Many of us came to know about sustainability through the environmentalist movement, and consequently develop a tendency to associate it with concepts such as organic farming, fair trade and recycling programs. While environmentalism provides a good entry point towards sustainability, it also only provides a tiny glimpse as to what sustainability has to offer. As we shall see, sustainabilitism essentially embodies the core principles behind many solutions to countless urgent (and less urgent) issues the world is facing today.
Here at The Sustainabilitist, we strive to provide avant-garde applications of sustainabilitism, and further explore what it has to offer. In doing so, we hope to bring about a most relevant and profound influence on the state of global, long-term well being in the mankind’s history.
Like many people, we started out as folks who simply had an incessant hunger for knowledge. As we continue to inform ourselves, we began to notice a troubling trend towards which the world is heading: we would pride ourselves on coming up with clever solutions to problems, only to realize years later that in doing so, we had introduce serious problems into the system – problems which we had previously overlooked.
As we continue to inquire further, we realize that this trend has only worsened, now turning into a conspicuous, systemic pattern of poor decision making, manifesting from different corners of the Earth. Our complex system is being driven towards its own demise, and we are the ones suffering from its consequences.
Clearly, we don’t seem to have picked up, from our mistakes, the facts that the world functions as a system, and that introducing novel factors into a system can lead to unforeseen consequences.
Sustainabilitism — An Introduction
In a nutshell, sustainabilitism is the philosophy that behaviours and practices ought to be conducted in a sustainable manner. By definition, a sustainable practice, at its best, should possess the following attributes:
“Sustainable practices do not lead to implosions in the system.”
1) Non-collapsibility: Sustainable practices do not lead to implosions in the system. Consequently, such practices do not lead to system collapse.
- As a political system, absolute monarchy breeds discontent, leading ultimately to hatred and violence towards the state. In a similar spirit, top-down hierarchical institutions, be it a government, corporation or a charity organisation, exert the same effects on its members.
- The persistent, widespread use of antibiotics leads to the birth of new strains of antibiotic-resistent bacteria, some of which cannot be eliminated by even the most advanced antibiotics up to date.
- While traditional neoliberalism maintains that laissez-faire financial policies spark more innovation and accelerate progress. In practice, deregulating the financial sectors lead to unethical abuses and a quasi-meltdown of the global financial system.
- In an attempt to maximize crop yield, the rampant use of chemical fertilizers, coupled with other Ecological-Principles-unfriendly farming practices, led to the creation of nutrient-lacking produces that are potentially harmful for insects, animals and human. This then fuels the profitisation of mineralized water and synthetic supplements, the latter of which have been generally found to exert little benefit on health.
“Sustainable practices promote global long-term well-being.”
2) Utility: Sustainable practices promote global long-term well-being, which might not be immediately apparent in the beginning phases of the implementation:
- While the introduction of furnitures undoubtedly led to a substantial increase in physical comfort, the over-reliance on these technologies promotes sedentarity, which in turn hinders our well-being and leads to accelerated aging (e.g., sclerosis, osteoporosis, loss in bone mass, muscle atrophy).
- In the early 20th century, plastic was dubbed a miracle solution in food conservation. It was recently found that traditional plastic is in fact non-biodegradable, and that it simply decomposes into smaller and smaller polymers in the ocean, waiting to be consumed by the marine species and subsequently move up the food chain (into our plate?)
- For a nearsighted patient, the traditional full prescription provides instant clarity. However, the prolonged use of such prescriptions for near work dramatically increases near stress, triggering a faster progression of myopia which would then require stronger and stronger prescriptions until the patient’s myopia stabilizes (or until the patient suffers from the pathological consequences of such medically-induced myopia).
- While the appropriate functioning of modern societies depends on having a sufficient supply of well-trained specialists, overspecialization is in part responsible for creating a mass of otherwise-ignorant citizens who are insufficiently equipped with tools and knowledge to effectively tackle large-scale, global issues.
“Sustainable practices avoid unnecessary complexities.”
3) Efficiency: Sustainable practices avoid unnecessary complexities. They tend to be fundamentally more efficient, without taking shortcuts that would jeopardize their utility:
- Traditional publishing requires countless professionals at various levels of production (e.g., authors, designers, formatters, typesetters, editors), and as a result drives up the price of publishing materials (for the consumers), while at the same time prevents the authors from receiving fair compensations. Similar scenarios occur in countless long-production-chain industries as well.
- Conventionally, emails are delivered via relaying the data from one intermediate recipient to another. Such practice lends itself easily to security breaches, and would be inefficient even if data were to be encrypted.
- Speedreaders tend to adhere to the notion of reading at the fastest speed possible without backtracking. This tends to lead to poor encoding to reading materials, and possibly minimal retention later on.
Sustainabilitism — A Never-Ending Discussion
The Sustainabilitist strives to spark some interest in sustainabilitism and motivates incorporating sustainable practices into our lifestyles and policies. A sustainabilitist perspective involves (among others):
- Redefining our relationship with technologies, by recognizing their potential in disturbing the existing balance in our fine-tuned universe.
- Adopting a global/holistic/integrated point of view towards a topic, by acknowledging that a practice can be beneficial from one angle yet harmful from another.
- Looking beyond the short-term effects, and the obvious benefits and drawbacks, by resisting instant gratification and short-sighted decision making.
Ever stumbled upon math books where the authors present methods and strategies through which puzzles can be solved? Well, The Sustainabilitist happens to operate in a similar spirit — We enjoy sharing our solutions to problems pertaining to real-life issues, while at the same time open to your comments and criticisms. More concretely, The Sustainabilitist seeks to offer, among others:
- Avant-garde health advice “fresh out from the oven” (i.e., researches based on repeated self-experimentations)
- Key concepts, philosophies and tutorials on stretching certain human capabilities
- Reviews and criticisms of unsustainable/inefficient practices
- Modules promoting sustainabilitism and other related themes (e.g., holistic and detailed thinking, minimalism, hormesis)
We are constantly looking forward to invent new concepts and provide novel applications of sustainabilitism. Maybe you can join us and help us spread the sustainabilitist worldview? Drop us a line via:
- Facebook: facebook.com/sustainabilitist
- Google+: google.com/+SustainabilitistOrg1
- Twitter: twitter.com/durabiliste
- Email: sustainabilitist AT gmail DOT com
- Comment forms (in the appropriate pages)
- Contact form (below)
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