New Positions in 2011

While not part of my list of resolutions, I've made a few changes in 2011 that have given me a new outlook:

Change 1: I sleep on the floor. Since I will be moving and no longer need my current bed, I decided not to wait until moving day to get rid of it. Now, I use a camping pad wrapped in a wool blanket and a sheet. While the pending wifey will not go for it, I thought it was a good short-term (3 month) test.

Change 2: I work standing up. Due to a bad hip and general stagnation, I decided to convert 1/2 of my desk in to a "standing workstation." I've transformed the way I work simply - the obligatory manager approval, a screw driver and 20 minutes. So far, I see this as a long-term change.

  • Both force me to stretch. Climbing to my feet each morning is a rebirth of sorts. Working from my feet keeps me alert and semi-active.
  • Both give me a new physical perspective. Sleeping from the floor keeps me humble and a new angle on my room, like how one's pet may view things. Since I'm tall, my head is now above the cubicle walls so I feel less in my cubicle-contained world and feel more at the office.
  • Both have some hassles. Since my ear is at the ground when sleeping, there's more noise from the unit below and from roommate footsteps. Being above the cube wall, I inadvertently eavesdrop (good & bad) and get a lot of outside noise.
I'm not sure if I like these changes because they seem most logical with respect to our roots or because it's change for the sake of change. I think a lot of it has to do with what's generally accepted and then stepping back and wondering how we got to the norm we are at today. I recommend both, but beware that there is roughly a week break-in time for each.


Population Sustainability

The more I learn about sustainability* the more it's apparent that the common problem we face is ourselves. I know it's no groundbreaking discovery, but it seems imminent that the common denominator to fix all of our sustainability issues is to make our numbers more sustainable (aka population control).

Since this is a touchy subject and since people (generally) are not willing to consider this currently, I can only assume that our population will be naturally forced to a sustainable level within the next millennium. That's what happens when there are not enough resources to go around.

Thus, I see two options: 1) We can either be responsible and proactive by instituting population control; or 2) Try to tackle a multitude of problems, which even if all solved, will need to be continuously re-solved in perpetuity due to an ever-growing population. My point is that it's a fact of nature that if the resources are available, humans will proliferate to meet them. So we will be playing a constant game of catch-up while the net value of our resources aren't replenished fast enough.

Let the ethical debate begin. For the record, I don't see how allowing a shortened, suffering life is more ethical than not allowing a life in the first place. At the same time, it's an easy call for me since I'm grandfathered in.

*Environment (water, climate, biodiversity), Health (disease, famine), Social Change (urban living), Political (conflict), Energy