Berrett Koehler Publishers (22)
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8 A Vision for a More Humane Tech

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Imagine that your smartphone had a pause button that would stop all buzzing and notifications for multiples of fifteen minutes and clear your home screen to leave nothing on it except for a clock—and that you could block all incoming messages by pushing a single button on the phone. You might say that your phone already does that with its Do Not Disturb (DND) mode, but DND requires quite a bit of management in its present state, and when the DND period ends, you get a rush of notifications, followed by newly arriving notifications. What if you could program the phone to send you notifications only on the hour, in regular batches?

In fact, someone has already invented a phone like that. It’s named “Siempo,” and it was designed by a team from the ground up to encourage more conscious, thoughtful use of applications and technology, and to return to users control over their lives. Siempo calls the device the “phone for humans.”1 Siempo was launched on Kickstarter in March 2017, and it raised only a fraction of its goal of $500,000. Sadly, the market did not fully validate what Siempo was offering.

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8 Robotics and Biology: The Inevitable Merging of Man and Machine

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As a child, I believed that by the time I grew up, we would all have robots like Rosie, from The Jetsons, cleaning up after us. In this 1970s cartoon show, Rosie is the domestically adroit robot maid of a family, the Jetsons, in the year 2062. The on-demand economy appealed to my juvenile sensibilities: why should anyone waste time doing dishes or folding clothes? And I wasn’t very popular in school; I didn’t have many friends. So I longed for a droid friend like C-3PO, Luke Skywalker’s robot buddy from Star Wars.

Rosie never arrived. Just after the turn of the century, I got a Roomba, an automated vacuum cleaner that goes round and round and gets stuck on rug fringes and wedges itself into corners. Even now, the nearest things to C-3PO on the mass market are A.I. assistants such as Siri, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa.

In fact, scientists and technologists have found that some of the hardest things to teach a robot to do are the very things that we learn soonest, and even skills that seem to be innate to us. In 2008, UC Berkeley roboticist Pieter Abbeel started building a robot, BRETT (an acronym for Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks). The first tedious task Abbeel started BRETT on was folding laundry; but he and his team quickly realized that teaching a robot to fold laundry was going to be harder than they had envisaged.

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4 Online Technology and Work

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Before the Internet and smartphones, we left our work at the office. We typed reports on typewriters (or on word processors and PCs). Calling meetings was complicated. Today, e-mail and chat connect us around the clock to colleagues around the world. We share information quickly and easily—and are often interrupted. We must process and filter far more information. As we show in this chapter, the changes that online technology has wrought in recent years may be impeding our work, reducing our productiveness, and taking its toll on our well-being.

As Alex sat down to work on this chapter for the first time, he shut off his Internet access and settled in to read the research he and his research assistant, Sachin Maini, had collected on the impact of technology on the workplace. About fifteen minutes into reading on his computer screen off line, Alex clicked on a URL because he wanted to read a related article. He turned his Internet access back on, went to that article, and found that he would need to search the web for a PDF version.

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15 Almost Free Energy and Food

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ever since the oil crisis of October 1973, when the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an embargo and caused the price of oil to increase from $3 to $12 per barrel, the world has been in a constant state of fear of impending shortages of energy and consequent price hikes. We have begun to believe that the planet will soon run out of oil and will therefore be out of energy. Governments have been jockeying to secure oil shipments. In order to preserve the Earth’s dwindling energy supplies, the United States has mandated increases in the fuel efficiency of cars.

Certainly the Earth’s stock of burnable fossil fuels is limited. But we have come to apply the same scarcity thinking to water; even experts believe that large parts of the planet will run out of water and that wars will break out over access to the limited supplies. Despite a wet 2015 El Niño year, the California drought is causing a fear that agriculture will have to be permanently curtailed, leading to long-term shortages of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

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3 How Change Will Affect Us Personally and Why Our Choices Matter

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Imagine a future in which we are able to live healthy, productive lives though jobs no longer exist. We have comfortable homes, in which we can “print” all of the food we need as well as our electronics and household amenities. When we need to go anywhere, we click on a phone application, and a driverless car shows up to take us to our destination. I am talking about an era of almost unlimited energy, food, education, and health care in which we have all of the material things we need.

