What does self-perpetuating mean?

What does self-perpetuating mean?

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From Wikipedia

The community begins with relatively few pioneering plants and animals and develops through increasing complexity until it becomes stable or self-perpetuating as a climax community.

From Wikipedia again,

Self-perpetuation, the capability of something to cause itself to continue to exist, is one of the main characteristics of life.

What I don't understand is every organism has the capability to perpetuate (except the sterile ones, which are not under consideration) even a seral community does then why is climax community specifically labeled self-perpetuating?

The key here is to recognize the distinction between a community as a whole and the individual species within that community. Just because individuals have the capability to self-perpetuate, doesn't mean that a community as a whole does.

For example, imagine an island with a whole bunch of caterpillars. Now imagine that you introduce a non-native caterpillar-infesting wasp. On the mainland, the caterpillars have evolved resistance to this wasp and so can fight off the infestation. But on the island, they never evolved that resistance, and rapidly succumb. Upon introduction of the wasp, you have a "community" of wasps and caterpillars. The caterpillars can reproduce, as they have been, so they're self-perpetuating within their species. The wasps can also reproduce by laying their eggs in the caterpillars, so their species is self-perpetuating. But the wasp infestation is killing caterpillars faster than they can reproduce, so the community is unstable. Over time, the population of both wasps and caterpillars will crash as all the caterpillars die off. Each species can self-perpetuate, but the wasp/caterpillar community, taken as a whole, does not.

That, in a slightly more complex way, is what happens with non-climax communities. The pioneer species change the environment in a way that permits other species to grab a toe-hold. These species are more suited to the changed environment, and thus push the pioneer species out.

For example, species which can survive in nutrient-poor soil grow and die in that soil, enriching it with nutrients. Now that the soil is no longer nutrient poor, faster-growing plants can grow in the soil, and push out those species which started there. Each individual plant can reproduce, but the community as a whole is changing from one which favors the nutrient-poor adapted plants to the nutrient-rich adapted ones.

It's only in a climax community where the members of the climax community create/maintain an environment which is most conducive to the climax community species. This is why it (the climax community) is being called "self-perpetuating". The community as a whole is maintaining an environment which favors those species which make up that community.

Wipe out the climax community species (e.g. through a forest fire), and you no longer have an environment which favors the climax community species. A new set of species comes in, changing the environment, which then allows other species to come in, changing the environment further, which then…


continual, continuous, constant, incessant, perpetual, perennial mean characterized by continued occurrence or recurrence. continual often implies a close prolonged succession or recurrence. continual showers the whole weekend continuous usually implies an uninterrupted flow or spatial extension. football's oldest continuous rivalry constant implies uniform or persistent occurrence or recurrence. lived in constant pain incessant implies ceaseless or uninterrupted activity. annoyed by the incessant quarreling perpetual suggests unfailing repetition or lasting duration. a land of perpetual snowfall perennial implies enduring existence often through constant renewal. a perennial source of controversy

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History and Self-Perpetuating Resentment

One of the most important but least acknowledged psychological factors that affects a person’s way of being in the world is his conception of history. It can make one glad to be alive, or bitter and resentful against all that exists. These days, bitterness and resentment are usually taken as signs of enlightenment.

In his “History of England from the Accession of James II,” Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote that “the history of our country during the last hundred and sixty years is eminently the history of physical, of moral, and of intellectual improvement.”

In his “Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte” Marx wrote that “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.”

The former was published in 1848, the latter in 1851: the difference between them is as much that of temperament and outlook on the world as of evidence.

Is true history that of progress or of woe? The latter usually wins in people’s minds nowadays because woe is perfectly evident, while progress is often hidden and taken for granted as soon as it takes place.

Of course, much of history is that of both progress and woe, but it is difficult to keep the two in the mind at the same time, just as there are drawings by gestalt psychologists that can be seen either as two old crones looking at one another or as a candelabra, but not as both.

History as a tale of woe is obviously more useful politically than history as a tale of progress because it appeals to the strongest of all political emotions, hatred and resentment. Alas, these emotions are easily manipulated and rarely constructive.

I was reminded again of the practical importance or effect of our concept of history (which I have long thought important) last week when reading an editorial in the British Medical Journal. It was about the supposed reasons why ethnic minorities in Britain were taking up the offer of free vaccination against the virus in considerably lower proportions than the whites. There has been no discrimination in the offer: it is offered purely by successive age group or to those with special exposure to the virus, for example health workers.

And in fact one might have expected prima facie that the minorities would be more eager than whites to be immunised, inasmuch as they have been more severely and more frequently affected by the disease, in part no doubt because more of them live in multi-generational families.

Why, then, were black workers in the National Health Service (Britain’s highly-centralized heath care system) only about half as likely to take up immunisation as the white workers, although they were offered it on precisely the same terms?

According to the BMJ: “Some have capitalised on … concerns [about possible side-effects and long term effects on health] to spread misinformation, adding to the historical mistrust of government and public health bodies that runs deep in some ethnic minority groups. Trust is eroded by systemic racism and discrimination, previous unethical research in black populations, under-representation of minorities in vaccine trials, and negative experiences of a culturally insensitive healthcare system.”

Now no one can deny that terrible things have been done in the past, and not even in the very distant past. The Tuskegee experiments on untreated syphilis among American blacks were brought to an end in 1972, only two years before I qualified as a doctor. They were appalling and should not be forgotten. Other grossly unethical experiments were also carried out at the time, but none lasting for so long (forty years).

