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Dense housing vs healthy bees and healthy people

Original post made by Resident on Oct 29, 2007

The people who advocate more and denser housing are wrong. We need to work with the housing stock we have, growing slowly and carefully. We know our air quality is bad, our water is scarce and we know about the interconnectedness of all life (see article below about honeybees) and yet we continue to overbuild. Now we need a water storage tank. Why not put it under The Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life before the structures are built, and over the water storage tank put a playing field?

"In the winter of 2006, a strange phenomenon fell upon honeybee hives across the country. Without a trace, millions of bees vanished from their hives. A precious pollinator of fruits and vegetables, the disappearing bees left billions of dollars of crops at risk and threatened our food supply. Any treatment for colony collapse disorder is confounded by its many possible causes: pathogens; deadly mites; lack of genetic diversity in the bees; widespread pesticide use and even urban sprawl that spreads homes and streets across wild fields of clover, alfalfa and flowers, all sources of bee food."

For more information: Marla Spivak - Web Link

Comments (6)

Posted by Sparky, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2007 at 2:49 pm

They do say that analogy is the weakest form of reasoning. Maybe interspecies analogies are weaker still...

Posted by I don't think so, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2007 at 9:19 pm

Who says analogy is the weakest form of reasoning? It is the strongest form. All mathematics, science, prose, and poetry is based on it. Think "model" or "representation."

But I'm not sure how useful the bees are in understanding or dealing with those who promote accelerating our city's population growth.

I agree "the people who advocate more and denser housing are wrong." And there probably will be problems that the complexity of the resulting urban environment will make more difficult to solve. If that's insight that the bees provide, so be it.

Posted by Bee in my bonnet, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2007 at 12:49 am

People plant flowers and trees; bees like that. the more people there are, the more bees.

Also, maybe we'll see AI work with bees. Who knows; maybe they'll build our homes for us.

Cheap labor, anyyone? Imagine negotiating a deal where you plant for rosebushes, and get a new bathroom in the mix. :)

Posted by joe, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 30, 2007 at 10:22 am

What we need is population control. Malthus was right.

Posted by bikes2work, a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Oct 30, 2007 at 12:23 pm

"Now we need a water storage tank. Why not put it under The Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life before the structures are built, and over the water storage tank put a playing field? "

I wouldn't advocate digging under that site. It is contaminated from the former semi-conductor manufacturing that used to be there. I don't think you would want an emergency water supply surrounded by contaminated soil and groundwater.

Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2007 at 6:50 pm

"Analogy is the weakest form of reasoning" is widely attributed to Sigmund Freud, though I couldn't find a definitive reference. It has been widely repeated over the decades, though that of course doesn't make it right!

A "model" is pretty different from an analogy, in my view. A model tries to come up with a simplified version of the thing itself; an analogy reasons that one (complex) thing is enough like another (complex) that we can draw conclusions based on what we know about the first.

There are linguistic issues with this - we often use the same words to describe different things, but in analogies they seem the same - and factual - the unconsidered complexities of one phenomenon overwhelm its similarities to another.

All that said, people love reasoning by analogy and often do; but it is worth it to question results where analogy is the main argument (if bees are dying, people will be next).

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