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What Are Sustainable Solutions – And How To Get There?

A mind can be tricked to carry certain tasks. An elementary student can learn various facts over night to prepare for an exam the next day. But as s/he goes to higher grades, receiving more complex problems in the class and life, s/he needs to learn more tricks, both on his/her environment and his/her internal problems. As s/he graduate, s/he needs to repeat the same things again, learning facts and tricks of the place and own, but in a much quicker pace this time. To be adaptive is the key to survive in this Darwinian world, or so they say.

However, life is not that simple. One big problem is present at the moment.

The Pandora box of information has been opened since internet time. The tool that seems to allow human to have what economists have dreamt about for 100 years: Full Information – a set of data that can make economic agents make rational decisions, seems to betray all of us, simply because we are…human. Humans have biases, thousands of these! These do not necessarily create an easier job for any of us, educators, parents, students, or any decision makers. Because more information processed with lots of these biases will create more divergent opinions, an eventually a more irrational world, that is not good for everyone including our universe.

But there is something that all of us can still rely on. That is: tangible proof.

Proof, an undeniable proof, looked at every angle of the core questions of various scientific fields. But wait, every scientific field has different ways to explain the same phenomenon. In that case, only when there is no consensus, people in those fields should sit together to find the common ground: the most basic question/assumption that tie them all together. Then, see if this question has been satisfactorily answered. Only after that, the team in that field can go on to try to solve the world’s impending problem. Financial economics is one of the fields where fundamental question is found to be false hence impotent to pursue long-term problems to its market’s repetitive and ever-bigger crises.

Thus, this is an effort to explain the mechanism on how A goes bad to be B, borrowing from how different scientific fields explain the path(s). The same phenomenon can be explained at various ways and levels. The first is akin to the story of blind men who were assigned to explain what an elephant is (none of them knew or saw it before), but ended up telling different forms to explain the animal because each touched different parts of the body. The second, is akin to explaining the whole matter (e.g. elephant in this case) from different spheres of life: numerically, physically, linguistically, etc. The discussion can be further dissected into various ways a matter can be seen, e.g.: at the microbiome level, at the genome level, at the cellular level, at the organ level, at the movement level, etc.

One of the biggest questions all people from all sphere of life need to answer is how to care for our body and environment in a way that is sustainable. To be sustainable means all dimension of life must win, i.e.: no party get the profit at the expense of others. This requires multi-dimensional thinking that certainly needs a more collaborative world; a humility from different people from different background (multi-institutional) to work together to find the on-going (multi-year) solution.

To repeat: Humility first; 

Finding common-ground second; 

On-going collaboration third.

It may looks simple; but it certainly demands courageous execution!

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