Is there a Chinese salamander bubble?

Bizarrely, only 3 percent of the animals raised by the farms are eventually sold to restaurants. The rest are sold to more start-up farms. This absurd amphibian Ponzi scheme so inflated the worth of the salamanders that a small, 2-kilogram individual could sell for around $1,500. As a result, people began supplementing the farmed stock by illegally collecting the animals from the wild. “The high prices created a sort of salamander rush,” says Jing Che from the Kunming Institute of Zoology, who was involved in the recent study.

That is from Ed Yong, via Brian Slesinsky.

Comments

More like "was". The article says the salamander market collapsed a year or two ago.

'I just want to say one word to you. Just one word - chinchillas.'

'The wild population of chinchillas had been hunted almost to extinction when, in 1923, eleven of them were brought to the United States, where they were bred successfully by specialized breeders. These eleven were the ancestors of almost all American chinchillas. In 1943, there were an estimated 20,000 chinchillas in the United States; by 1962, there were 750,000. Chinchillas are small and it takes about 150 of them to make a coat.

Because chinchillas and the fur coats made from them are so expensive, people got the idea that breeding chinchillas could be extremely profitable. This post is about the scams that grew up to capitalize on this hope. The scams and the breeding craze they inspired were national in scope. In Yonkers, they crested in 1953-1955, and then, as with other bubbles, they collapsed abruptly and completely.'

(See if that works - this place has the strangest filters, which is why wikipedia is better to use for links - the title of the apparently unacceptable link is 'Old Ads -- The Chinchilla Bubble of 1955')

Maybe China seems to be moving faster than the rest of the world because fads are such a big phenomenon?

This blog recommends a diet of rice, beans and roast salamander on a stick?

Somehow I don't think all Chinese trends are going to take off.

By 2011, they held around 2.6 million salamanders between them.

They have an interesting definition of almost extinct.

The various populations might also cross-breed, homogenizing the salamander gene pool and driving some lineages to extinction.

Ahhh, they are nativists. Good for them. Of course this is exactly why immigration to Europe, of any sort, should be illegal.

The various lineages have been isolated for long enough that hybrids have a drastically reduced fitness and fertility. There are a number of cryptospecies rather than one species. While physically pretty much indistinguishable they are genetically quite different.

Do cryptospecies have their own tokens? Can we store them offline?

It seems you are reading a lot into that article. But if it is so, then hybridization should not be a problem. The offspring will not thrive. Obviously it is something to be avoided but if the second generation is so, well, unfit, they will not last long.

In the meantime we have a species (or five, or eight) which breeds well in captivity. Which has a large captive population in fact. The solution is simple - San Diego zoo ought to buy all the pure-bred salamanders they can. They will be going cheap pretty soon I hear.

They pretty well addressed your first criticism (also note that it's no longer 2011):

"there are still plenty of individuals in farms, but they aren’t the answer to the species’ woes. Around 72,000 have already been released, and there’s no evidence that they are thriving in the wild. The captive populations might not be around for long either. Many are riddled with disease. Second-generation individuals don’t seem to breed in captivity, possibly because they weren’t reared properly. And many farms are closing down because the salamander pyramid scheme collapsed a year or two ago."

Getting farm-bread animals to survive in the wild can be surprisingly hard. If these salamanders are gone from the wild, that makes their recovery significantly more difficult.

'Of course this is exactly why immigration to Europe, of any sort, should be illegal.'

Or from Europe, as Brexit proved. Cannot have Europeans diluting Britain's purity of essence, after all. As noted by then British subject Benjamin Franklin - 'And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth.'

Hey, if it is good enough for Giant Salamanders .....

Or do you hate Science?

The good old days when Germans were not white. The polyfaceted nature of racism never ceases to amuse me.

The funny thing is, Steve Sailer has stopped using that Ben Franklin essay in the comments section here when talking about immigration.

In part because it shows just how clearly race is a social construct, as Benjamin Franklin was deeply concerned with keeping those swarthy Swedes out of one of the last places that the true white race could hope to multiply.

No self-respecting white supremacist today would ever make sure a proposal, but then, they do tend to idolize that blond, blue eyed look.

And Darwin himself, being, of course, a hard core Social Darwinist himself, used the examples of the Angles and the Saxons.

I know you think you have a point. But I have to say I don't see what it is.

Darwin was never a 'hard core Social Darwinist.'

'Misusing Darwin's Theory

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is entirely focused on an explanation of life's biological diversity. It is a scientific theory meant to explain observations about species. Yet some have used the theory to justify a particular view of human social, political, or economic conditions. All such ideas have one fundamental flaw: They use a purely scientific theory for a completely unscientific purpose. In doing so they misrepresent and misappropriate Darwin's original ideas.

