Hello to everyone…
Yesterday, April 22nd, was the Earth’s day and I woke up with a cold, cloudy Sunday, immersed in university exams… I take a break… put water in the kettle for a couple of hot mates, turn on the stove (it is good to have one), choose some fine tunes and start writing the 50th newsletter. Nice number, we finally made it. It’s been a whole year since I enjoy writing to you every week.
The reason has been always the same, those 5 minutes of reading which invite a higher state of mind. To rethink the way society has evolved in our planet. The clockworth thinking has separated us from nature, and the connection was lost… and with science breakthroughs we realized that the wise oriental and native people’s cosmovison was not wrong at all when they spoke of the unity we shared with Earth.
But, how can we understand society as something natural? And more importantly… what do I do with that knowledge? What do I do with the power of knowing that what I do does count?
The “social metabolism” concept shows the in and out flows of materials and energy within a society. Nowadays, the extraction of natural resources and the transformation of raw materials leave us with a greater loss than the benefits we obtain, by degrading the environment in irreversible ways, and by exploiting our resources in a rate that does not allow them to renew themselves. This indicates that our system is INEFFICIENT.
The energy inefficiency concept is bound inexorably to Thermodynamics, the science that studies energetic processes. Thermodynamics tells us that no matter what thing we do, it will always have a certain amount of loss… any energy “investment” we make, has a little bit of loss.
This can be extrapolated to several examples. From the ice chest, in which we invest X amount of electric energy to cool down the temperature inside, but part of that energy is dissipated in heat from the back; to the runner who has a strict diet of food intake in order to maximize his performance, but always loses some energy from his body while he transpires. The same happens with our social system: we extract what we need, we transform it, we use it –we metabolize it– and we have our waste, which by being inefficient implies a huge loss by contaminating the environment and degrading the correct functioning of our ecosystems.
The second law of thermodynamics says that it is IMPOSSIBLE to make an energetic process free of loss. This law sustains its knowledge by accepting the existence of a physical magnitude called entropy, which is a measure of that inevitable loss, a measure of disorder, of chaos.
In this way, when a system evolves (like the social system for example) its energetic processes are greater, their entropy is greater as well, and the system has to find MORE EFFICENT ways of making the energy circulate within the system in order to survive. An increase in efficiency means to enhance the complexity of exchange relations within the system.
I associate this directly with the worldwide paradigm change which is emerging in the world as global awareness permeates every plane of our lives. We are realizing that our system requires a mental evolution in order to live in harmony with our environment. The manifestations of our consciousness, which we invented from our minds, with our creativity, our creative capacity from thinking ahead, give expression to the entropy of our society: working tools, clothing, culture, natural resources extractive methods, government systems, the human economic activity, mass media, internet, waste treatments, EVERYTHING contributes to entropy… going beyond our actual system, towards a more frugal and sustainable way of life, would imply enhancing local relations, decentralize power, making the system more complex, making it more efficient…
It is at the same time a warning sign towards the EGO, who goes against the second law of thermodynamics. Our egotistical attitudes, personal benefits, individualism, pretending to obtain MORE with the least effort possible, or worse, at expense of others… a new jump in human consciousness and planetary self-awareness’ evolution would be to rethink the concept of “giving and receiving”. We now know that in order to achieve some changes, we need to invest more energy than what we expected. To give, but not waiting to receive in exchange… We need to have 110% of good vibes in our decision making in order to start changing things around from the inside out. This means we need to be part of the action, instead of waiting for a certain amount of circumstances to exist for us to do things which defy the system.
“The dissipative losses, or the dissipative use of materials, serve as qualifications, but it seems that the abstraction of the concept is too big for the common minds that are more empirically oriented. Nevertheless, attempts are still being made to interpret the metabolic social process in terms of entropy.” – Mercedes Pardo. Sociología y Medioambiente: Estado de la cuestión. Revista Internacional de Sociología. N° 19-20:329-367. 1998.
“PLOFF AWARENESS. Thoughts & Quotes On Our Daily Existence. Insights For Social Awareness” is one of those attempts of understanding society in coexistence with the rest of the Planet. In this 50th newsletter, after one entire year, I invite you to read it.
“Today exists a “critical mass” of men and women who, little by little, are transferring that perception to their daily lives, and to the places they live in and work. It is not a spectacular event, but a subtle spiritual mutation. Which enhances exchange and stimuli webs through internet” – extracted from an interview with Miguel Grinberg on behalf of the Earth’s day.
Till next Monday – Thanx for the continuity!