Saturday, 24 June 2017

First day of the rest of your life

Regular readers will know that I had an absurdly expensive and extended education. Primary school, prep school, secondary school, university (BA), another university (PhD), University of Life (Blob). This has had both good and bad aspects: a) an asset at pub quizzes b) emotional cripple. For neither of my degrees did I dress up medieval (silly hat, pointy shoes, gaudy gown). I might have done it for my parents but I deliberately went to college in a different country, so it would have been faff for everyone. Formal graduation also cost money but my main reasoning was that such ceremonies were a bourgeois charade and/or a silly anachronism, so I probably scotched any suggestion that my graduations should be a family affair.  I have been to graduations every year at The Institute, however, because I have better manners now and more empathy: students want their folks to meet their teachers and I am moderately interested in seeing where they came from. It also gives me access to a bunch of data to analyse I - II. And an opportunity to graze some canapés! For a college (it used to be a Regional Technical College is now an Institute of Technology and will be a Technological University) that is less than 50 years old it is damn-fool silly to confer degrees in faux-medieval costume; so I put on a jacket and tie, sit in with the parents and boycott the academic procession.

aNNyway, yesterday morning I went to my first ever 'Commencements' in Trinity College Dublin. TCD is by far the oldest university in Ireland, and they are hot for tradition, archaicism, and dressing up medieval. The real name of the institution is The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin. They call the terms Michaelmas and Hilary rather than Winter and Spring, the boss is a Provost rather than a President and graduation is called Commencements not Graduation or Conferring because leaving Trinity is seen as a start rather than a finale. This was all explained by The Registrar as a warm-up to the ceremony proper. She also explained that the entire ceremony would be rendered in Latin! making the claim that when TCD was founded in 1592, Latin was an all-inclusive lingua franca which could be used for dialogue whether you came from Bologna or Bristol. Hmmm, true-dat but it is now 425 years later and nobody - nobody - in the room was fluent in Latin so using that language was now exclusive and alienating. Ironically, for inclusivity, Trinity employs a signer for the hard-of-hearing, so the deaf understood better what was going on than the rest of us. And no, the signer isn't fluent in Latin either: he's working off an English translation - although probably using Irish Sign Language not British [big difference].

I was in TCD because one of my project students at The Institute went on to do her  12 week work placement internship in my old Comparative Immunology lab in TCD and stayed on to work up the project [on olfactory receptors in dolphins] for a M.Sc.  She stuck at it and wrote it all up and was in medieval clobber [a snip at €40 for a couple of hours] to Commence the rest of her life.

Now here's an important multicultural issue that is buried in the use of a deaf dead language. Proceedings are signed off with an envoi "Valete senatores, non diutius vos morabimur; valete candidati novis honoribus decorati; valete et vos, hospites acceptissimi. Comitia solvantur in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti."   . . . in the name of the father, the son and the holy ghost??? We're all inclusive for the deaf [N = 380,000 in Ireland] but divil-and-all for the No-religions [N = 280,000] or Muslims [N = 50,000], of which 'my' candidate was one.  I've had a peg at this unthinking religiosity in our local Credit Union. Let me also say that Sign Language is as opaque as Latin to me and Pat the Salt who are both hard-of-hearing.

That done I went off to lunch with Dau.I who works but a half day on Fridays. That was very nice - we went to the student dining hall - called The Buttery in Trinity! - for cheap and cheerful fish'n'chips. By the time we had finished catching up - since last Sunday in Cork two hours had passed and I noted that a crowd, fat with photographers, was gathering again in Front Square. Turned out that Bob Geldof was getting a celeb Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree. Other important people [see above with President Mary Robinson] were also getting tribbed. When the procession trooped past, the paparazzi called "Bob, Bob" and Geldof turned to the cameras to wave. Me-the-Bob muttered to Dau.I " My Public, my Public". The nearest photographer rounded on me and said "You cynical old man . . . but I do agree" and went off to his next assignment. As must I.

