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Angua
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Re: XKCD: World Polio Day

Postby Angua » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:55 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
SDK wrote:Eradicating parasites is generally considered okay. Look at guinea worm for a more macro example.

There are theories that we could safely wipe out mosquitoes, as well. I imagine we'll have figured out whether or not for sure by the time we figure out a safe way to pull it off.

Surely there must be insectivores that get most of their food from mosquitoes. Insect bats?
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Re: XKCD: World Polio Day

Postby fifiste » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:17 am UTC

Mosquito larvae seem to be rather central in many aquatic food-networks.

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Re: XKCD: World Polio Day

Postby Quey » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:58 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:
Quey wrote:
LockeZ wrote:Shouldn't Polio be protected from hunting at this point, since it's an endangered species? If it were a plant or animal we'd be trying to reintroduce it to the environments that it had been eradicated from. Outside of sapient, intelligent beings, what makes one form of life less valuable than another? There's nothing about the Polio virus that makes it less worth saving than the bison.

Well isn't that the argument with viruses, that they are not a form of life? Bison have cells, metabolism, and the ability to replicate on their own, whereas viruses don't.

Eh, everything in that definition is either on a grade or incidental. Cells are just the structure used to do the other two, and nothing is truly on its own. Stromatolites, maybe.


On a grade or incidental? The manner of replication, maybe. The mere presence of metabolism and cell membranes? That's pretty binary.

For addressing the original quoted question, I think it's a fair characterization that most views of viruses are along the lines of "less alive" or not alive at all, due to some of the criteria I mentioned, among others. Not to open another can of worms, but it's like saying, "among planets, what makes Pluto less interesting?", when the description "planet" is disputed.

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Re: XKCD: World Polio Day

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:33 pm UTC

Metabolism I'll accept. Cell membranes are too specific to me, enough to make them incidental. Viruses have capsids, and large viruses can have other more complex structures, for keeping the environment out and the virus in.
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Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:13 pm UTC

Here.

(I'm not sure if non-subscribers can access the article, because I'm a subscriber. Apologies if not. But I thought people might like to know, anyway.)

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Adacore
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Re: Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby Adacore » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:11 pm UTC

I'm not a subscriber, and I could read it just fine. A bit of a strange format, mostly just a trivia interview than anything serious, but still interesting.

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Re: Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby elasto » Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:24 pm UTC

He's been in the Guardian too - a much more interesting read:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... -interview

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Re: Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby HES » Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:22 pm UTC

Chris Hadfield, cool!
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Re: Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby Echo244 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:50 pm UTC

elasto wrote:He's been in the Guardian too - a much more interesting read:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... -interview


I love that piece. I'm going to assume it was edited down but there's enough there to see all sorts of interesting tangents and ideas developing.
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Adacore
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Re: Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby Adacore » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:28 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:I love that piece. I'm going to assume it was edited down but there's enough there to see all sorts of interesting tangents and ideas developing.

It says it was edited for length, so I'd say you're correct. I really would've liked it to be twice as long, though. They only really touched on a couple of points, and the main one (simple communication of complex ideas) is one I've seen Randall talk about a lot in the past, so wasn't really anything new. I get that it was just a plug for the new book, though, which is all about simplified presentation of complex things.

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Re: Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby Krealr » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:32 pm UTC

Time magazine has an interview where Randall answers entirely in comics.

http://time.com/4116921/randall-munroe-draws-his-own-conclusions/

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Re: Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:09 pm UTC

Krealr for the win!

And elasto earns a respectable second place.

My contribution...meh...a distant third. But I get partial credit for starting the thread, don't I?

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Re: Randall Munroe in today's WSJ

Postby Felstaff » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:22 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:But I get partial credit for starting the thread, don't I?


No.

(merged with existing xkcd-outside-of-xkcd thread)
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