Jorge Andrés Delgado R

Coordinator , The Zeitgeist Movement


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How the enviroment [everything around us] shapes our behaviour as a society? Can we change the culture in order to change the world?

The chicken or the egg causality dilemma is pretty known by everyone, for me when it comes to society we can say we are the egg and culture is the chicken. Those are both strongly influenced by each other but culture can't change on its own, it's up to us to create real progress toward sustainability, so I ask the community... How can we achieve this? Is there any evidence of what I'm saying (I think this is a nule hypothesis) and finally what's your biggest bias, How the heck can you discover that?!

My goal: Uninhibited sustainability, labor-free humans, healthy enviroment, non-violence.

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    Jul 8 2012: The socio-economic and environments affects us in more ways than we are aware of.
    An individual is shaped by his family, friends, enemies, systems and the media.
    Sometimes failings in social structure can have fatal impacts.
    There are certain shared values that should be esteemed by a society that hopes to bring the best out of human relationships.
    Unfortunately our deeds are not as good as our words. And we justify our failures without trying too hard.
    I think we should be ready for hardwork. It is good that giving up is not an option.
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    Jul 8 2012: Are you asking whether there is evidence that our environment and culture affect our behavior and that the culture cannot change by itself because it is the product of the people behaving within it?
    There are many TED talks addressing how environment influences behavior. Some examples are in talks about decision-making. Some are about the urban landscape. It has been understood for a very long time, I believe, that both "nature and nurture' affect who we become - that we are influenced by both genetics and environment. I don't think this idea is controversial.
    I don't know what it would mean for culture to change "on its own." Are you using a definition of culture that distinguishes it from the behavior and values of people within the culture?
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      Jul 9 2012: Indeed, I'd like some evidence about the enviroment affecting our behaviour, to be specific about culture altering our behaviour, let me explain a little bit.

      Today's world is basically suffering from one thing: bad (awful) managment of the Earth resources... We have created an economic model that's based on nothing more than thin air. It was created centuries ago and it has not been really modified since them. Our FIAT currency is stimulating some virtual 'growth' that makes us steal the resources of the future and consume more than we need, exactly the opposite of what an economy is meant to be, which is economize.

      Now there are far more better approachs to the managment of the earth resources, to name a couple of them we have open source as an emergent feature but more holistic systems like the circular economy (Ellen MacArthur Foundation) or the resource-based economic model (

      So from a technical point of view our current problems: poverty, hunger, restriction to water, health defficiencies and even war (since they are most likely caused to gain other countries' resources) are technical nor economic nor politic; caused mainly by an awful managment of resources but even more important by people who thinks this (our current decision-making processes aka democratic and our current market system) is a natural predisposition.

      This is the origin of my question, could you imagine a society where all of us had been raised with "the scientific method for social concern" as the method of decision-making... Could you imagine if we had been raised with abundance around us, instead of scarcity?

      So I see education as the tipping point to create sustainability, giving new values to future generations, how do we change culture in order to achieve that?
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        Jul 9 2012: Okay. You are looking for whether there is anyone out there who doesn't recognize that we are affected by our environment and that the culture changes only through the actions of individuals. And among those (the vast, vast majority) who do recognize this two way relationship, you are looking for people to share the evidence on the point that they find most convincing.
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          Jul 9 2012: Short answer: Yes.

          A friend of mine told me that once you understand how a mechanism controls you (if cultural mainly) you won't be controled anymore.

          So while I want the answer my long-term goal is change the culture by this mechanism. Carl Sagan used to say: if we are naturally inclined to reject foreigners, isn't knowledge the best way to avoid it?

          Also I don't want to limit the cultural-shift process to this, so I'm looking for other methods that had proven to be efective when talking about changing culture.
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        Jul 9 2012: Your friend's thesis sounds like common sense, though it coflicts somewhat with the research Kahneman shares in his Nobel address, at least as I remember it. Check it out.