Friday, 23 June 2017

little wedges

I've said this before but I'll say it again; the mighty Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) summed up his expertise as "À la vue d'un os, d'un seul morceau d'os, je reconnais et reconstruis la partie de l'ensemble dont il provient". Essentially this translates as "your toe bone's connected to your foot bone, your foot bone's connected to . . . everything you are and do: what you eat, how you move to get what you eat, how old you are". This assertion of knowledge is partly true because of evolution and context. My thigh bone, gracile but strong, says that I am a runner [or could be if I'd only get off the sofa], the thigh bone of a hippopotamus says "plodder" and because of this "vegetarian". My thigh bone is far more similar to Usain Bolt's and Emmanuel Macron's than it is to one of our sheep grazing 50m away. Simply measuring and analysing teeth metrics we used this concept of homology [descent from a common ancestor] to assert something about Australopithecus spp. and the eruption of the genus Homo = humankind.

Archaeologists are capable of similar feats of deduction. From a series of blackened back-filled holes in the the ground, a pot-sherd, an axe-head and some pollen analysis, they can infer the life and times of a neolithic village and mourn its savage destruction. But about 6,000 years ago information became immeasurably richer because someone invented writing and history emerged from pre-history. After 4,000 BCE, therefore, we can begin to name [a few chosen] people and get another source of data about the life and times of people who are long dead. The written data is still super-patchy but nevertheless adds to our understanding on top of pottery fragments and a few crumbly skeletons to autopsy: like ourselves, the pharaohs were prone to TB, malaria, dental caries and thrush.

Denise Besserat was born in 1933 at Ay in NE France where they make the Bollinger >!cheers!< and made herself the GoTo person for understanding the birth and development of writing systems in the Near East. In 1954 she married Jurgen Schmandt, a philosopher and policist, and added his name to hers: Denise Schmandt-Besserat [L].  A couple of weeks ago here was a nice programme about her revelatory insight on BBC World Service which you can read or listen to [with annoying and unnecessary bingly-bongly background music].

We have known about cuneiform since archaeologists started unearthing barrow-loads of decorated clay tablets in Mesopotamia in 1929. These tablets, frozen in time, predate the writing systems of MesoAmerica, China and Egypt possibly because clay survives better than wood, paper or papyrus or more probably because this really was the first method of recording stuff in an abstract way. Writing things down precludes any possibility of the he said she said which is always a real possibility with a verbal agreement. One thing that supports the antecendence of cuneiform is the suggestion that early examples were impressions of tokens pressed into the wet clay.  Later, everyone who mattered agreed that a stroke with a stylus could double for a pressed token and was far quicker and neater to inscribe. That break-through also allowed abstraction for larger numbers. V rather than IIIII and X not IIIIIIIIII is on familiar almost modern territory.

For a generation after these cuneiform tablets [R section of one] started to be gathered, recorded and compared, nobody had a clue what they meant. Because archaeologists tend to be educated in the Arts Block, they were imagined to be poetry or messages between kings and commanders. DS-B had a hypothesis that they were an example of correspondence counting. This is used by cricket umpires who transfer a pebble from one pocket of their dazzling white trousers to the other whenever a ball is bowled: when six pebbles have been transferred the umpire calls 'over', everyone troops to the other end of the pitch and the six-ball cycle continues. What if the accountants in the marts of Uruk had little blobs of clay to represent a sheep, a firkin of ale, a bushel of barley, or tray of loaves? Scanning a table of pots containing the various tokens was a lot more convenient than going outside in the blistering sun to see how many sheep the merchant had to trade. One firkin/sheep/bushel = one token but it takes two to tango a transaction, so the receipt for sheep became a clay tablet impressed with the correct equivalent of tokens. They have found an inventory of about 300 different commodities represented by tokens.  Read this essay on the evolution of writing from U Texas. Actually, the tokens were initially stored in a ball of clay = bulla for convenience, which was ++ inconvenient because you couldn't see what was inside (they would have paid a lot of barley-cakes for a supply of ziploc plastic bags). So the accountants would write the contents of each bulla on the outside. It took a long time to appreciate that 10 chickens, 10 wine-skins and 10 loaves all had something in common - 10 - and mathematics was launched.

