Black Friday was a completely new thing for me when I came to the U.S. When ever I ask a person about this day, they would tell me in this day all stores and mall will do HUGE discounts on everything especially on electronics. I was amazed by the idea and I thought this is a really good idea for the stores to sell more stuff. However, This Black Friday was different for me especially after taking the Regenerative Studies Class which taught me that all the degenerative systems goal are to maximize production and consumption. Also, it taught me that all companies and factories goal is to maximize profit. Annie Leonard talked about all this idea in her video ” The Story of Stuff”. She says that people would go shopping and would buy more that they ever need and all that would get wasted at the end which causes the environment to have more pollution because all these wasted stuff will get burned. So, I decided to go shopping this past Black Friday and look far away to put what we have studied in class to the real life. So, I went to walmart in Glendora and I got shocked by the people’s action. They were going everywhere, and every isle to get things from everything. I heard people shouting out that the was a sale on a T.V that is 32″ LED for a really cheap price. I went to see the queue for the T.V. it was more than 6 isles going back and force. The most shocking thing was that the T.V brand was not good at all, and I was pretty sure than less a year most of these T.Vs will be re-turned. The people we putting 3-4 T.V. in their cart to check them out. I asked one lady of why she needs all of them, and she said “not really sure I will need all of them but the its price is really good. At the same time, I asked my boyfriend to go to one of the managers and ask them about this T.V. brand. When he came back, he told me that they have never heard of this brand before and they know that it has a lot of problems, so it is lower qualifications than expectation. I continued walking and looking around, until I found another T.V. that was almost out of stock, and its price was not cheap at all. Actually it is exactly the same before “the black Friday” day. Back in my mind, I was remembering my professor and the “story of stuff” video when they talked about the people and how they get amazed by the prices so they buy more than their needs, and how people start buying things thinking that they are on a good deal when they are actually the same as before!! I think Black Friday is a great day to proof that people are living in an unsustainable life.
In this blog I decided to write about my idea on sustainability at the beginning of the course and now. When I registered for this class I was not really sure if I will enjoy this class or not. Even, I was not sure what sustainability really is. All I knew was to save the environment and that would be by recycling and inviting others to recycle more. I did not really know that sustainability has to do a lot more than that. Also, recycling considered to be as “less bad”. Week after week, I started to learn more about living a sustainable life. Sustainability in this course made me realize sustainability in a deeper meaning.We started the course by talking about the linear view and the system view. I remember the first video we watch was about using a lot of the public transportations instead of using our own car because it save the world from the gas to be spread all over. Also, carpooling is not really a good way to save gas. We can consider it as a one step further to be sustainable but still not enough to do it alone. Then, We did a class discussion on the word view. My group at that time discussed the over weight in a word view point. We Learned that If we are looking at it in a linear view, we would say it is a number that make us know if we are over weight or in a normal weight and it is a bad thing. On the other hand, System thinking look at weight as a number and try to solve the problem by exercising, and changing the food daily routine which cause to loose weight and pushes us to work even harder to continue achieving our goal. furthermore, This course taught me to always think about where things are coming from. I always know about how over productive we are as people and how self-centered people can be. It helped me to look at the world from the big picture and see how people are competing, and being selfish. At the end of this course I can say that I am going to take a step forward and start changing my habitats toward sustainability. Also, I will show people around me about the disadvantages of staying the way they are and its impact on the future.
Reaction to the 2005 documentary video entitled “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond was really interesting. It argues a very realistic macro evolutionary view of the current human history. It starts by talking about the western civilization which was able to improve faster than the others because of their geographic location. If we go back about five thousand years ago to the Sumerians time, we would be able to see how this civilization was able to change from hunting and gathering, to farming. As we all know from history and science that the Sumerians where the human species originated it is now known as Middle East. This area had the ability to host many kinds of plant and animals that could sustain large populations of people. The advance of farming and because the animals eat the plants led the population to grow and spread across Asia. This growth cause the civilizations to split in the east and west. The Western civilization would be like Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Spain, etc.. And the Eastern would be like Asia and China. With all the spread and exchange between the humans and the animals cause to increase the diseases and bacteria. The westerners were able to adapt and evolve to these diseases over time, so they can continue and survive. All these problems led to the technology because civilizations were spend more time studying and searching for new technology that could help preventing these diseases. Finally, The printing press was created. It helped the westerns to spread their technological ideas all over the globe making the world think that the Europeans are the powerful civilizations in technology. However, New Guineans were not able to develop as fast as the others because of their geographic locations which did not allow them to handle large populations.
