Transformators or terminators ?
Since their origins humans evolded, transforming and adapting their livehoods. Technologies (by steps) have frameworked humans relations with natural environment at systemic paths since proto-industry, when its revolutions turned global and selfifsh. Before industrial revolution, agriculture framed human societies since natural envrionmental transformations constraints, sustained itseself by the ability and devices to store grains. They have been many innovations: uses and productions of fire, handcrafted tools for wounding and collective hunting, strategic uses of the space for "extractions", foods preparation and conservation and so on. In ecosystems active agents, somehow free, being this freedom of a material practice or a "virtual conception", - conciously strategically and indirectly able to act in an environment often imagined different; - communication of alternative visions possible between agents; - driven by autonomomy of 'optional' sets of goals or objectives; - imagined possessed resources; • ability and skilled perceptions of environments which, to some extent are; - providing representations of environment (and imitations); - inspire skills and able services; - allowing self-reproduction and settlement; or - behaviors seeking satisfactions from achieved objectives, helped by good uses of resources and skills reward ... All in many different essential things to shape societies playing variably and differently but always served by environment.
Humans are engineers of their environment. Transformations of the environments (engineering) have the purpose to create) safer but biased environments: 'Nature for everyone, and not just for the mistakes of one special specy'. The intermediate human is interested in the flows of natural transformations. Humans multiplied means and disturbing measures, so effects are hard to understand, but all basically reduce biodiversity. On the other human hand this could have the effect to force the opportunities directing flows toward humans utilities and proportion scales for humans predation as well as creating opportunities for human pathogens. Observe also that main humans' predators are themselves. By their "ways of life" catching ressources often by conflictive means, wars, massive killings and massive robberies of products made by others, of ressources not existing in their space; controlling and wasting energies. May be that today slaves are paid, but still prevail "curses of rent ressources", "sweat factories" and "geo real politik" for the profits of few.
Our humane existence, may not made our specy very common in the whole universe at glance, far less common than alien lives addicts think; but there is not reasons to be so proud of our existence out of being a curious epiphenomena. Local logical physics result of an extraordinary accumulation of local emerging properties, allowed at the border of a galaxy, well placed in a Sun-planetary system, and latelly in a thin sweet tropospheric layer, as emerged on the riverine land of watery planet (where our "intelligent speculations" have not been very relefant), for caring a "humane exception" not so ecofriendly, during our poor sad and short history of human engineering hegemony. There are enough evidence of complexities setbacks and lost failed intents having wasted amounts and produced imperfect distorsions, to imagine that end of civilization may be, despite all our egocentric point of view, no more than most probable determination.
Social development dramatically needs to organize and structure in an efficient way, at a manageable level of human communities, and not just through well-intentioned foreign providers of services. There is a need to manage locally well, forms or patterns and ways with respect to community’s dimensions, commitments, and cultures. Universal (un)ideological programs, conceived in a deterministic way, have been well disqualified if not fully so. It is essential to promote more popular practices and self-determining organizations; to make everyone work together in the support of local economies. This can be supported from outside too, but not in a kind of one way determinist. Flexibility and creativity are required in the relationships and consistency of communities. Not as a new kind of truth, but within more modest perspectives, as the proper style to cope with basic complexity.
Some Free will Actors of the Ecosystems
All along humanity's development and untill now, there have been plenty of resources of satisfaction at the expense of others communities. That is a "way of life" based on alienation and catchments. Environmental and social consequences of these interactions have often been characterized by:
- Coexistence of different groups of actors with contrasted or conflicting strategies.
- Irreducible uncertainties in representing and predicting responses from the environment.
- Individual and social rationalities based on multiple and competing utility functions.
- Self-referential conditions limiting goal-satisfying decisions to sub-optimal solutions.
- Emotional and cultural responses to policy incentives or penalties.
- Important framing effects and asymmetry of information.
For example: delimitations of space (enclosures) or properties rights (of imposed systems of laws) standing unchanged to prevent flexibility and care rigid social-hierarchical-ideological definitions for social manipulations of groups closer then others to the distorsion of the State of Rights. There our purpose is just to mention no more than few landmarks relevant to conception of social projects. Hardly we will be able to review all "hysto-eric" ideas still debated; with enough elegant manners (mathematical financial models). In any case humans combine themselves (commitment of actors), available physical of material means, knowledge and at best humane consistency; setting realities' importance and priorities. According conditions, situations and so on, there are variants of praxis. Some are not quite moral like expressing poor capacity to imagine fair and good alternatives. All in all what characterizes human beings is "tele-prospect". So the implementation of projects, especially infrastructuring ones. Unaming hunger, animals can have projects but mostly with biophysical goals at sight. Humans systemic ambition distort their environment by always seeking "overthere after the horizon". Prospections make the skills to find abstract alternatives, different from crude directness with scientific potential so as to satisfy high ambitious needs. These abilities to make speculations, find alternatives and / or more systematic include extra-biospherical properties of abiotic material, scientific schemes and experimental evidences. Then, to put all that, into the planning or programming of processes that can solve the relative scarcity of needs, creating too opportunities of savings, to care the idea of sustainability but not necessarilly gain enough.
