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Related Words, Beliefs, Background for Choice #49

Worldview Theme #46A: Technological Fix                                  Worldview Theme #47A: Attitudinal Fix

for a summary read these 5 entries in order: technology, human senses--extending them, technology-- critiques of, 
engineering design, electricity 

for a summary read these 5 entries in order: attitude,  attitude change--factors in, bridge values, intractable conflicts, 
conflict resolution

agriculture--the technology and practice of farming--preparing the soil, planting, nourishing, cultivating, and raising crops for food or fiber--or raising livestock, fish, etc. for human consumption.  Its earliest beginnings, nearly 10,000 years ago, allowed humans to start trading hunter-gatherer lifestyles for more settled existences.  In the last century, the development of manmade fertilizers, pesticides, mechanized farm equipment--and more recently new varieties of grains--has greatly increased agricultural productivity.  While globally agriculture still employs 35 % of the world's workers,  in affluent countries the corresponding figure is much less (in places dropping below 1%).

anxiety--the state of being greatly concerned, worried and agitated regarding something, perhaps a problem, in the future one is expecting, perhaps dreading

appropriate (or soft) technology -- technology selected, designed and implemented with the special environmental, cultural, social and economic aspects of the community it is intended for in mind. It typically has little or no significant environmental impact and is well suited to an area since it makes use of what is relatively abundant--for example, labor in places where people need jobs. Typically it involves devices that are small, relatively simple, inexpensive, decentralized, and that can preserve meaningful experiences or work for people. In contrast high or hard technology typically has much greater environmental impact, tends to replace people with machines, and can involve more technological complexity, equipment capital outlay, etc. Example: Using lots of workers with hand tools to control unwanted brush and growth in a forest -- so that young trees can get more sun and grow better -- would be an appropriate technology solution; using one person flying over a forest in a helicopter spraying a chemical herbicide to kill unwanted growth would be a hard technology way of accomplishing the same thing.

arbitration--a manner of settling a conflict / dispute in which the matter is submitted to an independent third party / mediator whose judgment / decision may or may not be binding on the parties involved.  It is an alternative to litigation / lawsuits.

artificial intelligence–involves the development and utilization of computer systems for problem solving, emulating, mimicking, or simply exhibiting intelligent behavior or behavior associated with human beings

assiduous--diligent, hard-working, industrious, attentive

assuage--to alleviate, lessen, pacify, or mitigate a discomfort or an unpleasant feeling

attitude--a characteristic evaluative orientation and / or response tendency toward something previously experienced or encountered.  The associated evaluation can be positive (like), negative (dislike), or neutral  (no opinion.)  Beyond this evaluation--which may or may not be directly communicated--observing the particular response allows more about the underlying attitude to be inferred. Attitudes form based on inputs from three domains: 1) cognitive (thoughts, beliefs), 2) affective (emotions, feelings), and 3) conative (volition, action tendency or disposition).

attitude change, factors in--generally people's attitudes change for various reasons, including 1) as a result of  learning, 2) in response to reasoned persuasion directed at them, 3) in response to an emotional appeal directed at them, and 4) to relieve tension by reducing or eliminating a perceived inconsistency or cognitive dissonance.  A corollary of this is that attitude change is less likely to occur when such consistency is already present.  

automotive technology--from an 1890 or so start, by the mid 20th century, passenger cars, trucks, and buses were typically powered by a gasoline or diesel (both refined oil / petroleum products) fueled internal combustion engine.  A way of transmitting the force it provides to wheels, a (relatively heavy, mostly steel) frame and body, and other accessories round out the basic design.  After decades of improvements, end users are generally satisfied with performance. But overall energy efficiency (measured by miles per gallon) is low based on what is theoretically available from the energy content of a gallon of fuel, and pollution generated (especially carbon dioxide) can be high.  By the first decade of the 21st century, spurred by higher fuel costs and environmental concerns, the technology showed signs of evolving to address these problems.  Especially promising were new engines--the first were hybrids (gas & electric)--and lighter (stronger?) composite frames / bodies.

bridge values -- either as part of an effort to resolve a conflict or in discussions between those having widely separated positions on some issue of concern, these are shared values that can be used to find common ground to build a settlement on, or bridge the gulf of misunderstanding. Example: suppose family members, watching a beloved parent’s health fail, disagree on the extent to which modern medical technology should be employed to extent the parent’s life. After discussion they find that they agree on not wanting their parent to be in pain. Given this “Our parent ought not to be in pain” bridge value, they can seek additional common ground and agree on a plan of action. Finding these is a critical part of dealing with intractable conflicts. (See that entry.)

