Saturday, June 21, 2003

Reflections: Culture is the key to ecologically sustainable societies

The impulse from the last visit pointed to how young people will automatically learn to survive in the environment they grow up in.

By environment I guess you could mean


To me, all of these things spell culture.

Which brings me to my next observation…
To judge the sustainability of a society you need to analyse its culture.
OR to put it another way, sustainability, surviving on Earth, is a matter of CULTURE, not technology.

Evolution of culture is the key to survival, not technology in itself.
Neither is evolution of economic models based on market forces the key.

Factors to analyse would include
- The stress factors, and how much they promulgate footprint-increasing behaviour.
- The learning environment of children, in exposing them to natural systems.
- Value systems, emphasis placed on footprint reducing behaviour.
- Biosphere and technosphere separation.
- How the basic tenants of Porena Culture were spread.
- How the basic tenants came about.

It also means that technological developments will not drive sustainability alone. Woven into cultural development they will proliferate. does cultural development get driven towards sustainability?
Good question, and the object of future journeys.

End Reflections: Culture is the key to ecologically sustainable societies
Verification notes Journey 5


The Professor points out that the nervous system, or the learning capability, is an intrinsic part of man. As the youth reaches maturity, the ability to understand the natural cycles she is part of diminishes.

He said something about the functional efficiency of the epimyler.
My short research revealed that
- nerves are covered with myelin, a fatty sheath
- dysfunction of myelin is implicated in Autism and Parkinson’s disease
- there is little reference to what is outside (epi) the myelin

Some other research turned up a combination of computers and Bushmen knowledge. Scientists have given Bushmen somewhere in Africa hand-held computers to register animal observations.
Apparently, these Bushmen can read animal tracks, or spoor to such a high degree they can, for example, tell if an animal is being chased by a human or another animal. All intuitive knowledge.

My linguistics classes from way back told me that you need to learn a language at a young age in order to get the best chance to sound like a native. Combinations of muscles and nerves not used up to the age of about 20 simply wither, so you may not be physically able to make some sounds in the foreign language.

So, sure, by living and interacting in the environment at a young age the child/youth will pick up all they need to know to survive in that environment.

End of Verification note on Epimyler

Friday, June 06, 2003

Tapescript Journey 5
Today the bench in the waiting area is not oak but redwood - beautifully varnished red wood. It curves in a long arc.

I am more nervous now; I need to muster up courage. The creative process is not painless. Several deep values get challenged.

Past a newly varnished boat-like shape a cream coloured lift and a grey coloured lift stand invitingly.

I should take the grey one. In the lift there is a whole array of buttons. And paintings. I push the button which says UP. Alone in the lift, I check out the paintings; juvenile depictions of cows and fields and farms.

When the lift arrives the doors open up in front of a group of young kids. They are just playing. See-sawing right in front of the lift having fun - it's like a playroom in kindergarten.

In the quest to understand how a community can adopt the PORENA way, I end up in a playroom. Is this right, is the method playing games with me?

Get a grip on yourself Max; you promised you would give the method a chance. Keep describing.

"Hello, is there anyone in charge here?"
A little girl wearing a black dress comes up to me so I ask: "Hi is your mummy here?"
"She's at work."
"Who is in charge here?"
"Mrs Fanester."
Can I meet her?

The little girl takes my hand and leads me to Mrs Fanester’s office.

“Hi! I'm studying how societies use technology to live in a sustainable way. I’m interested in how sustainability, or the principles on which the community lives, is brought across to members of the community.

I have picked up that one of the keys to this may be the understanding of stress on the organism.”

Mrs Fanester replies by promising to show me something that will help me.

We look at a wall covered with children’s paintings. A tree. A house. A dog. A river.

I glance at the pictures but don’t get it.

I remember how I tried to look through someone else’s eyes in a previous journey. I stand behind Mrs Fanester.

The children’s paintings show that the ability to perceive and understand natural processes, and to be a part of them, is inbuilt.
The pictures themselves show elegant composition. And the ability to understand complex interactions and relationships.

What I am wondering about maybe seems so hard to find because it is already there. Inside of everyone. Child development in fact mirrors the biological process, and includes everything man needs to adapt to the world. It does not need to be taught, but it needs to be learnt. It doesn’t need to be learnt, that will happen. It needs to given the right conditions to be learnt.

That’s quite an insight.

“Mrs Fernaster, is there anyone you could put me in touch with, like a professor or something who could give me a deep theoretical briefing?”

I feel a bit like I am intruding on the kids, they seem to be having a good time.

I am standing in front of a man in a brown suit, with wire-rimmed glasses wearing a woollen knitted waistcoat.
He invites me into his office.
On a large whiteboard he starts to draw vertical lines about 5cm apart. Horizontally he draws a flat line through the middle of the vertical lines, which rises to a peak and then tails off.

Straining to understand I catch that the curve represents biological stress, negative and positive. It has to do with hormones and the period of formative years up to the age of ten.

I am getting that education as I know it is completely wrong. It is the environment the child experiences that forms the ability of the organism to survive.

The functional efficiency of the epimyler. (I must research this one) changes over time up to 17.

So if it is good for the child it will benefit the adult, and the formative years are a preparation where the child and the environment interact so the child, naturally programmed to take in the processes around it, reaches a state of intuitive capability.

Feeling like I have taken in more than I can digest in one go, I thank my hosts and leave.

End of Tapescript Journey 5
Add to Technorati Favorites