|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. CDXXIV 424 April 1, firstname.lastname@example.org||Victoria, B.C.|
A Janet Meakin Poor Research Symposium
Chicago Botanic Garden
Friday, June 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Become enlightened about assisted migration and its role in fighting plant extinction in this year's Janet Meakin Poor Research Symposium.
When fragmentation limits migration potential of plants or when natural migration and adaptation rates are outstripped by the pace of climate change, some conservation biologists propose purposeful, human-mediated migration, known as "assisted migration" or "managed relocation," as a way to prevent extinction. In this symposium, we examine this controversial topic from both sides of the issue and suggest ways that the benefits of assisted migration can be maximized while minimizing the costs and risks. Details will be posted as they are confirmed.
I am persuaded that there is absolutely no limit to the absurdities that can, by government action, come to be generally believed. Give me an adequate army, with power to provide it with more pay and better food than falls to the lot of the average man, and I will undertake, within thirty years, to make the majority of the population believe that two and two are three, that water freezes when it gets hot and boils when it gets cold, or any other nonsense that might seem to serve the interest of the State. Of course, even when these beliefs had been generated, people would not put the kettle in the ice-box when they wanted it to boil. That cold makes water boil would be a Sunday truth, sacred and mystical, to be professed in awed tones, but not to be acted on in daily life. What would happen would be that any verbal denial of the mystic doctrine would be made illegal, and obstinate heretics would be "frozen" at the stake. No person who did not enthusiastically accept the official doctrine would be allowed to teach or to have any position of power. Only the very highest officials, in their cups, would whisper to each other what rubbish it all is; then they would laugh and drink again. This is hardly a caricature of what happens under some modern governments.
The discovery that man can be scientifically manipulated, and that governments can turn large masses this way or that as they choose, is one of the causes of our misfortunes. There is as much difference between a collection of mentally free citizens and a community molded by modern methods of propaganda as there is between a heap of raw materials and a battleship. Education, which was at first made universal in order that all might be able to read and write, has been found capable of serving quite other purposes. By instilling nonsense it unifies populations and generates collective enthusiasm. If all governments taught the same nonsense, the harm would not be so great. Unfortunately each has its own brand, and the diversity serves to produce hostility between the devotees of different creeds. If there is ever to be peace in the world, governments will have to agree either to inculcate no dogmas, or all to inculcate the same. The former, I fear, is a Utopian ideal, but perhaps they could agree to teach collectively that all public men, everywhere, are completely virtuous and perfectly wise. Perhaps, when the war is over, the surviving politicians may find it prudent to combine on some such programme.
Bertrand Russell: "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"
You cannot force people to change their beliefs. The more you try, the more they will cling to them. But why would you want to change them? The world is actually a better place for its myriad of opinions.
Times-Colonist, Victoria - April 1, 2010
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