This Sustainable Life
586: My Kitty Hawk moment, on the way to a Moon Shot
More continual improvement: the more sustainably I live, the easier each next step. Business people know about continual improvement, also knows as kaizen, the Toyota Way.
How do you go from the Wright brothers' airplane to a 747? Not in one jump. Continual improvement, part of the process I have to convey more.
I share observations on my week without using the electric grid: about food, climbing stairs, timing sleep to use more sunlight, and more.
Sunday, May 28, 2023
687: A Constitutional Amendment: A constitutional scholar (Michael Herz) and American abolition historian (James Oakes)
See the video for this episode here.I speak about the concept of a constitutional amendment on the environment with former guests on the This Sustainable Life podcast:Michael Herz: Constitutional scholar and former lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund (Michael's podcast episodes)James Oakes: US historian, focusing on the Revolutionary War to Reconstruction (James's podcast episodes)We approach the concept from many perspectives, especially comparing it with the Thirteenth Amendment.This is my first conversation with two experts on a topic I'm just starting to learn about based on very detailed fields, including law, history, abolitionism, and politics. I have to start somewhere. We recorded this conversation months ago and I've learned tremendously since.
Friday, May 19, 2023
686: Gautam Mukunda, part 1.5: Is Technology Necessarily Good?
In the first part of our conversation, we start by reviewing Gautam's commitment to sailing, which seemed and still seems a good idea to him. but maybe too much for now. We revisit what motivated him and come up with a new commitment.The second part gets more exciting. Gautam expresses that we need to develop technology to help people who aren't living as well as us so we can help them. (I may not have summarized accurately; listen to his recorded words for his precise meaning.) This view is like waving a red flag to me since I used to think things like that but now see otherwise.We engage in different views on technology, progress, how humans used to live versus how we live today, values, and such.In other words, we openly talk about the underlying beliefs driving our culture and individual behavior we don't question or talk about, but that guide our decisions and behavior. If we can only imagine a world working a certain way, we can't change course. If that course leads to billions of people dying, being stuck in beliefs is a problem.I greatly appreciate a civil, productive conversation on topic that many find inflammatory.The paper on human lifetimes: Longevity Among Hunter- Gatherers: A Cross-Cultural Examination, by Michael Gurven, Hillard Kaplan. Michael Guvern was a guest on this podcast. Quoting from the paper:The average modal age of adult death for hunter-gatherers is 72 with a range of 68–78 years. This range appears to be the closest functional equivalent of an “adaptive” human life span.
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
685: Chris Bailey, part 3: How to Calm Your Mind: Dropping the latest iPhone for a flip phone and loving it
Chris returns to share his experience with the Spodek Method. He did something different than he committed to: he stopped using his smart phone---the latest Apple iPhone---in favor of a simple flip phone hearkening almost back to the nineties.What happens? Does his life fall apart? Does he find more calmness?Should you simplify your life by avoiding the call for the latest and greatest?He shares his experience and you can find out (I'm not sure he did it for this podcast, in that I think he was planning to do it anyway. Still, he shares his experience).