Thursday, April 29, 2010

Signs of spring

Last week have been a little bit cold again, but the trees they really want to open their leaves, some shrubs couldn't hold it any longer and this morning in the train across the country I see light green from the floffy flowers on willow and also the early leaves of birch. The grass seems greener and some other green plants grow under the almost naked shrubs. Wood anemones came yesterday or the day before, a lot, a lot!

A mother moose and her kid looked at me in the forest, everything stopped for some seconds. I went the other way and they walked first trough the running trail then up to the car road, before cossing it, she looked in both directions- no cars- go kid, go!

Later, same run, I saw a man with a white horse at a green hill, the horse ate the new grass and the man stod with the rope in his hand some steps away, like a man with a dog- go and play! But the horse just grazed the grass and the man walked in the sun, ontop of a green hill with blue sky in the background and a white horse.


In the end of the round I meet a male deer in his work to get the skin of from his horn, and the winter fur fell down from his body. He walked to tree to tree and had an eye on me.

Going by the train and I can see a lot of agriculture land, large scale to be compared with the past, small scale to be compared with todays industrial "farming". Here and there, wetland have been constructed, and I wonder if it is to take the water away from the land, catch the nutrients from the field or to get the money from Biodiversity Act.

With last week with a lot of "do it yourself garden" (read about a new community in Mölndal, my mothers balcony in the city and my grandma's garden) in my head, I'm thinking, how to combine social, ecological and economical sustainability. They are not, and should not be seperate. Mostly we talk about the ecolocial part, but to get there, we need to go throught the people. I guess it lays in the word "humanity", we have to do more things together, like planting trees and flowers in the spring, see the big wild animals, plant food, cook together, babysit each others children, not because we have to- but because it is fun.

So, train is soon in Uppsala. Tomorrow spring will be "singing in" at Valborg celibration with champange and strawberries to breakfast, boat race in the river by the city and in the evening Valborg fires. Day after then May Day. This is how to combine a weekend of early signs of spring with politics and future thoughts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Environmental awareness: attitude or action?

A lot of money is invested in media campaigns to foster sustainable behavior. Sometimes so much, that the money spend on spreading the information could be used to fix the problem instead.

It is not that some people are bad and some are good, several investigations says that most people are well informed about environmental issues, and have a high awareness, a lot of us have the same knowledge, and the attitudes that recycle, drive less, eat more vegetables is a good fact; but, it is just some of us that live as we learn. Why is that?

A lot of things hold us back,
  • time might be the single biggest of this; "it takes to much time to recycle, go by bus, or find the organic goods, "flight saves days!", "I should do all those things if I just had more time.."
  • money is another; "it is not that much more expensive to take the car", "organic goods are to expensive for my house-hold"
  • lack of knowledge; "I have no clue how to make a compost"
  • and a lot of other things; weather, distance, heavy to carries the food from the store, etc
So how should we do, to live as we learn?
Community-Based Social Marketing work in this way, step in that order, 1-4;

1. Every sustainable behavior have its own barriers; to identify them before doing anything else is the key. The barriers can be found with small surveys, qualitative methods, lists, meetings
2. (When known the barriers) Use the Behavior Change Tools;

- Commitment; People want to be consistent, hence they are more prone to behave a certain way if they have already committed to it. Written commitments tend to be more effective than verbal ones.

- Prompts; People are forgetful; prompts are visual or auditory reminders of specific behavior.

- Norms; People tend to behave as other people do, hence seeing that other people behave in a particular way, may convince people to behave that way themselves

- Communication; Vivid, personal and concrete. Know your audience. Credible sources. Message should be easy to remember. Present losses (in money) that occur as a result from inaction instead of savings in action. Threatening messages should follow by a concrete solution. Common goals. Feedback

- Incentives; People are affected by encouragement and perceived threats; examples of incentives are user fees, refunds, discounts, and social approval

3. Piloting in a small scale
4. Evaluation

So, is it necessary to foster everyone? Shouldn't sustainable behavior be just the standard way of living? Anyhow; we need to find the barriers for our behaviors and to do that we need to talk to the people about what is difficult and what is missing, what they need etc etc..