carbon dioxide capture and storage--a new technology that could keep the carbon dioxide generated by burning cheap and abundant coal from being released into the atmosphere and aggravating global warming--instead it would be captured and stored underground.  It is believed that use of such technology, currently at the research and development stage, would add 30 % to 60% to the cost of electricity from coal-fired power plants.

centralized vs. decentralized ways to meet energy needs or provide services -- To draw this contrast, consider energy installations...Centralized energy installations are characterized by huge facilities for producing energy, require large capital investment, are owned by the government or large corporations, and depend on a complex distribution system to deliver energy to the point of end use. Examples include large 1000 megawatt electric power plants and big oil refineries. Contrast these with...Decentralized energy installations, characterized by small units for producing energy, owned by individuals, small businesses or communities, relatively little capital investment is required, and they are located where the demand for the energy is. Examples include rooftop solar collectors, and basement natural gas powered cogeneration units for producing electricity , space heat and hot water

cognitive dissonance--refers to the inner tension or perceived incompatibility that one feels from holding conflicting beliefs or behaving in a way that compromises one's deeply held beliefs or values

common good, the--can be defined in various ways depending on one's perspective. Some define it narrowly as that which is good for every member of the community; others broaden the community here to include all human beings. While libertarians argue it is a meaningless concept, utilitarians equate it with "the greatest good for the greatest  number of individuals."

computer--a general purpose, programmable machine that manipulates data, performs mathematical / logical operations, and executes programmed lists of instructions typically at a high speed. Modern computers do this using semi-conductor based microprocessors, memory and other chips, and include various peripherals to allow the user to interface with the computer and conveniently input, output, access, represent and organize information in various forms.

conflict management--this is a long-term alternative when intractable conflicts can't be resolved.  It involves a variety of ways of handling grief / grievances--such as harm avoidance, counseling,  public relations campaigns, etc. 

conflict resolution -- the act or process of settling or making an effort or attempt to settle a conflict, that is, a situation or disagreement characterized by tension, antagonism, and sides whose motives, purposes, and intentions seem totally at odds and perhaps irreconcilable. The process can involve informal discussion or a formal procedure with rules and mediator(s).  With respect to the latter, see also diplomacy.  See also humor

conflict resolution and art education--Recognizing that both resolving conflict and artistic creation often involve coming to terms with certain emotions, many educators teach conflict resolution in conjunction with the arts.  Given that suffering often precedes both deeply felt art and coming to terms with past or ongoing conflict, such courses may attempt to promote healing and help build a peaceful environment.  Related aspects of this include helping build creative thinking abilities, expand perception-taking abilities, promote self expression, promote self reflection, encourage expression of emotions, encourage emotional risk taking through sharing, meet basic human needs, develop respect of self and others, develop empathy, and foster teamwork. (adapted from USA National Endowment for the Arts booklet)

conversion--can refer to a relatively sudden and drastic change in attitude or beliefs, especially religious beliefs

diplomacy--refers to 1) the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations, or 2) tactful, polite, skillful, non-confrontational  handling of affairs so as not to arouse hostility

dividing people, tactics used to do this -- those who fear the collective strength of people who have organized and united to form a group, often seek to exploit differences within the group and destroy its populist mission. Differences exploited often include race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class -- but fracturing can occur along many potential fault lines if outsiders are working to encourage it. After the fracturing, people who previously fully embraced populism may have moved away from it (to some extent) and toward individualism, and blame, dissension, finger-pointing, lack of trust, etc. may exist where previously they didn’t.

domestication--the human practice, beginning around 10,000 years ago, of bringing certain wild plant and animal populations under control for various reasons: to provide food, clothing, protection, enjoyment, etc.

efficiency--generally speaking, a measure of the extent to which time and resources are well-used for a particular task. Efficiency increases with competence, and with minimizing waste. For a quantitative measure in an engineering context see also energy efficiency.  

electricity--refers to the convenient, versatile, man-made and widely available source of electrical energy that powers many devices that make modern technological society possible, and people's lives easier and more enjoyable. Whereas matter is typically electrically neutral (# positive charges = # negative charges or electrons) and there is no organized mass movement of its associated charges, electricity can ultimately be traced to charge separation,  and getting those separated charges to move in an organized fashion. Something for those charges to move in--a conductor--and an electromagnetic force are needed to make that happen. This serves as a medium for electrical energy to move through. 