But these experiments should not be taken as constituting the whole of the history of medical care of black men in the United States during that period, let alone in the rest of the world.

And, like everyone else, black men have benefitted enormously from the medical progress of the last century. For them, and womenfolk, to reject immunisation against the virus because of the Tuskegee experiments would be like me rejecting the Pfizer vaccine because German research contributed very considerably to it and my mother was a refugee from Nazi Germany.

Those who, for political reasons, keep past oppression or crime constantly before the mind of the descendants of the victims (that is to say, descendants of the victim group, not necessarily of the individual victims) help to foment and foster a deep mistrust or resentment that is no longer justified, but which can lead people in effect to cut off their noses to spite their faces.

This is to the great advantage of political entrepreneurs who surf resentment as surfers ride waves in Hawaii and such resentment, the most damaging of all emotions, can easily become a self-reinforcing loop. It is not that past oppression or crime should be forgotten, much less denied, but that past achievements and change for the better must also be recognised, lest oppression and crime come to occupy minds entirely and distort decisions.

It is the same with injustice. It is important to oppose injustice, but just as important not to see it everywhere. To ascribe everything that you think undesirable to injustice may blind you to its real causes.

Referring to the propensity of Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrants in Britain to live in what amount almost to ghettoes, the BMJ editorial says: “Residential segregation, a form of systemic racism, affects health and health and access to health resources in multiple ways, creating conditions that amplify mistrust.”

But residential segregation is not a form of systemic racism: it is spontaneous and largely desired by the people who “suffer” it. They prefer, understandably enough, to live among people like themselves, whose ways they understand and share no one has decreed the segregation and no one maintains it. There are no laws against moving away, and in fact many, though a minority, do move away.

To make of this segregation another instance of injustice when it is spontaneous and desired, is harmful, not only because it could easily lead to highly dictatorial methods of countering it undertaken by power-hungry politicians, but because it encourages a sense of grievance among those who are actually responsible for their own situation by the choices that they have made, understandable as those choices may well be.

As Shakespeare puts it in another context, “Thus on both sides is simple truth suppressed”—the two sides being those of the political entrepreneurs on the one hand and those on the other who seek advantage, either financial or psychological or both, from the status of victimhood.

Theodore Dalrymple is a retired doctor. He is contributing editor of the City Journal of New York and the author of 30 books, including “Life at the Bottom.” His latest book is “Embargo and Other Stories.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


Dictionary entry overview: What does perpetuation mean?

1. the act of prolonging something

Familiarity information: PERPETUATION used as a noun is very rare.

Dictionary entry details

The act of prolonging something

Nouns denoting acts or actions

there was an indefinite prolongation of the peace talks

Hypernyms ("perpetuation" is a kind of. ):

continuance continuation (the act of continuing an activity without interruption)

What does self-perpetuating mean? - Biology

2575 days since
Summer Vacation

Good Night and Good Luck

Good Night and Good Luck Movie Journal Responses

    1. Describe how Good Night and Good Luck is an allegory between the changes in today’s civil liberties due to the events of September 11, 2001, and what occurred during the McCarthy era.
    2. How do characters in the movie use their individual powers? What are risks? The outcomes/effects?
    3. Murrow proclaims that the line between investigating and persecuting is a fine one. Discuss this statement, providing examples.
    4. Compare Arthur Miller’s motives in writing The Crucible with George Clooney’s motives for making the film Good Night and Good Luck.
    5. Compare John Proctor’s response to the claims of witchcraft to Edward Murrow’s reaction to the Red Scare.
    6. Describe one significant event/statement that stays with you about the film.

    1. What do you learn from the opening scene about the era when this movie takes place? What are your clues?

    2. What can you tell from the beginning about the relationship between these characters? What is their mood? What do you think they’re doing?

    3. In the opening and again throughout the movie, what part does the music play?

    4. What do you know about Edward R. Murrow before he even says a word?

    5. One of the lines in his speech is, “Our history will be what we make it.” How does this relate to the people to whom he is speaking?

    6. What is the mood in the country Oct. 14, 1953 when the next scene begins? How has Senator Joseph McCarthy played a role in this?

    7. What do you think it was like to work in the news department of CBS in the 1950s? What are some of the scenes that show this?

    8. The first time you meet Joe and Shirley, how do you know they are more than just business colleagues? Later, how do you learn about their relationship?

    9. What are some clues that Murrow and his producer, Fred Friendly, agree about coverage of the McCarthy situation?

    10. Who is Milo Radulovich? Why did Murrow and Friendly think it was important to cover his story?

    11. What are some early signs that some at CBS don’t totally agree with what Murrow and Friendly are doing?

    12. How does the movie point out the contrast between Murrow’s “See It Now” and his other program “Person to Person”? What does his boss mean when he says Murrow will have to do a lot of “‘Person to Persons’ to make up for this”?

    13. What is CBS boss William Paley’s first reason Murrow and Friendly shouldn’t air the Milo Radulovich story?

    14. What do others who work with them think about the controversial programs Murrow and Friendly are doing? How can you tell this?

    15. What is the importance of the Don Hollenbeck subplot in the movie? What is Murrow’s relationship to him? Why is the report of his death significant?

    16. How can you tell Murrow, Friendly and their crew are somewhat nervous about airing the McCarthy program?

    17. What are Paley’s reasons for changing the program?

    18. What is the effect of using the actual film footage of McCarthy, Radulovich, Annie Lee Moss and others?

    19. Why do you think cigarettes and smoke seem to play such a major part in the movie? Why do you think the movie is in black and white?

