Proceedings 1995 Interdisciplinary Conference: Knowledge Tools for a Sustainable Civilization. Fourth Canadian Conference on Foundations and Applications of General Science Theory

8-10 June 1995

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  • Proceedings 1995 Interdisciplinary Conference: Knowledge Tools for a Sustainable Civilization. Fourth Canadian Conference on Foundations and Applications of General Science Theory

    Publication Year: 1995
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Knowledge tools for UN peace-keeping: developing the global watch

    Publication Year: 1995
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    Summary form only given. The UN needs reliable and up-to-date knowledge of events in order to prevent conflicts and maintain peace. However, there are severe political limitations on the ability of the UN to gather and analyse information. UN fact-finding, particularly if it involves the passive collection of information from open sources is the mildest of interventions. It is useful to examine th... View full abstract»

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  • Acceleration, smoke and consequences. A disorder of orders

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):159 - 170
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    In this paper, I argue that if you want a sustainable future, you must deal with the roots of global-scale acceleration: acceleration in human numbers and acceleration in per capita consumption. Sustainability implies balance; acceleration demands imbalance. Globally speaking, if you want one, you can't have the other. To get at the roots, I suggest the tool of viewing acceleration as an imbalance... View full abstract»

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  • Knowledge tools supporting the concept of industrial ecology

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):149 - 158
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (752 KB)

    Industrial ecology, by emulating the ecology of nature, is production with zero waste. Whatever is left over as a result of any particular transforming action or process is consumed in some other activity. Zero industrial waste seems near impossible. But left over materials can be recycled or reused. Waste water can be purified; air discharges rendered harmless. Knowledge is coming to the fore to ... View full abstract»

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  • The role of energy efficiency in sustainable development

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):140 - 148
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (520 KB)

    The results are reported of an investigation into the role of increased energy efficiency in achieving sustainable development. In the paper the relations are examined between energy and sustainable development, and between energy efficiency and environmental impact. The theoretical and practical limitations on increased energy efficiency are discussed, particularly as they relate to sustainable d... View full abstract»

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  • Plutonium-is any non-zero quantity sustainable?

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):79 - 82
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (316 KB)

    How a society in the nuclear age views the use of plutonium can be a strong indicator of that society's commitment to sustainability. This is a multi-faceted situation, as there are forceful arguments that nuclear power generation could produce many times more energy from the world's stock of natural uranium than is presently achieved. The approach taken in this paper is to recognise this potentia... View full abstract»

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  • Priorities for a sustainable civilization

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):1 - 10
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    What are the vital issues facing humankind? It appears that many of today's relevant issues are too big to be understood by knowledge from a single discipline, that they reach beyond the boundaries of individual nations, and that they last for many generations. Who can address these issues? Most political systems have a 5 year time horizon, and focus on national concerns. Our traditionally special... View full abstract»

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  • Operationalizing sustainable development in a technology choice context: moving from theory to practice

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):130 - 139
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (748 KB)

    The phrase “sustainable development” was coined to broadly address economic, social, technical and environmental interactions under a framework of intra- and inter-generational equity. Although very rich, the phrase “sustainable development” does not provide a robust and practical (i.e., operational) “knowledge tool” to help us understand and apply the concept. ... View full abstract»

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  • Group problem solving: if we could save the Earth, how would that be done?

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):70 - 78
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    Characterizing something as a problem commits us to coping with the problem in a problem-solving mode. Furthermore, while individuals might make a difference, a large-scale task such a saving the Earth would call for a group problem-solving configuration. Communication, cooperation, shared vision and negotiation introduce new complexity and often unanticipated emerging phenomena. If group members ... View full abstract»

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  • Sustainability theory and the design of knowledge tools

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):120 - 129
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (860 KB)

    Widespread support for the concept of sustainable development has developed over the last decade, and many organizations have adopted it as an important goal. However, the concept remains vague and wide disagreement still exists on what is sustainable, and what is not. The usual definitions do not specify what kind of knowledge is required in a sustainable civilization, nor how it should be treate... View full abstract»

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  • Human civilization and the main tool dimensions

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):330 - 339
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    In this work we cross human civilization, underline a humanization speed or rate (R), which is in relation with the morphological structures of our genus. Corresponding to this new concept, we detect new traits for a more complete human being definition. At the same time we propose two great eras for human civilization in relation to the representative tools dimensions. Along the same line, we dis... View full abstract»

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  • The citizen, the expert and wisdom in the virtual workspace

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):303 - 312
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    Society's first encounter with computer networks and information technology (NETS&IT) has been crystallized in the metaphor of the information highway with its emphasis on the movement of digital packets, the economic impact of the technology, and its use by the individual producer and consumer. This paper extends the metaphor to encompass a vision of a sustained electronic (virtual) workspace... View full abstract»

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  • Preservation and conservation: separate disciplines, common goals

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):212 - 219
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    The conservation of the natural environment and the preservation of the built environment are fields often distinguished from one another both in application and in theory. At academic institutions, courses in preservation and conservation are usually offered in different departments and faculty members concerned with either of the two disciplines are tenured into different departments. Special in... View full abstract»

