Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Death of Intellectual Curiosity

Intellectual curiosity is a term used to describe one’s desire to invest time and energy into learning more about a person, place, thing or concept.

On this day, May 29th, 2012 we are hereby declaring Intellectual Curiosity - Dead.

And what, pray tell, caused this statement of fact to surface on our hallowed blog you may ask?

It is an email circulating about a recent story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. One that made outlandish and completely unsupported claims of a shark tag found on a recently caught white shark in the Sea of Cortez.

What's at stake is everything we know about white shark movements in the region and as the author of this email rightly points out, "falsified data may lead to the misinterpretations that could take a generation to correct."

Hello Oxygen Shark Myth.

The story about the tag caught our full attention many weeks ago when it first ran. Unlike far too many who accept as gospel fact the forthright media drivel being spoon fed to conservationists, a sorry state of affairs we call "The Sea Shepherdization" of conservation. We have always reserved the right to ask questions and drill down into the facts.

It's called intellectual curiosity. 

In the hands of those who propagate conservation nonsense it has been re-branded as, "meddling, jealousy, and hate."

The persons penning the email put forth a well known character in shark conservation and politics Dr.Michael Domeier. You may recall our blow out with him over the Junior Affair at the Farallones in California a few years ago.

Say what you want about that particular timeline our argument was with the animal and methods of tagging. What has recently transpired in the Sea of Cortez at a little place called El Choyudo will undoubtedly go down as the worst of shark conservation and science and a complete validation of how in today's media environment those who would invent utter conservation nonsense can in fact, be heard, be accepted, and be considered relevant.

Again, when Paul Watson can fake being assassinated to secure a second season of a reality tv show and NO ONE in the wider conservation sphere calls him or his organization on it, the world pays attention. 

And those who do - emulate.

Welcome to the death of intellectual curiosity. 

Fortunately Dr. Michael Domeier expresses a deep and abiding intellectual curiosity for sharks and was unwilling to accept a story that suggested that one of the largest recorded sharks in the Sea of Cortez history had a tag on it from California. 

We too were dubious, but our investigations only followed up to images of the tag.

What caught us were the nature of the images. In one, the alleged tag was in place with a small knife for perspective. Something only a researcher would do, certainly not a small village fisher-woman in Mexico.

Our inquiry ended with several conversations with the reporter at the Santa Cruz Sentinel and was left unfulfilled. Until the industry email we read today.

Kudos to Dr.Domeier for following up on this story, his efforts are to be lauded. He has exposed a lie pure and simple and one that causes the world as we know it to be diminished. Made smaller and cheaper by the fact that this animal was attributed to places and people it had never encountered.

We can all learn a lesson from this. This is the titular "Emperor with No Clothes" moment displaying to shark conservationists worldwide how the death of intellectual curiosity is hurting is all.

Don't drink the Kool-Aid.

Stand and be curious. 

More from Da Shark in Fiji NSFW.

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at sharkcrew@gmail.com.


DaShark said...


My money, of course, is on DD.

Shark Diver said...

Ditto here. SVS has some s'plaining to do.