    20. Some critics say the movie ends too abruptly. Do you see any indication of what will happen in the future?

    Good Night and Good Luck Vocabulary

    McCarthyism The era in the 1950s when Senator Joseph McCarthy made accusations of Communism and disloyalty against American citizens unsupported by proof or based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence.

    What does self-perpetuating mean? - Biology

    From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

    Today wildfires are ravaging the West with California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado all facing record fire seasons. My colleague, Chris Flavelle, on the cycle of building and rebuilding that is making the annual fires so destructive.

    Huh? [INAUDIBLE] On the inside? [INAUDIBLE]. Hey! Let’s go! Come on, lady! The fire is here!

    The fires this year really got bad starting in mid-August with a series of lightning strikes—

    Nearly 11,000 lightning strikes.

    —setting off hundreds of fires. You had already dry conditions, so those fires just spread.

    These fires stretched the length of the state.

    They quickly became out of control.

    The governor of California declaring a state of emergency today. Trapped. There’s fire on all sides all around us. All the roads are burnt.

    Right now, there’s more than 2 and a half million acres that have burned in California alone.

    It was like the entire wall of the forest was just coming at us down the road. I looked up and the back of my house was on fire.

    And it’s spread beyond California right now. We’ve got big fires in Oregon and Washington.

    Burn injuries, two victims en route. More than 14,000 firefighters are fighting these blazes. More than 560 homes destroyed here. And it’s threatening 5,000 more. At least five fatalities. Seven people killed— One-year-old boy killed while fleeing with his family from a fire in Washington state. The governor there saying this could be the worst loss of life and property in state history. Do you see what California looks like right now?

    When I talked to people in California who were dealing with this, they always describe the color.

    You can see the red hue, the red-orange glow in the sky. It’s apocalyptic. Ominous. Ominous and bleak.

    There is a strong note of fear and also awe in their voice.

    It’s raining ash. It’s really raining ash, bro. I mean, we can’t even breathe, bro.

    And the thing to remember is we are not yet in the peak of wildfire season. I talked to a County Fire chief yesterday. And he said he is looking at months more of this until the rains come.

    Look! Let the world know what’s going on in California, man. ‘Cause we burning down.

    Chris, the scenes you’re describing sound horrific. And what feels particularly awful is that every year seems to bring another set of devastating wildfires. And they keep getting worse and worse. And I think the question everyone has at this point is, why, if we know that these fires are coming, do we see such extreme destruction year after year, fire season after fire season?

    So there’s a few things. Certainly, the main theme here is climate change, right? Climate change is making the conditions worse. It’s drier. There are more dead trees. The temperatures are higher. There’s no getting away from the role of climate change. But it’s important to note it’s not just climate change. The other big change is the number of homes being built in this area, this exposed, vulnerable part of the state. Experts have a term for it. They call it the Wildland Urban Interface, or the WUI. And what that means is simply the place where development meets wild vegetation. It can be forests, it can be grassland, areas where you’re going to have wildfires. And that housing development keeps on increasing in those areas. So you get more fires. But you also have more homes that are burning in those fires because there’s more homes to begin with in those areas.

    So when we think of this WUI you’re describing, where it feels like nature and man kind of meet—

    —it’s extremely likely to catch fire over and over again. So why are people moving to such land?

    Yeah. It’s a few reasons. And they all are happening together. If we go back a few decades, California has always grown at a fast rate. But what’s really accelerated is housing pressure in urban areas. The cost of a home in San Francisco or Los Angeles keeps on going up. The tech boom, in particular in the Bay Area, accelerated that further. And there’s more to it than that, right? The state’s getting involved. The state is saying, understandably, we’ve got a huge homelessness problem, a massive affordability problem. They’re looking increasingly aggressively to find new ways to deal with that. And one thing to doing is putting more pressure on local governments out in the regions to say, we want you to increase your housing stock. And there’s economic incentives. If local governments don’t build enough housing, they can lose state funding. So all the incentives line up towards more and more housing. And that pressure is increasing over time as the housing crisis gets worse.

    So the state government in places like California is actually going to punish a town in the WUI, in a place that’s highly flammable, if they’re not expanding the amount of housing for all the reasons you just explained, which is that California needs more housing, more affordable housing?

    Yeah. And when you talk to local officials, they’ll cite that. They’ll say, look, we might know what the risk is. But we’re getting pressure from the state. We can’t stop doing this. We’ve got to build houses somewhere. And the easiest place to build houses is out here in open land that’s never been developed. So that’s where the pressure winds up.

    So because of all these forces, people, and it sounds like lot of people, are suddenly living right in the middle of where the fires are going to be burning?

    Exactly. And it’s now dovetailing with this second overarching trend of climate change. So just as you got people flooding these areas, you also have increasingly severe fires. And they’re overlapping and they’re both getting worse.

    A great example of this is Sonoma County, which some people call wine country. It’s just a little bit north and inland from the Bay Area, beautiful countryside. But it’s populating quickly. If you go back to 1964, there was a big fire called the Hanley fire in Sonoma County, destroyed fewer than 100 homes, so not a massive impact. Why that fire matters is because, in 2017, the Tubbs fire hit roughly the same area as the Hanley fire. But this time, it destroyed more than 5,000 homes.

    What was different, of course, wasn’t the fire. The fire was basically the same landscape burning. What was different, of course, was the massive wave of development between those two fires.