Another way of looking at this is as a future of massive unemployment, in which the jobs of doctors, lawyers, waiter, accountants, construction workers, and practically every other kind of worker you can think of are done by machines. Instead of having the freedom to drive anywhere you want, you are dependent on robots to take you where you want to go. Gone are the thrill of driving and the satisfaction of working for a living.

Some of us will see these potential changes as a positive, and others will be terrified. Regardless, this is a glimpse into the near future.

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Cab International (154)
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7: Nematophagous Fungi: Commercialization

Askary, T.H., Editor CAB International PDF

7 

Nematophagous Fungi:

Commercialization

Mohammad Reza Moosavi1* and Tarique Hassan Askary2

1

Department of Plant Pathology, Marvdasht Branch, Islamic

Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran; 2Division of Entomology,

Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and

Technology, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

7.1  Introduction

It is estimated that about 842 million people, or 12% of the global population, did not have enough food to satisfy their dietary energy requirements in 2011–13. This means that approximately one in eight people in the world are likely to have suffered from chronic starvation (FAO et al., 2013). Plant diseases are considered a significant threat to increasing agricultural productivity since they can cause serious losses and in turn endanger food security (Strange and Scott, 2005). At least 12% of worldwide food production is lost due to plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs)

(Nicol et al., 2011) and this quantity is too high to be ignored. Therefore, it becomes mandatory to decrease the level of damage caused by PPNs to agricultural and horticultural crops, though it is a daunting task and difficult to achieve. Management of PPNs has been principally based on application of chemical nematicides but there is a need to substitute chemicals with other effective methods. The efficient synthetic nematicides are not affordable by a lot of growers or have generally been taken off the market due to concerns about the environmental hazards and human

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9 Good Intentions vs Good Ideas: Evaluating Bioenergy Projects that Utilize Invasive Plant Feedstocks

Quinn, L.D., Editor CAB International PDF

9

Good Intentions vs Good Ideas:

Evaluating Bioenergy Projects that

Utilize Invasive Plant Feedstocks

Lloyd L. Nackley*

University of Cape Town and South Africa National Biodiversity

Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

This chapter evaluates the sustainability of using naturalized or cultivated invasive plant species as feedstocks for bioenergy, including electrical power, liquid biofuels, and chemical substitutes. The evaluations apply a sustainability framework that recognizes economic and social development, as well as environmental protection. The necessity of using a sustainability framework is illustrated by revealing how historical bioenergy developments, which did not consider multiple aspects of sustainability (e.g., only economics), fell short of providing socially acceptable and environmentally neutral/ beneficial bioenergy. There are two divergent issues regarding the use of invasive plants in bioenergy: (i) dedicated energy feedstocks that may foster biological invasions; and (ii) harvesting existing invasive plant biomass for bioenergy conversion. Fertile dedicated feedstocks are shown to be a less sustainable option than sterile species with no history of invasion. No species with a history of invasion should be used as a dedicated energy feedstock. Harvesting existing invasive populations is shown to be economically unsustainable if the bioenergy conversion process is dependent on the invasive plant population. When invasive plant populations represent a small portion of the overall energy supply (<10%) there are possible synergies available for thermal energy conversion processes (e.g., bioelectricity, or syngas production), but not for liquid biofuels, which currently cannot tolerate a heterogeneous feedstock mix. Lastly, invasive plant-based biochar is deemed the most suitable option, because it meets all sustainability criteria.

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Medium 9781780642789

Lucerne or Alfalfa (Medicago sativa Linn.)

Kumar, P.; Sharma, M.K. CAB International PDF

LUCERNE or ALFALFA

(Medicago sativa Linn.)

NITROGEN (N) DEFICIENCY

Symptoms

1. Deficient plants become stunted and have sparse growth.

2. The stem becomes thin and elongated. The leaves become smaller and initially the entire plant appears chlorotic.

3. Since nitrogen is a mobile nutrient within plants, under short supply conditions it is quickly mobilized from lower to upper leaves. Thus the lower leaves display deficiency symptoms first.

4. The older leaves turn uniformly light yellow to dark yellow, while the younger leaves may remain light green (Plate 684).

