The Losing Game of Construction Activities:
Implications of Pathological Special Interest Human Behavior
Different kinds of people act on their own, based on their interests, skills, circumstances, opportunities. And sometimes the total effect of these individual patterns adds up to problems for all. Because of lifestyles based on accumulation of wealth and material objects, there are all kinds of massively redundant instances of the problems. The idea of having a bigger house is an example of massive waste. This idea is manufactured by the culture of personal wealth, the construction industry, and all of the materials industries that supply the construction industry, the energy industry that supplies the energy to heat and light those houses, and the transportation industries that are required to move around in that system. Because of the separation of the food crop production from the residential areas of urban and suburban life, people are dependent on this industrialized system. With the specialization of people into roles within the industrialized system, there comes a kind of robotic behavior based on the various kinds of specialization. For instance, people who are involved in construction see the world in terms of construction, talking about, thinking about construction-oriented activities, business, lifestyles. Another group of people might be interested in botany, thinking about plants, ecologies, gardens, forests, interspecies relationships. There is a fundamental difference in the long term implications between these two activities: construction leaves very large permanent and largely unused structures on the earth, while ecosystems are about sustainable living communities of plants and creatures.
There is a massive obsession with construction in humans, and it's hard to see past it unless you study nature and ecosystems. Most people are now born within the massive construction-based urban system, and unfortunately take it for granted as 'natural' or 'normal', when in fact it is an artifact of only the recent past few hundred years. The oil-fueled construction paradigm has rapidly replicated itself throughout the industrialized world, making many of us robots, and furthering the paradigm. It has greatly decreased our connection to the fantastic diversity and sustenance of nature, far more diverse, intelligent and sustainable than the mass-produced entertainment activities offered by modern corporations and consumerist paradigms. The long-term sustainable lifestyles of the agrarian cultures and the rainforest gatherers provide role-models greatly needed in for those born into the unsustainable lifestyle of industrialism.
Some people are focused on personal activities or activities of their special interest group: family, ethnic background, industry, religion, nation, not working for the greater good of the entire ecosystem of earth or the local bioregion. It's somewhat normal to be focused on oneself; it's where we all start as infants, dependency on mother, father, family, community, and sometimes the self realizes the reality of the interconnectedness of all beings. Some people never move very far into the awareness of interconnectedness, unfortunately replicating the behaviors of the earlier or 'lower' self-centered focus. Because humans have created machines and architecture, these things multiply our ego-based behavior patterns and the implications. And because our machines are so huge and numerous, the detrimental effects upon other living communities of plants and animals are very deep and long term.
Riding on a train through our landscape gives one an overview of the implications of this massive architecture, much of it unused and deteriorating, fallen out of use. We can also see the new construction of massive housing developments, massively redundant 'living' rooms, empty most of the time, consuming forests and minerals, destroying communities of plants and animals. Mountaintop removal mining is one of the latest in massive machine-based munching of ecosystems to drive the wasteful energy desires of this wasteful human behavior in housing construction and energy waste.
The mass media is one of the ultimate deceivers in this system, telling us to consume rather than to enlighten. Across the mainstream news, the main topics of Autos, Real Estate, Jobs, Sports and Entertainment are featured on web sites, television and newspapers, continually hammering our perception of reality with the special interests of those industries. The manufacturing of this paradigm so dominates our landscape and resource usage that we're in massive global energy and environmental crisis. The earth is now experiencing the highest extinction rate of species in 65 million years, massive resource wars, health-degrading air and water pollution, destructive climate change, clear indicators that the system is self-destructive on a global scale. Perhaps if the main topics were changed to Agriculture, Ecology, Sustainability and Arts, we might have a healthier system in the long-term.
Because of the special interests of industry and the corruption of the human value systems around short-term wealth and material accumulation, and the use of manufacturing to replicate a specific paradigm of architecture and energy use on a massive scale, we have massive problems. Now that we know the design is unsustainable and degrades our quality of life and happiness, we have the challenge of finding the best way of tranforming this already installed infrastructure, as well has transforming the defective value systems and behaviors that continue manufacturing the defective world.
If we are to evolve quickly to a better life, we need to give up some of the ideas, behaviors, objects and infrastructures that we've taken for granted because of mass-produced pseudo-normalcy.
In the field of computers, we have seen very rapid evolution and development in the power of software, the available memory and speed of operation. Subsequently, much of the earlier hardware is now 'obsolete', less desired. But computers are much less visible in our world. They are inside our homes and offices. Automobiles are ubiquitous, always outside in public view, very large objects, with a massive infrastructure of roads outside our homes and offices. Our assumptions that this is normal are incorrect in the big picture of time and sustainabililty, yet the industry and human behavior replicates itself because of the appearance of normalcy and the greed and arrogance of those in government and industry.
Because of the semi-automated manufacturing of these objects, the machines have made our predicament even worse. Humans can feel plenty satisfied with completely sustainable behaviors and technologies, but the corrupt, short-sited special interests don't want to lose their entrenched dominance. So the 'free market' touted by those in control of manufacturing and profits is really the dominance of the boorish, greedy and self-centered. They lie and tell people that happiness is based on their system, always avoiding the issues of sustainability, environmental degradation, resource depletion, extinction of other species. Pathological human self-centeredness is manufactured by our architecture, transportation system, mass media, non-holistic specialization-based education systems, government conspiracy with corporate interests, and much more. It's a many-headed beast, designed as a multi-level shell game, hiding the responsibility and damage done in millions of daily cliche-filled conversations. Where is the depth of human experience in this? We could be accomplished musicians or artists, gardeners and teachers, craft workers, geniuses and saints, but instead most of us are preoccupied with the lifestyles that the system has created for us, the jobs, the industry-based special interests, cogs in the machine that grinds us down. Study broadly and deeply, understand and evolve out of the pathologies of our world.
Because of the greedy corporate special interests' influence in government, our education system is stacked against many of us. The specialization of our education into various skills prevents us from seeing the big picture. We would be able to make more informed decisions about our world if we had more information about the interrelationships of resource use and sustainability. The automobile companies don't want people to be informed about the implications of global warming, peak oil and car-free ecocities because they want to keep selling people automobiles and the consumeristic way of life.
Broad and deep, collective knowledge encyclopedia: http://wikipedia.org
The Corporation: an insightful documentary on the pathology of corporations: http://thecorporation.com
Post Carbon Institute: http://postcarbon.org/
Energy Bulletin: Peak Oil: global implications: http://energybulletin.net/
Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO): http://www.peakoil.net/
EcoCity Builders: http://EcoCityBuilders.org
Free Public Transit: http://FreePublicTransit.org
Car Free Cities: past, present and future: http://CarFree.com
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