“When an apple ripens and falls — what makes it fall? Is it that it is attracted to the ground, is it that the stem withers, is it that the sun has dried it up, that it has grown heavier, that the wind shakes it, that the boy standing underneath it wants to eat it? No one thing is the cause.” – Tolstoy, “War and Peace”
Fallacy of the single cause… or the ‘smoking-gun fallacy’. Several years ago Tracy Chapman sang about it: “Give me one reason…”
After the near-global financial meltdown of 2008, the explanations of causes began… Alan Greenspan, fiscal policy, investors, leveraged-funds, greed, etc. etc. Pundits, journalists, economists, world leaders and advisors, and every other somebody-wanting-to-be-somebody pondered the reason for the collapse.
There is no ‘ONE’ reason.
Yet… it seems that we now may have a $25+ million investment in the Cohen Commission with Chapman singing the theme song: “Give me one Reason”.
(and no, this is not ‘give me one reason’ to actually implement the recommendations… that’s a different story)
All of this to explain the ‘collapse’ of 2009 Fraser River sockeye.
Yet, could we not have done the same for the record run (for some areas of the watershed) the next year: 2010? Why not study the ‘record’ up, as well as the ‘record’ down… would that maybe not explain more as opposed to trying to find a ‘smoking gun’ for the collapse.
If we did a $25+ million judicial inquiry of the record-run the next year – what would we be looking for? What would be the analogy…? the ‘fertilizing gun’…?
Was the entire issue with the Cohen Commission that maybe everyone used the wrong analogy?
_ _ _ _ _ _
What do both of these events prove: a record collapse followed by a record run?
(sound like stock markets anyone? of course, government pundits and leaders will tell you that the stock market runs have been all about the government intervention and ‘stimulus’… )
What does 2009 and 2010 tell us about Fraser sockeye?
That we, and the ‘managers’ charged with ‘managing’ wild salmon – don’t really have a clue. Like the pundits that try and predict stock market rises and falls based on illusions of some factor or other… we don’t really know what’s going on – yet, if we stick to the ‘averages’ from some 100 years of tracking, that will probably provide some sort of illusion of prediction…
Like financial markets, and various other fields, ‘predicting’ salmon runs comes down to chance – the ‘illusion of skill’ pervades…. and that if we just spend enough money, on enough ‘experts’ we will come up with an answer – THE ANSWER.
Nope – fallacy of the single cause.