 Conductors like copper have loosely bound electrons capable of moving if a complete circuit exists for them to do so and a source of electromotive force exists. Or if you move the conductor in a magnetic field an electromotive force can be generated. The latter is what conventional power plants do, by using a source of energy--say chemical energy released from burning coal to heat water to make steam, or gravitational energy released as water in a river falls--to produce  mechanical energy that moves conductors through magnetic fields and provides electromotive force capable of doing work. (See energy.)  The first falling water-powered hydroelectric power plants were built iin the late 1870s. Roughly a century later, the promise of converting solar energy directly to electricity from sunlight  became evident. (See solar photovoltaic electricity.)

empathy -- concisely it refers to “fellow feeling” , that is imagining that you are in the other person’s shoes and experiencing his or her feelings, struggles, etc.

emotional intelligence--a term first described by Mayer and Salovey in 1990, and popularized by Daniel Goleman in a 1995 book. Of interest to both psychological researchers, and the general public, its meaning is still evolving. According to Mayer, etal in a 2008 Annual Review of Psychology article, emotional intelligence "concerns the ability to carry out accurate reasoning about emotions and the ability to use emotions and emotional knowledge to enhance thought."  Goleman's latest conception of emotional intelligence sees four abilities as contributing to it: the ability to 1) be aware of one's own emotions, 2) control those emotions, 3) sense, comprehend, and respond to other's emotions, and 4) help other's emotions develop in the context of a relationship.  Some feel that EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is as important as IQ in predicting a student's future success.  The last decade has seen many schools mount efforts to help students build emotional intelligence

energy--the ability to do work (done when a force acts to move something over some distance in the direction that force acts).  Energy cannot be created or destroyed--only changed from one form to another. Forms that energy takes include mechanical, gravitational, electromagnetic (including ultraviolet, light, infrared, microwave, radio, etc), electrical, chemical, nuclear, heat, sound, etc.

energy efficiency -- the amount of energy that goes to perform a useful service divided by the total amount of energy input into the task. For example, for every 100 units of electrical energy that goes into powering an old-fashioned incandescent light bulb, only producing 4 of those units show up as useful light energy given off. The efficiency of this energy conversion is thus 4%. What happens to the rest of the energy ?? The remaining 96% of the total energy input is wasted (here as waste heat energy) In contrast, LED  light bulbs are around 20% efficient -- so more of the electrical energy input goes for producing light, less is wasted.

engineering design -- the process by which scientific principles, engineering analysis, mathematics, computers, words and pictures are used to produce a plan or design, which, when carried out, will satisfy previously identified and well defined human needs. For example, once the principles of electricity and electromagnetism were established (by Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and others) by 1870, within a few years these principles were used to build the first electrical power generating stations, and harness electricity to meet human needs. Design of today's power plants benefits from over a century of know-how acquired in the construction  and operation of improved versions of these early plants and subsequent extensions of that technology.  See electricity. 

ethnocentrism -- adopting the social standards of one’s own culture or ethnic group as the basis for evaluating the social practices, customs, beliefs, etc. of another culture -- and doing so because you believe your society’s values and way of living are superior to those of other cultures.

ethos--the distinctive spirit, character, or attitude of a particular group or culture 

fear--a strong, primary emotion associated with unpleasant anticipation of danger and pain.

fossil fuels--the hydrocarbons (derived from ancient plants) stored in coal, oil, and natural gas which can be burned to release energy.  Over 85% of society's energy needs are met in this way. While reserves of oil and natural gas are dwindling--some argue that global oil production has peaked and will begin to decline--enough coal exists to power civilization for hundreds more years.  Environmentalists hope that most of that coal will remain in the ground: burning all of it--and releasing the greenhouse effect enhancing carbon dioxide gas associated with fossil fuel combustion--will produce unbearable global warming / climate change they argue.

free lunch, there is no such thing as a--refers to the belief that neither a person nor a society can truly get something for nothing: even if something appears to be free there are always hidden costs. The costs may have to be paid in the future, someplace far away, by someone else, be distributed over many people, or they may show up in another form (such as an opportunity cost, environmental cost, increased disorder, etc.)  The physical basis for this belief--which becomes a principle for ecologists and others studying closed systems--can be found in the laws of thermodynamics.  Economists link it to opportunity costs being incurred when choices are made. (If something is free, no opportunities are forfeited!)

genetic engineering--involves the direct manipulation of genes to achieve a desired outcome.  While humans have been indirectly doing this for thousands of years in guiding natural processes with selective breeding of plants and animals, in recent decades they have begun using their new understanding of how living things work at the level of genes / DNA and new techniques to directly modify that DNA.  This technology has great potential--especially to increase agricultural producti- vity and improve human health.  Critics worry that genetically modified organisms pose environmental risks and argue that, given bioethical concerns, society will outlaw certain human genetic engineering procedures such as cloning.

