Are new things really that good? Innovation vs. sustainability

by Jason Hyde on Oct 06, 2021

Are new things really that good? Innovation vs. sustainability

Most people would argue innovation is a good thing. In many areas, innovation has brought the world new technologies and easier ways to accomplish tasks, so we can live more comfortable lives.
Some examples of this can be big but underestimated, such as electricity, cars, planes and other means of transportation, the internet, etc. Others are arguably more complex and considered by many, mistakes. Like nuclear energy and its implications.
Regardless, generatively speaking, it’s easy to think innovations have more upsides, and that the benefits surpass the downsides. But what’s the time frame to actually know that the benefits outweigh the risks? Evolutionary biologists would argue maybe a couple hundred if not thousands of years.
But what does any of this has to do with the environment? Well, almost everything.
We’re innovating at a speed that we now realize can be catastrophic to our world. Plastic is just one thing on that list. What we can do about that is the purpose of this blog.
A hunter-gatherer’s guide to the 21st century, by Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, offers a few pointers on how to navigate the rapid innovation growth we are experiencing as a species and how these changes the different areas of our existence, including other species and of course, the planet.
Furthermore, it outlines the mistakes in taking a reductionist approach to matters of medicine, nutrition, and the things we deem practical and necessary for our daily lives and offers advice from the lens of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
We haven’t lived these weird modern lives that long, and pretending like we know every commodity we take for granted has more benefits than risks, is at best, very naive, and at worst, dangerous for the conservation of humankind and all the animals and plants that live in symbiosis with us.


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