Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?

Are we living in a computer simulation?

 

Introduction

To start off we should imagine that either distant future humans or an advanced race of aliens could manufacture, code and start a supercomputer that could simulate a whole separate universe. If this is so who is saying that our descendants would not try to do that one day? And more importantly how would we know that we are not currently living in one.

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This thesis is important because it makes people question the very foundations of what they know to be true. It will make people think about how disconnected they are from the real world, because of this it provides and almost morbid curiosity into this subject. This paper will provide new understandings of perspectives and ideas that may not previously have been thought of by the reader(‘s). It is also a good research question because it is a point that I the writer have been interested in for a while.

The methodology used to explore this point are mainly through research, recording key points and exploring them all in essay form. There will also be philosophical ideas explored where multiple perspectives and arguments are brought up. Because of the partly scientific roots of this question I will restrain from expressing my own opinion as much as possible. Because of the philosophical side of the question the reader will be put into some of these perspectives so the point behind it can be better understood.

The hypothesis for the upcoming research is that of course the chances are that we are not living in a computer simulation but the points that will be explored may compose that it is possible to be living in a computer simulation. In order to understand a justified conclusion to the answer there are many philosophical and scientific points that we must explore. So, a specific hypothesis is hard to create.

Abstract:

Referring to the simulation argument proposed my Nick Bostrom [1], he argues that one of the three possible points must be true (1) The human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. These three points follow the belief that a civilization could reach a posthuman stage.

Nick Bostrom’s Three arguments

Posthuman or post-human is a concept that originates and tends to stay within the fields of science fiction. It is a state that a living being, human or non-human that transcends a state of being human, this could refer to humans that have physically evolved past any state that resembles todays humans, they could have cured aging which allowed them to live for hundreds and maybe thousands of years. this could also be that they are incredibly intelligent and able to for example create a very sophisticated and advanced computer simulation or answer impossible questions that are tens of thousands of years ahead of humans that exist today.

Of course, Nick Bostrom’s argument does not state that we are living in a simulation, he provides us with three options. The first option explains that humans will become extinct before we reach a posthuman stage. This considering human nature is the most likely of the three. In fact, mathematician Dr Fergus Simpson [2] predicts that there is a 0.2% chance of a “global catastrophe” occurring in any given year over the course of the 21st Century.

The second option proposes that any posthuman civilisation would be extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations of). This is the second most likely option due to how specific the simulation argument is, there is always a large chance that as the option states the posthumans could just “not do it”, to put it plainly (I go into more detail later in the paper).  This option also has an interesting point that any posthuman civilisation could be the one to create or in this case not create the simulation. If the nature of the simulation is to simulate a whole universe then we could be involved as programs whether human descendants create it, or any other alien simulation would create it.

The third option makes quite a bold statement that we are indeed living in a computer simulation, to explain why this statement is logically correct I must propose a mathematical look to it using probability. If we could imagine that a posthuman stage is reached, and they did in fact decide to create a simulation of their ancestors (us), then who is saying that we or they are in fact the biological original. If a simulation of this magnitude is feasible and if it has happened then maybe it would happen again, maybe many times, but if all these simulations where spawned inside other simulations then there could be an incredibly large number of simulations. If this is so then the chances of us being the original are quite slim and therefore it is safe to assume (if the original two points have not met) we are indeed living in simulation. I will explore this point further later in the paper.

The Assumption of Substrate-Independence

If we want a computer simulation to process a human’s mind down to a perfect detail and for each person in the simulation to truly be their own cognitive person then we need a Substrate-Independent mind. This is the idea that our minds are not limited to only being our brain cells, but that we can transfer our minds or create others to exist in other ways, for our example as a computer program. Of course, this isn’t necessary, the posthumans could program a neural network to act just like a human.