This can be self-organizing if we know how to do it. We need to combine a lot of knowledge to just set up the structure of a society like this; but when we have done it, it would be a wonderful place to be. And that is all we want, right?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beautiful library

View a stunning 3D picture here of a wonderful library. A celebration of human art and knowledge. I want a library like that!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mission: sustainable

Mission: sustainable. Americans do it again; easy, funny-fun, and a happy ending. We just need to have a consultant (or eight) and then we can live the American dream in the suburban sprawl all of us (their footprint would, after the change, cover just one globe they say).

Here is the program that all environmentalist want to show the non-environmentalists. What is missing?
Mission: Sustainable on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It's all happening in San Francisco

A small garden on my way to Alameda
Today in the Bay Area and beyond, urban homesteaders like Ms. Stone and her roommates are raising their own food in their backyards, in community gardens and on derelict and undeveloped spaces in the city. They’re preserving and pickling vegetables and fruits, sewing their own clothes, baking bread, making alcoholic, and much more.


-from yesterday's New York Times; read full article here

And an older one; From concrete to community .

School garden, in Alameda

San Francisco ’s streets and public rights-of-way make up fully 25% of the city’s land area, more space even than is found in all of the city’s parks.

-Pavements to park


And a lot of pictures and some useful links; Shift Design Studio

"A day in San Fran", picture from city center

See more of my pictures from San Francisco here 1, 2, 3

Friday, April 23, 2010

A very beautiful place to live

Ok.. I have to, again, point out what it's all about. Went to a presentation today about the "Eco-City" Masdar, a so so presentation about it I have to say. Not many in the audience, but A LOT of good questions about it.

Masdar is a city 20 minutes (by car) from Abu Dhabi that will be completly without cars. A high-tech city. 40 000 inhabitans AND 50 000 commuters. "Low use of water" and "the only building with a surplus of energy will be built here" (ok.. check this out first).

Sustainable? Yes- in energy coverage maybe?. What about social, (more) ecological or economical? I don't think we can make this all around the world. Do you? The problems that we have are huge, and how to get energy is not about this. Ok. Good to have a center on that- we can implement it some over the world. BUT a sustainable community is not about investment in high-tech. It is about human connections. Todays post at A very beautiful place, says it better than me.

One of the questions in today's seminar was about the food; "how to get food to the place, can it be grown there?" answer; "it requires too much water" and another "what about the waste?" answer; "we will make biogas".

So..
we have problems still;
what about human waste? urin and feces
what about food production?
what about water(level)?
what about building houses for poor?
how to make people thrive?
feel safe?

most of the questions above, fit together in the sustainable development, but not in the concept of a "sustainable city". And to see the difference in those two is the way of see the future.

What do we expect from the society?
Can everyone be "successful" (e.i, can we have a world without poor and in a same time a growing pop. of people who gets richer and richer?)

What do more parks do for a society, like more benches, more places to be for "free"? I've heard exampels from different sources that says that our cities boring appearance without greens, without places to sit down, is because it collect the people we don't want to see in the city. But, hey, they are in the city anyway, but somewhere else. Isn't it time to build a city for everyone? A future for everybody? Build societies instead of cities. Connect every 'stupid' human being. Because this is how we are.. a lot of different people. People does not disappear just because we can't see them.

-- so I'm here at the science festival week here in Gothenburg. A lot of interesting events, but even here you can see a trend of things that I guess is investment in some sort of business. I am sorry if I am so negative but all this give me a thought to a very cute, attractive young woman in the Ecocity World Summit in Istanbul that told me about her plans to make an ecocity in Estonia, and she told me in the end that it was "only for the businesses". And I just wonder how can wellbeing be about "just businesses". It's about life, and life is priceless.

So again- what do we expect from life?


Film from Eco-Unit

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Low density, high density

New York, Central Park.
Found on my wall, from a magazine

Environmentalist usually don't like high density, it's ugly, un-human, boring and so on but if every human would have a house and their own farmland and so on, we would not fit on this globe. And transportation would be dreadful!

Suburban sprawl is more densed than country side, but not enough. Long distances requires cars. Downtowns with 100 floor buildings? Shadows too long, dark.

If every human on this planet would stand on their feet, close to the other, they would fit on Sweden's largest island; Gotland, with a size of 3 140 km2. That would mean a world without humans, a wild world- who would feed us?

We can't live like that of course, but it shows a little perspective what we are doing.
The transformation of a city ontop of the Roman
 Empire pillars, grandma's painting in my kitchen

We need to build dense and compact, but in a smart way; beautiful, practical, lot of functions, mixed-used (use shade side for office, ground floor for stores, sunny-side as terraces apartment).