gene therapy–by replacing defective genes with normal genes genetic disease can be cured.  This relatively new field  of medicine dates from the completion of sequencing of the entire human genome in 2001. By 2020, according to USA National Health Institutes Director Frances Collins, specific genetic defects  that cause over 7000 diseases had been identified. Treatments—some increasingly being thought of as “cures”—have been developed for many of them including sickle cell disease.  Gene therapy holds great promise for the future treatment of once thought to be incurable diseases with a genetic basis

geoengineering / climate/ planetary engineering–humans use technology to massively alter the global environment of Earth or another planet.  To combat Earth's manmade enhanced greenhouse effect induced global warming, here are four geoengineering proposals: 1) using space-based mirrors to reflect unwanted solar radiation back into space, 2) adding iron to the oceans to feed plankton and increase carbon dioxide absorption, and 3) adding sulfates to the atmosphere by carrying sulfur into the stratosphere on balloons, using artillery guns to release it.  The reflective particles could remain for up to two years  to create haze blocking solar radiation.  4) simply painting roofs white to reflect visible sunlight  At a 2007 USA conference meeting in Cambridge, MA.,  David Keith, conference organizer and University of Calgary researcher, expressed his opinion that  200 years from now the earth will be "an artifact," a product of human design. In the distant future, one can imagine similar (more massive) efforts to transform planets like Mars and Venus to make them habitable. 

geoengineering related problems and risks—there are at least three areas of concern: 1) given all the uncertainties in our understanding of how the natural world works—even the physics and chemistry aspects of climate models have many areas of uncertainty—there is a real possibility that our attempt to intervene may not work as we assumed it would.  And, since we only have one Earth,  the unintended result of “our climate engineering experiment” could be irreversible disaster we can not escape from!;   2) if a large part of the population believes there is a “Plan B” geoengineering alternative to limiting fossil fuel burning and related greenhouse gas emissions, this could create a moral hazard č leading to their throwing caution aside and even more massively engaging in greenhouse gas producing behavior; 3) seems all the Earth’s people would need to be in agreement before anyone (single nation, large multinational corporation, single very very wealthy individual, etc) subjected the planet to massive climate engineering experimentation.  Even if prospects for success—say stabilizing average Earth temperatures back at pre-industrial levels—were great, certain people might object. For example, although the time scale over which their ecosystems are changing is incredibly short by natural standards and threatens ecological collapse, one can argue that from a human-centered viewpoint cold / frozen parts of the world like Siberia, Greenland, and northern Canada, northern Scandinavia, etc  will benefit from a warmer future    

human evolution and feedback—while our earliest ancestors with many ape-like characteristics only began to walk upright somewhere between 5.5 and seven million years ago, human brains remained relatively small until around two million years ago—when they began a steady increase in size. Why? While s definitive answer can’t be given, it’s believed that a leading contributor to this was a feedback loop that worked as follows: technological advances in the form of better stone cutting tools enabled humans to eat more nutritious foods including meat which could better meet the energy demands of larger brains, which in turn lead to still more technological development, leading to still better dietsčstill larger brains, etc

human senses, extending them--technology dramatically extends the capabilities of the human senses. Perhaps most notably, microscopes and telescopes greatly extend vision, improving the ability of detecting both very small and very far away objects by a thousand times or more. The limitations they run into given their use of ordinary light waves--which are relatively large and lacking in penetrating power--can be overcome by using smaller waves (as in electron microscopes) or other electromagnetic waves (as in radio telescopes).  Similarly other detectors allow humans to "see" all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum (x-rays, ultra-violet, infra-red, etc)--not just visible light. And to "hear" disturbances associated with vibrations weaker than what human ears can detect, .and outside their  frequency range    

Technology also extends what the human nose does: detecting the presence of chemicals (as in smelling odors) But whereas human noses typically detect concentrations in the parts per million range of various chemicals, modern analytical chemistry instrumentation can extend the range down to parts per trillion. 

All said, technology gives humans much more information about  the environment in which we live far beyond what our unaided senses alone can provide. This greatly magnifies our ability to fit into that environment, manipulate / shape it to our liking, and be more comfortable. 

humor, social power of – According to Lawrence Robinson, humor can help 1) people form stronger bonds; 2) smooth over differences; 3) diffuse tension; 4) overcome problems and setbacks; 5) put things into perspective; 6) people be more creative. In particular with respect to conflict resolution, it can 1) provide an interruption , cooling off , and reset; 2) help break up rigid  approaches allowing for spontaneity and fostering creativity; 3) help people lower defenses and let go of inhibitions. 

hydroelectric--electricity generated when falling water turns a generator.  Employing well known technology, it is renewable and inexpensive. Its prospects for growth are not as great as other renewable sources such as solar or wind, since (especially in the developed world) most rivers with large hydropower potential have already been dammed. 

