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Defining Ecological and Social Sustainability by Modeling Real Life Situations.


As the 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 actually is.
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 happening.

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:
modelearth.org

Thank you, sincerely - Mr. Jan Hearthstone.

Notes.
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.

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