Mindful Consumption

Question of the Day, Sept 18-19-20, 2015 Mindful consumption,

“We as the human species have a responsibility to all beings, to the earth, and to future generations to be mindful of our cravings and our negative overconsumption habits. My hope is that as we learn to feed our minds, we turn toward difficulty instead of away from it, we spend less time on electronic devices and more time with one another and with nature, and, lastly, we learn to savor our life and feed all our hungers in a sustainable way.”
From a post from Michael Grove an blog piece on Mindful “What we Love, we should protect.”

How do we consciously interact with the planet on a daily basis?
What are your thoughts on the blog piece?

I completely align with the post.
I have been conscious of my interaction with the planet for many decades.
We planted 16,000 trees to offset our carbon footprint 20 years ago.
I have been involved in many different political and conservation groups, advocating conscious interaction with the environment, acknowledging the imperfection of our knowledge, and advocating a constant raising of levels of awareness of all people.
I recycle, I grow food, I am vegan, I chair our regional Water Management committee, I write daily advocating the highest levels of security and freedom possible, acknowledging that all actions have consequences and everyone needs to be responsible for mitigating the reasonably foreseeable consequences of those actions, as well as any unforeseen and actual consequences.
And many other ways.

We are now in an age of exponential growth in knowledge and technology, which delivers us the ability to optimise any process to work efficiently with the natural environment, yet we have the social legacy from times of scarcity that leave us with cultural and economic systems adapted to times past, and not at all suited to the present or near future.

Many people are under the illusion that money and markets are a proxy for evolution, and that it is all about survival of the fittest accumulators of capital.
Capital is just an illusion.
It is a myth.
Those numbers have power only if people believe in them. If that isn’t the definition of myth, what is?
What exists in reality is creative people and stuff (machines, materials) and ways of interacting.

Money can serve many useful purposes, but the idea that markets, which are tools developed for times of scarcity, have any real utility in times of radical abundance provided by technology, really does not make much sense.
The idea that many in the political right have that money is an useful Darwinian measure of fitness really doesn’t make much sense.

A systems view of evolution clearly shows that new levels of cooperation always have competitive advantage over non-cooperatives.
In times of real abundance, universal cooperation has real advantage.
It is possible to develop technologies that deliver freedom and security to every individual.
Real security comes only when everyone is sufficiently cooperative to ensure that all get enough to meet their needs.
That is a relatively trivial exercise in technology.

The real issue is that all technology is morally neutral.
It is what people do with it that is the issue.

We have the technology to feed and house and provide freedom and security to everyone – yet we put far more effort into warfare than we do into universal cooperation and universal security.

Looking at the history, it is easy to see how and why these cultures developed as they have.

Looking to our future it is hard to support any existing culture as having much utility in providing security and freedom for all.
Something else is needed.

Yet most people are mired in the various “Truths” of their particular cultures, and many would rather destroy all than challenge one of those “Truths”.

So it is a very complex web of interactive and related systems within which we find ourselves.

And in logic it is clear that we are all much better off by cooperating than we are by competing – and some cultures are very resistant to such evidence and ideas.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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