Monday, January 26, 2009

reading

this blog title used to be: REA11 study log.

I am reviving it to be a reading log.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

enjoyed reading many interesting essays tonight, i look forward to the second iterations and seeing how the arguments improve.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Humans must colonise space, and soon, to avoid probable extinction.


Good you have a title, but don't rely on it to present your key proposition. A key factor in early hominid survival was the desire to find new pastures. Many times in Earth's history, there have been extinction events which have killed off high percentages of extant species. Population growth with the consequent exhaustion of natural resources and spread of pollutants may render the planet unliveable. Human economy fails without sustained growth. The eventual arrival at the maximum sustainable level of population will result in economic recession, with concomitant effects of starvation crime and war. The next war could be the last for humans. Introduction should end with the key proposition you are arguing for.


The desire to wander has been strong for the Homo genus since at least Homo Habilis (diasporas4 nd). Homo Erectus skeletons have been found well outside their origin of Africa, including the Indonesian islands and southern China. The amount of time from the rise of Homo Sapiens in Africa to the colonisation of Europe, Asia was very short. 12000 years ago humans walked across land bridges to the Americas from Asia (Diamond 1991 p306). Within a thousand years, humans were at the southern tip of South America. This rapid spread could not be a result from overcrowding, it was due to humans desire to explore, to wander.
Evolution would have favoured an animal with the ability to wander far, to quickly adapt to the new habitats. These creatures could not hunt out their food supplies. They could not be caught by rapid habitat change, such as the onset of an Ice Age, which occurs very rapidly (Felix Not by Fire but by Ice nd). The desire to wander is a survival mechanism contributing to the survival of humans.


Humans have not had to survive a world wide extinction event. The earth has had several major extinction events and many smaller events. 250 million years ago 95% of all life forms on earth were wiped out (Mass Extinctions nd). 60 million years ago (Siegel 2000), the dinosaur dynasty was bought to an end. Possible major extinction causes are super volcanoes such as Yellowstone National Park in USA. The entire park is a Volcano. Super tsunamis also come along from time to time. There is an island in the Pacific which appears to be splitting in two, and it is predicted when it does there will be a super tsunami. The real destroyer, the one that may wipe out all human life is the impact of any asteroid over 7 kilometres in diameter (Powell 2000; Earth Impact Database nd).


If nature doesn't get us, then we may do it ourselves. It is not long since we missed some close calls during the cold war. Now we are looking at ending ourselves by destroying our own habitat, causing global warming and killing off our food supplies. With population skyrocketing, we risk disease or war killing us off, or even a mad scientist bent on saving the Earth from humans (Mims 2006) (This is a scary one!).


Use of inclusive pronouns
For an academic essay which is intended to argue a position, it is fine to use 'I', but it is not advisable to use 'we', 'us', 'our' or 'you'. One of the main reasons for this is that these pronouns include the reader. Readers do not necessarily appreciate such inclusion, particularly in areas where they have quite different views. Try to reformulate the sentences to eliminate these pronouns. This can often be done by using the passive as I have done in the first part of this sentence.


The economy cannot function without growth. Growth cannot continue once the Earth reaches the maximum sustainable population. Stagnation and recession leads to starvation and war.
So we have to move out from Earth, to spread our people like we did in the past from continent to continent. The economy will benefit from supplying and equipping the expeditions. If the Earth is destroyed we will have viable colonies elsewhere in the solar system. The choice is doom, (which many are predicting must come soon (Rielly nd)) or Galactic colonisation.


We can no longer keep our eggs in the one basket. Do avoid clich├ęd language in an academic piece. Man and also sexist language must commence the next era of exploration and colonisation, move outside our planet, for our species to survive.


Graeme, this piece has the makings of a good argument. Overall, the narrative flows, although it is generally too descriptive and not arguing your position strongly enough. You need to explicitly relate each example to the point you are making. So you need now to work on the organization of your material, most particularly the introduction which must present a clear thesis (the conclusion in the argument structure) and decide just how much historical background really is necessary to get you to the crux of the argument.
Grade: 6.2/10
Good you have references. Well done.

Monday, December 11, 2006

hyperlinks

just took me an hour to get the hyperlinks working. Cut and paste from Word left many spurious characters to confuse the links

Humans must colonise space, and soon, to avoid probable extinction.

A key factor in early hominid survival is the desire to find new pastures. Many times in Earth's history, there have been extinction events which have killed off high percentages of extant species. Population growth with the consequent exhaustion of natural resources and spread of pollutants may render the planet unliveable. Human economy fails without sustained growth. The eventual arrival at the maximum sustainable level of population will result in economic recession, with concomitant effects of starvation crime and war. The next war could be the last for humans.