This is believed to be possible because the human consciousness is nothing more than electric signals being passed around the brain, our sense of awareness that makes us feel special is argued to just be a side effect of intelligence. We could call it a survival technique, when we are threatened or on the verge of death that last burst of energy and strength could be brought on by our willingness to save ourselves. There are arguments saying that a human consciousness is spiritual and almost supernatural, but the computer simulation argument isn’t going to get anywhere with that assumption. so, we will accept that it is only a matter of time until we can program a human mind using code and computer hardware.

Very small factors on a microscopic level that effect a neuron can be ignored for example nerve growth factors and negligible chemical releases in the synapse would not affect the signals being sent between neurons. Although it would lack authenticity the posthumans could program a human to react to curtain stimuli in a way identical to humans in that the consequences of which ensure the integrity and relatability of the simulation with authentic humans. The only challenges in creating a digital mind lies in programming the syntax of consciousness as we still do not fully understand what it is, we can only assume that in the future our increasing intelligence will eventually shed some light on the mind.

The processing power and other computational needs

 

Our technological advancements in computing have been, and are continuing to be rapidly increasing. there was a time where the only computer game was pong, it consisted of a few 2D shapes interacting with each other. Now only 47 years later our computer games are set in vast 3D worlds with a graphical resolution of up to 4K pixels, in these games we can play with over a hundred different players simultaneously all around the world, we have also recently developed virtual reality headsets that can provide an equal level of detail and immersion. Eventually if our progress continues at this rate the difference between the programmed world and reality will become increasingly small and eventually non-existent. 

 

Our proposed posthuman computer simulation does not need to process and implement every single quantum particle in that universe, neither does it need to process the size of the universe. If the intentions of this simulation where to for example study the 21st Century human’s anatomy or characteristics, then why would it need to for example process what a planet temperature is outside of our current observable universe. In short, the computer would not need to process information that would not affect the outcome of the study. An interesting example of this type of simulation comes from an episode of an American sitcom called Rick and Morty [3] Season 1 episode 4, “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!”. In this episode protagonist Morty comes to the attention that he is living in a computer simulation ran by aliens. He removes himself from the simulation by literally jumping out of it! The simulation was being created in the physical world around him and when the computer is hacked by Morty’s Grandfather Rick, rendering it unable to create more of his world he runs out of it as you would run of a stopping treadmill. Another interesting computing variable explored by this show was when the computer needed to simulate a much larger area the detail and efficiency of the simulation decreased e.g. The artificial intelligence robots used to pose as other humans started to act less like humans and more like cattle. It is explained by Rick that this is all because of the lack of processing power. 

Obviously right now we cannot create a conscious mind in a computer, we lack the processing power and software required to do so. But at the rate of which our technological advancements are going we will eventually meet the point where we can implement a human mind as a computer program. For our simulation argument it simply does not matter whether the amount of time it takes to achieve this goal equates to 50 years or even 500 million years from now. In both cases and almost all other ones we can still create our simulation just a little later!

We currently have quite a good idea of how much processing power is required to emulate a human brain, taken from an article written by S. Orca on “H+ magazines” [4], he states that the human cortex has about 22 billion neurons and 220 trillion synapses. A supercomputer capable of running a software simulation of the human brain doesn’t yet exist. Researchers estimate that it would require at least a machine with a computational capacity of 36.8 petaflops (a petaflop is a thousand trillion floating point operations per second). Now despite that sounding like a lot of processing power, the world’s most powerful super computer lives America and is known as “Summit [5]”, this computer’s processing power peaks at a staggering 200 petaflops. This shows that our current computers do have the raw power to emulate a human mind.

The human mind also stores memories, information that it has learnt to be stored away for future use. Well our computers do that as well, they store it in their memory. As far as how much our brain needs were also calculated in the same article from S. Orca to be around 3.2 petabytes. Of course, when it comes to whether we can provide for this it is incredibly easy, you can buy a rack server from tech outlets that can store up to 5 petabytes of data. And more efficient / larger storage technologies are being developed with each passing decade.

