March 23, 2007

Rabbit vs. Raptor Update

As you may recall, last year some kind of giant vicious bird came within inches of catching our white rabbit Fred, who lives in the backyard. To my surprise, the most intelligent course of action in response to the death-from-above threat came from Fred, who set about industriously digging himself escape tunnels. According to Watership Down, the source of all my scientific knowledge about rabbits, bucks don't dig burrows, they just wait around for pregnant does to do it for them. So, we were surprised to find two-foot high piles of dirt appearing in the backyard. It looked like the prisoner of war camp in The Great Escape, except Fred didn't bother with surreptitiously dribbling the dirt extracted from the tunnels out through the cuffs of his trousers, which he doesn't wear anyway.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well my scientific knowledge about rabbits comes from Bugs Bunny, has Fred tried dressing up in women's clothes a seducing the bird of prey and then misleading him as to the rabbit's wherabouts?

Anonymous said...

Is there some kind of statue that scares away large birds? Maybe a dog statue?

If not, what about a sonic device. Farmers and animal breeders must have come up with something along those lines.

Anonymous said...

Found this:

http://www.bugspray.com/articles98/birds.html

Geared towards smaller birds, but maybe some of the more heavy duty devices could work for a large predator, too.

Anonymous said...

According to Watership Down, the source of all my scientific knowledge about rabbits..

Perhaps not a wise admission, Steve, given that some critics charge you with lacking the scientific credentials to pontificate on racial matters.

May I ask if you have an academic background in the relevant disciplines, or are you basically self-taught?

Not that I'm not knocking educated laypeople. Science and technology have become so specialised (knowing more and more, about less and less) that, for example, your average physics PhD's grasp of anatomy would probably render him unable to tell his arse from his elbow.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps not a wise admission, Steve, given that some critics charge you with lacking the scientific credentials to pontificate on racial matters.


Cooty: I'm guessing you don't have a degree in philosophy. Unfortunately, this means you are not qualified to argue on the internet, as you lack the requisite formal training in logic.

You make a rather elementary mistake. The paragraph I quoted above is what is known as an ad hominem argument. It is a logical fallacy. Steve's training (or lack thereof) is not at all relevant. All that matters is whether or not his arguments are correct.

You should probably pay less attention to what the Southern Poverty Law Center or One People's Project have to say. It would do you good.

Anonymous said...

Cooty: I'm guessing you don't have a degree in philosophy.

Actually, I do, so your attempted takedown is already an unhappy one.

Unfortunately, this means you are not qualified to argue on the internet, as you lack the requisite formal training in logic.

Rule one of formal logic: don't draw conclusions based on guesses.

You make a rather elementary mistake. The paragraph I quoted above is what is known as an ad hominem argument.

No, it isn't. But your claiming I require a degree in philosophy is a classic case of the pot and the kettle. I'll be generous and assume you were attempting irony...

Steve's training (or lack thereof) is not at all relevant. All that matters is whether or not his arguments are correct.

The two are not unconnected. But, again, I accept no lectures on logic from you.

You should probably pay less attention to what the Southern Poverty Law Center or One People's Project have to say.

Politically, I'm probably to the right of Genghis Khan, so you finish as you began - as a presumptuous know-nothing.

Ron Guhname said...

I'm afraid the motorcycle chase just wouldn't have been as cool with Fred as the driver. Great movie, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Remember sometimes Bugs Bunny would dress up like a woman and pretend to seduce Elmer Fudd. That whole interspecies attraction thing the cartoons would play around with,it was kinda weird,doncha think?

togo said...

Politically, I'm probably to the right of Genghis Khan...

I guess that means you're "right-wing" in the sense of approving of looting, pillaging, mass murder and aggressive imperialism. In other words, a neoconservative.

Anonymous said...

No the right of that would be a paleoconservative, no?

Anonymous said...