    And this is important. Because after the Tubbs fire, Sonoma county had a moment to sit back and say, what should we do differently? We know these fires will keep on hitting. Should we rebuild differently? Should we change our standards? Should we not rebuild? And when I spoke with officials in 2018. They had a very clear position, which was, yes, we know this will burn again. There’s no question. No one disputes that. What they said, though, was it’s not our place to tell people not to rebuild. Because number one, it’s not fair. Number two, where does that go? If we don’t rebuild, we’ll lose our tax base. We’ll lose our population. So they rebuilt, and they’re still rebuilding.

    I mean, that is a real head scratcher. Because I would imagine the moment after a big fire, and definitely after two major fires, would be exactly the time to re-evaluate everything, to either not rebuild at all or rebuild in a very specific, precautionary way.

    My sense from reporting this for several years is that this is the moment right after a fire where you see officials saying, maybe we should try something different. But then a very predictable cycle starts. And that’s when officials realize that the economic incentives all point towards rebuilding. Remember these towns, these counties, so much of their budget and their revenue comes from property taxes. If you don’t rebuild your houses, you don’t get their revenue back. You can’t pay for your schools, your garbage collection, your police, your fire departments. All that stuff depends on a healthy, growing, and repaired housing market. So right away, all the money incentives say build back.

    But why not build back better and smarter?

    Well, then you get the second part. The second part is the emotion, right? The emotion of this is so raw, especially primarily for the homeowners who lose their houses in these fires. All of a sudden they’re living with relatives. They’re in a motel somewhere. They’re maybe in an R.V. that they parked in front of their burned out house. And they’re saying to there elected officials get me back into my house as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Don’t put new requirements on me. Don’t make me change the way my roof is built, or the way my road is structured. Just let me do this the way it was and right now. And that kind of pressure is really hard for politicians. Both politically, because it’s a tough on your career if you’re the guy who said no to a family that just got burned out, but even as a human, right? If you got this family standing in front of you and they’ve lost everything, you want to make their life as easy as possible. So it turns out that this moment after a fire is actually the worst moment to really rethink how and where we build. And you see that on the ground over and over again. These rebuilding efforts start pretty fast. And they tend to produce homes that look a whole lot like the homes that burned down before.

    And so all the reasons not to rebuild, which seem manifold, get swamped by these financial forces and these emotional forces. And I guess on some level this kind of deeply American spirit of rebuild, you must rebuild. I mean, you can think of every natural disaster over the last half century and there is a mayor or a governor or a president who swoops in and says our first priority is to rebuild. It’s this profoundly deep-seated instinct.

    That’s exactly right. It’s almost muscle memory. Right? There’s been so many horrible events in this country. Pick your period of time. There’s almost a script to follow. And that script says we will rebuild because not rebuilding would mean surrendering and giving up on our community and on voters and our families. And no one wants to be the person who does that.

    And this, it sounds like, is what happens in Sonoma after that 2017 fire, the Tubbs fire.

    That’s right. And for all these reasons, Sonoma County keeps burning. In 2019, the county got hit again by the Kincade fire, which burned 77,000 acres. It was the biggest fire in California that year. And then last month, the Walbridge fire, part of the giant LNU Lightning Complex fire, again, hit Sonoma County, burning 55,000 acres. It’s just recently been brought under control. No one thinks that the problem is over, though. Because it’s only early September. And there’s probably more fires to come.

    Chris, it feels like eventually something has to give here, that some pillar of this self-perpetuating, very dangerous cycle of the WUI being built on and catching fire as it is basically designed to do, that this has to come to an end. And I wonder what you expect that it will be that will break this cycle.

    Yeah. And what’s interesting here is it doesn’t look like it will be the governments. And it doesn’t even look like it’s going to be individual homeowners. It looks like, if anything, it’ll be the insurance industry. And here’s why. The people who pay the cost most immediately when these fires hit is first homeowners, but then insurance companies. And in the massive fires of 2017 and 2018, they paid out so much money that it wiped out what was said to be a quarter century worth of profits. And insurers responded by saying, we’ve got to figure out what we can do differently. We don’t want to have these massive claims, these huge losses again. We can’t afford it. What can we do? And what they did was they started dropping customers. They started sending homeowners letters at the end of their one year contract, saying, you’re in a wildfire zone. We are not going to renew your contract. So people in the WUI started saying, I can’t get insurance. And the fear that that sparked was immense. And they went to the state. And they said, what can you do? And so last year California acted. The state imposed a one year ban on insurance companies dropping homeowners in these areas hit by wildfires. And it was sort of the nuclear option. They’d never done it before. It was a big— a bit of a Hail Mary.

    So just so I understand this, last year the state of California said that insurance companies dropping coverage for houses in the WUI that were likely to keep burning would be such a catastrophe that they’re going to stop insurance companies from dropping homeowners policies. They’re going to basically block them from doing it.

    Exactly. And it was meant to be a bit of a Band-Aid. What they didn’t do is really say what happens next. And so we’re now going into the end of this year, which will be really uncharted territory. No one knows if insurers will en masse pull out of these areas at the end of this one year ban. And when I talked to insurance groups, they say what they’ve been looking at to figure out what they’ll do next is the fires. They’re trying to get a handle on what kinds of losses they’re facing from this year’s fires. And if it’s another big year of losses, like ‘17 and ‘18, that’s going to be one more really compelling reason for them to keep on fleeing these areas.

    So what would it look like if, in three months, four months, six months, people don’t have insurance in California in these wildfire zones and their houses burn down?