One such distortion and misuse is the loose collection of ideologies grouped under the label of "Social Darwinism." Based largely on notions of competition and natural selection, Social Darwinist theories generally hold that the powerful in society are innately better than the weak and that success is proof of their superiority.

Darwin passionately opposed social injustice and oppression. He would have been dismayed to see the events of generations to come: his name attached to opposing ideologies from Marxism to unbridled capitalism, and to policies from ethnic cleansing to forced sterilization. Whether used to rationalize social inequality, racism, or eugenics, so-called Social Darwinist theories are a gross misreading of the ideas first described in the Origin of Species and applied in modern biology.' https://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/darwin/evolution-today/social-darwinism/

So Darwin is something else you know nothing about. Although you didn't quote from Wikipedia for a change.

This is just the Left trying to re-write history to claim Darwin as one of their own. Social Darwinism does not exist. It was an invention in the 1950s - made up by liberals so they could pretend they supported science without being Nazis. In reality Charles Darwin, while no particular friend of things like slavery, was a Social Darwinist. He called for eugenic breeding in humans:

Man scans with scrupulous care the character and pedigree of his horses, cattle, and dogs before he matches them; but when he comes to his own marriage he rarely, or never, takes any such care. He is impelled by nearly the same motives as the lower animals, when they are left to their own free choice, though he is in so far superior to them that he highly values mental charms and virtues. On the other hand he is strongly attracted by mere wealth or rank. Yet he might by selection do something not only for the bodily constitution and frame of his offspring, but for their intellectual and moral qualities. Both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if they are in any marked degree inferior in body or mind; but such hopes are Utopian and will never be even partially realised until the laws of inheritance are thoroughly known. Everyone does good service, who aids towards this end. When the principles of breeding and inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man.

Ironic he is condemning marrying close kin considering how common it was in his family. But this is one step away from compulsory sterilization.

And this:

The advancement of the welfare of mankind is a most intricate problem: all ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children; for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in marriage. On the other hand, as Mr. Galton has remarked, if the prudent avoid marriage, whilst the reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of society. Man, like every other animal, has no doubt advanced to his present high condition through a struggle for existence consequent on his rapid multiplication; and if he is to advance still higher, it is to be feared that he must remain subject to a severe struggle. Otherwise he would sink into indolence, and the more gifted men would not be more successful in the battle of life than the less gifted. Hence our natural rate of increase, though leading to many and obvious evils, must not be greatly diminished by any means. There should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring. Important as the struggle for existence has been and even still is, yet as far as the highest part of man's nature is concerned there are other agencies more important. For the moral quantities are advanced, either directly or indirectly, much more through the effects of habit, the reasoning powers, instruction, religion, &c., than through natural selection; though to this latter agency may be safely attributed the social instincts, which afforded the basis for the development of the moral sense.

Well it could have been Herbert Spencer or even Hitler.

If you think the man that wrote 'Hence our natural rate of increase, though leading to many and obvious evils, must not be greatly diminished by any means. There should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring.' (from your passage, in case you did not notice the 'all men' part) sounds like Hitler, well, what one can one say?

And maybe Victorian writing is something you need more experience with, because here (again from the cited passage) Darwin contradicting the very basis of social Darwinism - 'For the moral quantities are advanced, either directly or indirectly, much more through the effects of habit, the reasoning powers, instruction, religion, &c., than through natural selection; though to this latter agency may be safely attributed the social instincts, which afforded the basis for the development of the moral sense.'

Basically, Darwin is on the nurture side of the nurture/nature debate when it comes to improving our moral sense based on social instincts, though he acknowledges the role of nature, of course.

And really, 'But this is one step away from compulsory sterilization.' is hilarious, unless you think the current laws in place banning marriage/procreation for siblings or parents/children is also just one step away from compulsorary sterilization.

What can one say? Well, that it is no surprise someone who is incapable of reading or understanding his own cut and pastes is unlikely to understand mine?
1. 'Hence our natural rate of increase, though leading to many and obvious evils, must not be greatly diminished by any means.'

So he is opposed to birth control in all its forms.

2 'There should be open competition for all men;'

Survival of the fittest.

2. 'and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring.'

The most able should not be prevented from having more children. By ... charity for instance? Progressive income tax? Giving stuff to the genetically unfit? How about monogamy? The last is probably a stretch but this is entirely Social Darwinism. Darwin wants to improve society by making sure the best have more children (and implicitly that the poor have fewer).

Basically, Darwin is on the nurture side of the nurture/nature debate

No he isn't. He claims a genetic basis but admits a cultural influence. As anyone who had been to Patagonia and was not a Leftist would admit. This is entirely in line with every other Social Darwinist on the planet. The only people who take a 100% view of the nuture/nature debate are on the Left when they insist on the Blank Slate.

And really, 'But this is one step away from compulsory sterilization.' is hilarious, unless you think the current laws in place banning marriage/procreation for siblings or parents/children is also just one step away from compulsorary sterilization.

