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back to article Who'll save the 100 most endangered species? Microsoft, apparently

Microsoft has pledged software and expertise in a battle to save the world's most endangered species - and we don't mean Nokia engineers. In partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the 'Softies are helping to track and trace the world's 100 most at risk species, including a mushroom that …

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Piffle

“All species have a value to nature and thus in turn to humans,” says Dr Stuart:

Although the value of some species may not appear obvious at first, all species in fact contribute in their way to the healthy functioning of the planet.

"

This is just silly

Nature doesn't 'value' things.

And the healthy functioning of the planet does not seem to have been affected by any of the previous extinctions.

If we know or suspect something might be useful to us it is entirely reasonable to try to preserve it. Same goes for cute things - if we want pandas, well, fine, let's try to keep some (might be simpler to breed fat raccoons or something but whatever people want).

If there's anything ugly and of no, or unknown and unguessable, utility then I don't see what justifies the impulse to interfere with nature and prevent its extinction but if anyone wants to try I don't suppose it would do much harm either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Piffle

"...And the healthy functioning of the planet does not seem to have been affected by any of the previous extinctions...."

HOW DO YOU KNOW? Are you an ecologist? Earth sciences expert? Do you have any qualification to make this sort of statement?

Typical Register post: I know better than the experts...

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Thumb Up

Re: Piffle

Well said.

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FAIL

Re: Piffle

@AC- the "expert" in this case being you, with your clearly stated identity and qualifications?

The only bit I take issue with is the notion of "the healthy functioning of the planet". Planets don't function. They just are, until they collapse into the nearest star or get shattered into asteroids. Both of which could be regarded as "healthy function".

There is no "balance of nature". There is no "equilibrium". Stuff just happens.

Jesus being dead has no effect on your sins.

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Re: Piffle

"...And the healthy functioning of the planet does not seem to have been affected by any of the previous extinctions...."

HOW DO YOU KNOW? Are you an ecologist? Earth sciences expert? Do you have any qualification to make this sort of statement?

Yes, as it happens, but I don't think that matters.

If we accept that

a) some things have become extinct

and

b) at some point after those extinctions the planet was functioning healthily

then it just follows logically.

Personally I don't think the planet has a 'function' any more than nature 'values' anything so the whole thing degenerates into nonsense fairly rapidly anyway but even if the chap is right there have already been many more (orders more) extinctions than we could ever prevent.

'Nature' likes making things extinct. Are you expert enough to know that now we should be interfering with this process?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Nature doesn't 'value' things."

Consider the quote the article finished on: "Although the value of some species may not appear obvious at first, all species in fact contribute in their way to the healthy functioning of the planet."

If one can consider the ecosystem ("Nature") on this planet as a, er, system, we might easily develop criteria by which we consider the state of that system as being desirable (or not). Of course, we might not agree about the best criteria to choose, but a good one (for us) might be a state which is resistant to shocks (of various kinds), since we rely on the ecosystem to keep us alive.

I think its pretty clear that "value to nature", in this context, and as implied by the quotes from Dr Stuart, in no way means that Nature is some intelligent and conscious agent applying moral values, as you seem to suggest. It's just a handy shorthand way of speaking, and one far more suited to a press release than details of performance metrics or diversity indices, etc.

Mind you, if Nature were an intelligent and conscious agent, would we even know? :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Piffle

Actually I did planetary feedback systems in my degree. I know that changing tiny things - the smallest bug going extinct - can have serious and unpredictable consequences.

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FAIL

Re: Piffle

Humans are a virus on this planet that double in number approximately every 30 or so years. In 30 years our numbers will be over 14 billion, an unsustainable number to infest this planet. We, too, will become endangered species, as dictated by the Nature of this planet who certainly won't value our infestation on her health and sustainability. As we keep creating an "unhealthy" atmosphere, nature will take care of us and our smartness of ego in one fell swoop, be it famine, or plague. When we have decimated the last animal and the last tree, we will suddenly become aware that we cannot sustain ourselves by only eating money, our last treasure. So, in my opinion, it behooves us as an unintelligent species to make sure this does not happen.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/unhappy_32.png

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Re: Piffle

Jerry, I'm baffled that anyone with a functioning brain would downvote your post. We are so staggeringly arrogant. I agree with Hawking, mankind won't be around much longer.

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Best marketing ever!

> Microsoft ... to save the world's most endangered species (over edited for mischievous reasons)

So it comes down to "Buy Windows 8 or the Giant Panda gets it".

How can Apple respond to that?

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Coat

Re: Best marketing ever!

The next iPhone/iPad will be black with white patches. Apple will just sue the giant panda.

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"How can Apple respond to that?"

The new iPhone: clad in delectably soft, hand-stitched panda leather. Black or white.

The rate they were getting it on, those fuckers were going to die out anyway. Not that big of a deal.

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Childcatcher

Re: "How can Apple respond to that?"

The rate they were getting it on, I wouldn't call them "fuckers".

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Happy

What about...

The Red Faced Ballmer, I hear that species is endangered!

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Anonymous Coward

Cuteness

Prince Edward Island (Canada) has been protecting the Piping Plover ( similar to sand piper) for a long time, they are sweet cute birds.

The cliff-swallow that used to be all over the island, like the plover, but they are obnoxious birds who can be aggressive towards tourists; the swallows have not gotten much, if any, protection and they seem to have become rare.

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RE Piffle

"Although the value of some species may not appear obvious at first, all species in fact contribute in their way to the healthy functioning of the planet."

To me that is not saying that nature puts a value on things like nature is actually a sentient being.

Its says we may or may not know if there is a value in preserving something, the value is a subjective term applied by us.

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Devil

Anthropomorphism rears it's ugly head

Nature just is. Man likes to make more of things than there actually is, adding qualities (or values) to animals or nature that only exist in the mind of man.

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Anonymous Coward

IT'S = IT IS

lettuce

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Anonymous Coward

Exterminate all mosquitos!

I don't care if this will cause the earth to fall out of orbit in 300,000 years, I want to exterminate every mosquito on the planet, all at once or one at a time, I don't give a hoot which, and RIGHT NOW. Someone PLEASE tell me the redeeming virtues of swarms of mosquitos which bite, spread malaria, West Nile virus and lord knows what else. If this also upsets the Greenies, so much the better, if you like mosquitos so much that you don't think they should be mercilessly and totally exterminated, you can have my share of them forever and you will itch in perpetuity. I want some of those laser death rays which shoot down mosquitos (yes, they really do exist) and then I will mount them on sharks and alligators and turn them loose. Mosquitos are one species we can absolutely do without, and the sooner the better. All species are NOT created equal, and mosquitos are one species we should get rid of ASAP. AC because they will now probably try to come and get me . . .

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Anonymous Coward

You have to be really careful what you say because it turns out a lot of people will take it extremely literally.

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Silver badge

"Although the value of some species may not appear obvious at first, all species in fact contribute in their way to the healthy functioning of the planet."

Does that include lawyers?

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FAIL

Microsoft where going to fix spam.

So, how's that coming along?

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BSOE

The Blue Screen of Extinction:

Sorry but your species has experienced an unexpected fatal error.

Do you wish to inform Microsoft so we may improve our user experience ?

Y/N

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