See a house from Uppsala here and a couple of them from Paris here and don't forget to make the space between the houses more fun than that! Bridges, water, levels, gardens, and so on..!
The smart, ecological city is compact and fun!

Center for a World in Balance - Invisible Children

Center for a World in Balance - Invisible Children

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crash Course

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.
-- Albert Bartlett



The Crash Course by Chris Martenson seeks to provide you with a baseline understanding of the economy so that you can better appreciate the risks that we all face- 20 chapters, total 3 hours 23 minutes. Or see a 45 minutes seminar here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mission: impossible?

Sometimes I think I am on the right track, but sometimes it feels like glue in my head, and sometimes I think that maybe someone put glue into it, or control my brain from a huge central miles from here.

Explain to me what happens to all the train lines that was built in US in the early 1900 century, seen in every cowboy movie. How come, that governments put billions after billions to roads and highways. And what happen to that electric car that was invented before 1900? And why is it, that we eat animals that was feed on grains and beans so we loose 90% of the energy when we in the same time talkes about a world in hunger? Tell me why it's so important to have white small socks when running, and tell me where my freinds went.

Is being environmental conserned the opposite to be into the society? Am I weird?

Nah, I just questionize everything. What do we know for real? We just know what we can read from others; if white small socks for running is the thing that dosen't give you bad looks from outside- let's buy it!

My brain's running slow today and I feel demotivated. Anyway, what about this motivation.. It is not up to some environmentalists to save the world..

We are all in it, and so much more can be done if we collaborate. And so much more thing can be created and understood and explored if we just talked a little bit more and questionize a little together.

Throw out your tv! Meet family, friends, people. Discuss and build! Build relations, grow food, learn about different humans and why humans are so complex. Explore! Create! Talk! Love!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Complexity of environmental problems

Far from all people are interested in environmental issues, if they were, it would be slightly easier to get to the action of the imbalance of the whole earth but also to the problems closer to us. But put in another way, the reason that we have environmental problems is that someone unconsciously or consciously use natural resources in such a way that a conflict arises. Without disagreement, no environmental problems.Hence people have to be interested in environmental issues to have an environmental issue. Questions are many, beacuse environmental problems are complex.

Environmental conflict
Environmental problems are a result from conflicts. Daniels and Walker say that there may be no conflict setting more complex than environmental policy (p. 43). They identify seven different salient sources of environmental conflict complexity;

  • Multiple parties
  • Multiple issues
  • Cultural differences
  • Deeply held values and worldviews
  • Scientific and traditional knowledge
  • Legal requirements
  • "Conflict industry", wich referes to anyone whose personal interests are better served by the perpetuation of a competitive and conflictual approach to environmental policy than on some calm, quiet settlement.
Hallgren and Ljung (2005) also listed; no single actor has enough of an overview or knowledge to be able to describe or deal with the problems; there is lack of information in several different areas; unclear system boundaries when dealing many issues simultaneously; and that there are power structures which often has to be questioned or challenged.

The communicative turn
Urbanisation has been at a furious pace over the past 100 years all over the world and now live more than half the world's population in cities. World Bank at the EcocityWorld Summit conference in 2009 claimed that 400 000 km2 of land is under planning in the developing world, a total size of al built area today- a whole new world before 2030!

The problems, which we have because of a rapid movement to the cities, are many and affect both ecological, economic and social systems, both in and outside cities. Similarly, the proposals on how to solve them endless and the questions are; who's going to solve them, and which are the tools required to build our communities so that they contribute to sustainable development? The questions have become so numerous that people talk about 'the communicative turn "a discussion of the Western democracy essence and its future. Increasingly they believe that we must move away from an expert-driven approach to a process-oriented community where citizens are seen less as a spectator and become more involved in community decision making.

Sustainable development
A huge difference is found in the meaning of the words sustainable future and sustainable development. Just because, put another way; the difference in building sustainable cities and to build cities that contribute to sustainable development. Although the concepts of future and development are combine in the definition in the Brutland report, which defines sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sentence just told that this is our goal, not a map of how to get there.