5. The yellow older leaves then turn white and become necrotic.

Eventually, the leaves die and drop off early.

Plate 684. Light green upper leaves contrasted with yellow lower leaves. (Photo by Dr Prakash Kumar.)

Developmental stages

Stage I: In mild deficiency the entire plant becomes stunted and uniformly pale green (Plate 683).

Stage II: If the deficiency advances, the upper leaves appear pale green and the older leaves turn light yellow to dark yellow (Plate 684).

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SECTION IV: PLANT–MICROBIAL SYMBIONT–NEMATODE INTERACTIONS

Stirling, G.R. CAB International PDF

8

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi, Endophytic

Fungi, Bacterial Endophytes and Plant

Growth-promoting Rhizobacteria

Some plant-parasitic nematodes are aboveground parasites, but most obtain sustenance from roots and spend their entire lives below ground. Their root-feeding habit brings them into contact with a unique microbial environment that is quite different from the bulk soil mass. Between 25% and 40% of the energy captured by plants during photosynthesis is liberated as root exudates, and since the carbon compounds they contain are a rich source of nutrients for soil microorganisms, the root– soil interface (generally known as the rhizosphere) is by far the most microbially active zone in soil (see Chapter 2). It may seem surprising that plants would release a large proportion of their photosynthates into soil, but we now know that one of the reasons is to prime a defence system that provides protection from root-feeding herbivores. Large numbers of beneficial microorganisms utilize root exudates as a food source, and one of their functions is to interfere in some way with pests and pathogens of roots. Plants also have other ways of using soil microorganisms for their benefit. Some rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria have plant growth-­promoting properties; certain bacteria and fungi live endophytically in root cells and play a role in plant defence mechanisms; and symbiotic relationships are established with bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi to provide plants with nitrogen and to aid nutrient uptake. Thus,

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6: Integrating Beliefs and Preferences for Decision Analysis

J.B. Hardaker; R.B.M Huirne; J.R. Anderson CAB International PDF

6 

Integrating Beliefs and

Preferences for Decision Analysis

Decision Trees Revisited

In Chapter 2 we introduced the notion of a decision tree to represent a risky decision. Recall that decision problems are shown with two different kinds of forks, one kind representing decisions and the other representing sources of uncertainty. We represented decision forks, where a choice must be made, by a small square at the node, and we represented event forks, the branches of which represent alternative events or states, by a small circle at the node. We showed how a decision tree can be resolved working from right to left, replacing event forks by their certainty equivalents (CEs) and selecting the optimal branch at each decision fork.

We now return to the simple example relating to insurance against losses from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) to show how probabilities and utilities are integrated into the analysis. For convenience, the original decision tree developed in Chapter 2 (Fig. 2.2) is repeated here as Fig. 6.1. Note that the uncertainty about the future incidence of the disease is represented in the tree by the event fork with branches for ‘No outbreak’ and ‘Outbreak’. To measure the uncertainty here we need to ask the farmer for subjective probabilities for these two events. Suppose that, as explained in Chapter 3, the farmer assigns a probability of 0.94 to there being no outbreak and a complementary probability of 0.06 to an outbreak occurring. Similarly, the farmer is uncertain about what policy for control of the disease might be implemented if an outbreak occurs, as shown by the event forks further to the right in Fig. 6.1. Again, the farmer is able to assign some subjective values to these conditional probabilities of 0.5 and 0.5

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Cabi (198)
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11 Management of Water and Agroecosystems in Landscapes for Sustainable Food Security

Boelee, E. CABI PDF

11

Management of Water and

Agroecosystems in Landscapes for Sustainable

Food Security

Eline Boelee,1* Sara J. Scherr,2 Petina L. Pert,3 Jennie Barron,4

Max Finlayson,5 Katrien Descheemaeker,6 Jeffrey C. Milder,2 Renate

Fleiner,7 Sophie Nguyen-Khoa,8 Stefano Barchiesi,9

Stuart W. Bunting,10 Rebecca E. Tharme,11 Elizabeth Khaka,12

David Coates,13 Elaine M. Solowey,14 Gareth J. Lloyd,15 David Molden7 and Simon Cook16

