Saturday, November 16, 2013

UST-AB DevCom Lesson 2 Nov 19, 2013: Ideas that are changing the way we live

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

1. Solitary living is the biggest social change. 
We may not be aware that living alone is a new norm, as people go and live in cities, and as people are left behind on the countryside. Conventional domestic life is giving way to modern living in condominiums, apartments, hotels.  Transience takes people away from their place of birth. Young people seek adventure, they travel far and wide,  they give more importance to career. Result: the nuclear family is dying. Travel, career, and adventure have changed the lives of the younger generations. Living solo as percentage of all household) is highest in 

  1. Sweden (47%), followed by . 
  2. Britain (34%) 
  3. Japan (31%), 
  4. Italy (29%), 
  5. US (28%),
  6.  Canada (27%), 
  7. Russia 25%),
  8.  South Africa 24%)
  9.  Brazil has 10%, while 
  10. India is among the lowest with only 3%.  There is no available data of other countries, which includes the Philippines.(From Euromonitor International, and US Census, 2011) Photo: Henry David Thoreau, wrote Walden Pond while living in a forest clearing for a year to demonstrate man's craving for peaceful solitude, and detachment from a repressive society.  
Fear of social isolation and social splintering has many consequences from loneliness to disconnectedness, threatening social institutions like marriage, the concept of community, and nationalism. Living alone however, proponents say, helps people to pursue sacred modern values like personal freedom, personal control and self-realization. It liberate people to do what they want, when they want on their own terms. Expanding social network offers many benefits to the soloist: time and space for restorative solitude

2. The rise of the nones (people with no religious affiliation)
More and more communities around the would no longer gather in churches every Sunday. But as a congregation they engage in spiritual conversation and prayer, visiting the sick,and working together to serve the poor. Many of them have given up their traditional religious institutions which they view as flavorless, tough, and dogmatic. And yet these expats are the ones leading unorthodox ways to build spiritual lives. Their numbers are fast increasing; it is estimated at 16% of the US, more than double that in 1990, with only 4% identifying themselves atheist or agnostic.

Sister Veny Rotor (left)is a lay Franciscan, a more recent congregation. Franciscans lead the life of Francis of Assisi, liberated from the strict cloistered life of nuns.

Among the reasons behind the rise of nones are sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic church to entanglement of faith in politics, as well as passivity of church to current issue, no to mention inexplicable wealth and wealth privileges of religious organizations.  With today's literacy and expanding social network faiths are beginning to regard the bible stories as fiction. The bible is the bloodiest book ever written and yet it is the widest read book through the centuries

People hunger for spiritual connection and community has not gone away. Forty percent of the unaffiliated respondents in a 2009 survey are fairly religious, and are still hoping to eventually find the right religious home. For most, they are not rejecting God, they are rejecting organized religion as being rigid and dogmatic.

3. "Your head is in the cloud."
More and more information come to us more than our head can handle.We are outsourcing our memory, a change in cognitive habit, to search engines, like Google, smart phones, so that virtually we need not 
  1. memorize
  2. analyze 
  3. evaluate, or even make 
  4. judgment
  5. conclude and
  6. recommend
Here are three new realities in our computer age.
  1. When we don't know the answer to a question, we think about where we can find the nearest Web connection.
  2. When we expect to be able to find information again later on, we don't remember it as well as when we think it might become unavailable. (Because we have saved the information  we care less in remembering it internally.)
  3. The expectation that we will be able to locate information down the line leads us to form a memory not of the fact  itself but of where we will be able to find it. 
  4. We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools (turning to cyborg).  This leads us to transactive memory - unspoken arrangement by which people dole out memory tasks to each individual, with information to be shared when needed. 
  5. Facts cannot be Googled, they must be stored in the original hard drive - our long term memory.  Skills like critical thinking and analysis must develop in the contexts of facts.  We need something to think and reason about.  Factual knowledge must precede skill., such as the multiplication table. This is very important to children.
The experience of losing our Internet connection becomes more and more like losing a friend."- Annie Murphy Paul,author of Origins and Time columnist 
Refrence: Time Magazine March 12, 2012

 4. "Handprints, not footprints" (Help in cleaning the earth, not polluting it, as measured by Carbon buildup (footprint) or Carbon reduction (handprint)  

It's a simple equation, whether you contribute or lessen carbon.  The equation is a basis in determining if you are an enemy or friend of the environment. And this is posed to each and every individual, to farming, industry, and practically all institutions of human society.

Here are handprints  (environment-friendly activities.
  1. plant trees and take care of them
  2. use organic fertilizer
  3. convert farm waste to biogas
  4. use paper rather than plastic
  5. natural ventilation, instead of air conditioned homes
  6. vegetarian, rather than meat eater
  7. natural fiber instead of synthetic .   
  8. simple life, rather than ostentatious
  9. eat less processed food
  10. walk, bike, rather than drive or ride  
Here are footprints (environment- degrading activities)
  1. obesity. overweight
  2. poor car maintenance
  3. high rise buildings
  4. High technology
  5. fossil fuel dependent 
  6. always traveling, specially by air
  7. cosmetics dependence
  8. poor ventilated buildings and homes
  9. sophisticated technology 
  10. runaway population
  11. meat-based economy
Alternative energy wind; harvesting rainwater 

Governments led by the US have began instituting reforms through laws and regulations, as well as  subsidy and tax incentives, to companies, communities and institutions that contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions and other wastes (eg CFC), in producing carbon-arresting materials and substances, bio-remediation of wastes, and maintaining balance ecosystems.      

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