Working with sustainable development may today seem different from the goal, sometimes nothing else than just information sharing. Meaning, sustainable development is not happening at all. More books and groups have been created to work on climate issues in recent years, than ever. But the strategies are often to get more people knowing about the problem, "if only everyone was in it, it would go easy". Information sharing and real action is not the same thing; The information is about something outside ourselves, while the action is a deliberate act, the target is the environment but the process is about people. Similar, UN says that "human beings are at the center of concerns for sustainable development "in the first principle in Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992. So how human respons, not her interest in sustainable issues is a key to make the process towards a sustainable future more succesful. That is the reason why we have to work sustainable within the process while working towards the goal. Sustainable development as a process is as important as sustainable future.

Sustainable development as a process
Hallberg and Ljung (2005) argues that sustainable development is a society's attention created through conversation. "It is through talks that sustainable development will realized and a society's attention on our common future issues are created" (freely transl. from Swedish).

Sustainable development can therefore bee seen as a process that is constantly changed and are concerned of those involved. The Richard Register, founder of the organisation Ecocity Builders mean that "you have to change the map over and over again, it [ecocity mapping] will never be finished and final; such is the way of all maps" (Register, 2006) -and so the process to a sustainable future.


References
Hallgren and Ljung (2005), Miljökommunikation- aktörssamverkan och processledning
Register (2006), Ecocities- rebuilding cities with nature
Daniels and Walker (2001), Working through environmental problems- the collaborative learning approach

Friday, April 16, 2010

Inexpensive solar cells

Earth receives more solar energy in one hour than the entire planet currently consumes in a year.

With new technology close to the green plant's photosynthesis it's now possible to make solar cells less expensive.

Based on the principle of photosynthesis -- the biochemical process by which plants convert light energy into carbohydrate (sugar, their food) -- the Graetzel solar cell is composed of a porous layer of nanoparticles of a white pigment, titanium dioxide, covered with a molecular dye that absorbs sunlight, like the chlorophyll in green leaves. The pigment-coated titanium dioxide is immersed in an electrolyte solution, and a platinum based catalyst completes the package.

From Science Daily 12 th of April; Inexpensive Highly Efficient Solar Cells Possible

[tip from technology-will-save-the-world Jimmy, who might be right in this case]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Face


people [do only] understand the need to join together in some sort of coordinated way in order to negotiate or co-construct an outcome
We co-construct our identities through our interactions with others. We want to do it well, because we want to feel respected and to build the personal dignity and honor of the other. The interactions occur in the moment as a single speech act, or they may occur in the "expanded moment", as within larger context of action (conversations, episodes, lifescripts). Identity management is complex, indicating a need for healthy facework across the many different situations of our lives. Where and how do we select a starting place, or a hypothesis for acting in the situation? How do we know where and how to "join" others in the moment?

Facework offers people an opportunity to ask questions that shift from a limited worldview with scarce resources for change, to one of a complex network of relationship that embody a multitude of options for life's challanges.


Act with intent, but understand that you are always co-construction something larger than the objective you are trying to archive in the moment.


Text; From the book Facework. Bridging Theory and Practice. Demenici, K., & Littlejohn S.W. 2006 Drawing; Mary DeLave, who is also the cover artist for the book


------


With those words and a little facelift on the blog site, I hope to reach out with more ease. But not to forget, is to put the knowing into doing. We already have a lot of knowledge, it's now time take the step to practise in the whole community. We need to use our ability to communicate and communicate in a more efficient way (creates better facework) to meet the challanges that are in the way of sustainable future. Let's start with a sustainable communication, how we interact to understand each other and with that do something together.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Viking Green Center

Green is the city of Göteborg when it comes to green spaces and available public transportation, but as an old harbour area, the city next to the water does not connect water with citizens, something which was raised in the short film Göteborg- super sustainable city. As the old industrial city it is, most of the riversides are occupeted by roads and harbour areas, much of them not even in use. A "dream" for the citys' future is now to connect the city to the other side of the river, which would make the river as the center for the city.

To discuss and visualize different plans, a special place has been built, "Älvrummet" is now the forum for the future plans along the river. In todays newspaper I could read about the Viking Green Center, a hugescale plan, which in my impression, just opened another room for discussion!

So when planning seems to be stuck,  it might be good to just do "whatever", to really see the potentional in a place, to make the ground for discussion. Here; do we want to have a tribal house in the middle of the town, as our icon building? And what do we have as choices to this?

The short film below is in Swedish but gives some good pictures of the project, in the end the woman says that there is an emty area in which we can build on, right in the city- where 30 000 (!) people can live in new skyscrapers. Well, that was good news!!!