The idea of correspondence of two written records for a transaction/trade is captured by another lovely essay in BBC series 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy. This is about tally sticks: small (20cm long) billets of willow-wood upon which a series of notches were cut to represent the amount of the debt. The stick was then split lengthwise, half retained by the creditor and half given to the debtor. The notches and the grain of wood matched uniquely and so made an incontrovertible contract. One unintended consequence of these sticks was that they could be traded themselves for other products. The BBC story includes a neat summary of the 6 month long Irish bank strike of 1970. The economy managed quite well for half a year because people - publicans, shop-keepers, feed-merchants - would accept cheques from people whom they knew and use those checks to pay their suppliers and employees. A local peasant economy could make it work with that amount of trust. It brought into focus what money really is. Old banknotes had a flourishy statement "I promise to pay the bearer on demand . . ." signed by the president of the issuing bank. They have dispensed with that in multi-lingual Euroland leading to a further level of monetary abstraction. We've come along way since a handful of clay tokens were the sheep they represented.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

old and gnu

eee but we do love our megafauna. The logo for the World Wildlife Fund is a giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca [the black&white cat-footed one] rather than a nematode worm because pandas pass for cuddly in a way that no nematode can. Although a case could be made that the nematode Baylisascaris schroederi which parasitises pandas makes as much impact on the ecosystem as the cuddly furry one. Let's hear it even louder for the microbial community of those bamboo forests upon which the whole visible habitat depends . . . indeed let's change the logo for the WWF [R].

We've been to the Serengeti before sifting Zebra shit; it is the quintessence of  ecosystem not least because there is a wide variety of fauna bigger-than-a-breadbox which makes it more sexy than Louis Agassiz's back yard in Cambridge MA. A few weeks in East Africa appeals to a certain cohort of the well-heeled travelling public. I think that, in terms of Serengeti biomass, the wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus is probably the top dog. Wildebeest is [duh!] a dutch loanword but we also call them gnu which may be borrowed from the language spoken by the !ung san [prev]. Actually, purists and pedants will point out that if the word is from the San people it is naming Connochaetes gnou the black wildebeest Gnou à queue blanc not the blue variety C. taurinus  gnou à queue noire [See map L: C. taurinus in blue, C. gnou in yellow, C. both-species in brown].The San had been driven to the margins squeezed by the Bantu coming South and the Voortrekkers coming North met on the Orange River. And the only intersect between San speakers, Anglophones and gnus occurred Cis-vaal rather than Transvaal. Did you know there were two species of gnu? I didn't: it's like African giraffes and elephants - there is more diversity than a cursory glance would make you suspect. otoh, maybe the Connochaetes genus has been over-split because the karyotype is essentially the same for both species and fertile hybrids have been obtained. Maybe the French have it, one type has a white tail the other black and that is enough to make them different species. The history of civil rights has been an action to dismiss a similar exaggeration of superficial difference in Homo sapiens - emphatically a single species.

A nice consolidation of some wildebeest links on Metafilter brought on some droll commentary. One author compared 6500 dead blue wildebeest to 10 dead blue whales, which elicited a laconic "Degree of difficulty: getting the whales across the Serengeti." Seems that the restless gnus in the Serengeti and adjacent parts of East Africa go round and round on an annual migration following spells of rain which bring out a flush of grass upon which the gnu, and their attendant artiodactyls and perissodactyls feed. Millions of walking herbivores chomp through thousands of tonnes of vegetation every day. This wall of flesh pushes forward over hill and dale but pauses at rivers, especially if they are in spate or have naturally steep banks or are thronged with tourists in land-rovers hoping to get some snaps for their holiday album. At every river-crossing some gnu get snagged by crocodiles [death-porn link] or miss their footing or are elbowed off the ford by the conspecific press . . . and drown. A couple of hundred rotting gnu carcasses [pic!] are a bit poooeeee but only for a month or so as their protein is recycled. The skeletons last longer and provide slow-release phosphorus for everything downstream for many months. It is surprising how many species depend on these accidental deaths. Each death is a tragedy for the individual  but collectively they happen with sufficient regularity that they can be banked on.  Not just the crocs and the fish, but the hyaenas Crocuta crocuta and hunting dogs Lycaon pictus which haul joints out of the river where what's left nourishes the trees and bushes. And of course the buzzillion flies lay eggs and the maggots feed the birds and the cycle of death goes round. More glossy and more data at Atlantic.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Every light blazing