The desire to wander has been strong for the Homo genus since at least Homo Habilis (diasporas4 nd). Homo Erectus skeletons have been found well outside their origin of Africa, including the Indonesian islands and southern China. The amount of time from the rise of Homo Sapiens in Africa to the colonisation of Europe, Asia was very short. 12000 years ago humans walked across land bridges to the Americas from Asia (Diamond 1991 p306). Within a thousand years, humans were at the southern tip of South America. This rapid spread could not be a result from overcrowding, it was due to humans desire to explore, to wander.


Evolution would have favoured an animal with the ability to wander far, to quickly adapt to the new habitats. These creatures could not hunt out their food supplies. They could not be caught by rapid habitat change, such as the onset of an Ice Age, which occurs very rapidly (Felix Not by Fire but by Ice nd). The desire to wander is a survival mechanism contributing to the survival of humans.



Humans have not had to survive a world wide extinction event. The earth has had several major extinction events and many smaller events. 250 million years ago 95% of all life forms on earth were wiped out (Mass Extinctions nd). 60 million years ago (Siegel 2000), the dinosaur dynasty was bought to an end. Possible major extinction causes are super volcanoes such as Yellowstone National Park in USA. The entire park is a Volcano. Super tsunamis also come along from time to time. There is an island in the Pacific which appears to be splitting in two, and it is predicted when it does there will be a super tsunami. The real destroyer, the one that may wipe out all human life is the impact of any asteroid over 7 kilometres in diameter (Powell 2000; Earth Impact Database nd).



If nature doesn't get us, then we may do it ourselves. It is not long since we missed some close calls during the cold war. Now we are looking at ending ourselves by destroying our own habitat, causing global warming and killing off our food supplies. With population skyrocketing, we risk disease or war killing us off, or even a mad scientist bent on saving the Earth from humans (Mims 2006) (This is a scary one!).



The economy cannot function without growth. Growth cannot continue once the Earth reaches the maximum sustainable population. Stagnation and recession leads to starvation and war.



So we have to move out from Earth, to spread our people like we did in the past from continent to continent. The economy will benefit from supplying and equipping the expeditions. If the Earth is destroyed we will have viable colonies elsewhere in the solar system. The choice is doom, (which many are predicting must come soon (Rielly nd)) or Galactic colonisation.



We can no longer keep our eggs in the one basket. Man must commence the next era of exploration and colonisation, move outside our planet, for our species to survive.



References




Diamond, Jared, 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee', Vintage, London, 1991



diasporas4: Hominid Cognitive, Artistic and Spiritual Diasporas Out-of-Africa Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from http://www.originsnet.org/diasporas4.html



Earth Impact Database Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase/CIDiameterSort.html



Felix, R W, 'Not by Fire but by Ice THE NEXT ICE AGE - NOW!' Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from http://www.iceagenow.com/



Mass Extinctions Of The Phanerozoic Menu. Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from http://hoopermuseum.earthsci.carleton.ca/extinction/extincmenu.html



Mims, Forrest M. III 'Meeting Doctor Doom', The Citizen Scientist, Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html



Powell, Corey S, '20 Ways the World Could End' DISCOVER Vol. 21 No. 10, October 2000



Rielly, John R 'Review of "The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction" by John Leslie' Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from http://www.johnreilly.info/teotw.htm



Siegel, Lee, 'The Five Worst Extinctions in Earth's History' Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/extinction_sidebar_000907.html posted: 07 September 2000



Bibliography



Bower, Bruce 'Erectus Ahoy Prehistoric seafaring floats into view' Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20031018/bob8.asp



Hawking, Dr. Stephen, 'How will the human race survive the next 100' years?'. Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000336.html



Tickell, Crispin, 'Sustainability: From the natural to the human world' Lecture in the Global Environmental Change Lecture Series. University of East Anglia. 22 February 2005.
Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from http://www.crispintickell.com/page90.html



Tickell, Crispin, 'The Future of Humanity' The Bodington Lecture, University of Leeds, 11 February 2004. Retrieved 8 Dec 2006 from http://www.crispintickell.com/page51.html

Rea11

I am currently studing online through Open University Australia, and working through the unit REA11, Applied Reasoning.

In another subject we are required to keep a log of our work, and publish it, see http://gjholt57chevy.blogspot.com/ for that.

I thought it was a good idea, and have decided to have a go at a log for this unit to.

My next post is assignment number 1, a short argument essay. After submitting it, we then have to develop our topic further and improve our methodology.