Nytt%20spektakul%C3%A4rt%20landm%C3%A4rke%20i%20G%C3%B6teborg

Monday, April 12, 2010

CO2 is green



This was something fun. I remember a questions in one of my first exames in university; what would happen to the plants if CO2 was increasing? My answer was wrong and I was told that more CO2 was good for the plants. This thing have annoyed me since that. Ok. Ok let's say that's the fact, plants like it- they use it and got to grow more, if plants use it- then an increase in the atmosphere should not be visible, right? And it is the surplus that lays around the earth as a cover and cause global warming. The surplus is also the cause of ocean acidification, lowering in pH, which is the other CO2 problem, leading to use-up of alkalic composions as in mountain rocks and coral reefs, which leads to a decline of production in the ocean.

Take a look at the CO2 is green homepage and make a consideration yourself.

Radio waves into electricity

Just read this article, about how radio waves can be converted to electricity, page 4-5


her an article about cordless researchers and this TED about wireless electricity

maybe we should have trust to future.

Ants

A battle against ants is set in my house, and what are we fighting for? The crickets!

This is a a small reflection how to deal with problems

Living in an old house on the bottom floor, I thought that these things just appears like this, some ants, one several hour.. I can survive. But when a cascade of ants running on the floor, on my laptop, on the cables and even on my legs I had to speak up -"why are you here Ants?!

I figurit out. They are waiting for my crickets to moult. Just as me. They strikes in the moment the cricket is most vulnerable and hit them! Kill them. Eat them up in pieces. And I, I am waiting for those tiny crickets to be a little bit more feed to give to the tarantulas. So instead I am feeding the ants! And got the anoying ant-pathways with them here.

First sign of the ants was just to make it clean everywhere and make it cleaner in the cricket house.

Next strategy was to try to take them out, one by one, as I thought; communicate with them- they are many and if I take them away they leave a little message on tha spot "I dissaperad in a mysterious way here, don't go".

That strategy seem to work for a while, but was energy consuming for me and it happens that some of the ants was trying to streghten the limits.

Now, that I realized that it was not the crickets food they wanted- it was the cricket itself. I just have to change methods. This time, reorganise everything; Crickets have to go from the house. I will give them to the tarantulas this day. Problem solved.

Why try to keep an unbalanced system in balance? Just too much cost in energy and also it give a sign of not seeing the problem's main sourse. Here's the cricket initself (not the ants), in our sociey i mostly think about the cars in this post (not the humans), it dosen't make anything better (sure maybe the air quality right on the spot) to have fuels from biomass och biogas, it is the presence of the cars that are the cause of so much things that we don't even see the connection.

While writing this post, I try to communicate with the ants let's say 20 times. But this time, they are to many so this don't work anymore. They don't listen, they got influenses from others that survived anyway, even if they didn't listening to the message "don't"..

Worth mentioning in a post about ant communication is the fiction book "The empire of ants" (orginal title Les Fourmis) from Bernad Werber, this book can give feed to another sense in our minds. He writes in another book;

They [the public in large] are going to go from surprise to surprise eventually leading to the extraordinary conclusion, which is based on a little known but nevertheless real scientific discovery
My personal inpiration source is Edward O Wilson, biologist and entomologist, who gave many insights to others and broadened the field of biology, especially with the theory of island biogeography. His book "The diversity of life" was read before my ecologist studies and was surely a unconscious way of putting me into the smallest interactions within microbial ecology, entomology and other small but very important interactions. I can, as you see, also drag it all the way to my interest of communication and environmental problems. Reading a little bit more about Wilson and can see that he also wrote an article about ants and are a so- called myrmecologist (myrmex-ant), what a coincidence! Things are more integrated than what it fist seems.

Wilson also wrote the book Success and Dominance in Ecosystems: The Case of the Social Insects available online (click).

And well, next time, crickets have to be in a very closed tank, in their own world. They should not do any more troubles here.

Climate hoax

Lovely comic.

And to take it more seriously; it is not only about climate change

Another future

Another video about the future, as some believe- the mobile society. This video just makes me carsick. And I only wonder where everyone is going?



