16 de agosto de 2011

Shorthand abstraction

There are many things one can read about making our life in this planet sustainable. Sustainability is nowadays a fashionable word in science. Just crash into any conference, colloquium or even the classes at your University and pay attention how often the word is repeated. Sustainability is something like a "shorthand abstraction", this is, a word that does not possess a clear meaning but a representation of a constellation of abstract and complex concepts.

"Facial Abstraction" by Jeremy Onsmith

Talking about sustainability with a scientist is a bit the same like talking about markets with an economist. An economist cannot define market in simple words. But not being able to define markets does not mean one cannot study them. Economists have been developing (kind of) laws and (kind of) models for markets since long time, although they cannot precisely define the main object of their work! The same happens in sustainability science. Ask any professor you know about what is sustainability and he will struggle to give you an answer. But then ask him on ways to achieve sustainability and he will almost certainly "sustain" a conversation for hours and hours...

Sem comentários:

Trans - Siberiano