Comments for en-gb 30 Sun 28 Dec 2014 09:53:12 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at scuble Safety in numbers? In the 1800s, the Passenger Pigeon was considered to be the most abundant bird on Earth with up to 5 billion individuals. John Audubon once observed a flock that took three days to pass. This species didn't get the chance to experience being "rare". The last bird died in captivity in 1914.I woke up last year to find that some species of sharks were moving through that small observation window we call "rare" on their way to Wed 28 Jan 2009 06:53:02 GMT+1 stevejohnson72 Though not religeous myself the biblical phrase'the meek will inherit the earth' sticks out as a desirable outcome.If the decent people in the world stand up and be counted,we can stop the selfish,ignorant and greedy from destroying the planet and its life.We can start this by removing the politicians that are funded by or are- them! Thu 22 Jan 2009 17:39:42 GMT+1 riverside 11 timjenveySlaves were cheap and there were loads of them. In fact they were so cheap that in ancient pre Roman Britain you could trade one fo an amphora of wine on the beach with a ship that had come over from the continent to the Romans amazement, diarised somewhere. Slaves are displayed around you as possessions and used to work for you. So they are not the same as animals you eat. I do agree with your underlying message. The problem is one of perception and the answer is changing acceptability, but how you do it I do not know. I know how you can use the psychology to make something desireable but I do not have an answer as to how to reverse engineer the process. I suspect it is more about changing the culture and that is a tough one as it has to be done and takes time and the animals are vanishing. The best thing seems to be to have a way of communities getting an income from keeping them alive. Sat 17 Jan 2009 23:09:02 GMT+1 TJ My feelings are the same as in 'jimgorilla' first comment. I've struggled with this issue all my life.I believe the need to show status is part of human nature and that our culture determines whether it's glass or gold.I would not go along with jimi as far as to despise those with luxury goods as in effect we despise our own human nature.I believe there is away by citing the example of slavery. In ancient Mayan, Egyptian and more recently American history the number of slaves was a status symbol. Now there is a complete turnaround. Can we apply any lessons from this? Sat 17 Jan 2009 21:04:10 GMT+1 riverside On June 4, 1844, three fishermen named Jon Brandsson, Sigurdr Islefsson and Ketil Ketilsson made a trip to the Icelandic island of Eldey. They had been hired by a collector named Carl Siemsen who wanted auk specimens. Jon Brandsson found an auk and killed it. Sigurdr Islefsson found another and did the same. Ketil Ketilsson had to return empty handed because his companions had just completed the extinction of the great auk. not a new problem sadly Sat 17 Jan 2009 20:51:04 GMT+1 CuckooToo @jimigorillai understand what you are saying and wouldn't argue with it Sat 17 Jan 2009 15:19:38 GMT+1 paul scarf The other morning there was a programme about robins. The presenter cum naturalist was doing quite an intensive study on them and tagged a huge range of individuals. Then a mystery disease hit the bird population and a few hundred of the robins, both tagged and those in neighbouring areas died. My immediate thought was had the observer passed on a human disease to the birds. A very sad case of loving something to death. If I'm right. Sat 17 Jan 2009 01:54:27 GMT+1 stwl It is human nature, but environmentally speaking, it cuts both ways. We're willing to invest time and effort into preserving threatened species which in some cases are not especially interesting (at least to the typical observer) for any other reason. Is there any rare species for which you couldn't set up a conservation facility and attract visitors?I'm not championing indifference to species conservation, incidentally, but the comparison struck me as apt. Sat 17 Jan 2009 01:12:32 GMT+1 Martijn So it´s just a matter of changing status priorities, lol. We could all start by utterly and actively despising anybody who owns more than a certain amount of luxury posessions. Fri 16 Jan 2009 19:51:55 GMT+1 Jonathan Day Maybe the answer lies in part in exploiting the phenomena. Prices will be a function of what the market can bear. As with the stock market, it is less what something is worth, but what people think other people think it is worth.If there were to be a concerted effort to generate a lot of "noise" - collapsing the value of what is actually rare by making it appear common, and inflating the value of what is common by making it appear rare - you can completely mangle market forces.(Talking a given market up or down in this way is a big factor in why the global economy is currently in a mess. It follows that you can wreck black market economies with similar methods.)Jimigorilla asks if status is culturally defined. The answer is yes, for the same reason. The ancient Egyptians valued glass above gold. We value gold above glass. Fri 16 Jan 2009 19:45:00 GMT+1 Martijn CuckooTooThe examples you supply are all what most people would call members of a more or less advanced civilizations (Egyptian civilization supposedly being quite advanced compared to what went on before.) I think it is mainly a way of asserting one´s social status. Aspiring to status probably is an essential part of human nature, but the way we acquire status is culturally defined, surely? Fri 16 Jan 2009 18:44:29 GMT+1 CuckooToo @jimigorillaI agree with most of what you say, although I think it's more likely to be human nature to show off how rich / powerful the person is.Today we have rare meats, rare stamps, expensive homes and cars to show off with, but it has always been the case that the wealthy and powerful have needed to show just how wealthy and powerful they are.From the Egyptian Pharaoh's to the footballer with 8 Ferrari's in his garage, it's just the same.It's a real shame and I agree with Richard on this, but I'm not sure there is a way to stop the trade. There will always be the rich wanting the next best thing and there will always be the poacher willing to provide it - at a cost. Fri 16 Jan 2009 17:21:52 GMT+1 kamakaziecyclist Maybe we should look at this rarity thing in the context of the war on drugs. The more we fight drugs and make them more rare then the more people will want them and therefore the entire effort is lost to human nature. People will want the thing that they cannot have (or are not supposed to have) and will go through greater extremes to get what they want. The drug war will never go away until all people go away. Fri 16 Jan 2009 14:09:42 GMT+1 Martijn This a very important issue that has troubled me for many years. The same can be observed in the bush meat trade in Africa. The rarer the animal, the more wealthy consumers who attach status to eating game as opposed to meat from domestic animals, are willing to pay for it. Is it a question of human nature or just a cultural bias caused by our so-called civilized way of life? The answer to that one still escapes me. Fri 16 Jan 2009 13:53:10 GMT+1