With needs subject to scarcity we have to set some hierarchy in sorts of programs. Even if this cannot be fully undetermined, we have to think about the different nature of needs and imagine goods and services, private or public uses. For some issues:
- Sets minimum precautions not felt as expressions of direct needs: try to be "not too esoterical" (neither exo-hysterical): seek sustainability, share, cooperation, ethics, (humane values, cultural expressions), etc.
- Put first (but not alone) sense of social utility sustainability, need for social constructions, that can involve persons, to make anyone think that they are part of something where the best of their individual commitment is essential and; reward: not too sacrificed then have strength and make plenty of efforts,
- Care needs for most things be well done, as possible as it can be (remind that lazyness may be wisdom or smartness),
- Have essential concrete expression of reward, including universal values of common interest (sometimes properly expressed by money but far from always),
- Compete in a strong and wise way, without being brutal seeks diversity, sincerity in differencies,
- Think that even with only one goal, it should be contradictorilly balanced. Victory is more economical when only the privilege of duties. Gain utility for more effectivelly services to everyones. Have contenders and be satisfied if you can help to satisfy their hope. Bring the contradictions of critical thinking at the level of good choice, with a sense of common universal humane values.
- If some operators or groups in "wrongly oriented" perspectives (say like conflictive ones) have shown ability with fair means in the intent to get out bad situations, involve them in better perspectives, during peace times, care with the "winners at any cost".
- Humans societies have also been able to show that they could be oriented for good by cooperation, share, seek scale effects in the production of satisfaction. In good qualitiesmake a difference between pretending them and making them and also consider margins.
- The margins are often where sense of balance is critical, more interesting, more change prone, adaptable to complexities and risks taking. Margins are meaningfull too for: for / to / off the core, the center, the supposedly well established. Of course this may also have been assumed with contradictions, commitment intensities, oppositions. Globally what may make the human genius and even the profit rewards is found in socially good positive pathways or should be driven by tolerance.
"Wojciechowski’s laws are statements of fundamental aspects arising from his ecological knowledge. 1) The number and the variety of causes of stress are proportional to the amount of knowledge. 2) The perception of complexity of the consequences of knowledge is proportional to the development of knowledge. 3) The knowledge of knowledge is a function of a general development of knowledge. 4) The size and complexity of the problematic of knowledge is proportional to the general level of knowledge. 5) Thought induces change. 6) Humans’ ability to determine the development of humanity is proportional to their knowledge. 7) All other things being equal, the complexity of involvement of the individual with external reality is proportional to the amount of knowledge he or she possesses. 8) Physical mastery of nature is proportional to the active, intellectual subordination of it. 9) There exists interdependence between the size of the human group, the amount of communications within the group, the spread of intersubjectivity of the knowledge construct and the progress of knowledge. 10) The need for communication is proportional to the size of the society, the number of groups within the society and the amount of knowledge available. 11) The need of humans to understand themselves is proportional to the level of their knowledge and their demiurgic capacities. 12) Rational activity is proportional to knowledge. And its corollary. 13) The efficiency of rational activity is proportional to knowledge. 14) The need to understand the Existential system of man is proportional to the level of knowledge. 15) The size and complexity of the existential system of man are proportional to the level of rational activity. 16) The impact of the existential system of man on humans is proportional to its nature-size and complexity. 17) The level and complexity of human life and problems are proportional to the existential system of man. 18) The satisfaction with the existential system of man is inversely proportional to the capacity to change it. 19) The development of a society is proportional to its storage and use of information. 20) The potential for the development of knowledge is proportional to the existing knowledge. 21) An intellectual construct always retains a noetic role. 22) The level of the material support system for knowledge has to be proportional to the level of knowledge. 23) The number of peoples in need of help is proportional to the level of knowledge and the ability to act. 24) The moral problematic is proportional to the knowledge construct and to the power to act. 25) The capacity to do good or evil is proportional to knowledge."