Internet-- the publicly accessible global information and communications network consisting of millions of smaller computer networks (maintained by households, commercial, educational, and government institutions, etc.) typically interconnected by fiber optic / other cables and satellite / wireless links through standard communication (IP) protocols. It includes the inter-linked, hypertext transfer protocol (http) based, web pages viewed with a web browser known as the worldwide web (www). 

Internet Search Engine use--involves typing word(s) or a question into a software based internet (or web) search tool (like Google), and (hopefully!) benefiting from the results  (information provided)  in terms of learning and problem solving.   Doing this whenever one has a question or problem--indeed, coming to think of the Internet / Web as an extension of your own brain! -- is an important skill to acquire. Those who have this capability clearly have a big advantage over those who don't! 

interpersonal communication effectiveness, behavioral model--according to this model the effective communicator 1) has social confidence, 2) creates a sense of togetherness, 3) controls and monitors the interaction so that both speaker and listener(s) are satisfied, 4) expresses a feeling of genuine involvement, and 5) is attentive to, listens, elicits, adapts to and is concerned with the needs and feelings of the audience.

interpersonal communication effectiveness, humanistic model-- according to this model the effective communicator possesses these qualities: 1) openness --besides disclosing his or her thoughts and feelings, this includes taking responsibility for them and reacting honestly to feedback others provide,  2) empathy, 3) supportiveness--includes being tentative rather than certain, and accepting or descriptive rather than judgmental, 4) positiveness--both in one's own attitude but also in providing others with positive reinforcement, and 5) the ability to communicate as an equal and to give others "unconditional positive regard" (as humanistic psychology founder Carl Rogers put it.)


interpersonal communication, relevance of--effective communication can enhance one's ability to engage in intimate relationships, parenting, counseling, teaching, coaching or mentoring, mediating or resolving conflicts, managing workers, persuading others, selling something, etc. 

intractable conflicts -- conflicts that are particularly difficult to resolve because they involve complex issues, communication difficulties, and deep-seated, often unacknowledged differences in worldviews. The people on opposing sides often feel threatened by the other side -- indeed they may feel that their sense of identity, cherished beliefs or way of life is being attacked. Besides involving conflicting worldviews, typically such conflicts also involve material goods, resources, or involve some concrete real or potential impacts on people and their environment -- impacts that are threatening.

justice -- implementing what is just, defined in various ways as being reasonable, proper, lawful, right, fair, deserved, merited, etc. For some, justice is intimately connected with fairness, a connection with three dimensions: equal treatment, the degree to which exercising freedom and liberty is to be allowed, and reward for contributing to the common good.

kilowatt-hour (kwh)--the unit of electrical energy that power companies use in billing consumers (for total kwh usage at some price per kwh, say $.10 per kwh).  A 100 watt light bulb left on for 10 hours would use 100 watts x 10 hours = 1000 watt hours = 1 kilowatt-hour of electrical energy.   

lawsuit--a comprehensive term for any proceeding in a court of law whereby an individual or legal entity seeks a legal remedy.  Such legal action is initiated by the plaintiff who complains (petitions) that he / she / it has been harmed / suffered a loss by failure of the defendant to act in accordance with the law.

leadership--the capacity to lead, influence, and affect the behavior of others.  Charismatic leaders motivate and inspire others to accomplish (sometimes extraordinary) things that they otherwise wouldn't do.  Such leaders communicate their vision and attract followers by infusing them with energy and eagerness for undertaking a particular mission.

learning domains–traditionally educational activities and associated objectives are sometimes categorized using three domains: 1) cognitive –relating to comprehending and intellectual processing of information and knowledge in forming concepts, having ideas, and having beliefs, 2) affective–relating to the emotions associated with learning experiences, and   3) psychomotor–relating to the physical activity and motor skills component of learning.  Some include also include 4) social—relating to communication, teamwork, management, leadership, etc. Very loosely these four learning domains can be related to Project Worldview’s thinking, feeling, doing, and joining.    

lobbyist--a person paid to act on behalf of a particular corporation, union, organization, etc. in aggressively promoting their agenda to elected representatives or those in positions of power in governments.  In some democracies, (like the United States), lobbyists help funnel campaign contributions to politicians--which often subvert the will of the people critics charge.  