1Water

Health, Hollandsche Rading, the Netherlands; 2EcoAgriculture Partners,

Washington, DC, USA; 3Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research

Organisation (CSIRO), Cairns, Queensland, Australia; 4Stockholm Environment

Institute, University of York, UK and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm

University, Stockholm, Sweden; 5Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS), Charles

Sturt University, Albury, New South Wales, Australia; 6Plant Production Systems,

Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands; 7International Centre for

Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal;

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7: Diseases

CABI PDF

7 Diseases

1

C. Chattopadhyay1* and S.J. Kolte2

National Centre on Integrated Pest Management, Pusa Campus, New Delhi;

2

Ex-Professor (Plant Pathology), Kothrud, Pune, India

Introduction

Rapeseed-mustard crops are confronted by numerous diseases, insects, drought, high temperature, salinity and frost, etc. Fungal diseases are a major hurdle towards achieving higher production. The intensive cultivation of rapeseed-mustard crops with more inputs has further compounded the problem and now the occurrence of diseases has become more frequent and widespread. Severe outbreak of diseases deteriorates the quantity as well as quality of seed and oil content drastically in different oilseed brassica crops. Expression of full inherent genetic potential of a genotype is governed by inputs that go in to the production system. This can be very well illustrated with examples that involve disease management of rapeseed-mustard.

The yield reduction in oilseed brassica crops due to biotic stresses is about 19.9%, out of which diseases cause severe yield reduction at various plant growth stages. Various plant pathogens have been found to distress the crop. Of these, 18 are commercially damaging in different parts of the world. It is essential to know the causal agents, their behaviour and means to attack the vulnerable stage of the

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11: The Importance of Veteran Trees for Saproxylic Insects

Kirby, K.J.; Watkins, C. CABI PDF

11 

The Importance of Veteran Trees for Saproxylic Insects

Juha Siitonen1* and Thomas Ranius2

Natural Resources Institute Finland, Vantaa, Finland; 2Department of Ecology,

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

1

11.1 Introduction

Old trees – often referred to as ancient or

­veteran – have always attracted attention, but recently there has been a revival of interest in them from an ecological and conservation perspective. Ancient trees are old individuals that have clearly passed beyond maturity and often show features such as cavities or hollow trunks, bark loss over sections of the trunk and a large quantity of dead wood in the canopy. The term

‘veteran tree’ includes younger individuals that have developed similar characteristics as a result of adverse growing conditions or injury (Woodland Trust, 2008; Lonsdale, 2013).

Veteran trees are defined as being of interest biologically, culturally or aesthetically because of their age, size or condition (Read, 2000).

A large old tree has been described as an arboreal megalopolis for saproxylic species

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8: Evaluation of Tillage and Farmyard Manure on Soil Properties and Maize Yield in the Mid-hills of Nepal

Chan, C.; Fantle-Lepczyk, J. CABI PDF

8

Evaluation of Tillage and

Farmyard Manure on Soil

Properties and Maize Yield in the Mid-hills of Nepal

Roshan Pudasaini1* and Keshav Raj Pande2

Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development,

Pokhara, Nepal; 2Agriculture and Forestry University, Chitwan, Nepal

1

8.1  Introduction

In Nepal, maize (Zea mays L.) is the major staple crop after rice, both in terms of area and production. Grain is used as a staple food by people, as well as used as animal feed. Maize stover is also used as bedding material for livestock and as fuel for cooking. Maize is currently grown on 875,660 ha of land, with a total production of 1,855,184 Megagrams (Mg) and an average yield of 2.119 Mg/ha

(MoAC, 2010), and therefore plays an important role in national food security.

About 70% of Nepal’s total maize production area is within the country’s east to west oriented mid-hills region, where the crop is grown in rainfed conditions during the summer months, i.e. April–August (MoAC, 2010).

