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Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable | Canada | Al Jazeera
"According to Oxford researcher Marco Springmann, if the world were to turn vegan by 2050, it would save $1.5 trillion in health-care costs and climate change damages, as it would cut greenhouse emissions by two thirds.

"But in a capitalist economy, such a surplus would never simply be left idle. It would be re-invested into further growth, which would still consume more resources, exploit workers and produce waste and damage the environment in one way or the other."
capitalism  culture  economy  environment  business  profit  vegan  veganism  individualism  marketing 
3 days ago by Nachimir
City Journal -- Alone: The decline of the family has unleashed an epidemic of loneliness
'...As societies became richer and goods cheaper and more plentiful, people no longer had to rely on traditional families to afford basic needs like food and shelter. They could look up the Maslovian ladder toward “post-material” goods: self-fulfillment, exotic and erotic experiences, expressive work, education. Values changed to facilitate these goals. People in wealthy countries became more antiauthoritarian, more critical of traditional rules and roles, and more dedicated to individual expression and choice. With the help of the birth-control pill, “non-conventional household formation” (divorce, remarriage, cohabitation, and single parenthood) went from uncommon—for some, even shameful—to mundane. Lesthaeghe predicted that low fertility would also be part of the SDT package, as families grew less central. And low fertility, he suggested, would have thorny repercussions for nation-states: he was one of the first to guess that developed countries would turn to immigrants to restock their aging populations, as native-born young adults found more fulfilling things to do than clean up after babies or cook dinner for sullen adolescents. -- The disruption of family life caused by the SDT in the U.S. has been rehearsed thousands of times, including by this writer, but the numbers still startle. In 1950, 20 percent of marriages ended in divorce; today, it’s approximately 40 percent. Four in ten American children are now born to unmarried mothers, up from about 5 percent in 1960. In 1970, 84 percent of U.S. children spent their entire childhoods living with both bio-parents. Today, only half can expect to do the same. -- Lesthaeghe was prophetic about what would happen to fertility in wealthy countries. In the U.S., the percentage of childless women doubled between 1970 and the mid-2000s; today, 14 percent of U.S. women past their childbearing years have never given birth. That actually makes us more fertile than some other developed countries. In Germany, nearly a quarter of women end up childless. The U.S. number might more closely resemble the German figure if it weren’t for our high levels of immigration, most of it from poor countries that haven’t yet embraced the change in attitudes. In 2015, in six U.S. states, more than 30 percent of births were to foreign-born women.'
rkselectiontheory  decadence  individualism  loneliness  family 
10 days ago by adamcrowe
About Adam Smith — Adam Smith Institute
Smith had a radical, fresh understanding of how human societies actually work. He realised that social harmony would emerge naturally as human beings struggled to find ways to live and work with each other. Freedom and self-interest need not produce chaos, but – as if guided by an ‘invisible hand’ – order and concord. And as people struck bargains with each other, the nation’s resources would be drawn automatically to the ends and purposes that people valued most highly.

So a prospering social order did not need to be controlled by kings and ministers. It would grow, organically, as a product of human nature. It would grow best in an open, competitive marketplace, with free exchange and without coercion.

