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Hay Island (Tasmania)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hay Island
Hay Island is located in Tasmania
Hay Island
Hay Island
Location off the south western coast of Tasmania
LocationSouth western Tasmania
Coordinates43°21′36″S 145°56′24″E / 43.36000°S 145.94000°E / -43.36000; 145.94000
ArchipelagoSwainson Islands Group
Adjacent bodies of water
Area1.85 ha (4.6 acres)[1]
Highest elevation78 m (256 ft)
RegionSouth West

The Hay Island is an unpopulated island located close to the south-western coast of Tasmania, Australia. Situated near where the mouth of Port Davey meets the Southern Ocean, the 1.85-hectare (4.6-acre) island with an elevation of 78 metres (256 ft) above sea level, is part of the Swainson Islands Group, and comprises part of the Southwest National Park and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site.[1][2]

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Let me tell you about the island of Tasmania. It's about 130 miles off the coast of South Eastern Australia A long time ago when seas were low Tasmania was part of Australia. During that time the archaeological record documents that Tasmanians fished, and they used bone tools. About 10,000 years ago, rising waters cut Tasmania off from Australia On at least three at the smaller islands the isolated human population died out completely. In Tasmania the four thousand hunter-gatherers remained with no contact with the rest of humanity at all. They lost technologies they once had no more fishing no more bone tools, they also missed new inventions such as stone tools fishing nets and fire that were adopted in Australia. When Europeans discovered the Tasmanians in 1642 they found that this extreme isolation had created the simplest material culture of any people in the modern world. Without access to other people, some island populations shrink others even vanish. Fortunately for most of us human cooperation has expanded over time. As we saw in the previous videos we enjoy enormous benefits from specialization and trade. One reason for this beneficial cooperation is what economists call comparative advantage. Two things are surprising about comparative advantage. First just by rearranging who does what we can make more stuff through specialization and trade. Even if no one ever gets any better at doing any line of work. But the second insight is my favorite. If you get better at doing something that obviously benefits you but it also benefits me, even though my abilities to produce haven't changed at all. Let me show you how this works. It's best seen with a simple example. Just two people, Bob and Anne who produce just two goods: bananas and fish. Here's what Bob can do if he spends all it is time producing only one good. Bob can either gather 10 bananas or he can catch ten fish. Anne can either get a 10 bananas or catch 30 fish. So let's say they each split their time between producing bananas and fishing. Bob and Anne each produce five bananas. Bob produces five fish and Anne produces 15 fish. In total they produce ten bananas and 20 fish. You math wizards in the audience surely see an obvious way to increase his total. If Bob produces just bananas and Anne produces just fish then the total rises to ten bananas and 30 fish. So just by rearranging who does what we get more total stuff. You might think this outcome is simply the result at the division of labor that we covered previously but you'd be wrong. The key insight from the division of labor is that workers individually get more productive when they specialize. Yet in this scenario neither Bob nor Anne has gotten any better at producing bananas or fish. Just by rearranging what tasks each does is what made total production increase. The key to understanding how this works is opportunity cost. Bob has to choose to gather bananas or catch fish. When he chooses to gather a banana he gives up one fish In essence Bob trades with himself. He can use his time to gather bananas or trade that time to catch fish and the cost at that trade is one fish per banana that's Bob's opportunity cost. The same holds true for Anne, but her cost of producing one banana is three fish. In the amount of time it takes Anne to gather one banana she could have caught three fish. She trades with herself. One banana for three fish. So Bob only has to give up one fish to produce one banana but Anne must give up three fish to produce a banana. Anne's opportunity cost of gathering a banana is higher than Bob's She can improve her situation if she can get bananas for less than three fish and Bob can improve his situation if he can get fish for less than one banana. Let's say Anne trades two fish to Bob for one banana. They each gain. If Anne wants a banana, she can either gather it herself and give up three fish Or, she can catch only two fish and then trade them to Bob. She prefers the lower cost option and so she trades. Bob prefers the lower cost option too. Instead of giving up a whole banana to catch a fish he can trade that banana for two fish. Now he's only giving up a half a banana for a fish you can see that even if Anne is better at everything, nothing in this story changes. She still benefits from trade because the number of fish Anne gives up to pick a banana herself is greater than the number of fish that she must catch and give to Bob in order to get a banana from Bob. Now for the insight that is really counterintuitive. What happens if Anne gets better fishing. Let's say that she can now catch 40 fish. Obviously that's good for Anne, but it also means that bananas just got more costly for Anne to produce herself. She would now have to sacrifice four fish for each banana that she gathers by becoming a better fisherman Anne becomes a comparatively worse banana gatherer. And this fact helps Bob. The reason is that Anne is now willing to trade more fish for each banana she gets from Bob. So although Bob's ability to produce hasn't changed he can now get more fish for his bananas. Comparative advantage is a beautiful thing. No matter what my talents are I can still help you even if you are better at everything. The more different we are from each other the more we benefit from trading with each other. Let's get back to the real world. What comparative advantage practically means for most people is that we each spend most of our working time at a job that utilizes each of our comparative talents. How do you know what you're comparatively good at? What you get paid for your job tells you that. Comparative advantage is the main force driving us to use our talents in those jobs that we do best. It's why people who are good at math tend to become engineers, and those who have a graphic sense tend to go into the arts. Specialization and trade played key roles in the movement from poverty to prosperity. We would be desperately poor without them. But they alone do not explain the full extent of our prosperity. Another feature of the modern world is important: innovationism. Our society is an orgy of innovations. This innovationism would be impossible without specialization and trade and yet specialization and trade do not guarantee innovationism. This is a topic for a future video. Here's the current leader board of questions submitted from our viewers. We're going to pick a few at the top ones to answer with more videos So go and vote!


The island is part of the Port Davey Islands Important Bird Area, so identified by BirdLife International because of its importance for breeding seabirds.[3] Recorded breeding seabird and wader species are the short-tailed shearwater (7500 pairs) and fairy prion (1-2000 pairs).[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Small Southern Islands Conservation Management Statement 2002" (PDF). Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. 2002. p. 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 August 2006. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
  2. ^ a b Brothers, Nigel; Pemberton, David; Pryor, Helen; Halley, Vanessa (2001). Tasmania’s Offshore Islands: seabirds and other natural features. Hobart: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. ISBN 0-7246-4816-X.
  3. ^ "IBA: Port Davey Islands". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 19 September 2011.

This page was last edited on 19 November 2018, at 19:24
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