“A New Story of the People” talks about the story behind every question. We will find out that we will get a set of different answers because it depends on they relate their answers on their culture and the way they think. When you ask people who are you? What is it to be human being? Where did we come from? and a lot of other questions. Every culture will answer in a different way depends on what they have been through and how the culture raised them to think of it. Even if you ask about Physics, religion, and psychology. People might answer to these questions differently like physics is all about forces, or biology is about genes maximize self production. We separate our selves from the others so we wants to have everything for us. We increase the population without thinking. When we were born we would have the idea in our mind that the life is beautiful and far away from reality. Life might put us in a circumstance where we do not have money, work, or anything that we wish for. Then, it makes us think that our existence is hurting us more than benefitting us. All this lead us to a new story, a new story of life, of human. It make us think that every action we do have its influence and impact. Our reactions would come from our understanding to the interconnection of inter being. It point out a new idea to inter act with others by taking different stand and different action from the normal one or from the old story. This action could be by forgiving others and by letting the controlling action go, by making all people happy because you are happy. This would help the whole word to be as beautiful as we imagine. I think this video gives us a really interesting way of thinking and reacting to the world. It teaches us to start the first step from ourselves and then it can be spread to others. This will help us to get our environment back to be sustainable.
Chapter 6 of the Jacob’s Nature of Economies reading proposed a few new ideas. The first idea was of altruism as a human trait. It talks about the meaning of unselfishness or self-sacrifice. The text suggested that Darwin was not able to explain how altruism was accounted in natural and sexual selection. Jacobs’ idea was that all species were born with natural traits that hold back the species from destroying their environment. These traits could possibly account for altruism in the human species. For example, a natural trait of the human species is to appreciate the aesthetics of a piece of land. First, as Jacob says, people do appreciate that because it is their homeland, it is where they came from, and grew in, and they wish to protect that which has sustained them. Second, people realized that their actions could have dire consequences on the environment which will in-turn hurt ourselves in the long-run. Jacob’s suggested that as an environmental restraint, we should appreciate things that are beautiful and meaningful to us. Therefore, we can save them to extent, and put our lives on the line unselfishly. Also, I think that our ability to recognize the natural and sexual selection process will give us greater control over the future of our species.
Last Wednesday, we watched part from the documentary film called “The Take”. It was taking a place in Argentina. And talking about the corporation and the way they treat the workers. The workers refused to continue working like this so they closed the corporations which led them to decide, after a while, to take a stand and open the corporations again to create a “worker corporative.” The factories were not paying them enough money. They were barely getting money to cook a meal. Therefore they decided to take a stand and work by themselves rather than working for less to resume their work. The money was split equally on all of them and they did not have an owner or a boss on them. They were all equal in the power and everything. This “worker cooperative” helps to serve not only the workers and their families, but the entire community as well. The products they made were sold for less prices, and the community helped them and supported their work. This has proved to be much more efficient than the conventional factory model. Also this was even backed by the Argentinan legislature, who passed legislation that allowed the cooperative to continue operation.
