Category Archives: Social Technology

The Great Courses: Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations – Donal’s Notes

Humans have been on the planet for 3 million years (Homo habilis), 2 million years (Homo erectus) or 200,000 years (Homo sapiens sapiens) depending on what you want to call “human”. The structure and organization of life we know as “civilization” has been around for about 8,000 years. It took us about 8,000 years to discover that our modern way of life, as possibly civilization, itself, is unsustainable (meaning that it will end). Perhaps we might consider the fact that for 96% to 99.6% of human existence (190,000 to 2.9 million years) we lived sustainably on one planet’s worth of resources. What lessons might we learn from our history to guide us once again to sustainable lifestyles, or, even better, thriving on one planet? Because writing, itself, developed with the lifestyle we call “civilization”, we never did have anything like a written owner’s manual for how our ancestors lived sustainably for so much time. Hopefully, archeology, anthropology, and related fields of study will help us create one. These are my notes from a course that may provide some clues.

Restoring Forests and Communities: Willie Smits

Willie Smits, born in the Netherlands but living in (and citizen of) Indonesea for the past 35 years, works in tropical Indonesia to re-establish not only forests which then increase rainfall by 25% (using only 5,000 acres) but also the communities needed to make those forests permanent. Resources to learn more (but also see below): […]

Adverse Childhood Experiences: Role in Health

What happens if we can eliminate a child’s experience of (1) crime in the home, (2) neglect, and (3) abuse (physical, mental, and sexual)? We see reductions in a host of health problems these early stressors cause with rates of return on our investment of up to 150%. Among the problems that can be reduced […]

Movie: Reversing the Mississippi

What happens with a guru in creating affordable physical technology for farming meets a guru in creating social connections for youth to teach them farming? I have been waiting to find out since I first saw the trailer for Reversing the Mississippi in June of 2015. Thanks to Ian Midgley, the film premiered on the […]

Social Technology Overview

Social technologies are an integral part of solutions for a functional future. Our culture places a lot of faith in technological fixes to many of our planetary problems, but the word “technology” is almost always used to refer to physical technology (e.g., solar panels, swales and berms, etc.). Social technology are the sets of technologies […]

Unpleasant Positive & Pleasant Negative

It is possible to have pleasant emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that are negative for our lives and to have unpleasant emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that are positive for our lives. Understanding this distinction makes it much easier to deal with reality.

The Big 9: Solutions for a Functional Future

Overview of solutions for shelter, food, heat, social technologies, tools, and a list of people putting it all together.

3 Poisons, Interdependence, & Unpleasant Emotion as Information

In Buddhist traditions, unnecessary suffering is caused by the three poisons: passion, aggression, and ignorance. Ignorance may be the most important of these three. It refers to ignorance of the fact that there is no stable, continuous self. There is no self, we are interdependent There certainly can be a stable story of myself: I […]