Maize yield in Nepal is lower than world levels. There are several reasons associated with low productivity of maize, including low nutrient supply, poor irrigation facilities, poor yield varieties, poor weed management practices, and most seriously, rapidly degrading soil quality, particularly in Nepal’s mid-hill region

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10 Carbon Sequestration and Animal-Agriculture: Relevance and Strategies to Cope with Climate Change

Malik, P.K CABI PDF

10

Carbon Sequestration and

Animal-Agriculture: Relevance and Strategies to Cope with

Climate Change

C. Devendra*

Consulting Tropical Animal Production Systems Specialist,

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract

Carbon sequestration is an important pathway to stabilize the environment with minimum effects of climate change. Farming systems provide a non-compensated service to society by removing atmospheric carbon generated from fossil fuel combustion, feed production, land restoration, deforestation, biomass burning and drainage of wetlands.

The resultant increase in the global emissions of carbon is calculated at 270 Gt, and increasing at the rate of 4 billion tonnes year–1. Strategies to maximize carbon sequestration through enhanced farming practices, particularly in crop–animal systems, are thus an important priority to reduce global warming. These pathways also respond to agricultural productivity in the multifaceted, less favoured rainfed environments. Sustainable animal-agriculture requires an understanding of crop–animal interactions and integrated natural resource management (NRM), demonstrated in the development of underestimated silvopastoral systems (tree crops and ruminants).

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Cabi (590)
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16 Biosafety and Regulatory Aspects of Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food

Singh, H.B.; Mishra, S.; Fraceto, L.F. CABI PDF

16

Biosafety and Regulatory

Aspects of Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food

Akansha Jain,1* Harikesh B. Singh2 and Sampa Das1

Division of Plant Biology, Bose Institute Centenary Campus, Kolkata,

India; 2Department of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Banaras Hindu

University, Varanasi, India

1

16.1 Introduction

Nanotechnologies have opened the door of innovation and promises for the development of new products in almost all industrial, agricultural and food-based sectors. They have increased the efficacy of agrochemicals, enhanced nutrient availability, created efficient machinery for drug delivery, improvised food processing and product storage. They have unique properties due to their high surface-to-mass ratio, which results in a higher reactivity for interactions, ion delivery or contact. However, due to such small dimensions, characteristics such as shape, composition, charge and solubility can change their physicochemical behaviour in an unpredictable way. Therefore, they may pose a risk to human health and the environment due to widespread and irrational use, either directly, or via exposure to animals or residues in soil by the virtue of their enhanced delivery potential (Amenta et al., 2015; Mishra et al., 2017).

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PART III: GENDER AND RURAL IDENTITY

Bock, B.B.; Shortall, S. CABI PDF

12 

Rurality and Gender Identity

S. Shortall*

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Introduction

When Bettina Bock wrote the introduction to the identity section of Rural Gender Rela­ tions in 2006, she noted that it was in the second half of the 1990s that researchers in

Western countries really began to look at the construction of gender identities in the rural setting. This is an area that has developed significantly since then. It concentrated initially on the identity of farm women and men. Studies then broadened in scope to consider how the rural might intersect with other factors and shape gender.

She also noted that the focus on identity was a predominantly Western one and it was of less interest in the developing world.

Ten years on, this remains the case. She commented that with modernization and globalization the economic position and social status of traditional rural professions weaken. More and more farmers, fishers and foresters have difficulties remaining as the primary breadwinner. Marshall (2001), Ni

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11 Opportunity of Robotics in Precision Horticulture

Zhang, Q. CABI PDF

11

Opportunity of Robotics in Precision Horticulture

Thomas Burks1*, Duke Bulanon2 and Siddhartha Mehta1

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA; 2Northwest Nazarene

University, Nampa, Idaho, USA

1

11.1 Introduction

The motivation towards adoption of mechanization and automation technologies for fruit production has been associated primarily with labor productivity, labor cost and availability, as well as other factors such as cultivar/varietal improvements, fruit quality and safety, disease and pest pressures, environmental concerns and regulations, and global market pressures. Although the vast majority of progress has been realized during the past 50 years, there seems to be an accelerated effort in developed countries in the past decade as two major factors come to bear. The first is rapidly escalating labor cost along with a shrinking labor force, while the second is a significant acceleration in agricultural automation technological development enabled by aerospace, defense and industrial efforts. The concept of appropriate automation becomes crucial, since global market pressures limit the cost of automation to competitive levels.