November 13th I stayed after class to watch the movie “Battle In Seattle” It was a great movie showing what was happening during 1999. It was talking about all the problems that people had during that time and what they did to fix that. Corporations had the overpower which led them to even control the government. It starts that there was a meeting at the WTO and the protestors were trying to prevent the meeting to happen. They thought by protesting they can present their ideas, and fix the problems they have. However, some of the protestors left and started damaging the city around. They were breaking the store’s windows and doors. They even did not care about the innocent people who were not part of all that. This made the case even worse to handle. So, the polices started fighting and killing the protestors even if they were from the peaceful group. At that time, a lot of innocents got killed. One of the police’s wife was pregnant and she was going home. She did not know what was happening around. But the protestors and the polices started fighting which cause her to loose her baby because one police did not care who that person is and if she is a protestor or not. He just hit her and made her loose her baby. I think the government and the polices did not handle the case in a correct way. If they opened the door for them to say what they want and what they are missing, then all this fights and all the people who got killed will be save. This is exactly what is happening in my country now. People are frustrated from the big companies and the government to have all the power, so they started protesting. The government thought that if we kill few people then the others would be afraid to go out and protest and everything will be back to normal. However, what really happened is that people got even more angry and they started protesting more and more. They tried to close all the streets and stores to show the government that more that 50% of the people are not happy with this policy. Of course, not all people agreed to protest. There were ones who just want to be in peace even that they are not happy with the current circumstance. I just hope that the government always open their doors to listen to the people’s problems and look forward to fix that instead of fighting them.
The required reading of “Back to Reality” by Jane Jacob was really fascinating and hard. It runs into economic ideas that I have never heard of before. Jacob’s always talked about the death and life of the city but this this book, she talks about the growth of the city. She moves on to discuss a new idea that has an effect on the cities which is the economic. She sees that economic wisdom must start from city culture’s investigation. What Jacobs explores in this book is a process that takes off from individual efforts and personal creativities. Cities and nations are connected with each other in terms of economy. Many types of regions lay on top of each other to get to their goal which are production and development. Jacobs discovered that import replacement lead the cities to produce for themselves. For example, Boston economy was transferred into Southern new to achieve the goal of self-sustainability. Jacob’s describe the growth from different point of view which is, to reproduce you have to have the ability to produce first. So, cities have to have all the materials need to make a local product. This will help to growth the economy.
In the reading ” The Voice of the Founder” talks about different view of independence. It is where people are free to do what they want without caring about someone’s else will. Also independent is when things are not depending on each other to do something. It starts by pointing of what was the main goal of the founding father in the US and how far we are nowadays from that. Its goal was to have a independent economy and make it easy for all citizens to attain it. However, today we are really far away from that. The society is divided into economic classes (poor, medium, and rich). Also, it is hard for the poor people to become rich. The founding fathers’ goal was not to have different economic classes. They wanted all people to be able to reach what they are shooting for. If one wants to be rich and he works hard, it is possible to be rich. But, what we see today is completely the opposite. All the big companies are the one who controls the economy and no individual can have an effect on that. We are facing a hardship economy and there is no way to fix that other than creating a whole new economic system. The new system should be focusing on emergence where all people are equal and work together to have achieve the goal which is having one economic class for all.
The video RIP was really interesting to me. It expresses a really good point through the remix music and the copy rights. Basically all this is showing us that the big companies control everything. They pretend that they are producing goods to the consumers when it is really hurting them and only producing what is good for them which is MAKING MORE MONEY and more profits. When these companies focus only on how to increase their profits, it hurts the public. Also, they are dividing the society into two categorize which are: the poor and the rich. I think everyone at some point had a dream to own their own company to make more money and get even more rich. I have always had this dream in my mind. I have always answered the question “where do you see your self after 5 years?” with an automatic answer which is having my own company. People always wants more and more and they never appreciate what they have and say that’s enough for them. And that at some point could hurt the others without noticing. Being selfish would forget us about the main purpose of existing which could be helping others, producing good for costumers. and make us focus more about how can I make more money.
Hemp and the Rule of Law is a really informative video that talks about the importance of Hemp other than using it for drugs. Hemp has a lot of good features that people could use it for. For Example this could be used to produce lighter cars which is a great thing for the environment because it will result in less fuel consumption. Also it could be good as an oil which might be better than all those in the market today. furthermore, the Hemp is really inexpensive material and grow fast. However, the government only looks at it as a drug use. They regulated it because they only look at one side of them when it is doing good on the other side to all of us and the environment. This video reminded me of Annie Leonard when she started saying that the government used to protect its people but then when it saw that the corporations have more power, it started working with it and forgetting about its main job which it protecting people. So now the government will not allow Hemp to be used as long as it is working with the corporations.