Posted on the 17th of February of 2011
The Y Generation
As a teacher, I have been hearing a lot about the Y Generation. The message is, in general, contradictory: the tone of the conversation places at the same time, this generation as a threat to the others because of its qualities (network culture, computer skills, detachment, etc, etc, etc) but the emphasis falls on their limitations (they are intolerant and impatient, have difficulty concentrating, etc.). It is reasonably clear what the veiled interest here is: how teachers should deal with these limitations so that classrooms, and therefore educational institutions, are not emptied. The summary of this generation seems to be embodied in Twitter: short, disposable and difuse messages. Well, that reminds me of Edgar Morin, who in more than one occasion, states that in reality there is no simple, only simplified: how will this generation deal with the complexity of the world without being able to concentrate and refine thought and communication? One possible answer to this, at least temporarily, seems to have appeared to me a couple of days ago: individuals and groups, in the midst of this ocean called Y Generation, are being patiently trained with all the "differential" (the concentration, patience, tolerance) necessary to understand the complexity of the world and life. In my view, those are the trendsetters, the leaders of the future. The others will keep on following, making even shorter intelligent comments about the world around them.
Posted on the 27th of september of 2010.
Yesterday the municipality of Ribeirão Preto, the city where I live, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, launched its first 6km-long bike lane, which is going to be available to all citizens every sunday from 7am till 1pm.
As it can be seen , it´s started timidly with a recreational purpose. However, it is a big step since the city is rather conservative and extremely resistant to any kind of changes.
I was there yesterday to check it out and the outcome was very positive. It was really taken by bikers of all ages and levels of skills who were there, primarily, to have fun.
What was felt was that such a piece of infraestructure has a profound impact not only on people´s health but also on community´s health, since it allows the emergence of bonds among those who share the place but hardly ever have the time/initiative/reason to simply talk to someone unknown.
Since it is a brand new experience to us here I would like to hear from you, wherever you talk from, if there are bike lanes there and the influence, from your point of view, it exertes upon individuals and the community.
That´s all. If you feel like interacting, please leave a message. And let´s go biking.
Cheers from Brazil.
English-language reader, I would like you to feel very welcome here at Reflexações Ambientais.
First of all, let me introduce you to the concept of this blog.
Reflexações Ambientais was created at the beginning of 2009 with the intention of producing texts which were challenging to readers´ lifestyles, mainly concerning aspects that related culture (our lifestiles) and environmental problems or unsustainability. This was so because we firmly believe that although technologies of all kinds have a role in reducing unsustainable patterns of production, they don´t encourage us to think about the roots of the problems, which are definitely cultural.
The word "reflexações" doesn´t really exist in Portuguese, my mother tongue. It is a composition of two other words that from our point of view should always be acknowledged as inseparable, which are "reflection" and "action". I say they should be seen as inseparable because in real life they are, the difference is that the reflection happens generally uncounsiously. And due to the situation we live in nowadays, we have got to make it conscious.
Also, that the process of reflection is not, on its own, enough. Problemas are practical and so we´ve got to transform our thoughts of action into action. Being aware is not enough.Problems of any kind are not going to go away because we are more aware of them. We´ve got to act, to change our behaviours, but consciously.
On the other hand, action devoided of reflection is a danger we´ve been facing increasingly and it is irresponsible, reckless and careless.
So we´ve got to put them altogether, the reflection that makes us act consciously and the action upon which we reflect.It is kind a of a spiral which will make us visit the core of our beings and promote a better self-understanding. It is by acting and reflecting and acting that we ARE in the world.
The decision to create this English written page has just been taken. Last week I added this counter at the botton right side of the page that shows where visitors are from, and to my huge surprise I´ve realized that in less than a week I´ve had three visitors from abroad, just like you now. So I thought "why not?", as I can handle a few English words myself and think it is important to broaden my reaches beyond Portuguese speaking people.
So this is the beginning of it. Every now and them new things are posted here. I do hope the contents are interesting and useful for you and that you can help me spread the news. More than that, I hope you become not only a reader but also a participant of it, bringing your views and perspectives.