The Wealth Of Nations was therefore not just a study of economics but a survey of human social psychology: about life, welfare, political institutions, the law, and morality.
pol.505  political_theory  capitalism  economy  individualism  marketing  Business 
9 weeks ago by Jibarosoy
The General Will and The Will of All: Unnatural Inequalities? | Life Examinations
Rousseau’s depiction of society  under these two social theories is questionable because it seems like an unrealistic generalization of human character and judgment. Even though Rousseau stresses that our preferences should be altered to benefit the community,it seems that this strategy is virtually impossible. How could a person decide what is good for a whole community without unfairly generalizing and dissatisfying many? And what is this standard of “goodness” when  deciding? Private interests seem to be impossible to separate from decisions, and therefore, the general will seems theoretically “broken.” It is highly unlikely that a human will support a decision that is not made from self-interest,because by support of a decision is itself is an act of self-interest.  Since society is an unequal community, how is it possible for there to be a resulting “sum of differences?” The pluses and minuses do not simply cancel out, but remain suffocated by the general will. Indeed, our social fabric is composed of too many different races, economic backgrounds, and personalities for there to be a satisfying  community-driven consensus
rousseau  pol.505  state  Power_materials  individualism  community 
10 weeks ago by Jibarosoy
Opinion | The Good-Enough Life - The New York Times
"Ideals of greatness cut across the American political spectrum. Supporters of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and believers in Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” for instance, may find themselves at odds, but their differences lie in the vision of what constitutes greatness, not whether greatness itself is a worthy goal. In both cases — and in most any iteration of America’s idea of itself — it is.

The desire for greatness also unites the diverse philosophical camps of Western ethics. Aristotle called for practicing the highest virtue. Kant believed in an ethical rule so stringent not even he thought it was achievable by mortals. Bentham’s utilitarianism is about maximizing happiness. Marx sought the great world for all. Modern-day libertarians will stop at nothing to increase personal freedom and profit. These differences surely matter, but while the definition of greatness changes, greatness itself is sought by each in his own way.

Swimming against the tide of greatness is a counter-history of ethics embodied by schools of thought as diverse as Buddhism, Romanticism and psychoanalysis. It is by borrowing from D.W. Winnicott, an important figure in the development of psychoanalysis, that we get perhaps the best name for this other ethics: “the good-enough life.” In his book “Playing and Reality,” Winnicott wrote about what he called “the good-enough mother.” This mother is good enough not in the sense that she is adequate or average, but that she manages a difficult task: initiating the infant into a world in which he or she will feel both cared for and ready to deal with life’s endless frustrations. To fully become good enough is to grow up into a world that is itself good enough, that is as full of care and love as it is suffering and frustration.

From Buddhism and Romanticism we can get a fuller picture of what such a good enough world could be like. Buddhism offers a criticism of the caste system and the idea that some people have to live lives of servitude in order to ensure the greatness of others. It posits instead the idea of the “middle path,” a life that is neither excessively materialistic nor too ascetic. And some Buddhist thinkers, such as the 6th-century Persian-Chinese monk Jizang, even insist that this middle life, this good enough life, is the birthright of not only all humans, but also all of nature as well. In this radical vision of the good enough life, our task is not to make the perfect human society, but rather a good enough world in which each of us has sufficient (but never too many) resources to handle our encounters with the inevitable sufferings of a world full of chance and complexity.

The Romantic poets and philosophers extend this vision of good-enoughness to embrace what they would call “the ordinary” or “the everyday.” This does not refer to the everyday annoyances or anxieties we experience, but the fact that within what is most ordinary, most basic and most familiar, we might find a delight unimaginable if we find meaning only in greatness. The antiheroic sentiment is well expressed by George Eliot at the end of her novel “Middlemarch”: “that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” And its legacy is attested to in the poem “Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye: “I want to be famous to shuffling men / who smile while crossing streets, / sticky children in grocery lines, / famous as the one who smiled back.”

Being good enough is not easy. It takes a tremendous amount of work to smile purely while waiting, exhausted, in a grocery line. Or to be good enough to loved ones to both support them and allow them to experience frustration. And it remains to be seen if we as a society can establish a good-enough relation to one another, where individuals and nations do not strive for their unique greatness, but rather work together to create the conditions of decency necessary for all.