My late lamented father was a complex chap. Never mean about money but having a few bonnet-bees about certain aspects of the household budget. He was a danger to leave out in a shopping precinct alone on a Saturday morning because he was certain-sure to come back with a device for punching aeration holes in the lawn or a gadget for exercising the calf-muscles. He didn't seem to appreciate that, IF he used the lawn-aerator THEN his calves would get sufficient exercise pushing the thing up and down between the herbaceous borders. Periodically (after he'd seen the monthly bank-statement?) he'd tear through the house switching things off and crying "Every light in the house blazing!" in the hope that his family would rally round and help fight the haemorrhage of kWhs.  I don't think he got much support and things would quieten down after a couple of days - possibly because he decided it wasn't worth the effort. But I'm pretty certain his crusade was not really evidence-driven. In any case he realised that pinching pennies was really quite alien to his sense of self.

In 2012, I had a rather abrupt pay cut as the research money that was supporting me was running out and I was down to one paid day a week. Being time-rich but cash-poor had its advantages and me and Dau.II spent a lot of quality time with her grandparents. It also gave me an inkling of hope for my future in retirement because two old age pensions was way more than I was pulling in for on€-day-a-w€€k. Nevertheless, having but a trickle of money meant that there was no slack in the budget and that is when I stopped drinking. The 2011 data suggested that The Beloved and I might well knock off a couple of bottles of wine a week if we had a glass each with dinner each night. That would be okay if we lived in South Africa where Chardonnay is cheaper than bottled water or in France where they have low taxes on booze pour encourager les viticulteurs. But in Ireland back then, a bottle of Old Red Biddy was at least €5 and two bottles a week was therefore €500 a year. Which was lot for a man on €1,000/mo; so it was farewell to plonk.

I fell to those reflections because we had a morning of post-graduate student presentations and when we all left I noticed that the last presenting student had left the computer on; so I switched it off. As I walked back to my office with one of my colleagues I wondered aloud how much electricity was being wasted by such "someone else will do it" bystander effect.  I know that every Monday last academic year I had a QM quantitative methods class at the very end of the working day. At about 1700hrs we'd all leave and as far as I was concerned all 20 desktop computers would be on-standby for 16 hours until 0900hrs the next day.  A computer in sleep mode is using 25W or about the same as a lightbulb. Not so much you say but 25 * 20 * 16 is 8 kWh which costs, in Ireland about €2. That's a tenner a week or about €500/yr which was doing much less good to me or the planet than €500 worth of wine. I feel a guesstimation exercise coming on for next year's QM class:
  • Is it worth employing someone to switch off all the lights/computers in The Institute at the end of the working day?
And that's just one computer room, there are probably 20 such room-equivalents on campus = 400 there are 400 faculty and support staff, each one with a desktop computer. If half of all the computers are left on all night that's (400 + 400)/2 * 16hrs * 25W = 160kWh each night or €40. Many of my colleagues leave their computers on each night because the boot up takes so long which is a real deficit if you have a 0900 class and want to print out a quiz for 30 students . . . after a forward-planning failure. I used to do the same thing - and piss-and-moan at the inefficiency of it until I spoke to our IT support person. He said that the boot-up delay was because my computer was under RAMmed so he came over in the afternoon and replaced the 4GB chip with an 8GB version: the boot up then took 10 seconds. Moral: just ask - you may be pushing at an open door.  And switch the bloody lights out, of course.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Now dry your hands

Having two daughters in the catering trade and teaching biology and human physiology in The Institute, I have views on hand-washing and not washing them.  Clearly I R confuse about the matter. I'm much firmer about the art of drying your hands, however. I'll give the students a broadside about arbormort if I see them pulling out fathoms of paper towel to dab their fingers dry. If the kids have to wash their hands before and after lab-class that is a lot of paper towel and we habitually get through the annual quota about 6 weeks before classes finish. Outside the labs, in the "bathrooms", some bean-counter has decided that air-blowers are more economic than paying for paper towels.