Vivian, or Cooty, or whatever you're going to call yourself next:

Actually, I do, so your attempted takedown is already an unhappy one.

Is it too late to ask for a refund? The philosophy majors at my alma mater were at least able to recognize the most basic of logical fallacies.

Perhaps not a wise admission, Steve, given that some critics charge you with lacking the scientific credentials to pontificate on racial matters.

That is a classic ad hominem argument.

togo said...

Paleoconservatism is an American tendency, so it would have nothing in common with the philosophies of ancient Oriental warlords.

Paleoconservatism is decentralist, anti-imperialist, strongly concerned about the survival of what remains of Western Civilization in general,and, specifically, the Anglo-Saxon based traditions of the US. Paleos are either Christian or non-Christians who are very amicable toward Christian traditions.
I can't think of any Paleo who could be called a militarist.

Anonymous said...

The philosophy majors at my alma mater were at least able to recognize the most basic of logical fallacies.

Good for them. Now, what did you study?

That is a classic ad hominem argument.

No, it isn't. And even if it were, it wouldn't mean I was endorsing it.

So spin the wheel and come again.

Anonymous said...

Paleoconservatism is an American tendency...

As is neo-conservatism, so that's simply a non-sequitur.

Paleoconservatism is decentralist, anti-imperialist, strongly concerned about the survival of what remains of Western Civilization in general,and, specifically, the Anglo-Saxon based traditions of the US.

Yes, so it's to the right of Genghis Khan. What is about this that you don't understand?

Steve Sailer said...

Guys, I think we've gotten off the topic, which, as you may recall, is giant vicious birds trying to eat my rabbit, and what to do about it.

togo said...

As is neo-conservatism, so that's simply a non-sequitur

Arguably, neo-consevatism has become more Israeli (Likudnik) than American. The main concern of neoconsevatism is the welfare of Israel.

Re Genghis Khan and paleoconservatism: I don't know WTF you are talking about.

togo said...

Guys, I think we've gotten off the topic, which, as you may recall, is giant vicious birds trying to eat my rabbit, and what to do about it.

I think you'd better ask Bodio.

Anonymous said...

Guys, I think we've gotten off the topic, which, as you may recall, is giant vicious birds trying to eat my rabbit, and what to do about it.

Why do anything about it? As a Darwinian, you should know nature is red in tooth and claw, survival of the fittest and all that. Little Binkie, or whatever its name is, will just have to take his/her chances.

Of course, it's possible to argue that the rabbit's cute face represents a selective advantage (a bit like Obama, I suppose) and that Binkie's survival would be an example of inclusive fitness.

In other words, just fit Darwinian thinking to whatever outcome you so desire.

MensaRefugee said...

On the internet,
All liberals have a Ph.D degree in philosophy.
Not to mention, they have all read the Bell Curve cover to cover, three times.
And they all have 69 black friends and a poodle.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

I suggest you write a children's book about Fred and the threat of the scary bird. Seriously. Get an artist to draw some pictures, and add in just enough science to make it interesting but not so much to make it tedious for an 11 year old. You might make some $$ with it. Maybe not Malcolm Gladwell money, but possibly something respectable.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

OK, the rabbit's name is Fred. I suggest Steve finds him a mate, let nature take its course, and they'll soon organise their own defence force.

Anonymous said...

This isn't some kind of weird extended allegory, is it? 'Cause if the hawk is the neocons and the rabbit is the American people, I think the rabbit is doing the right thing.

Then again, maybe the hawk is the American people and the rabbit is Al Qaeda. Or maybe...

Anonymous said...

Guys, I think we've gotten off the topic, which, as you may recall, is giant vicious birds trying to eat my rabbit, and what to do about it.

Idea #1. Assuming it isn't a rare species, pling the damn bird with with a .22 rifle when it perches. Those proposing a scarecrow to keep the bird away are fooling only themselves. This isn't a crow guys, it is a bird of prey. It doesn't care about a damn scarecrow.