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29: IPM Case Studies: Seed Potato

van Emden, H.F.; Harrington, R. CABI PDF

29

IPM Case Studies: Seed Potato1

Jon Pickup* and Christophe Lacomme

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), Edinburgh, UK

Introduction

Potato Viruses and their Aphid Vectors

As potato is predominantly vegetatively (clonally) propagated; viruses that are systemic within the plant can be transmitted from one generation to the next through the planting of infected tubers.

The resulting virus-infected plants provide a source of inoculum during the growing season.

Approximately 40 viruses infect cultivated potatoes, of which 13 are primarily transmitted by aphids (Valkonen, 2007). The most widely distributed and common viruses, and therefore the most economically important viruses, are the aphidtransmitted polerovirus Potato leaf roll virus

(PLRV), the potyviruses Potato virus Y (PVY) and

Potato virus A (PVA) and the carlaviruses Potato virus M (PVM) and Potato virus S (PVS) (Gopal and Khurana, 2006). In Scotland, aphid-transmitted viruses are responsible for over 75% of the virus symptoms seen in classified seed potatoes.

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15 Edwardsiella spp.

Woo, P.T.K.; Cipriano, R.C. CABI PDF

15

Edwardsiella spp.

Matt J. Griffin,* Terrence E. Greenway and David J. Wise

Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center,

Mississippi State University, Stoneville, Mississippi, USA

15.1  Introduction

The Edwardsiella (family Enterobacteriacae) was originally described as a new genus of the Enter­ obacteriaceae in the mid-1960s; it represented 37 isolates recovered from open wounds, blood, urine and faeces of humans and animals in the USA,

Brazil, Ecuador, Israel and Japan (Ewing et  al.,

1965). In spite of this, the species of Edwardsiella are mostly considered to be pathogens of fish

(Mohanty and Sahoo, 2007; Table 15.1). E. tarda was first reported from outbreaks in farmed channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in Arkansas in the

USA (Meyer and Bullock, 1973) and has become one of the most globally recognized fish pathogens, affecting both wild and cultured fish worldwide

(Park et al., 2012).

Similarly, E. ictaluri was described from farmraised catfish in the south-eastern USA in the early

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Indiana University Press (32)
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5 A New Sphere: Air Power, 1903–2013

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Development in aircraft design and construction is rapid in these days.

British Ministerial Committee on Disarmament dealing with Air Defence, 1934

Air power is a key area of discussion when considering military technology. It provides examples of dramatic changes in capability and also links past and present with consideration of the future of warfare. Moreover, the nature, impact, and limitations of air power and warfare have been the subject of extensive analysis.1 Manned heavier-than-air flight, first officially achieved by the American Wright brothers in 1903, was a key instance of the enhancement of fighting capability through totally new technology. Flight, or at least the use of the air, had had an earlier role in warfare with balloons, which were used by the French for reconnaissance in the 1790s, but its capability was now transformed. Imaginative literature, such as that of the novelist H. G. Wells, had prepared commentators for the impact of powered, controlled flight. Science fiction possibly gave some inspiration as to how airships could be used, as in John Carter of Mars (1912). In 1908, Count Zeppelin’s LZ-4 airship had flown over 240 miles in 12 hours, leading to a marked revival of interest in airships, and in Britain in 1909 there was a scare about a possible attack by German airships.

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7 Into the Future

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

The year 2000 will be “now” soon, if we ever make it. . . . But maybe the planet will have exploded by then, or been devastated by uranium fires and throw-outs, and a little napalm and laser beams gone wild, on the side.

Janwillem van de Wetering, The Japanese Corpse, 1977

The future recedes continually, at least for humans, unless it is ended for us by destroying the Earth or human life on it. The elusive character of the future means that modernity, the condition of the present seen as looking toward the future and making it possible, also changes. Thus, any discussion of current warfare in terms of modernity and modernization risks rapid anachronism.

This indeterminacy and unpredictability at the present time is linked to another characteristic: the manner in which views of future circumstances so often prove mistaken. That, however, is not simply a case of assuming technological capabilities that do not in the event arise. Instead, there is the abiding need to relate these capabilities to world developments that may provide opportunities, needs, and resources for such capabilities or, conversely, may thwart their development or application. As a result, we are returned anew to the issue of context. Any discussion of future warfare involves consideration of the wars to come, and the latter entails an understanding of possible variations in tasking. This is a matter both of tasking from and for civil society and also tasking by and for the military.