Luddites -- anti-technologists named after the “machine smashers” of the 19th century revolt against inhumane working conditions in factories

microprocessor--a semi-conductor (usually silicon) integrated circuit chip that receives input, performs logic and arithmetic operations, stores and outputs results. First developed around 1970, they are the central processing unit brain of computers, are found in most consumer electronics, automobiles and anything manmade that at times seems smart!

moral hazard–results when a person,  institution, or large group of people is partly shielded from risk (due to insurance, prospects of government bailout, safety features, etc.) and acts differently (is less careful creating a hazard.)  Examples: 1) drivers with airbags drive more recklessly, confident that if they crash the airbags will protect them; 2) a person wearing a face mask mingles more closely and more often with people during a pandemic like corona virus than he or she would without the face mask; 3) an investor buys non-investment grade (junk) corporate bonds because of the perception that the company is “too big to fail” and the government will come to the rescue, if need be, to prevent that from happening

non-verbal communication--communication that occurs without words where messages (both intended and unintended) are sent using eye contact, facial expressions, voice quality or emotional content, gestures, body language, posture, dress, hairstyle, body adornment, etc. While such communication can (either intentionally or unintentionally) transmit information, more importantly it can transmit feelings and attitudes.

non-violence–both a moral philosophy and practical political strategy which rejects the use of violence to bring about social or political change.  It provides an alternative to both passivity and violent action, advocating instead other means of popular struggle such as civil disobedience, boycotts, consciousness raising, etc.  Power, according to non-violence theory, depends largely on the cooperation of others.  Non-violence recognizes that, ultimately, the power of those in positions of authority depends on the consent and cooperation of those they wield power over.  Thus, one strategy employed by non-violent protestors is the deliberate withdrawal of this consent in an effort to invalidate the authority they find oppressive. Great proponents of non-violence include Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.   

nuclear energy--can be traced to the energy with which the tightly bound constituents of nuclei (the central massive parts of atoms) are held together.  Certain processes (called nuclear reactions) can liberate this energy in an amount E equal to the "missing mass" m involved, times a constant (which equals the speed of light) c squared--that is, Einstein's famous equation E=mc2.  In comparison to chemical reactions--such as burning of fossil fuels --nuclear reactions unleash about one million times more energy per amount of mass involved.  So the nuclear fission reactions associated with splitting apart the (heavy) nuclei in one gram of uranium unleash as much energy as the combustion of a ton of coal!  Such fission reactions are the basis for nuclear power plants which produce around 10% of the electricity used worldwide.  Since such power plants do not produce greenhouse gases they are touted by some as a way to combat global warming. Others object to them for three reasons: 1) they produce long-lived radioactive waste which must be stored for thousands of years until it decays to safe levels, 2) concerns about the potential for associated radioactive mischief, perhaps involving terrorists, and 3) high costs of constructing them, given public safety concerns.   

peer pressure—the force applied by a group on an individual to adopt their habits, beliefs, and attitudes. This is resisted by the individual’s own desire to retain his or her individuality either within or apart from the group.

personal responsibility, accepting -- Before an individual can overcome some personal difficulty or solve a personal problem, he or she needs to acknowledge that the difficulty or problem exists, by saying something like, “This problem is mine and I must solve it”. In this context, taking personal responsibility means that you don’t ignore difficulties or problems, expect others to solve them for you, or shift the blame to others. In a family or social context, taking personal responsibility can mean voluntarily limiting your choices or restraining yourself for the good of the family, tribe, village, community or whatever. Richard Critchfield refers to this as “the freedom to choose self responsibility”.

persuasive communication techniques--with respect to the nature of what is communicated, a Yale University research study found that 1) messages should not appear to be designed to persuade; 2) both sides of arguments should be presented, with the "wrong" argument being refuted; 3) if two people are to speak, one immediately following the other, going first is preferred (based on the primacy effect from psychology);  4) if two people are to speak, with a time delay in between, going last is preferred (based on the recency effect from psychology).

pesticides--substances used to kill or control pests: organisms which interfere with human well being or activities (agricultural, in particular). They are classified according to the type of pest they are used on (e.g. insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.)  While such use of naturally occurring substances goes back thousands of years, the first manmade pesticide to be widely used was the insecticide DDT, developed in 1939.  Like DDT, many pesticides can poison humans and damage the environment. By the 1960s--with the publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, it was recognized that DDT interferes with bird reproduction. It is now banned in many countries.  A new generation of pesticides--some of which are biological agents, instead of manmade chemicals-- promise less environmental impact. 

placate--to appease, pacify, soothe, or conciliate

pollute--to defile, taint, foul, and make something impure or unclean 

power--in engineering, it refers to the rate at which work is done or energy used.  Electrical power is measured in watts.  A large  power plant might have a capacity of one billion watts = 1000 megawatts. see kilowatt-hour

provisional--characterized by an open-minded, tentative attitude that indicates willingness to consider various viewpoints, be persuaded by reasonable arguments, and to tolerate differences.  

public transportation--any means of moving people in which passengers do not travel in their own vehicles (or those they hire, like taxis) but join with many people (typically on a bus, train, or airplane) in being transported.  Such transportation involving buses and trains has environmental advantages and can reduce congestion in city centers, but it can take passengers longer to reach their destinations and offers less privacy and flexibility than does going by private car.