Achieving this will also require us to develop a good enough relation to our natural world, one in which we recognize both the abundance and the limitations of the planet we share with infinite other life forms, each seeking its own path toward good-enoughness. If we do manage any of these things, it will not be because we have achieved greatness, but because we have recognized that none of them are achievable until greatness itself is forgotten."
ordinary  everyday  small  slow  2019  avramalpert  greatness  philosophy  buddhism  naomishihabnye  georgeeliot  interconnected  individualism  goodenough  virtue  ethics  romanticism  psychoanalysis  dwwinnicott  care  caring  love  life  living  classideas 
12 weeks ago by robertogreco
Patrick Comerford: Lust, sex, original sin and war: Augustine and ‘Talking History’
Augustine taught that Adam’s guilt, which was transmitted to his descendants, much enfeebles their freedom of will, but does not destroy it. For Augustine, the ‘Original Sin’ of Adam and Eve was either an act of foolishness followed by pride and disobedience to God or the opposite: pride came first. The first couple disobeyed God, who had told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2: 17). The tree was a symbol of the order of creation. Self-centeredness made Adam and Eve eat of it, and so they failed to acknowledge and respect the world as it was created by God, with its hierarchy of beings and values. They would not have fallen into pride and lack of wisdom if Satan had not sown into their senses “the root of evil” (radix mali). Their nature was wounded by concupiscence or libido, which affected human intelligence and will, as well as affections and desires, including sexual desire.

Augustine’s understanding of the consequences of original sin and of the necessity of redeeming grace was developed in the struggle against Pelagius – who may have been of Irish birth – and his disciples, the Pelagians. They did not agree that libido wounded human will and mind, insisting that human nature was given the power to act, to speak, and to think when God created it. Human nature cannot lose its moral capacity to do good.
pol.505  philosophy  Passions  reasoning  individualism  teaching_pol_theory  political_theory 
march 2019 by Jibarosoy
Augustine on Sin and Sex - David J Dunn
The sin of sex is not pleasure but pride. Pleasure tends to justify the soul’s false believe in its inherent goodness.[8] This lie of pleasure is really what Augustine means by concupiscence (i.e. sinful desire).[9] Concupiscence lurks in all pleasures, such as eating.[10] It is possible to make a conscious choice to moderate the pleasure of food. Sex is more potent.[11] One may do mathematical calculations and enjoy a glass of fine wine at the same time (but probably just one). It should go without saying that the same is not true of sexual climax. As Augustine indicated above, orgasm makes every lover a selfish lover. Sexual pleasure overwhelms all our cognitive faculties. No matter how much we may delight in the companionship of our beloved, when sexual climax comes, we are all just nerve endings.
pol.505  philosophy  Religion  Passions  reasoning  individualism  teaching_pol_theory  political_theory 
march 2019 by Jibarosoy
Gnamma #7 - The Teacher's Imposition
"The world is full of bad teaching. And somehow we all get on with it, of course.

Still, I have found it typical that people perk up when they think of their favorite, electrifying teachers. These are people we think about for the rest of our lives, largely because they inform our interests and ways of looking at the world (ontology, value systems, networked ideas, etc) at early ages. Let's talk about teachers, and I want to be clear: everyone directs teachable moments in life (especially guardians and managers). I'm referring to people in explicitly assigned roles to teach. (This thus puts these thoughts largely outside of the realm of unschooling [ ], I think, but I do not know enough to say—would love to understand more in this realm.)

"Why Education is so Difficult And Contentious" [ ]: TL;DR because when we say education we mean indoctrination, and everybody—teacher, parent, politician, etc—has different opinions on how people should be. It's touchy to talk about forced indoctrination because it both engenders fascism and is the founding idea behind of public education. There are obviously gradients of imposition on the student. Illich supports the need for the pedagogue to connect student to resources, but not much more—a fairly "hands-off" view of the teacher by today's standards. Still, the connective moments are going to reflect the ideology of the pedagogue.

Are teachers necessary for learning? No. Learning is between the student and the world. A quippish phrase I heard a couple times working at RenArts [ ] was "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it think." But education (structured learning with others) requires teachers, basically by definition. Teachers "lead to water" and apply social pressure to encourage partaking.

What makes for a good teacher? Well, I maintain the chief goals of structured learning are to build agency and cultivate awareness in the student (and maybe share specific skillsets). So, what kind of teacher builds agency in the student and cultivates awareness to the extent possible? Some modes of teaching quickly follow: I believe the teacher needs to support open-ended, coherent, and honest activities.

