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  1. #1
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Default Civilized Disconnect

    Modern Western civilization ignores nature. But does it rely on a nature? Do we derive essential resources from nature?

    Does nature have anything to teach us? Personally, I have learned more by watching a squirrel for 10 minutes than I did in many college courses.

    Nature is so foreign to us that when someone talks about "venturing into the wilderness" or being "lost in the wilderness," it conjures up images which parallel those of being stranded on an inhospitable planet! Yet, nature, displayed in it's pure, unconfined, unadulterated form in the "wilderness" defines and sustains our very existence!

    Has consumerism replaced resourcefulness and thoughtful dependence?

    Has technology replaced wonder?

    What are the short and long-term personal and societal implications of this disconnect?

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    What did you learn from the squirrel?

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    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    What are the short and long-term personal and societal implications of this disconnect?
    Humor. A Chinese immigrant living in New York, with me and others down at Virginia Beach, said of the Atlantic, a few feet from beach: "Ocean? I've seen the ocean. I've been to the East River."

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    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin
    What did you learn from the squirrel?


    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

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    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Technically what we do as "civilized" humans is part of the natural process as well. How can anything in this world be unnatural?
    sparkly sparkly rainbow excretions

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
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    if you like my avatar, it's because i took it myself! : D

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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    Technically what we do as "civilized" humans is part of the natural process as well. How can anything in this world be unnatural?
    It is a value judgment.

    Perhaps don't do anything the Amish wouldn't do?

  7. #7
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    What did you learn from the squirrel?
    Good question!

    1. Watching a squirrel (or any other animal) provides a perspective on how to be alert and aware of everything going on around you while still being able to carry out essential tasks--making awareness a habit rather than something that needs to be concentrated on. I can still zone-out intuitively and think beyond the simple tasks at hand if awareness is a habit just like driving a car.

    2. Life is simple and easy when the priorities are clear. This applies to everyday modern life as well as to someone lost in the wilderness. Lost humans have been known to run or walk in circles (whose direction is generally determined by handedness!) in a panic until finally brought down by injury, hypothermia, or dehydration. A squirrel would go find someplace warm, build a nest, stay put, and sleep.

    3. Evasion and camouflage. It's all about being a practical illusionist. Be where I've used the "run around the same tree a few times, then make a well-timed 'jump' to another one unexpectedly" trick more than a few times against human "predators." The hard part of this is trying to stop from laughing out loud when you hear the pursuer say, "Where the f--- did he go?!"

    4. How to keep warm in cold weather. Wear clothing which sheds water, insulates when wet, and dries quickly. Sleep in a bundle of fluffed-up, high-loft material for insulation (leaves, pine needles, grass, fur, cattail down). For the squirrel, the clothing comes naturally. For humans, it means wearing synthetic fabrics, wool, or animal fur.

    5. How not to cross a busy road.

    6. "Protect your nuts." (LOL!)

    Quote Originally Posted by niffer
    Technically what we do as "civilized" humans is part of the natural process as well. How can anything in this world be unnatural?
    The definition of natural I use is black and white, and avoids value judgments: Anything created by humans which could not have been also created by another existing, Earth-originating [LOL] lifeform is not natural. But, the less refined, less structured, and the more natural material that is used, the more closely something resembles being natural. Human-created reservoirs are not natural, but they closely resemble natural lakes and ponds created by beavers and geological and hydrological processes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin
    It is a value judgment.

    Perhaps don't do anything the Amish wouldn't do?
    Amish culture takes avoidance of modern technology to the extreme in an attempt to avoid the disconnect between human life and nature (and God). I think a balanced perspective is probably somewhere between the Amish and the modern approach, but probably a little closer to the Amish because they at least recognize the significance of the disconnect and the importance of avoiding it. The problem is that they seem to take this to a legalistic extreme, and often ignore the benefits of technological progress. Even this is a sweeping generalization of the Amish, as each ordnung has different guidelines.

    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    Humor. A Chinese immigrant living in New York, with me and others down at Virginia Beach, said of the Atlantic, a few feet from beach: "Ocean? I've seen the ocean. I've been to the East River."

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    Senior Member locke's Avatar
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    Hey JAVO,

    I like you. My philosophy may be a bit more extreme, but you're getting warm.

    As for natural vs. unnatural, I prefer to consider it adaptive vs. maladaptive. I think many of our technologies are short sighted and may cause a lot of damage in the long run, but are still natural.

  9. #9
    señor member colmena's Avatar
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    The world around us is mainly the result of testosterone pumped men. They have their uses, but I wouldn't put them in control of anything.

    The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard
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    Ti Ne Fi Ni

    -How beautiful, this pale Endymion hour.
    -What are you talking about?
    -Endymion, my dear. A beautiful youth possessed by the moon.
    -Well, forget about him and get to bed.
    -Yes, my dear.

  10. #10
    señor member colmena's Avatar
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    I visited a commune earlier this year; they're not ideal - they receive charity money because it's primarily around helping those with learning disabilities.

    The woman who showed me around had a son called Michael. Michael has grown up seeing most of his food grown from the earth. He understands that nature is doing all the work; from the man that sow's the seed, to the earth, sun, and rain that helps to grow it.

    I believe this distinction between food in plastic packing is substantial to peoples' philosophies. I don't think technology will ever be as powerful as nature, but which one we are mindful of will make a great deal of difference to our happiness.
    http://badges.mypersonality.info/badge/0/6/68764.png
    Ti Ne Fi Ni

    -How beautiful, this pale Endymion hour.
    -What are you talking about?
    -Endymion, my dear. A beautiful youth possessed by the moon.
    -Well, forget about him and get to bed.
    -Yes, my dear.

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