April 19, 2013
This is why most technology (esp medical technology) is not sustainable or healthy in the long run – it is not integrated.
If it’s not integrated and holistic, it will have unintended consequences, negative side effects that are equal and opposite counterbalances to the gains attempting to be made.
“Natural ecosystems do not forget about anything; they embody integration. Everything has a specific role, and this diversity of function must be maintained to keep the healthy equilibrium of the biosphere. Unlike linear problem solving, nature always comes up with complex and integrated solutions. These solutions do not rely on simply one organism or function, but rather a network of many that are prepared to adapt. Linear problem solving creates a solution for one problem, whereas in biology, nature is anticipating many. That is why an understanding of biology can play a crucial role in the process of design science. By injecting biological understanding into the preliminary phases of the design process, the designer’s foundation for problem solving can be more integrated, and hopefully it will be easier for them to create a whole systems solution.”
January 26, 2013
“He reached into the pocket of his sports jacket and produced a Japanese fan – the first of several startling objects to emerge from there, so that I came to think of the coat as having magic pockets.”
It wasn’t that line from a Wired article that made me want to be Oliver Sacks. Well, like Oliver Sacks, really.
It’s that today I had the sudden impulse to begin simplifying and planing all of my food consumption. Like, scheduling exactly what I will eat and at what time. And as I was typing this schedule up, I remembered the quirky neurologist who eats the same thing. Every day. And has, for many years. 1/2 a gallon of soy milk, prune juice, sardines, tabbouleh, 7 apples, 7 oranges – “I am very greedy and impulsive, so I have to have a rule.” Strangely, though I listened to this story a few years ago, I actually had 7 apples, 7 pears on my newly organized weekly shopping list. (Just to clarify, I will not be eating sardines and prune juice).
Oliver says he never gets bored with his daily food – he claims he “enjoys it with equal relish every time.” Additionally, each day he goes to a nearby chocolate store and gets exactly one dollar’s worth of broken 72% chocolate.
He has been doing this for years. Once he accidentally got 22 pounds of kidneys rather than 2 pounds; too shy to point it out, he took the 22 pounds of “palpitating kidneys” home, and ended up eating kidneys for 10 days straight, before vomiting uncontrollably and never eating kidneys again.
To listen to the fascinating Oliver Sacks clip on Radiolab – one of my favorite podcasts of all time - click here. (It’s a clip from episode about Choice, when a lot is too much).
Have you ever heard that Einstein would wear the same clothes so as not to use up precious mental energy on the mundane and unimportant decision of what to wear? Well, Oliver has similar motivations.
Making choices is draining, and scientist have found that too many choices actually make us MORE unhappy than too few choices.
I notice that I’ve generally heard about men doing this kind of thing – perhaps it’s a form of mild Autism… the founder of Facebook wears the same clothing every day too. And Steve Jobs did, before he exited the planet.
So, here’s what I’m going to try eating for this week:
6am: Hot water + lemon
8am: 1 apple + 3 dates + 10 almonds + 1 spoon chwanprash
1pm: Kitcharee (½ cup mung, ½ cup basmati) with squash & carrots
3:30: 1 apple or pear + 3 dates or figs
6:30pm: Leftover kitcharee + asparagus
I haven’t done a challenge (or a cleanse) in a long time. We’ll see how it goes!
To read the Wired interview from whence the opening sentence about the fan and magical coat was taken, click here.
January 4, 2012
In Bolivia, Mother Nature is being granted rights equal to humans.
Read the article here; it brings tears to my eyes.
Some of the rights conferred onto Nature:
The right to life and to exist.
The right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration.
The right to pure water and clean air.
The right to balance.
The right not to be polluted.
The right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.
The right to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities.
This is the kind of world I want to live in. How about you?
Too long humans have seen themselves as separate from and superior to nature. We are neither.
If you’re interested in reading more about the world as a living organism and humanity’s place within it, check out the fascinating and insightful book Earthdance by Elisabet Sahtouris. She provides the most complete and poetic summary of our universe, world, and evolution that I’ve ever read.
A reviewer says:
“EarthDance prophetically represents the new and rapidly expanding Post-Darwinian evolutionary biology. Sahtouris explains how, in cycle after cycle, the living entities or “holons” in the realm of Gaia have merged, through negotiation and symbiosis rather than ruthless competition, in a constantly self-creating and re-creating “holarchy” of living systems.”
It’s one of my all-time favorites, along with The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding (available on Kindle).