    So for now, if you can’t get private insurance, you can get insurance through a high risk pool that the state runs. It’s very expensive. It’s not very good coverage. It doesn’t cover many things. The real nightmare scenario down the road is that eventually you can’t get insurance anywhere. And the problem with that is a few things. Number one if your home burns, you can’t rebuild it unless you’re wealthy. Most folks can’t pay out of pocket to rebuild their home from scratch. But probably even more concerning, you probably can’t sell that home. A home that is effectively uninsurable, no one’s going to buy. And so the housing market collapses. Your home value collapses. And these entire communities in these WUI areas, they become undesirable, unprofitable, and they ultimately die. And the whole conversation now is how do we avoid that kind of economic death for these communities? And what’s a fair way of getting there?

    Chris, are there people who think, and I know this may sound a little bit heartless and I don’t mean for it to be, but are there people who think that as horrible as this sounds, insurance companies basically pulling out the rug from underneath people, that it’s the kind of shock to the system that really would break this cycle?

    There are people who see it that way. They tend not to be people who live in California. The vibe I get from my sources in California is they don’t want this to be the solution because it’s so heartless. It’s so harsh. It’s so unbending to people who already live in these areas. So I think everyone agrees that you want to find a way to protect people. And the goal is to not have the insurance industry be the bad guy, but to have some sort of public policy goal or outcome that isn’t as harsh.

    Right. Because if I’m a homeowner in California, I would be absolutely furious to hear that insurance companies are dropping me. And the government is letting that happen. Because as you explained earlier, the government allowed me to build this home in the WUI. In fact, in some cases encouraged it because of the housing crunch in California. And now the government is standing by as I lose my ability to insure my house. And if there’s a fire, I will almost assuredly not be able to afford to rebuild it without that insurance. I may go bankrupt. But if the government does step in, and I guess backstops the insurance companies or requires them to insure, then they’re perpetuating this cycle all over again. And so this is like the definition of a pick your poison, messy situation.

    That’s exactly the dilemma. There is nothing governments can do. That seems like a good idea right now. They can bend to pressure to protect homeowners and make sure insurance is still available and affordable even if that means you keep on encouraging home construction in these areas. Or they could, in theory, let the market take its course and let this risk that is growing price out more people so they can’t afford to live in these areas. But there’s no political appetite to do that. It’s too harsh. And the result is the problem continues. You have more building. You have more fires. You have more damage. You have more deaths. And no one can articulate a good way out of it.

    I wonder if, Chris, what you’re describing is going to more or less be the story, not just of California and of wildfires, but for homeowners across the country where climate change, in all its forms, makes life unlivable. Right? So flooding in Florida, or stronger tornadoes in the Midwest, and ultimately, it’s insurance companies who get fed up and pull out and make people leave places that we now think of as almost uninhabitable because of the changes in our climate.

    And that’s exactly the shift that you’re seeing among experts. Experts are saying we can’t keep rebuilding. We’ve got to shift towards moving people away from these areas. But it is just a gargantuan shift in mindset that you’re describing. And the opposition to that idea is so great that we’re only beginning to talk about it and only beginning to have some pilot programs where a few communities start to look at moving. But that is much smaller than the growth in these areas, wildfires, flooding, hurricane. So for now, it’s more of an idea and just the beginning of a movement. But I think you’re right. As the damage from climate change increases, the only real alternative to endlessly subsidizing insurance and rebuilding is you say people have to move. And we’re not there yet. But it seems like we’re gradually creeping in that direction.

    Chris, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

    Here’s what else you need to know today.

    archived recording (mitch mcconnell)

    Congress has spent months talking, talking about whether to give the American people more relief as they continue grappling with this pandemic. Today we’re going to vote. Today we’re going to vote.

    On Thursday, Senate Republicans failed to pass a limited economic relief bill amid opposition from Democrats, who called the measure inadequate.

    The truth is this emaciated bill is not a serious attempt at legislation or solving the real problems in our country. It’s a shame.

    Many of the financial benefits approved by Congress in March with the passage of the CARES Act have now run out. But The Times reports that there’s little chance that Congress will enact a new round of relief before the November election. And after two decades of bloody war, the Afghan government and the Taliban will undertake historic face-to-face peace talks starting tomorrow in Doha. Previous peace talks had involved the Taliban and the US but had left out the Afghan government. The negotiations will seek to bridge vast differences on questions of power sharing, the role of religion in government, and the civil liberties of women and minorities, which have been severely limited under the Taliban.

    The Daily is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Jonathan Wolfe, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, MJ Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, and Liz O. Baylen. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Nora Keller, Mahima Chablani, and Des Ibekwe. That’s it for The Daily. I’m Michael Barbaro. See you on Monday.

    Torches of Freedom, or the self-perpetuating promotional power of science

    Wake up people! Politicians and corporations are manipulating us. And they’re using all the sophistication of science to do it.

    Thus is the general tenor of a recent wave of internet news articles and blog entries, illustrating the hidden machinations of the shadowy figures who ‘really’ control our lives. And though the claims made in these stories may not always hold true, they tell an interesting story about the power of science and scientific rhetoric to promote an idea.

    If you enjoy a good conspiracy story, if you work in PR, or if you have campaigned for or against cigarettes, there is a good chance that you will have heard of Edward L. Bernays (1891-1994), nephew of Sigmund Freud, founder of public relations, and the man who first used his uncle’s theories to better manipulate the masses. Perhaps Bernays’ most infamous campaign, now commonly referred to as the “Torches of Freedom” stunt, was conducted in 1929 for the American Tobacco Corporation, manufacturer of Lucky Strike cigarettes.

