Alright, so post number three. I'm trying to keep this up at the very least in the aims of monetizing it which would be such a blessing in so many different ways. As always, there is a quantity versus quality debate with the nagging question of can you have both? So I'm gonna try to bust out a post, negating the quality but aiming towards becoming more comfortable writing drivel that my two readers will read with a faint glimmer of monetization. Sorry, I've gotten to the point now where I say things and I don't even know if they're meant to be sarcastic. I mean, it would be sort of sell outey if I tried to make a profit of this maybe, but my moral fiber isn't that strong and money is somewhat tight right now and thats what things are about.
I will also add that my blogs will often be negative, dark and stormy (like the drink). This if for me too. But I will try to be proactive and at least plagiarize solutions from others and call them my own to give a postive twist to things.
So I live in a city. Well Boston to be precise. Where I live in Boston I greatly enjoy largely due to the amount of green space that is currently present. Here this will give things away more. Needless to say, I am a few minutes away from a slightly lucious pond, a delightful park, an arboretum, an audubon sanctuary, two green way thingys and a buffet of community gardens. This I find great and I'll elaborate on why this natural presense is crucial and makes me a little bit less dead.
Biophilia is a term brought up by certain researchers. I believe E. O. Wilson came up with this theory. The idea to me is that we have an innate connection to nature (especially diverse nature) as that is the environment we evolved in. Most of our human history has developed in the natural world (with plants and stuff) rather then a world like Central Square in Cambridge. Certain aspect of our behavior, our genetic makeup are still adapted to that world and thus we have this biophilia (any philia term skeeves me out real good to be pretty honest and thus think E.O. Wilson failed us in this). So we have a strong connection to a diverse natural world. Which are you more attracted to actually: this or this! (Or this)
I'll often use the phrase (whever I can really) "from an evolutionary standpoint" after having read a couple books by Steven Pinker who is just great. His big argument in my most favorite book of his (of the two I've read), the Blank Slate, is really defending this idea of a human nature, and stating that it's actually a good thing that we have a set of complex and evolved behaviors. Our evolved nature has allowed us to develop traits that have aided and still continue to help us survive in many crucial ways. We might find animals neat because they were a source of food (he might not have said this all this is probably me and probably wrong). We find small animals gross and disgusting sometimes because it was risky for our ancestors to eat them as it wasn't much food gained for the potential risk of getting sick. I read the book awhile ago and can't provide too many more examples. Evolutionary psychology and biology is a bit dangerous too as one can get too ahead of themselves in saying things like "From an evolutionary standpoint grilled cheeses are tasty to us because they remind us of our mother's milk..." as I often like to do. Also the methodology has always interested me. How would you gather evidence for backing some idea when the evidence is completely extinct? Anyways, the main point in my sharing of these ideas is that as humans, I certainly buy into the idea that we have "nature" to us, sets of behaviors, physical charactersitcs, traits, adaptations etc. that have evolved over the course of our history which mostly took place in the non-person-made world. Anyways.
Gardner, who championed the idea of multiple intelligences added a naturalistic intelligence that went along with these skills. It invovled the ability to recognize and interpret the natural world around us; to be able to keenly see something that might be camoflauged or hidden or to be able to differntiate between the minutia of two types of plants. So I don't know how this elaborates, but theres another guy who believed in our natural affiliation to nature and I had to learn about him at different points and maybe he's legit. I always think he's neat and stuff.
A lot of us our fat too, and fat is something to be sensitive about and hopefully have a war against as well as we need more wars on different things and it makes it sound like we mean buisness good when we've declared war. This is a horrible transition but a transition none-the-less. Richard Louve writes a book that was intended to alarm america about our disconnect from nature (Nature Deficit Disorder) and that's one of the reasons we're so fat! He argues (and he has a website with a domain name that is his personal name so we know he means buisness!) that the current disconnect is due to obvious ways with things like deforestation, but also partially due to the hypersensitivity of our culture and the need to always protect our kids kind of extremely (which I mocked in an earlier passage but was guilty of probably today and many other days really :-(. We're too scared to let our kids go off. We also have TV. We also sometimes try to overschedule our kids through everything and yea, they don't have time to play, to be kids with the outdoors and each other and that this is really bad. Heres what someone else thought about it or something.
He goes on to say, this nature deficit leads to obesity, but also childhood depression and attentional issues. He doesn't have as much research to back this up but has interesting examples and anecdotes (I might be wrong about this but I'm not sure if I care). He goes on to talk about the learning that occurs when kids play in the woods. The guy loves tree-houses and I would learn a lot building one apparently. I can't however. Partially I would somehow set the tree ablaze and mess up the pH of the soil, but there is too much lawsuit potential and legal mumbo jumbo that prohibit kids from doing these types of things now-a-days.
The guy ranted a bit. I was bored at points reading this, but with my attentional deficit that might have been partially caused by a nature deficit, this is logical. I generally buy into this or at least have forgotten and misconstrued what the main points of this were. I do think there is a general disconnect from nature and from one another that has terrible consequences for all of us. Kids can be kind of miserable now but often not always too. There is stuff missing, play is important and I feel outside, self-directed play by kids (esp with peers has decreased). What do I know though. I did babysit for some kids which largely involved being the person that picked them up from afterschool and took them to karate, basketball, chess, dance and piano (all true). We also like to get rid of recess real good sometimes.
There is not quite enough initiative that I see in our behavior any more (Ask a generation Y person to change a lightbulb, see what happens... ok they probably could do that). When we go to college we're called emerging adults. If we had more time, pressure and the opportunity during our development to direct more of our own activty and develop a sense initiative then we would be less worthless sooner as a generation. This ties in to the pervading structurization of our lives and the barriers put up to accessing our world of play, peers and nature as a kid. There is plenty of attentional deficit issues to go around and yea, there is plent of fat and depression.
My point of view is what often counts in life is positive experiences with other people, health, growth, learning new skills, accomplishments/ and or adventures, altruism, a developing understanding and learning of phenomena... This all counts to me (and is vague enough semantically where I can say that everyone aggrees). Nature counts a lot. We can see a patch of woods, even less then an acre, and it's just a patch of woods. However, if we look closer we can notice the differences in some of the plants. We can notice the shape, structure and patterns of one type of plant. We can be curious. Why is the leaf pattern different in these plants? Which plant will live longer?
Ok, I'll admit. I'm bored by the idea of this but do actually enjoy checking out the vegetation. The outdoors can provide an immense amount of joy, comfort and imspiration to all of us. It has done so for thousands of years. The more you get into things the less life sucks and nature is one of the best things to get into. We're damaging ourselves when we create more then needed barriers to us and the natural world (You do need a house, I know).
We should be at the point where we realize that in spite of all of our progress, we are part of the natural world. We are dependent on/ affected by the natural resources of our planet (oil, copper and maybe zinc), it's cycles, it's geography and we have limits that are influenced by it. We do need to ensure that we sustain the natural world which we are dependent on for so many of our needs. We need a healthy planet. For us a species moreso then anyone else. From my view if we establish a connection to the natural world, we'll be happier and in doing so will want to do more to make sure it's still there. The more awareness we have of something (a group of people, a language, or a place) the more of a connection we generally have to it unless it's negative, like you were bitten by a viper or something.
Take this one to the bank... They might charge you for having to hold it as it's so volatile...
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