Category Archives: sustainability

Sustainability (sustainable development) is understanding that we, as a species, are not living within our means, that the planet – our home – cannot be continued to be used in such manner without consequences for future generations.

Human/Animal

The advantage of being human is that we can group things easily by convenience of language. Take the word “human” for example. The term means us the single species of animal that is contrasted with all other animals. The opposite of human is “animal”. It also denotes us as different (when we are not) from other animals by putting everything into the container of “animal”.

This is how anthropocentric we are.

We must, at all times, be careful with and be aware of the nature of language. To think that language is natural and error-free is to not understand its nature. For it is wholly artificial, reliant upon the tools, the limited mechanics, we call the “body” that is available to us.

The Image and Art

The Image is so ubiquitous today that it has numbed us, that is, until we see the unfamiliar image which we usually call Art. In this sense, it is unnecessary to worry about The Image’s overusage since this actually gives all the more Art its strength. 

spring

the period after winter when farm machinery are said to “spring back to life.

Why watching the development of Toyosu is important

Yesterday, it was reported in television again that survey of the groundwater under the yet-to-be-open Toyosu Fishmarket has found the level of the carcinogen benzene to be 100 times above safe levels.

Japan has always prided itself on the environment and cleanliness. It is a part of of its culture in the form of Shintoism. But since industrialisation it has had pollution issues come up time and again. The peak and benchmark is the Minamata Incident where mercury poisoning had caused health problems. Also the problems from the Fukushima nuclear incident from the Tohoku Earthquake which has effects beyond Japan is still with us.

So to build a fish market on top of a toxic dump seems incredible. But that is what they had done. Where the blame and responsibility lies has still to determined. But it is likely that the then the Governor of Tokyo will have to answer some questions. So far he has deflected all criticism away from himself, as a “good” politician does. 

Why I am an atheist but not against religion

As a person who looks at language for a living and have come to believe all of what we know and believe comes from a combination of experience, thought and language

Not matter where we look cultures have religion. We, as human being, like to make religion, as much as we like to make language or literature. We are different to other animals in our ability to do so in such a way. 

So I cannot be “against” religion, or language or literature. It is inherent in us to make religion, language, literature and the such. 

What I do have believe, though, is that we also have the same capacity to “see through” the need for religion, language, literature, etc. For whatever reason we have religion, language, literature, etc, we have to learn to deal with it as reasoned but critical beings in a physical universe. 

On the continuity of the world

There is reason why the world (the external reality) will not continue (for me) after I die. I do not own it, create it. All evidence points to its independence, that I am but one object within reality. So no amount of sensing it will change the reality. And neither will the non-sensation of it change its existence.

On Realism

Everyday I wake up and see the world. I see objects. My wife and children (they are ‘objects’ as well) share the same space and time, and objects with me. Those objects are independent of myself, my wife and children. My children fight over them. They do not disappear or suddenly change into something else unrecognizable. There is seemingly an inherent stability in the reality of space-object-time.

While I have no evidence to proof this except that in the nearly half-century of my life (is that time an illusion?) my perception of that reality has been stable, constant. And that the intermediary objects have held constant between myself and other sentient observers.

That alone is good enough evidence for me.

If I cannot rely on the world to be consistent (I do not mean willful consistency) I will not be able to function meaningfully in it.