    Edward Bernays in the 1920s

    As the story goes, in the 1920s there was a taboo on women smoking in public. Aware that he was missing out on a sizeable portion of the market, the president of American Tobacco called on Bernays to find a way to break this taboo. To achieve this, the illustrious nephew of Freud, in turn, went to a psychoanalyst to figure out what cigarettes mean to women.

    Can you see where this is going?

    The psychoanalyst naturally identified the cigarettes as being a phallic symbol of male power and domination. So a natural way to get women to smoke was to link cigarette smoking to the female emancipation movement. And thus the phrase “torches of freedom” was born.

    According to his memoirs[1], Bernays put the plan into action by having a group of ten debutantes march down 5 th Avenue as a part of the great spectacle that traditionally was the Easter Day Parade in New York at a given signal, they got out their cigarettes and proclaimed to the prearranged news reporters that they were lighting these torches of freedom as a protest against women’s inequality. The next day, the story made the headlines in newspapers around the nation, the taboo was broken, and henceforth women were free to let Humphrey Bogart light their cigarettes.

    Though Bernays himself was never shy to boast of his successes, the story has by now gained a momentum of its own. It was first picked up in the mid-1990s by Bernays’ biographer Larry Tye and PR historian Stuart Ewen, but it soon garnered greater popularity when Adam Curtis featured it in a BBC4 documentary entitled The Century of the Self (here’s the relevant clip).[2] In recent years, a number of internet news sources and blogs have discovered it and touted it as an insider-tip on how the PR industry really works. Thus, it featured prominently in an issue of the Culture Wars magazine. And boastful as he was, Bernays could never have hoped to get the kind of treatment that he got from the blog Little Known Facts. Here, Bernays’ ten debutantes have turned into “thousands upon thousands of women marching right down famed Fifth Avenue [and] almost everyone had a cigarette too.” Recently, the torches of freedom campaign received its own Wikipedia page.[3] And even the former Fox News commentator Glenn Beck in January 2011 dedicated an entire show to Bernays, drawing parallels between the torches campaign and the psychological tricks used by the Obama administration to brainwash the American citizens.[4]

    Indeed, the torches of freedom campaign was so perfect, in conception and execution, that it appears to have become the ultimate prototype for a successful PR campaign. After all, it has many features of a good PR story: A Freudian psychoanalyst, a phallic symbol, and a catchy patriotic slogan. In sum, it is a perfect application of scientific principles to the public relations practice. And hence, it doesn’t really matter that the campaign was in reality a complete failure.

    Advertising photo for Lucky Strike by Nickolas Muray, 1936.

    In reality, the torches of freedom were only a very small part of a massive campaign that American Tobacco was running throughout the 1920s and early 30s, specifically to target women. And in reality the ten debutantes at the Easter Day Parade hardly received any attention at all. The ‘headlines’ were very few and far between. In fact, the only headline that is ever quoted (in the Curtis documentary) is from an article in the New York Times about the Parade in general, which lists as a fifth sub-heading, below more exciting news about current fashion trends at the parade, that some girls puffed at cigarettes “as a gesture of freedom.” The article dedicates a grand total of one sentence to Bernays’ campaign.[5]

    The Chicago Daily Tribune paid a little more attention to the campaign, writing that “the customary efforts of advertisers to profit by the Easter parade were very much in evidence.” Thus, along with “half a dozen ‘sandwich’ men, […] five stunningly dressed girls puffed industriously at a certain brand of cigarette as they giggled their way down the street.”[6] Finally, the LA Times dedicated an entire stub to the stunt, which deserves to be quoted in its entirety:

    “Presumably employed by a cigarette-manufacturing concern, a bevy of fashionably dressed women, most of them young, paraded Fifth Avenue today past St. Patrick’s Cathedral, calmly smoking cigarettes. They attracted but little attention and told reporters they were opposed to the sex taboo on women smoking elsewhere than in the home, in cafes, theatre rest rooms and private vehicles.”[7]

    So the PR stunt attracted little attention. In fact, it was only one of many advertising gigs at the parade. And it was obvious to most reporters that it had been orchestrated by a tobacco company. Not even the brilliant phrase ‘torches of freedom’ made it into print. Indeed, the PR campaign itself can only be seen as a failure. Yet the story of the campaign lives on as an example of a great PR stunt. Why is this? Why is the story of this campaign now thriving above and beyond all other PR campaigns? Apparently, it is too good a story to not be true. But what makes this story so good?

    The answer lies in the image of science and psychology. There is a certain aesthetic to seeing a scientific theory put to work. And though the scientific rigour of Freud’s ideas about cigarettes and the unconscious may be debatable, they certainly served to lend credibility to Bernays’ campaigns in the 1920s. We are, after all, governed by psychological principles. People can be manipulated through the clever use of symbols and the application of these principles. In this sense, the torches campaign is exactly what we expect: We expect PR people to use psychological tricks on us.

    Like many PR practitioners, Bernays was eager to use scientific imagery and rhetoric to promote his profession. Thus, he was always fond to talk about this story. And it is a powerful testament to the self-perpetuating promotional power of science that this story has taken on the life that it has. For though the science behind the campaign may have failed, the image of scientificity has clearly succeeded.

