Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Don't Regret

 Kathryn Schulz is talking about regrets, their components and how to leave them. As a good example she presents the example of tattoo, which is very a common problem for nowadays among young generation (so is for me, as one of my dreams is to make tattoo).  People mostly want to make tattoos up to 25 ages, but some part of them after having it, after age 30 regret about that. 
One of the most important issues here is to understand what     means “regret”. So let’s consider the question: what is “regret”?                                                                    
 It is some kind of feeling about the current conditions and situations that they would be better, if we have done some actions differently in the past. There are 2 important things for regret. First one is decision: to be sure that you are ready and want to do that. And the second one is imagination: to feel and understand into what that decision will lead in the present. We often feel regret when we think we are responsible for decisions results of which were badly but almost were good. The example of such regret is being late for the train or airplane for 5 minutes and 25 minutes. In the case of 5 minutes we regret more than in the case of 25 minutes.
 Researchers found out the answer to the other important question: what do people most regret in life? Among top 5 regrets are education (32%), career (22%), romance (15%), parenting (10%) and self (5.47%). All these we know about regret come from finance, but in life there are many other regrets that are not classified by finance. 
In psychological terms there are 4 components of regret:
  •         Denial (make it go away)
  •     Bewilderment (How could I have done that?)
  •      Punishment (correct herself/himself)
  •     Perseverations (continuously think and look at the same thing).

But according to Schulz, 1 more component exists, which she called “wake up call”.
 There are 3 things that help us to leave regret. First of all is to take some comfort in universality, the second way of leaving regret is to laugh at ourselves, the third way is through passage of time. Some of personal regrets are not as bad as we think they are.

“If we have goals and dreams, and we want to do our best, and if we love people, and if we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should have feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets; the point isn't to hit ourselves for having them. We need to learn love the flood of imperfect things that we create and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly; it reminds us that we know we could do better”. -- Kathryn Schulz

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Story of Stuff

 I received the link of this youtube video from my instructor of Natural Resource Economics and Environmental Protection subjects. That is a very informative and interesting video. 
 In this video Annie Leonard is talking about the Materials Economy, which consists of 5 parts: extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. By looking more deeply to this system, we can find out that some important parts are missing: “the system in crisis”. Each step of the system relates to the cultures, economies, societies and the environment which face limitations. The most important component which is unseen in this system is people who are included in all 4 parts through the system. 
  How does this system work in reality?
 Extraction: we cut trees, mine metals, use more water, danger animals. The first limit we face here is that we overuse the resources. USA has 5% of the world’s population, but they use 30% of world’s resources, and create 30% of world’s waste. If everybody consumed in such proportions, we will need 3-5 planets, but we have only 1. The result of this limitation is the use of others' land in the same way.

 Production: Toxic products are produced with the use of energy and toxic chemicals, which are having health impacts. Food is one of the vulnerable chains of getting toxins. Babies are getting those toxics from the breast feeding, because most of women which are in need are working in the factories in the reproductive ages. As a result not only materials are flowing to the production sector but also people, who have no other alternative, move to cities for finding any kind of job, no matter how toxic it is. Those toxics leave the production either in the form of products or in the form of pollution.
 What happens with all natural resources after they become a product?
Distribution: It describes the sales of toxic products as soon as possible with low prices. The purpose of distribution is to make people to continue buying. It’s all about externalized costs: real costs of making different products are included in their prices. But in fact we see that the price doesn't show the real production cost of products.

 Consumption: This is the most primary and important part of the system. Consumption keeps the flow of resources along the system. Consumption or shopping is the only seen part of Materials Economy, the rest processes – the extraction, production and disposal- happen outside of the field of vision.
 What does happen with all those products we buy? The answer to this question is:
: The trash either goes to the land field or is burned. In both cases there is pollution of air, land, water, which results to climate change.  Burning the toxins will create new super toxins like dioxin. For not creating dioxin, we should stop burning trash, and for that one of the best ways is recycling. It decreases the number of trash, but for some reasons recycling isn't enough, because there are some garbage’s which can’t be recycled.  

 According to Annie, this problem can be solved only when people, involved in this system, join together and make this system to become new one without wasting resources and people, which is based on “sustainability, equity, no waste, renewable energy, closed loop production”.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How to learn from mistakes?

 According to Diana Laufenberg, the learning process has to contain several educational failures. In the 20th century the main sources of information and learning were teachers and books bought by people for self-education. Nowadays information is available through the internet and the students should understand how to use it properly for getting the knowledge. During working in different states Diana has used her style of teaching which is allowing students to work individually and by team, to find the ways to get the needed information and to use the acquired information in a right way. This teaching system helps to develop students, it also allows the students to do mistakes, have failures and learn from their own mistakes