Again you show your ignorance. The laws being debated at the time were anti-Catholic ones allowing cousin-marriages. Notice he goes straight to laws when he talks about these thing. Not leaving it up to the individual but the first thing he thinks of is the State.

He isn't a racist.

He likely doesn't know what is the point. It could not be "I hate whitey.", "The White man is the devil.", or, "The trouble with America is white men." He could have used "conservative" or "fly-over country, GOP voter," not "white man."

Anyhow, this comment's main positive is its relatively brief refutation of Darwinian Evolution. Some of these great-grandchildren of monkeys (Darwinian) go on and on.

It isn't racism if one hates white people.

Of course it is racism if you define a group of people by something like skin color, and then say you hate them.

For example, Louis Farrakhan is a blatant racist, of "The White man is the devil" variety. What he is not is a white supremacist, though it would certainly be fair to call him a black supremacist in contrast.

It is always racism when someone says they hate white people because they are white, the same way that it is always racism when someone says they hate black people because they are black.

But then, racists do love to deny they are being racists, so you are not really surprised whenever a racist claims they aren't actually racist for whatever excuse they can come up with, right?

You're right he's not racist. He just took too many Ambien pills.

I'm with Ben Franklin on this. I too grow tired of Swedes of swarthy Complexion turning my country into a s*hole. Swedish meatballs = Turkish meatballs.

Of course, the same thing occurs in the direct sales industry, where much of the merchandise is sold to reps in the pyramid; indeed, the salamander trade seems very much like the direct selling trade. What if the "product" were something besides salamanders, something that isn't physical, software for example. Call it solomander. What percentage of solomander is sold in a similar fashion, to other sellers of solomander? How would we know since the solomander can't be seen or touched. Cars that aren't sold have to be stored womewhere. I have a home near a port where imported cars from Europe and Asia enter the country. During the great recession, the operators of the port leased thousands of acres of land to store the unsold cars, some located well inland in what is farm land. It was an odd site to be driving through miles and miles of farm land and come across a thousand acre parcel full of new cars parked on the dirt. Cowen believes the future will be far less about physical products (cars for example) and more about the broad category of "services"; indeed, Cowen has even described the future of cars as more a service than a physical product. Does that mean that "inflation" will become a distant memory? It seems that al of us will be living in Trump World, a world in which "sales", "inflation", and every other measure of the economy will be whatever one says it is.

Here's a real-world example of solomander (cryptocurrency) and the consequences to investors who fall for the scam: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/31/technology/envion-initial-coin-offering.html In this scam, investors did not invest in a company that would invest in Bitcoin, but rather invested in that company's version of Bitcoin ("tokens"), that supposedly would rise in value as the company mined Bitcoin using what the company described as "renewable energy".

Waymo, the Alphabet (i.e., Google) autonomous car affiliate, has agreed to purchase "up to" 20,000 Jaguars and "up to" 62,000 Chrysler minivans in what is supposed to be a sign of a "rapid liftoff" of Waymo's autonomous car ride-hailing service. Even when the words used reveal the emptiness of the claim, nobody seems to notice or care, not when it comes from the boy wonders in tech. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/31/business/waymo-chrysler-minivans.html

Hot water, donkeys, salamander bubbles, death camps... Clearly, a master race.

The bursting of the Brazilian Chinchillas bubbles.

http://www.asiaone.com/world/brazils-sao-paulo-state-bans-rearing-fur-animals

"Brazil is one of the biggest chinchilla producers in the world, behind Argentina."

"Is there a Chinese salamander bubble?"

The Lizard people want you to think it's a bubble...

Whereas in reality the Lizard people's Crack Salamander Corp is taking over China. A few years ago there were just a few thousand of them, but they managed to control the minds of ordinary Chinese people, forced the Chinese to spend time and effort raising them in conditions of comfort and security, even releasing many of them to complete their missions in the countryside. Now there are millions of them.

Soon they will rule the world!

I opened these comments only to see who had tasted the salamander.

What I got instead was one standard deviation worse than typical MR comments. From salamanders to "who is white" is kind of classic though, in an MR way.

"Why should anyone care? “This is a top predator in the freshwater ecosystems of China—a country that has problems with providing enough fresh water for its growing population,” says Cunningham. “We don’t yet know what the salamander’s removal will do, but it will do something.”

This is an overlooked point. Ecosystems are complicated. We continue to treat our surroundings as commodity markets. When we alter a variable another variable is altered. Dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, temperature, pollution. At first collateral damage is in "lesser" species, but eventually the apex predators will reap what they have sown.

The largest North American salamander, the hellbender, is in real trouble too.

Then the obvious solution is to eat them. Then farmers will raise millions of them in captivity. The advantage is that America only has one species.

Kentucky Fried Salamander anyone?

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