Authenticity (Daily Living, Part 8)

In a mature culture, all would contribute authenticity.
In a mature culture, all would contribute authenticity.

Daily life in a mature culture — the last posting I painted a picture of major uniformity. I suggest that this is necessary so as to keep the human impact to a minimum, and that such life could still be very satisfying, although the emphasis would be on authenticity, as compared to becoming more competitive in the marketplace.

So what else about living under these conditions? First, some loose ends (which could become major postings if expanded).

  • Home and work life
  • Guaranteed resources: health, nutrition, education, child care
  • Stuff? We have too much stuff

Home and Work Life would both be based upon community interaction. Given robotics and electronic communication, much of work life could actually be performed within the “village” settings.

  • Then, if desired, external work interaction would be by choice. For example, food production by extensive local gardening might well be performed because people actually wanted to engage with the soil.
  • Much industrial productivity would be automated, but there would still be many tasks that required direct interaction, especially in the development of new technology that had not previously been explored.
    • The automated productivity would be relegated to products that no longer needed innovation. For example, how many brands of toothpaste are really needed? (Yet go into any modern “drugstore” and you will find dozens if not hundreds of brands. What nonsense!)

Many aspects of community life would be guaranteed.

  • The provision of nutrition and health care will be universal.
  • Education in the future will be universal, and must emphasize personal development, especially the development of wisdom and governance.
    • Historically education has emphasized skill development, especially the transcribing of religious texts, and has been restricted to only certain societal groups.
    • In general as well, human beings are experiential learners, with age-appropriate processing to an experience so as to learn from it. What seems to work best is to have a brief exposure to a problem, engage in a physical experience related to resolving the problem, study the outcome (especially since first attempts are seldom successful at resolution), and then further engagement in problem solving (until resolution).
  • Child care would be guaranteed. In particular, we must find ways to optimize child care.
    • It is becoming well-recognized that early child development, especially in relationship to attachment needs, is central to the development of healthy adults (healthy both physically and mentally). We can no longer afford the erratic child care provisions of our modern society where we expect young parents, struggling with a multitude of issues, to provide effective child development on top of their other stresses.
    • Sorenson (1998), in Preconquest Consciousness, emphasizes how “groups of people can be simultaneously individualistic and collective — traits immiscible and incompatible in modern thought” (p. 82), but at the same time he noted how such cultures shrivel “with alarming speed when faced with harsh emotions and coercion” (p. 80), traits common to our current society.

Stuff? We have too much stuff.

  • A huge aspect of modern life is the provision of stuff for consumption, with little attention to the actual cost of production and the cost of the garbage created when the stuff is outmoded.
    • We cannot afford this! Everything in a future world must be recyclable.
    • Given our population density, we cannot afford garbage on a finite planet.
  • I suspect that if a society truly valued appropriate productivity, most of what we “consume” would be provided free as modular recyclable units, standardized to fit the needs of the product, efficiently designed for long-term usage.
    • A small aspect of productivity could then be applied to two areas:
      • innovative development of truly new products
      • creative development of individual artistic products.
    • when people moved (from job to job for example, or for educational training), they would simply take their clothes and their artistic products with them, and leave the rest to the next occupant.
      • The status associated with “new, improved” would not be part of the cultural milieu.

Your thoughts? (Remember, my musings are only intended to stimulate thinking about what really matters to a mature culture.)

Coming next: Interactions between communities

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