    Michael Kliegl, PhD student, University of Kent

    [1] Bernays, Edward L. 1965. Biography of an Idea – Memoirs of Public Relations Counsel Edward L. Bernays. Simon and Schuster: New York. 386-7.

    [2] Tye, Larry. The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations. 1998. Henry Holt and Co.: New York Ewen, Stuart. 1996. PR! A Social History of Spin. Basic Books: New York Curtis, Adam. 2004. The Century of the Self. TV documentary for BBC4.

    [3] To my knowledge, this is the only PR campaign to have its own wikipedia page. The story also features prominently in the articles about the history of PR ( and about Bernays himself (

    [4] Beck’s programme is so full of factual errors, that it would take a separate blog entry to list them all. The Fox News show can be seen in two parts here: and here: (The bit about the ‘torches’ campaign starts at around 12:10).

    [5] “Easter Sun Finds the Past in Shadow at Modern Parade,” New York Times, 1 April 1929.

    [6] “Sun Smiles on New Yorkers in Easter Parade,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 1 April 1929.

    [7] “Fair Smokers Go on Parade,” Los Angeles Times, 1 April 1929.

    Charlotte Sleigh is Reader in History of Science at the University of Kent and Director of the Centre for the History of the Sciences. She is co-director of the MSc programme Science, Communication and Society.

    4 Theories of the Climax Community &ndash Explained!

    The final stage of succession is called the climax or climax community (Clements, 1936 Shimwell 1971).

    It is the final or stable community in a successional series. It is self-perpetuating and in equilibrium with the physical and biotic environment.

    Climax communities undergo changes in structure as a result of birth, death and growth processes in the community.

    There are following theories of the climax:

    According to the mono-climax theory of succession (Clements, 1936), every region has one climax community toward which all communities are developing. He believed that climate was the determining factor for vegetation and the climax of any area was solely a function of its climate. Various terms such as sub-climax, dis-climax, post-climax, and pre-climax are used to describe the deviations from the climatically stabilized climax. These communities, controlled by topographic, edaphic (soil), or biotic factors are regarded as exceptions by the supporters of the mono-climax view.

    This theory was proposed by Tansley (1939) and later supported by Daubenmire (1966). The poly-climax theory of succession holds that many different types of vegetation as climax communities may be recognized in a given area. These will be climaxes, controlled by soil moisture, soil nutrients, activity of animals and other factors. According to this theory, climate is only one of the several factors, any of which may have a controlling influence on the structure and stability of the climax. This allows many climaxes in a climate region and is, therefore, called the poly-climax theory.

    The difference between this theory and the mono-climax theory is largely a matter of emphasis on which factor is responsible for the stability of a climax. According to Krebs (1994), the real difference between two theories lies in the time factor of measuring relative stability. The climate varies on an ecological time scale as well as on a geological time scale. Succession in a sense, then, is continuous because we have variable vegetation approaching a variable climate.

    3. Climax-pattern Theory:

    Whittaker (1953) emphasized that a natural community is adapted to the whole pattern of environmental factors in which it exists the major factors are: genetic structure of each species, climate, site, soil, biotic factors (activity of animals), fire, and wind, availability of plant and animal species, and chances of dispersal. According to this theory, climax communities are patterns of populations varying according to the total environment. There is thus no discrete number of climax communities and no one factor determines the structure and stability of a climax community.

    Whereas the mono-climax theory allows for only one climatic climax in a region and the poly-climax theory allows several climaxes, the climax-pattern hypothesis allows a continuity of climax types varying gradually along environmental gradients and not clearly separable into discrete climax types.

    4. Climax as Vegetation:

    According to Egler (1954) one can say that “climaxes” in a broad sense are nothing more than totality of vegetation, itself He, thus, favours the study, of vegetation as it is, with careful observations to explain and interpret past, present, and future conditions of particular communities.

    We may conclude from these theories that the end point of succession is climax which is in itself not completely stable. The climate of an area has overall control on the vegetation but within each of the broad climatic zones there are many modifications caused by soil, topography, and animals which lead to many climax situations. Climax communities do not necessarily represent a halt to successional change.


    TCV replicons expressing different fluorescent markers display mutual SIE

    To adopt TCV as a model for investigating SIE, we first tagged TCV replicons with two different fluorescent proteins (Fig 1B). Previous studies showed that deletions within the CP coding region of TCV, while compromising viral cell-to-cell and systemic movement, did not affect its replication in single cells [25, 26]. We hence created two TCV replicons, TCV_sg2G and TCV_sg2R, by replacing the 5’ two thirds of the CP coding region with that of GFP and mCherry (Fig 1B). The replicon cDNAs were flanked by the duplicated 35S promoter and terminator (2X35S and T35S) of cauliflower mosaic virus, and inserted into a binary plasmid destined for Agrobacterium tumefaciens (pPZP212) [27]. The resulting recombinant plasmids were transformed into A. tumefaciens strain C58C1 in order to initiate TCV replication in Nicotiana benthamiana leaf cells via agro-infiltration. Note that expression of GFP and mCherry proteins from these constructs strictly depends on TCV replication, as the sgRNA2 transcript is only produced during replication (hence the “_sg2” designation in the names of replicon constructs). A carnation mottle virus (CarMV)-derived replicon named as CarMV_sg2R was used as a non-TCV control (Fig 1B), as CarMV and TCV share similar genome organizations yet limited pair-wise sequence identities of encoded proteins (approximately 50%) [28]. Finally, a construct that facilitates non-replicative expression of p19, the tomato bushy stunt virus-encoded suppressor of RNA silencing, was included to counteract RNA silencing-mediated degradation of the primary, 2X35S-driven replicon RNAs [27, 28].

