Session 6- Beyond Necessity

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As we evolve, we see that man does not evolve alone. Rather, it all depends on society. We develop the society, and through society our own lives evolve. They are interdependent.

 

You might say that today, each of us is dependent upon thousands of people all over the world. There is not a country missing in the provision of my needs, from food, clothing, building materials, heating and cooling, to everything that I have and own. If not directly, then provision is done through other countries—one country providing the raw materials, and another the machines that manufacture. We already know from studies that the whole world is tied in connections of interdependence.

 

The more the world becomes differentiated into expertise, the more each of us has his or her job. Yet, that job is harmoniously connected to the rest of the people. This way, we can provide myriad products beyond the little bit of bread, wine, and meat for which we sufficed in the past.

 

Along with development, we've increased our abilities to manufacture food and clothing. And afterwards, we evolved into manufacturing vehicles. In consequence, our individual expertise has become increasingly differentiated into economy, agriculture, machinery, arts and culture, and so forth.

 

We can see that around us are entire industries for developing products that we don't really need, yet we cannot live without them, such as sports or tourism. Thus, a famous musician may earn in an hour's performance what a simple blue-collar worker earns in a year or even more. That is, we appreciate, even admire things that are not necessary for our sustenance, but which have already become part of our existence just as much as our bodies.

 

If we calculate what we do during the day to provide for just the basic needs compared to the entirety of our production, we will see that 90% of what we produce is absolutely redundant. Yet, we seemingly need them because without them we don't feel that we are alive, since they, too, belong to the human level of existence. Of course, if we didn't have a choice, we would be living in caves, but it is our own internal development that compels us to wish for more.

 

Today, we are at a state where detaching a person from society means sentencing that person to a sorrowful life. That person may be able to provide for life's necessities, enough to avoid starving, but for everything else, he or she would need other people. We need to produce everything that society needs, and then we will receive what we want from our society. This is why our dependence on society is an absolute necessary.

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Topic

As human society became more global and integral, man's aspirations and engagements grew far beyond his basic needs. 

Main Points

  • Man's development depends on his environment.
  • Each of us is dependent upon thousands of people all over the world.
  • Even the things that are not essential to our existence have become seemingly necessary.
  • Most products in today's society are things we don't really need for our existence.

References

Dr. Peter A. Corning suggested that a basic needs paradigm could provide an analytical tool (a "bio-logic") for examining more closely the relationship between our social, economic and political behaviors and institutions and their survival consequences, as well as providing a predictive tool of some importance.

"Biological Adaptation in Human Societies"

A technology revolution is fast replacing human beings with machines in virtually every sector and industry in the global economy.

"New Technology and the End of Jobs"

"It is obvious that we have become more narrowly specialized in our professions, but we are also becoming more specialized in the activities of our daily lives"

"A Time of Transition/The Human Connection"

Engage Yourself

Question 4: When you reflect on the notion that all of humanity is interconnected, does it awaken positive or negative emotions within you? Please write down why.

Question 2: According to the above session, the items that are produced around the world are examples for…

Question 1: Connected is a book about the connections between people. The book was first published in 2009 and immediately became a best-seller. Dr. Nicholas Christakis, who co-authored the book with Dr. James Fowler, was chosen by "Time" magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in 2009.


The book is based on the most extensive social research ever done in history and presents many facts that open our eyes to the importance of our connections with other people.


Please watch this interview with the authors of Connected and write down what you think is the common thread between their comments and the material covered in this session.