of a heart transplant which he probably wouldn't get. It is amazing stuff

    So I picture the next step will be people paying for genetic enhancements. Forget steroids when you can genetically make people stronger, faster - not to mention smarter. Genetic engineering in the womb.

    Kinda reminds me of plastic surgery - originally developed to help burn victims and such - now there for the rich. Just what we need - a super race of Hollywood, athletes, and Gov't issue. What happens to the middle class and the poor?

    Not parnoid or conspiracy type - just ponder such things from time to time...
    '07 Kubota BX24, 54" MMM, Woods RB60, Cosmo XB spreader, Wallenstein Thumb, WR Long TB, 8' chain harrow


    Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true! --Homer Simpson

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