Defining Ecological and Social
Sustainability by Modeling Real Life
subject of sustainability is gaining popularity, the definition of
sustainability, in my opinion, is becoming less focused; although
there are many definitions of sustainability, sustainability is
becoming progressively less likely achievable, because it is hard
to achieve something that we don't know clearly what that something
It is not that individuals would not know what sustainability might
mean to them, but it is that each person's definition of
sustainability might be very different, if not even at odds with
what sustainability might mean to others.
In order to achieve a consensus of what sustainability should mean,
examples of real life instances of sustainability could be modeled
using as input all the various ideas that anyone might have about
what sustainability might mean to them, together with the sum total
of what we know of Earth processes and of human behavior. We could
then see how each and any of those ideas would fare under "real"
conditions in a model, creating a picture of what an ideal
sustainable future of any geopolitical entity on Earth could/should
be; it would be obvious in the model which ideas are better, in
terms of sustainability (whether they are more transparent, more
defensible on the grounds of all known data), than other ideas.
The Earth is facing unprecedented hardships caused by human
ignorance, and by modeling our co-existence on Earth we would
eliminate the very costly process of deciding what works and what
doesn't that normally takes place in real time/space causing real
damages. Modeling would prevent a great deal of waste of human
lives, time, and resources.
Our common co-existence on Earth, at any point of time, is a result
of the actions all the inhabitants of the Earth take in order to
ensure a satisfactory future for themselves and for those whose
future matters to them. But because our desires for a satisfactory
future are frequently at odds with the desires for a satisfactory
future of others, the final outcome--our common co-existence that
we experience now-- usually pleases only a few. It would be
different, if all the differences that there are among all the
individuals' wishes for future resolved harmlessly in a model,
rather than with often tragic consequences in real life.
Such modeling of our common co-existence would be a profound
educational experience for all those who would participate in this
modeling process, because individually we usually have but a very
limited view of all the factors that cause a future to happen, and
the modeling process would show clearly where all those
deficiencies might lie. In the modeling of our common co-existence
on this planet we would learn what we actually need to learn for a
satisfactory future to happen.
By directly participating in designing our common co-existence in a
model our education would become meaningful--we could see directly
what is important for the creation of an acceptable reality and
what is not important; furthermore--we would learn at our own pace,
and only that that would make sense to us--we would learn
"on-the-job". We would not be learning something that would not
have a direct connection with our lives, that would mostly only be
useful in getting an advantage over others, without worrying overly
about the welfare of all others.
We have all the technology necessary for designing of the future.
By using "distributed computing", for an instance, software for
which is available in the form of "open source", the model could
"reside" on all of the participants' computers thus eliminating the
need for any physical structure for the model to exist in. The
process would be accessible to anyone interested in having a hand
in the creation of one's future--something that our current reality
denies to most.
Would there exist a model of what to all an optimal common
co-existence on Earth should look like, the process of creating our
common future--that currently is in the hands of people whose
interests are not necessarily identical with that of those they
represent--would benefit by the fact that every one could compare
the performance of those who govern to that what actually should be
The possible uses for such a model would be many.
Please, let me know what you think of the idea. There is more about
the idea at:
Thank you, sincerely - Mr. Jan Hearthstone.
A general observation pertaining to the sustainability of a
solution to problems of sustainability could be that simpler, more
"transparent", less complex social structure permits easier
monitoring of processes affecting the ecological conditions, and,
vice versa, that simpler solutions to ecological sustainability
problems require a less complex society to implement those. It
could be further said that the younger the child would be to
understand any socio-ecological processes, the greater chance there
would be those processes are more sustainable.