    N. benthamiana leaves infiltrated with the replicon constructs were then inspected by confocal fluorescence microscopy at four days post infiltration (4 dpi). As shown in Fig 1C, leaf patches co-infiltrated with the two TCV replicons (left panels) contained cells that expressed either GFP or mCherry, but were completely devoid of cells that expressed both. Indeed, among thousands of cells inspected in multiple repeat experiments, less than 0.1% of the fluorescent cells fluoresced both green and red. In contrast, approximately 80% of the fluorescent cells observed following co-infiltration of TCV_sg2G and CarMV_sg2R expressed both GFP and mCherry (Fig 1C, right panels). These data illustrate that (i) agro-infiltration efficiently and simultaneously introduced multiple viral constructs into the same leaf cells and (ii) intracellular, mutual exclusion occurred readily between variants of the same virus (TCV), but not between two distantly related viruses (TCV and CarMV).

    Was the mutual exclusion between two TCV replicons caused by SIE, which by definition depends on a temporal lag between the entry of primary invader and superinfector? We speculated that co-introduced replicons might experience varying lengths of post-entry delays before they could initiate replication, thus allowing the ones that replicate first to exert SIE against others in the same cells. To test this idea, we compared the timing of fluorescence emergence in cells treated with 2X35S-GFP, a construct that expresses GFP independent of virus replication, and ΔMP_sg2R, a TCV replicon that expresses mCherry only when viral replication occurs (S1 Fig, panel A in Supporting Information). ΔMP_sg2R differs from TCV_sg2R by harboring a 92 nucleotide (nt) deletion within the MP region, thus restricting its replication to primary infected cells (S1 Fig, panel A). As shown in S1B Fig, replication-independent GFP fluorescence emerged in a few cells at 24 hours post infiltration (hpi), but quickly filled more than 70% of cells by 36 hpi. By contrast, replication-dependent mCherry expression first occurred in a few isolated cells at 48 hpi (white arrow in top right panel), and expanded only gradually thereafter, so that approximately 10%, 23%, and 33% of the cells became red fluorescent at 72, 96, and 120 hpi, respectively (S1 Fig, panel B). To summarize, replication-independent expression of GFP occurred early and synchronously in most cells, whereas replication-dependent expression of mCherry was seriously delayed, and then commenced stochastically in a limited number of cells, over an extended time span.

    These observations were confirmed with Western blotting (WB) of leaves treated with the GFP and ΔMP_sg2R constructs separately, using an antibody that reacts with both fluorescent proteins (S1 Fig, panel C). Together these results indicate that replication initiation by a TCV replicon in host cells is delayed relative to replication-independent expression, and the length of delay varied dramatically from cell to cell. While the reason for delays will become evident later in this report, their varying lengths likely permitted one of the co-introduced replicons to commence replication earlier than others in the same cell, thus creating the time lag required for SIE.

    We sought to further confirm SIE as the underlying reason for the mutual exclusion using a sequential delivery procedure. As shown in Fig 1D, pre-introduction of either TCV_sg2G or TCV_sg2R dramatically reduced the number of cells that replicated the reciprocal superinfector delivered with a 16-hour delay. As demonstrated in S1 Fig, panel D, delayed introduction did not in itself reduce the chance to initiate replication by replicons, as both replicons introduced with a 16-hour delay relative to the p19 construct initiated replication in a similar number of non-overlapping cells. Together, we conclude that SIE likely accounts for the inability of simultaneously introduced TCV_sg2G and TCV_sg2R to co-replicate in the same cells (Fig 1C).

    TCV p28 alone is responsible for SIE against a co-delivered TCV replicon

    We next assessed whether any of the TCV-encoded proteins could induce SIE by transiently expressing each of the TCV-encoded proteins, along with the TCV_sg2G replicon, in N. benthamiana cells. TCV p38 (CP) was not included in this set of testing as constructs without CP (TCV_sg2G and TCV_sg2R) still displayed SIE (Fig 1). To facilitate the verification of their expression, these TCV-encoded proteins were all fused to a C-terminal 2XHA tag, permitting WB detection with an anti-HA antibody (S2 Fig, panel A). Expression of p8-HA or p9-HA did not affect TCV_sg2G replication, as evidenced by robust GFP fluorescence in whole leaves (Fig 2A). In contrast, expression of p28-HA eliminated GFP fluorescence. We further established that p28-mediated repression of TCV_sg2G replication depended on the p28 protein, because a frame-shift mutation of p28 (p28fs) abolished repression. Importantly, the repression of TCV_sg2G by p28-HA was highly specific as p27 of CarMV (CarMV-p27HA) was ineffective. Interestingly, p88-HA partially repressed TCV_sg2G accumulation, presumably attributable to its N-terminal region identical to p28 (Fig 1A). We confirmed these results with Northern blots (NB) and WB (Fig 2B). Both TCV_sg2G RNA and GFP protein accumulated to high levels in leaves co-infiltrated with p8-HA, p9-HA, p28fs, or CarMV-p27HA constructs (lanes 5–8), but to much lower levels in leaves expressing p88-HA (lane 4), and were almost undetectable in samples expressing p28-HA (lane 3). Together these data indicate that p28-HA suffices for highly specific, potent repression of TCV replication.

    Watch the video: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Definition + Examples (October 2022).