Without open-ended-ness, we lose exploratory and self-actualizing potential. Without coherence, students can get mired in lack of knowing where to start or end (but a little ambiguity isn't bad). Without honesty we lose touch with the world and how to work with our lived realities. By "honesty" here, I mean to be honest about application of material, about history of thought, and about context of the activity itself; as such, the best teaching acknowledges and works with its own context (/media) and the needs of the people in the room.

I am trying to recall where I heard the phrase that "teaching is making space." The teachers frames the room, the activities, the needs, the expectations, the discussions. In doing so, they embed indoctrination into the teaching. In the effort of honesty in the classroom, these framing decisions needs to be made explicit for the students. The effective teacher must constantly wrestle with their internalized epistemologies and ego in seeking to constantly be aware of and share their own framings of the world. (When I ran a workshop for the Free School of Architecture in Summer 2018 on alternative learning communities, I mostly brought with me a long list of questions to answer [ ] in seeking to understand how one is framing a learning space.)

This need for constant "pariefracture" (a breaking of the frame, expanding the conceptual realm, or meta-level "zooming out"—my friend D.V.'s term) in teaching gave me quite a bit of anxiety, as a teacher, until reading Parker J. Palmer's book "The Courage to Teach," in which he outlines six paradoxes of teaching. [ and OCRed below ] I like these paradoxes in themselves, but the larger concept that resonated with me was the ability to treat a paradox not as a dead end (as one does in mathematics, generally) but rather as a challenge that can be pulled out and embraced as the dynamo of an ongoing practice. Teaching never resolves: you just wake up tomorrow and give it another shot.

I think what I'm circling around, here, is how much of learning from a teacher involves inheriting their ways of looking, concurrent with the teacher's ways of looking being in constant, self-aware flux. We inherit snapshots of our teachers' worldviews, blend them together over our own substrate of grokking the world, and call it education."

[From Parker J Palmer’s “The Courage to Teach”:

“When I design a classroom session, I am aware of six paradoxical tensions that I want to build into the teaching and learning space. These six are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. They are simply mine, offered to illustrate how the principle of paradox might contribute to pedagogical design:

1. The space should be bounded and open.
2. The space should be hospitable and "charged."
3. The space should invite the voice of the individual and the voice of the group.
4. The space should honor the "little" stories of the students and the "big" stories of the disciplines and tradition.
5. The space should support solitude and surround it with the resources of community.
6. The space should welcome both silence and speech.

I want to say a few words about what each of these paradoxes means. Then, to rescue the paradoxes and the reader from death by abstraction, I want to explore some practical ways for classroom teachers to bring these idea to life.“
lukaswinklerprins  teaching  howweteach  parkerpalmer  education  paradox  2019  indoctrination  ivanillich  exploration  boundaries  openness  hospitality  individualism  collectivism  community  silence  speech  support  solitude  disciplines  tradition  personalization  unschooling  deschooling  canon 
february 2019 by robertogreco
SVS/Unschooling Controversy - YouTube
"This is a commentary on the currently controversial article by Daniel Greenberg . The article is not summarised during the commentary so it will be necessary to read it before listening. Further discussion is available to join on the forums at

"Differences Between Self-Directed and Progressive Education" can be read here . This commentary is offered by Jeanna L Clements in her private capacity and does not represent any other individual or collective. Please feel free to share. Thank you."
education  schools  schooling  sudburyschools  self-directed  self-directedlearning  progessive  petergray  je'annaclements  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  learning  unschooling  homeschool  deschooling  montessori  northstar  agillearningcenters  agilelearning  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  jeannaclements  individualism  collective  collectivism  parenting  danielgreenberg  children  2018  johnholt  patfarenga  sudburyvalleyschool  agilelearningcenters 
january 2019 by robertogreco

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