quantum computers--unlike conventional digital computers which fundamentally recognize only two states--called  on or off, 1 or 0, high or low, single bit, etc.--these computers of the future would use qubits (quantum bits). Such use of quantum mechanical states / phenomena would greatly extend computational capability and allow certain types of problems to be solved much faster than is currently possible.

radiation--refers to energy transmitted as waves or moving particles, and is most fundamentally distinguished by whether it is ionizing or non-ionizing.  Ionizing radiation can be dangerous to living tissue in that it can cause genetic mutations and kill cells.  Sources of it are high energy electromagnetic radiation (like x rays and gamma rays) and radioactive (unstable) material often associated with nuclear energy related technologies.  Lower energy electromagnetic radiation--like visible light, microwaves, or radio waves--is non-ionizing.  

reverse engineering -- starting with a finished product, to work backwards -- disassembling and analyzing it -- in an effort to understand how the product works so as to be able to make it from scratch -- perhaps even improve on it.

saving face—refers to preserving one’s honor, dignity, prestige, self respect.

sectarianism--involving the asserting of rigid sectarian dogmatism and inflexibility--which often leads to conflict between sects (e.g. religions, political parties, factions, etc)

science vs. technology, distinguishing between them -- whereas science involves understanding nature, technology involves controlling it. Whereas technology initially developed in trial and error fashion, by the 20th century most significant technological advances were founded on scientific understanding (applied science).    

social media--according to Wikipedia they are, "interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks" Just as internet search engine use capability provides a big learning / problem solving advantage to those who have it over those who don't, those skilled in social media use have a big "influencing people and changing attitudes / behavior" advantage.  Of course social media  are notorious for spreading disinformation! 

solar photovoltaic electricity—a direct sunlight to electrical energy conversion accomplished by solar energy knocking loose electrons in either silicon or other materials that serve as the basis for collector modules. Typical collectors achieve roughly 20% efficiency, and represent a clean, renewable technology with no moving parts. In recent decades costs of panels have dropped from $15 per watt in 1980 dollars to 20 or 30 cents per watt in 2020 dollars--so that in sunny locations it is cheaper than coal-derived electricity. Many believe that use of this technology will grow from supplying (at the end of 2019)  3% of the world’s electrical energy to its being the world's dominant source of such energy  within a few decades. 

solar energy utilization--Meeting human technological societal energy needs using so-called renewable energy sources involves harnessing today's solar energy, whereas using fossil fuels involves drawing on the solar energy that millions of years ago was captured by the ancient plants.  While renewable energy resources such as wind, hydroelectric, wood and other biofuels represent indirect solar energy utilization, it can be used directly either for passive heating or in active systems to produce heat and electricity.  Its potential is enormous. 

stroking--rather than being indifferent to another, this generally refers to positively acknowledging the person by complimenting, recognizing, and other verbal or non-verbal communication chosen to make that person feel good.

technicality--a minor point or issue in something much bigger and complicated raised as part of a strict interpretation of guidelines in some decision-making process

technocracy -- refers to a society managed by technical experts, or a government with technocrats or the technically elite in control

technofideism--belief that technology will save us.

technological literacy-- involves understanding what technology is, how it works, what it's good for, and specifically how it can be used to best accomplish specific tasks.  Measuring it involves gauging one's comfort level with technology "encompassing three interdependent dimensions: (1) knowledge; (2) ways of thinking and acting; and (3) capabilities" (the latter according to the National Academy of Engineering).  

technology -- another difficult to define term. Here are four definitions of it: 1) what humans do to gain control over nature in shaping the environment to its liking ; 2) the sum total of special knowledge and the tools / means employed by people to provide goods and services for human sustenance and comfort; 3) knowledge relating to how available resources can be turned into goods and services. 4) according to Daniel Boorstin, technology is “the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it”. See also science vs. technology. 

technology assessment -- a procedure that developed as humans began to ask --in the 1960s-- "Should we..." develop some new technology? It involves:      1) collecting information about the technology and how it will be used in meeting specified objectives, 2) identifying impacts of its use in various areas (environmental, economic, social, political, etc), 3) assessing impacts and identifying tradeoffs, 4) formulating, then examining alternatives, with quantitative models and forecasts, 5) making recommendations including designating a preferred alternative that best meets objectives while minimizing impacts / other concerns , and 6) making plans for monitoring performance

technology, critiques of -- Anti-technologists charge, among other things, that technology ... 1) ...has escaped from human control, is spoiling both the environment and human life, and has the potential to destroy both ; 2)...increasingly allows people to play God -- giving them power they were never meant to have; 3)...forces people to do tedious and degrading work; 4)...forces people to consume things that they don’t really need; 5) creates a technocratic “elite” and disenfranchises the masses; 6) cripples people by cutting them off from nature; 7) diverts people and destroys their existential sense of being. See technology assessment. 