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  • Multiple-perspective co-channel communications as a knowledge and attitude reform tool for a sustainable civilization

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):274 - 281
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (508 KB)

    The sustainability challenge is to help people learn how to reform their habits of learning so that civilization can be indefinitely sustainable. This implies finding out how to alter attitudes and predilections so as to promote symbioses between nature and cultures, and also to promote symbioses among our various cultures (linguistic, religious, ethnic etc.). It is posited here that by enabling p... View full abstract»

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  • Sustainable use of agricultural ecosystems: an optimum control problem

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):62 - 69
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    Agricultural ecosystems comprise both natural and socioeconomic processes. By introducing fertilizing, harvesting or irrigation as control variables, one is led to the formulation of control problems. A main problem is the development of suitable performance criteria if both economic and ecological aspects are taken into account. The use of control theory leads to two major problems. The first con... View full abstract»

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  • Philosophy for sustainable society??

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):185 - 189
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (340 KB)

    If the problem of the sustainable society and sustainable growth is to be fully incorporated into the various overall conceptions we have of ourselves and our place in the world, it is questionable whether we can afford to neglect its relation to philosophy. It is within this context that we attempt to argue two points which may or may not be obvious, depending on the angle of approach to the conc... View full abstract»

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  • Uniting people through language and mind cultivation: a Buddhist response to the world scientists' warning to humanity

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):114 - 119
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    The author refers to the world scientists' warning to humanity which concerns caring for the environment. He considers how language has a significant bearing on our everyday living. His critique of the scientists is that by not bringing their scientific outlook to the use of language, it perpetuates, though unintentionally, the divisions that already exist in society View full abstract»

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  • Institutional tools for change

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):321 - 329
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    In many constitutional democracies a resource allocation system has evolved which bears little resemblance to that prescribed by their constitutions. Due to systemic features of these decision-making frameworks, powerful development interests now receive benefits from public resources that are (arguably) disproportionate to their reciprocal contribution to the general public. This has occurred bec... View full abstract»

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  • The cultural synergy model: a knowledge tool for the 21st Century

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):225 - 234
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (788 KB)

    The cultural synergy model is process-oriented in order to expand consciousness and capacities for problem-solving at various human system levels. This paper briefly (1) addresses how the model is developed from “patterns that connect” in major living systems, (2) describes the model, and (3) discusses two large international experiments with the model at the developing Center for Cult... View full abstract»

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  • Sustainability, knowledge tools and the ethos of the Internet

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):292 - 302
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (944 KB)

    Never before in the history of humankind have we enjoyed greater prosperity and at the same time never has the threat to human survival been greater due to environmental degradation, over population and the possibility of nuclear war. The explanation of this paradox of increasing prosperity and increasing danger lies in understanding that our knowledge tools create both service and disservice. Whi... View full abstract»

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  • The correspondence between ontology and environmental attitudes

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):202 - 211
    Cited by:  Patents (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (796 KB)

    Alarms about the environment have brought about superficial changes of environmental attitudes, but deep attitudes will remain the same unless our conception of reality changes. Ontology determines how one pursues one's needs and welfare. The crucial element is the conception of an actuating factor (AF) in nature: whether personal or impersonal, one or many, in material things or separate. One's p... View full abstract»

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  • The influence of scale [in sustainable human activity]

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):245 - 252
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    Tomorrow, forward thinkers postulate, will be dominated by the knowledge sector of a global, more socially-oriented civilization, where information, rather than pig iron or pork bellies will be the primary commodity. To chart a sustainable course will require far more than knowledge, and yet far less than we might imagine. The scale of activity will take on critical importance as ecological laws i... View full abstract»

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  • Using communications technology for cross cultural training and development: the participatory developmental education model

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):263 - 273
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    The increasing accessibility of basic video production and modem-linked computers creates new possibilities for exchanging information and ideas, yet it is still rare for communications technology to be used for a genuine dialogue in problem solving. The problems of the world seem to be compounding as increasing pressures of population growth, resource depletion and tension between the `haves' and... View full abstract»

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  • Is the UN-organisation a lost case? The vulnerability of devotional and the invulnerability of aggressive relationships

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):52 - 61
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (696 KB)

    The United Nations charter was signed by 51 nations in San Francisco on June 26, 1945. Its intention is to maintain world peace and to promote cooperation among nations. It consists of 159 countries all around the globe. The preceding organisation, the League of Nations (1919), which pursued the same goal, failed drastically due to unability to prevent the 2nd World War. If the main purpose of the... View full abstract»

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  • Multinational corporations and their enablers

    Publication Year: 1995
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    Recent economic and technological developments have made global conquest a distinct possibility. Communication satellites allow for continuous global surveillance and financial transactions. New trade agreements have boosted stateless trans-national corporations (TNCs) into commanding positions from which they determine the policies of most governments in the world. The concepts of nation states a... View full abstract»

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