GLASS HALF EMPTY vs GLASS HALF FULLMy reason for including this in the travel journal is to clarify my perspective vis a vis Bonnie's. Since I am writing I hope it is clear that opinions expressed are exclusively my own, I do NOT speak for Bon!
Three conditions exist for this discussion:
1) To observe a glass as either of the above options is to accept ourselves (humans) as self aware creatures.
2) For this discussion, I am assuming self awareness is a unique quality found only in humans. Outside of this discussion I'm unwilling to accept this as a proven fact.
3) Clearly, the condition of the glass in this context is an active, dynamic moving towards a greater or lesser degree of fullness.
What is or was the portion of the glass now empty? What has taken the place of this empty portion is the central question to the entire concept of half full vs half empty. Likewise, what remains in the glass is to a greater or lessor degree important in determining my perspective. For purposes of clarifying my own oft times labeled pessimistic view of glass half empty, I place a heavier emphasis on the empty portion of the glass. Thus, my original question was from that point of view. But to give clarity to what I am observing as a general condition of the human species I will first describe what I see as the contents of what remains in the glass, the half full portion.
The Earth as a biosphere can be seen as unique - just as some view humans - or as part of a Universe which contains perhaps thousands of similar biospheres. For this discussion and my own perspective as it applies to it, the Earth is unique and from the standpoint of the human species will remain so until the Earth is incinerated in a couple billion years. Hence, the contents of the glass which remains half full is the entirety of our solar system, most of which remains within our grasp here on Earth.
So, what of the empty portion? What has become of the portion that has disappeared? This is where the parting of the ways comes in. I observe an Earth inhabited by living matter genetically predisposed towards reproducing itself. Also, the biosphere as a whole is constantly seeking 'balance' while at the same time consuming by-products of that balanced state. The human species has at this point 'created' three by-products:
1) Materials reconstituted/reconfigured to enable it's genetic reproduction, giving it a competitive advantage which outweighs all other living matter.
2) Materials which no longer function in a capacity to enhance or enable competitive advantage, having no value at this moment in time these are considered waste/detritus.
3) Information/ideas, often as a result of reconfiguring matter, but also lending itself to inform the human species of it's place within the biosphere - self awareness.
This last by-product can be considered inert, in that if it is only used to increase the quantity of by-product materials in 1 & 2, then the glass is in my opinion is half empty!
If the information which might also be called knowledge is useful in enhancing self awareness then how it is interpreted becomes the pivotal issue of glass half whatever!
Is the direction of self awareness leading towards actions which in sum create more balance or less balance?
In my opinion, human actions appear to be moving towards a less balanced biosphere. I see more evidence that information/knowledge is being or will be used in a manner which will continue to push the biosphere further out of balance.
The reconstitution/reconfiguration of what we euphemistically refer to as resources is most emphatically in the direction of less self awareness. This even with the vastly greater capacity to access information/knowledge and an unprecedented improvement almost on a daily basis to expand this information base to be accessible in every corner of our Earth biosphere!
Yes, I see the glass half empty for the near future. This does not preclude my interest in taking actions or trying to make some small impact on this most unfortunate state of affairs. To the contrary, it is why I include in this journal references to books, ideas, people, organizations who are trying to make a difference. I hope this clarifies a position which to many who read this may identify it as 'pessimistic' and negative, and therefore not worth considering. I congratulate all who maintain an optimistic frame of mind for it is a far more pleasant and amiable attitude. I attempt to approach every day with this attitude in mind but fall short more often than not.
If you have forged through this rambling discussion to this end, thank you for bearing with me. I hope it has helped to frame some of my opinions in the proper perspective and thus they will be more clearly understood.