On our Cultural Weekend in Cork (march, film, dance, bonding) we went out to dinner before the ProdiJig gig. After a certain amount of geopolitical debate we wound up in Koto: Our Asian inspired menu has been created to soothe, nourish, and inspire . . . you get the picture. We got perfectly acceptable tasty bowls of noodles and polished our plates, so that was okay. But waiting for the bill, we all went up many flights of stairs for tinkle before a couple of hours in the theatre. The hand dryers in the gents were just pathetic and I finshed up drying my hands on the back of my shirt. This is a known thing among blokes. As we walked across to the Cork Opera House, I asked my three favorite women, on the hypothesis that the ladies hand-'drier' was as useless as the blokes',
Q1, How did you dry your hands?
Dau.I. On my skirt, of course.
Q2. How did you dry your hands?
Dau.II, Duh, on the seat of my jeans.
Q3. How did you dry your hands?
The Beloved: I used toilet paper.
All.  Mega-fail! What about the trees? Were they organic, even?
All that intra-family barney and diequilibrium could have been avoited if the restaurant had installed a system that not only saved paper but actually dried hands . . . more effectively than having someone breathe on a glass prior to polishing it. There's no excuse here because Koto has only been open since March

The air driers at work are noisy and hot and almost do the biz in the time allotted. The newest building dubbed the Haughton Teaching and Learning Centre has Dyson blade driers which really do work better than the sclerotic warm-air machines installed in the older parts of campus. a) I wish to receive a gratituity from Dyson for this affirmation b) I intend to take a short walk in the rain next time I need to wash my hands . . . or bring a table-napkin to work - fits folded in the back-pocket and serves as a personal hand-towel. Epic Win!

Monday, 19 June 2017

You can sing it

We've finished exams at The Institute - big phew! all round. Almost all my hours nowadays are practical classes in biology and maths, so I only have to write, have reviewed and mark one Summer exam: Human Physiology for 1st Year Pharm Tech PT1. With all my courses, there is a certain amount of Imposter Syndrome - none of it really taps into my peer-reviewed expertise in the migration of cats; hominid tooth metrics, synonymous codon usage; gene discovery in chickens or operons in the human genome.  There are no operons in the human genome!  I used to get nervous submitting exams in Human Physiology knowing they were to be reviewed by two external experts in Pharmacy.  Then for several years, the feedback was entirely complimentary "good paper, well developed syllabus, fair questions" so I started to believe that I really did know and was effectively explaining important stuff about how the human body works.

The exam papers are reviewed by the externs in February and the answers are reviewed at the beginning of June.  For the first time, all my PT1 students had passed the course, although I'd had to be a bit generous towards some in the trailing tail of the class.  To be honest, a handful of them had done shockin' bad on the exams and had only passed because they had done okay on the numerous MCQ quizzes that I'd put them through during the year . . . and done surprisingly well on their essay on lysosome storage disorders. So I was little defensive talking to the extern and I found myself gabbling about the artificiality of examinations: learn learn learn, cram cram cram, blurf it all out in two hours and forget it forever the very next day.- as shown by some of these university graduates retaking the teenage maths exam. I asserted that my students would remember the information about their lysosome storage disorder for longer than anything that had appeared on the May exams.  It made me resolve to have more project work next year but I also resolved to make some of the key facts more sticky.

At the beginning of the month I was unavoidably listening to adults talking about the berluddy Leaving Certificate, the exam ordeal to which every 18 y.o. in the country is subjected.  As a bit of light relief two presenters were remembering what was top of the pop charts during those fateful two weeks long long ago. Loadsa people txtd and phoned in to report the song that was still buzzing round their heads decades after they had forgotten The Calculus, the terms of The Treaty of Paris 1783 or who signed The Treaty of Paris 1951.

Then I heard an interview with George Hammond-Hagan [similar on the BBC] who has devised a mnemonic resource call Study Tracks.  He is song-writer who had a son going through the goddam exams and so he wrote and sang some songs using the text-books for lyrics.  It has the ring-a-ling-ling of truth. It's got to work for some kids some of the time.  It's a business but here are some samplers renaissance - R&J. Such rapology doesn't sing to me, but it may well work for The Yoof. This is not an original idea: here's Mrs Martin making her maths pupils dance to her tune. And years and years ago Tom Lehrer [bloboprev] nailed the Elements to a song so that Daniel "Potter" Ratcliffe could recite them.

