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Normalization

In this sense, the real miracle of human evolution is that cars, computers, and cities appear so normal to us, even sometimes “boring” and monotonous! Our perception of the extraordinary, rapid changes in human societies in the past two centuries—even the past half-century—is deadened by virtue of what is our greatest evolutionary acquirement, namely normalization , an adaptive survival strategy fundamental to human success over the millennia. The ability to accept, analyze, and adapt to often fluctuating circumstances is our great strength as a species. But at this point in human history it is also a grave weakness, what, in the language of Greek tragedy might be called a “fatal flaw.”

To offer an analogy, for many centuries slavery appeared normal to most people across the world—until the late eighteenth century, when a handful of humanitarian activists in Britain began the long and difficult process of de-normalizing human bondage in the eyes of their compatriots. The task of sustainability ethics is analogous, and no less difficult, in that it lays out the argument for wholesale and disruptive attitude adjustment and behavior change in the general population. Given the long-term adaptation of the human species to the imperatives of hunter-gathering, our decision-making priorities and consumption drives still tend toward the simple necessities, based on the presumption of relative and seasonal scarcity, and with little emotional or social reward for restraint in the face of plenty, for viewing our choices in global terms, or for measuring their impacts on future generations.

A working distinction between the historical evolution of human society and human culture is useful to understanding the social and psychological obstacles to achieving sustainability. As both individuals and societies, we work hard to insulate ourselves from unpleasant surprises, shocks, and disorder. We crave “security,” and our legal and economic institutions accordingly have evolved over the millennia to form a buffer against what Shakespeare’s Hamlet called “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” For instance, the law protects us from violent physical harm (ideally), while insurance policies safeguard us from financial ruin in the event of an unexpected calamity.

In one sense, this security priority has determined the basic evolution of human societies, particularly the decisive transition 10,000 years ago from the variable and risky life of nomadic hunter communities to sedentary farming based on an anticipated stability of seasonal yields. Of course, the shift to agriculture only partially satisfied the human desire for security as farming communities remained vulnerable to changing climatic conditions and territorial warfare. Global industrialization, however, while it has rendered vast populations marginal and vulnerable, has offered its beneficiaries the most secure insulation yet enjoyed by humans against “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” This success has been a double-edged sword, however, not least because the industrialized cocoon of our modern consumer lifestyles relentlessly promotes the notion that we have transcended our dependence on the earth’s basic resources. As it stands, we look at our highly complex, industrialized world, and adapt our expectations and desires to its rewards. It is never our first instinct to ask whether the system of rewards itself might be unsustainable and collapse at some future time as a result of our eager participation.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Nov 11, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11325/1.43
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