Technologists answer these charges by saying that particular technologies are just tools, neither good nor bad, but it’s the use that people put them to that can be questioned. And of course people are only human -- not infallible! They argue that technology, over the last century, has considerably extended average human life spans, has made life easier and spared people lots of drudgery. More recently, they argue, that computer technology has made a vast amount of knowledge readily available to everyone, greatly aided learning and understanding, and that this is slowly making the world a better place. To charges that technology cuts people off from nature, they point out certain technological creations have allowed humans to experience nature in settings and in ways that would otherwise be impossible.

TIT for TAT strategy--a strategy for use in non-zero sum "co-operate / defect" games --or applicable situations in real world interactions with people--where you co-operate on your first turn and on subsequent turns do whatever your opponent did on his or her previous turn (e.g. if your opponent co-operates you co-operate, if your opponent defects, you defect.)   The success of this strategy (based on both players coming out ahead) was initially appreciated in the 1980s by academics studying Prisoner's Dilemma games.  It has subsequently been linked to the human cultural evolution of co-operation, hard-wired neural network programs in the brain, and diplomatic successes--most notably the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

tolerant—sympathetic to or at least able to allow another individual’s  indulgence in beliefs, values, practices, and behaviors that differ from or conflict with one’s own.  

tool--a handheld device or simple machine that allows the user to better perform some physical task. Once thought to be the only tool-using species, humans are now seen to be the only species that uses tools to make other tools. 

top down vs. bottom up–contrasting approaches to bringing change, solving problems,  structuring interaction (compare centrally planned economies, market based ones), etc. The former typically involves a very small number of people (sometimes even just one person) at the top setting policy that works its way down through various levels of organization to ordinary people at the bottom. The latter approach typically involves ordinary people at the bottom finding that something works, a groundswell of enthusiasm develops--or in a more modern context something goes viral on the internet--and eventually word of this development reaches all the way to the top.

tunnel vision -- the failure to see or consider other points of view or beliefs associated with someone one who has a very narrow worldview

value judgment -- comparing either something concrete (person, object, etc) or something abstract (quality, principle, etc) to some idealized standard. A value judgment is what bridges the gap between “what is” and “what ought to be”.

values -- abstract qualities, principles, beliefs, or aspects of behavior that a person or a whole society holds in high regard after making value judgments.

values articulation -- clarifying values and both 1) affirming them in terms meaningful to others, and 2) exploring the implications of practicing and applying them -- and being able to do both of these in relation to different cultural traditions or within the framework of various diverse belief systems / worldviews.

values clarification, steps in the process of valuing -- 1) privately prizing and cherishing; 2) publicly affirming beliefs and choosing one’s behavior (when appropriate); 3) choosing from alternatives; 4) choosing after consideration of consequences; 5) acting on one’s beliefs; 6) acting with a pattern, consistency and repetition. See also the above entry. 

wind energy–ultimately derived from uneven solar heating of the atmosphere and resulting circulation patterns, the mechanical energy stored in the wind can be used to drive electrical generators. This is accomplished by attaching propeller blades to the shaft of the generator and mounting it on a tall tower in a windy location,  providing  a clean, renewable resource to generate electricity. Its use has dramatically increased since 2000 to where, by 2020, it supplied over 5% of all electricity generated worldwide.  Costs have dropped by a factor of ten or more in recent decades to the point where in many locations it is cheaper than coal-derived electricity. Given its intermittent nature, one particularly promising possible use of wind derived electricity is to charge electric car batteries.  

Win, Win  / non-zero sum outcomes– an outcome of a conflict, dispute, or negotiation where both people or sides come away with something they value, while at the same time feeling like they have not compromised or given away too much.  For those negotiating from an admittedly much weaker position, the “victory” achieved may simply be avoiding shame. For those negotiating from an admittedly much stronger position  it’s important that the agreed outcome is not so unequal or unfair that is not sustainable.  Situations where Win, Win is possible—or made possible by skilled framing of situations—are to be contrasted with Zero Sum games where the outcome is someone clearly wins and someone clearly loses.  The contrast is like shades of gray vs. black & white.  Lessons from Game Theory suggest that resolving disputes to mutual satisfaction means making it a non zero sum game in which both sides win.  Researchers have shown that a TIT for TAT strategy is a good one to use in such games.  They assert its importance in the evolution of co-operation.  Similarly, author Robert Wright says "perception of non-zero sumness underlies religious tolerance."

Zero Sum Game–a game (which can represent a social or economic interaction or conflict) in which someone wins and someone loses, to be contrasted with a game in which someone can win without someone else losing.



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