I've introduced my PT1s to The Memory Palace for blood pressure but there are lots of ways in which something will happen that will make more sticky the ideas, the lists of attributes, the main players in Human Physiology.  If I was deliver myself slightly late to class in a bright red leotard, brandishing a huge hot-water bottle and moaning about the pain d'ye think they'd remember the four attributes of inflammation . . . forever?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Dadical

Dadical is a new coinage, as far as my daughters are concerned, having been applied to me yesterday. 'Popsicle' would have been possible except that it is already a word for something cool and refreshing: hardly applicable to The Da. Back in  April, Dau.I and I went on the March for Science in Dublin. The agreement was that she'd come out For Science if I would come out for The Gays. That was tentatively fixed as having a date with the Dublin Pride March on 24th June 2017. But 2 months is a long time in radical politics and I washed up in Cork this weekend because a) it was my birthday yesterday b) therefore Dau.II had bought us tickets for ProdiJig, a hoofer troop of which she is a fan. Here we are, Dau.I and her Dadical [Left for Rights! close-up below] wearing identical repealthe8th badges.
Because good things always come in threes, it turned out that Dau.I could get her pay-back and we could have a family outing round Cork city centre, by going on the local Repeal the Eighth rally, which kicked off at 1330hrs yesterday. Here  I explained the issues about the 8th Amemndment to the Constitution back in March. With two daughters in the 20s, I get to hear about those issues from the horse's mouth as one might say. A case could be made, and the girls are quite keen to make it, that only women of child-bearing age have a locus standi on the matter and they invite nuns, grannies and blokes of any age to just hold their whisht about the rights and wrongs of abortion. My late lamented, and rarely PC boss had a phrase "your rights end where my nose begins" which I am inclined to take up on his behalf. That's  a trip-off-the tongue way of articulating an overarching tolerance of diversity. Matter-a-damn what you do at home - eat pray or love whomever or whatever you wanted because it was none of my business. It's not a literal nose as the boundary - mowing the lawn or raising cain at 0300hrs on a week-night is not tolerable unless your neighbours all have ear-plugs.

One problem with Rights is deciding who is to vindicate them. I don't think that normal people would have much tolerance for a return to trial by combat in which the strongest, fastest or wiliest fighter was demmed to have found favour with the deity. We still haven't cracked the closely related problem of trial by lawyers because it is clear statistically that the richest person wins disputes a disproportionate amount of the time. It is more or less a sham to appoint a lawyer to fight for the dispossessed because they are hobbled by lack of money.  ANNyway the effect of the 8th Amendment as it has come to be interpreted is that the right to life of the unborn trumps pretty much any right of the mother except avoidance of her death. The vindication of this right has led to one high profile case, Savita Halappanavar's, which killed both mother and child and that doesn't seem to be the best possible outcome by an objective assessment. The right to life was brought into focus again in 2015 when a woman, 17 weeks pregnant was kept on life-support after sustaining a catastrophic internal blood clot that left her brain-dead.  The Hippocratic Oath is specifically against abortion but we don't need to adopt wholesale the ethics of ancient Greeks whose civilisation had a foundation of slavery in the silver mines of Athens. We could move to the 19thC with Arthur Clough's verse advice "Thou shalt not kill / But need’st not strive / Officiously, to keep alive." which I've trotted out before on end-of-life issues.

Here's the thing, right now we are in an 'every sperm life is sacred' era: caught between a life is cheap time when a child could be hanged for stealing a handerkerchief and an uncertain future. The trouble with Rights is when they are prefaced by a starement like "We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .".  To which the skeptical reply is Whoa! no we don't. Rights that were obvious to all thinking people at some time in the past are now considered repugnant to many. The rights of the unborn are a super-polarising concept about which it is hard to have a rational discussion. Discussion degenerates into a recital of anecdotes (I gave two, Savita H and life-support,, in the prev para); young women fall pregnant for all sorts of reasons and travel to the UK for a termination - at a rate of 10-30 every day so they already have the ability to safely become unpregnant. If The Patriarchy would just shut up, this Irish Right could be vindicated in an Irish clinic. Another place to start the discussion might be to suggest that we throw out the Absolutes - because we don't give an unqualified right to life to Syrian refugees, or starvelings in the Sahel or Somali pirates. We now live in a 21stC where 7.5 billion people are eating their seed-corn and despoiling the planet. Fewer people please: coral reefs, rain-forests and every species on the IUCN red list have rights as well as every person or proto-person on the planet.