And here one more; not a single person in the whole presentation. And what is this? "Made in 3D"- this is a perfect example of thinking in 2D - roads on the x- axes, high buildings at y, nothing in between. If you twist the picture in one angle it would look the same. How fun can those societies be?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Econic design

Nature vs technology. For me, this idea seems to be like the idea of ecocities, but- with technology instead. Technology seems to be a little bit more high ranked than what nature can do for free. But what if we give ourselves this question; what requires the highest intelligent; to manipulate nature to do services for us, capacity of nature have to adapt to us, or to truly understand how nature works and use those services for us as, an adaptabillity to nature's capacity.

In any event, it is worth to see,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

On happiness and well-being

Living with my 90-year old grandma and other thoughts..

About the happiness between the experience and memories. Being happy in your life and being happy about your life or with your life, those are two very different concepts.

"We think about the future as the anticipated memory"

Don't miss the question part.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What happen to the ferries

From the book Ecocities;

It's hard to imagine how chummy the world must have seemed back before the building of the Bay Bridge ... Transportation was a social occasion; Americans, in contrast to more reticent Europeans, were notorious for chatting up with strangers on boats and trains. Both the Red Trains and Key System had a commuting ridership that was so regular that commuter clubs formed on the San Francisco-bound ferries. Some commuter clubs held on-board parties as often as once a month and just about every club gave a Christmas party on the morning of the last working day before Christmas. The car by contrast, is the world's most antisocial invention. People are at their worst in cars - I know I am ... If the metaphor of the train is "We're all in this together", the metto of the car is "Me first."

by Dashka Slater in East Bay Express, mid-1990's,

Upon transportation

The shortest distance between two points is achieved by moving those points closer together.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The heart of the world

The planet in miniature

40 km from Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast; rainforests, deserts, mountain cloud forest and glaciares in the same area. The Kogis of Colombia have lived for over 1,000 years, high in the forested mountains slopes. The big mountain Pico Cristobal Colon or the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the glacier-draped center of the their world, they say, ours as well.

From the heart of the World: The Elder Brother's Warning, was recorded in 1988 by Alain Ereira, a BBC film. A film about living in harmony with nature.

"You are polluting the earth, and we are divining to discover how to teach you to stop"
They invited BBC to come here, to tell other about their knowledge about how human destroy the planet. How can they know? Look from time 49.30 to 52.12 if you are in a rush.

Oilposter and life after peak oil



See the poster at oilposter.org , from the Post Carbon Institute. The poster lead to the book; The Transition Timeline, for a local, resilient future, a book that sees after the Peak and how to deal in a world with less oil. As things happens around the world when the Peak Oil curve goes up, things also happens when it goes down, but what? It is time for a transition to... ?

Some would say "better cars", with biofuel or electric from renewable energy sources. Some would say "better public transportation". Some would say "local communities", self-sufficient in food.

I would say; build ecocities and everything would be all right. Ecocities refers to a compact community, were people work together to create a beautiful place to be, that means that we don't need to transport too long. It means that cars can be on gasoline, if they are 1 billion less of them in the city, that means that we don't need mass transportation for the public. That doesen't necassarily means that we need to grow our own food all of us, but if you want, you can, because it is close, and if you don't want, you are able to see it, because small spots of agriculture and gardening are also fun and beautiful, full of butterflies and birds. Ecocity does mean a wonderful place to be,a smart place, which is effective in resources, based in a way on the conditions of nature.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Like crystals, the self

is multidimensional- the more facets, the more beautiful and complex. Certainly crystals may feel solid, stable, and fixed, but just as crystals have differing form depending upon whether they grow rapidly or slowely, under constant or fluctuating conditions, or from hightly variable or remarkably uniform fluids or gasses, crystallized selves have different shapes depending on the various discourses trough which they are constructed and constrained.

The coherent self  
whether simple or complex- serves as a foundation or anchor for making decisions about how to act with other people, a standard with which to evaluate one's own behavior, and a baseline from which to grow and change. Over time of course, selfidentity shifts as we encounter new situations, new conversations partners and new challenges. .. Reflect on the question: How am I different now than I was 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago? No matter how you change, however, you usually want to present yourself to others as a person worthy of respect.

Think about it as a part of your world. How does it look like? How do people pretend and act? Can we understand them better and can we give all people respect in all cases? Also try to see the first one as a place in the city, complex is almost always more beautiful.

(first quote from Fracturing the real-self <-> fake-self dichotomy, Communication Theory. Tracy, S.J., & Trethewey, A. 2005, in Facework. Bridging Theory and Practice. Demenici, K., & Littlejohn S.W. 2006. Second is from Facework.)

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