Human activities related to essential projects may be scoped as transformations of system(s), evolving from more biodiverse previous one(s), incorporating imported sources of materials and energies from (other) neighboring system(s). So new ecosystems "potentially evolvable" into more anthropized settlements (out environmental projects of natural system) ... These transformed ecosystems are often wrongly expected to be safer and more regular, even when ecofriendship criteria are here. Even if the project is like a natural park, regained from past human settlements full of waste and "dumps"; there is often the need to find a social use of this environment. Any sets of transformations have finally some anthropic purpose that care human interests: be a reservoir of biodiversity (and investigation at the respect), ecotourism, sustainable exploitation concern, for local involment, green jobs and so on.
In the environment and its high degrees of organization and thanks to biodiversity it is nowadays, in most cases, to care those new environments somehow stable, if they will still have:
- Enough natural biodiversity (care that economics interest of biodiversity is not as easy as just pretended),
- Respect of renewable ressources (should there be sort of services able to empowerthem ?),
- Not too long term degrading anthropic adverse effects or,
- Do not leave too unanageable waste, and so on.
That is, in an area with less but still enough benefit to every life's environment; the sort of gain of artificial complexity human transformations can reach, this will probably stay poorer than "Nature's laissez faire"(but toxic lands of mines need some rehabilitation before). Balances toward humans' interests, ask for if there are more intensities of uses or recycle and effects of scale, that could overall, reduce environmental inconveniencies. For example developing a city where people can be better organized (respect to environmental care) can allow more intense and mode scaled healthy processes or safety conservations. Also to take better advantages of renewable and non renewable stocks is a core question with today's urban development. Effects of scale may be negative or positivelly help to concentrate safe processes, infrastructures and public works.
What is also clear now is that more care must be taken to prevently assess adverse effects, care better social involment, extend the conceptual covers of elements included in the assessment of projects. So as to stop to consider the backyard of any project a land of automatic renewal and store in open land any waste. Meanwhile it could be also to manage more cleverly complexity. There are of course plenty of democratic forced examplary experiences (pilot schemes) that have failed and many of principles of precaution that can produce waste, unsustainability and bear counterproductive costs.
Physical world exists because of heterogeneities, dysperfections, mixtures, (re)combinations of matter and energetic forms as welle as show 'weird but rigorous' informative energetic equivalencies. Pedagogically with projects, it should be essential to cope better with these difficulties of knowledge, rather than going on inflating abstract concepts of cartesian's rational management of projects. Constructions of (or from and in) physical world may be called structures (or "heterogeneous and diverse neguentropic gains"). Because entropy, they is never definitive stability or forever given states. Making that any civilisation can die. Structures have just relativelly different: scales of times, expected average life times, space borders and cores changing along time and transformations. Amounts vary, transformations have different states or definitions or are used to redefine their environmental integration. So looking like stabilities combines with resistance, resilience, renewals (above all); as imposed and allowed by openess and reproduction of systems. Be these renewal biological (short time? something like a century of natural conditions) or non biological (non biological earthwise times: ten of thousands of years).
This makes functions prone to energetic transformations involving complex structures in complex biases of environments for "trying to fix regularities in human interest renewal", catch diversity, produce others, reproduce some. These functions consume themselves structures (commonly past or declassifed or predated), like for delivering energies and sources of raw materials. They get involved by and because forces and are previously concerned by potential expressions. Produce work meanwhile transformations, is often with poor overall rates of efficiency. Processes that can be manipulated by humans, thus in artificial ways, at high energetic costs (or high loss of potential return). All this is confusing overall sums, make often inadverted zero-sum or negative sum societies; thinking modern phenomenologic paradigm that heat is as good as fever and fresh air better obtained with more heat release. More probably most anthropic transformations are always energetic negative-sum: heat is massively released in the environments, and not well caught by it. Most of interesting biopshere is within narrow windows for very complicated organisms 'windows' and uncertain the trends of anthropic issues under 4°C or over 40°C were if there are plenty of curious life, not in amounts usefull to us, so better stay within this safer range.
Nowadays the arts of infrastructures engineering should consist in manipulating the purpose (generally wealth's ground of humanity"), goals allowed energetically and materially by Nature. Often with expressions of information and knowledge gained on the physical phenomena and care of what we do of" trees on which we live". Care pass by true Information. True Information is present in every parts of nature, as structures, maps of distribution of matter, energies, configurations and prospected. Knowledge is in some our human writing. In my opinion only a tiny part expressing properly the differenciated map of relative distributions of matters and information. Too much speculation, redone and told again for making us miss where real information is. May be in our complex world we would like to call information essential time.
More practically in infrastructuring project some useful speculation, after all (should better start all) in Environmental Impact Assessment: An EIA is a formal process used to assess a project’s potential impact on human health Assessment (EIA) and the environment. The purpose of the EIA is to enable decision-makers to consider the environmental impacts and options for minimizing them before deciding whether to proceed with the project.