Idea #2. OK. Don't want to break out firearms? This might be worth a try. Tell the neighbors about your problem and let them know you are going to frighten the bird next time you see it by letting off some fireworks. Use both fireworks that are loud (like M80s or something more legal if you prefer) and fireworks that you can point in the general direction of the bird (like Roman candles) to give the hawk/eagle/falcon/owl a serious scare.

Idea #3. Watch nature take its course. Hope for the best.

Svigor said...

Since the citizenists, cognitive elitists, and racial liberals aren't biting (why am I suddenly thinking "dynamite in the water"?), I'll give it a go:

Obviously the raptor has a higher IQ than the rabbit (or is, at the very least, higher on the food chain); has never stolen a job from the rabbit; has never harmed the rabbit in any way; has never eaten the rabbit (or any rabbit, as far as the rabbit knows); abides by the laws of nature, just as the rabbit does.

Obviously the rabbit is a hateful, reactionary, vicious, xenophobic white bigot. Hopefully Godless Capitalist will get the rabbit’s IP address and report it to the FBI (or ADL) for recording in the logs stored in anticipation of the “day of the rope.”

Dennis Dale said...

Have you consulted Stephen Bodio?

My brother once nearly captured a hawk by rigging up a trap that he'd learned to build in a magazine or somesuch; you fashion a small wire cage just big enough to hold a small rodent and outfit the exterior of it with fishing line snares and spike it to the ground. Seriously. The hawk descends on the mouse and gets a talon caught in one of the snares.

My brother's trap worked. Unfortunately, he put little thought into how he would subdue the bird, who was somewhat agitated, as you can imagine. My brother learned that if you f--- with the hawk you get the talons.

MensaRefugee said...

Svigor sounds awfully like a black braying about rights and/or racism.

I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly stupid thread! Still, I like it.

Anonymous said...

What about seeking government aid, Steve? They're spending a trillion dollars on the war in the Middle East; it's a disgrace if they can't spare a few grand to protect your bunny.

Steve Bodio said...

Bodio here. You are nt supposed to shoot raptors (not because I like them-- it is illegal on federal. state, and probably city grounds). But have you ever heard of cracker shells? They are shotgun shells that shoot firecrackers-- used to scare birds off crops. Lob a couple of those at your owl/ hawk and you might frighten him off.

rcocean said...

Leave the poor raptor alone.

He's just doing his job, and feeding his family.

Svigor said...

Svigor sounds awfully like a black braying about rights and/or racism.

I wonder why?


That post could've come from a generic racial liberal, a neocon, an open-borders enthusiast, a citizenist, a cognitive elitist, a mestizo, a black, a jew, or hell, just your run of the mill mainstream political lemming.

Anonymous said...

Bilko - Why do anything about it? As a Darwinian, you should know nature is red in tooth and claw, survival of the fittest and all that. Little Binkie, or whatever its name is, will just have to take his/her chances.

Of course, it's possible to argue that the rabbit's cute face represents a selective advantage (a bit like Obama, I suppose) and that Binkie's survival would be an example of inclusive fitness.


You seem to be positing these as mutually exclusive. Clearly both could be true together.

Lurker

Anonymous said...

They are mutually exclusive. Either Steve concerns himself with the safety of his rabbit, or he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

They are both selective pressures applied to the fate of the rabbit and its fluffy offspring. They are both true.

Steve can collapse this wave function by allowing (insofar as he can allow one course or the other) one or the other to win out. That doesnt make either of them untrue in a Darwinian sense. Just one stronger than the other when Steve is playing God.

Anonymous said...

I would purchase a slower rabbit that you have not yet formed an emotional connection to. This way Fred lives as in the old joke.

Another option would be to purchase some sort of animal that raptors are afraid of that does not eat rabbits. Maybe you could pay a homeless guy to guard him? Not sure about the "does not eat rabbits".

What about a rabbit-guarding robot?