Town Square

Dense housing vs healthy bees and healthy people

Original post made by Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2007

This story contains 202 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.


Like this comment
Posted by Sparky
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2007 at 2:49 pm

They do say that analogy is the weakest form of reasoning. Maybe interspecies analogies are weaker still...

Like this comment
Posted by I don't think so
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2007 at 9:19 pm

Who says analogy is the weakest form of reasoning? It is the strongest form. All mathematics, science, prose, and poetry is based on it. Think "model" or "representation."

But I'm not sure how useful the bees are in understanding or dealing with those who promote accelerating our city's population growth.

I agree "the people who advocate more and denser housing are wrong." And there probably will be problems that the complexity of the resulting urban environment will make more difficult to solve. If that's insight that the bees provide, so be it.

Like this comment
Posted by Bee in my bonnet
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2007 at 12:49 am

People plant flowers and trees; bees like that. the more people there are, the more bees.

Also, maybe we'll see AI work with bees. Who knows; maybe they'll build our homes for us.

Cheap labor, anyyone? Imagine negotiating a deal where you plant for rosebushes, and get a new bathroom in the mix. :)

Like this comment
Posted by joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 30, 2007 at 10:22 am

What we need is population control. Malthus was right.

Like this comment
Posted by bikes2work
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Oct 30, 2007 at 12:23 pm

"Now we need a water storage tank. Why not put it under The Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life before the structures are built, and over the water storage tank put a playing field? "

I wouldn't advocate digging under that site. It is contaminated from the former semi-conductor manufacturing that used to be there. I don't think you would want an emergency water supply surrounded by contaminated soil and groundwater.

Like this comment
Posted by Terry
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2007 at 6:50 pm

"Analogy is the weakest form of reasoning" is widely attributed to Sigmund Freud, though I couldn't find a definitive reference. It has been widely repeated over the decades, though that of course doesn't make it right!

A "model" is pretty different from an analogy, in my view. A model tries to come up with a simplified version of the thing itself; an analogy reasons that one (complex) thing is enough like another (complex) that we can draw conclusions based on what we know about the first.

There are linguistic issues with this - we often use the same words to describe different things, but in analogies they seem the same - and factual - the unconsidered complexities of one phenomenon overwhelm its similarities to another.

All that said, people love reasoning by analogy and often do; but it is worth it to question results where analogy is the main argument (if bees are dying, people will be next).