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Ten The War across the Pacific: Introduction and Conclusion

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER TEN

THE WAR ACROSS THE PACIFIC: INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION

THE WAR AGAINST JAPAN is all but synonymous with an American naval war, and that war with American carrier formations. But the real basis of Japan’s defeat was the superior demographic, industrial, and financial resources of the United States, which allowed that country to wage war across an ocean in a manner that defied imagination even in 1941. At the time of the Japanese attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor base, the United States possessed just seven fleet carriers—the Lexington and Saratoga, the Ranger, the Yorktown, Enterprise, and Hornet, and the Wasp—and the escort carrier Long Island. On 15 August 1945 the U.S. Navy had in service or in dockyards undergoing refit, repair, or overhaul a total of twenty fleet carriers, eight light carriers, and no fewer than seventy-one escort carriers, and in addition another four fleet and five escort carriers were to be commissioned before the end of the year. Such were the numbers employed by the United States to take the tide of war to the Japanese home islands, and thus it is all the more important to note that the carrier formations were but one dimension of this American effort; carrier operations goes alongside the submarine campaign against Japan shipping, the various amphibious operations that provided the paving stones in the journey across the western Pacific, and the land-based air offensive, which provided the final comment in this war.

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3. Neoliberal Masculinity: The Government of Play and Masculinity in E-Sports

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Gerald Voorhees

We’re at a point where only about forty people in the U.S. can make a living playing video games. I’d like to get it to a hundred. I think we’re a year or two away from that.

SUNDANCE DIGIOVANNI, quoted in Richard Nieva,
“Video Gaming on the Pro Tour for Glory but Little
Gold,” New York Times, November 28, 2012

While scholars have begun to investigate the professionalization of gaming, I take it on only to the extent that it is an exemplary site for thinking about the sportification of digital games, a broader sociocultural phenomenon that emerges at the juncture of neoliberal rationality and distinct – often competing – constructions of masculinity circulating in contemporary Western culture. Indeed, the sportification of digital games has led to the creation of national leagues, international tournaments, and corporate-sponsored teams of professional cyberathletes, but it is not rooted in these institutions or in the professionalization of players; rather, they are both effects of the hegemony of the sportive mentality. The games are objective things defined by protocological affordances and constrains, but their status as sport and the practices constituting the process of sportification are a result of the meaning attributed to them by player and fan communities.1 In this chapter I examine the cultural implications of the figuration of digital games as sports, often called e-sports, focusing on the production of an intelligible subject position at the nexus of neoliberalism and masculinity.

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6. Avastars: The Encoding of Fame within Sport Digital Games

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Steven Conway

LIONEL MESSI HAS DEVELOPED WELL DURING HIS TIME AS Surreal Madrid’s star striker. He has an overall rating of 98, with an attack and shot accuracy of 99, dribble accuracy and dribble speed of 98, and explosive power of 97. Allied to this are eleven special abilities, such as “incisive run,” “long-range drive,” and “roulette skills” (this refers not to the casino game, but to the skill of pirouetting over a soccer ball to avoid an opponent’s incoming challenge). He has evolved into the definitive “game changer,” as we say in common managerial parlance. My other striker, the 1961 iteration of Brazil’s Pelé, has a host of attributes in the high ’90s with eighteen special abilities. The latest boot technology from Adidas’s Predator range accentuates my strikers’ already extraordinary proficiency; I chose the Predator for its high shot power and swerve ratings over the adiZero’s high acceleration and top speed. After much careful tinkering with my squad’s formation and tactics, I take to the pitch, prematch nerves building in the tunnel. Following a sublime performance, we have annihilated FC Barcelona 4–0 in the semifinal of the Champions League. The intense rivalry between the clubs is well documented by the press, and I am informed postmatch that Surreal Madrid’s loyal fan base is distinctly pleased with the result; we are now an S (super) grade in popularity. This is particularly gratifying news for my scouts, who know that this rating may finally be the key to attracting Cristiano Ronaldo to put pen to paper for Surreal Madrid.

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