Of course, if you are in a computer simulation, you have the whole world around you? Not just your mind with free will and awareness but a whole world full of intelligent beings with the same attributes. Unfortunately it is quite futile to try and calculate how much processing power is needed to emulate the rest of the universe, of course the scale of your desired simulation can affect your needed processing as I said before you could only need to simulate the earth, all other objects in the sky could just be “lights” and if any of it is needed to be interacted with e.g. Asteroid or the moon landing then the post humans can just tweak the simulation slightly to continue to entertain the humans with false objects like just adding the section of the moon that was walked on for that time. But if the posthumans want to emulate whole star systems and galaxies then we can only use our understanding of how much our computers have developed and see that eventually we will reach these milestones.

Core reasoning

 

After some (although not completely un-controversial) proof and reasoning for a computer simulation of this nature to be possible we must address why our descendants would most likely not be the posthumans to create the simulation but that we (considering Nick Bostrom’s first two points are not fulfilled) are most definitely living in a simulation, If the computer simulation has the programs in that simulation reach a posthuman stage then there is indeed a god chance that they will create a very similar computer simulation. This can create a loop of an enormous amount of computer simulations all inside each other, all believing they are the original biological posthumans. Now if you were to spread all these simulations out (there could be a near infinite number) and throw a dart at one, what are the chances of that simulation being the first one, or the creators of that simulation being the first posthumans to do so. With this probability alone there is a near infinite chance that we are not the biological originals and are in fact living in a computer simulation.

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So, if you can imagine that in your world you meet a brick wall, as a regular human you can assume that it is hard, heavy, have a pretty pattern and real. But if you were to zoom in to it at an atomic level you would see that it is made from atoms that relative to their size are quite spaced out and detached from each other, But their molecular bonds and how their individual particles interact with each other govern how we interact with the wall, but we don’t see this or think about it every time we see one. So, you could say that on an atomic level the brick wall might not seem hard, heavy or real (but still quite pretty I’m sure). Now I would like you to imagine you are playing a video game and you come across a brick wall, the fundamental building blocks of this object is code. Both code and particles cannot be seen by the human so who is to say the brick wall is not made from code. And every time you look into an electron microscope the posthumans have installed a subroutine that shows you the particles you should be seeing. I know this is quite a bold example, but my point is that the posthumans could be similar to game developers in terms of immersion and keeping the simulation a secret.

To make the simulation easier to run and achieve stability it could utilize a kind of Technological Solipsism. Solipsism is the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist. Imagine putting on a virtual reality headset and playing a game. To make the game less straining on the graphical processing unit when you are looking in a direction the space behind you has not yet been rendered or processed yet, it waits for you to look at that point for it to be loaded. The posthumans could take advantage of this by only loading the area of the simulation you interact with. All your personal belongings in your closed wardrobe may not exist right now and only pop into existence when you are about to open the door. This would just like in the VR game reduce the workload of the simulation’s computer.

The second of Nick Bostrom’s three points states, “any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof)”. This may sound quite straight forward, the idea of the posthumans simply not wanting to. But there is more behind this point when you consider the nature of how intelligent these people will be. To be able to create a computer architecture that can support this magnitude of processing the posthuman race will be like gods compared to us. Imagine the most intelligent ant in the world walking into a movie theatre and seeing a collection of us humans sitting down in rows of seats eating popcorn and watching a flashy light in the shape of large humans on a big wall. It would seem nonsensical to the ant, and no matter how hard you try to explain the experience to the ant it would never understand. This could give you a rough idea of hoping to understand anything a posthuman would do. As said buy the “Kurzgesagt [6]” YouTube channel, “it is quite arrogant to assume these gods would create this computer simulation on something as insignificantly dumb as us?”

What could a reason be for the posthumans to create a simulation of this magnitude? One theory also brought to light by Nick Bostrom [1] is that we are living in an ancestral simulation, similar in intention to a history channels re-enactment of a battleground. But its real, we have or at least possess the illusion of free will. The posthumans may have wanted to see our first trip to mars or just what humanity looked like as it aged among the millions of years before it. I admit they must want some immense detail and it seems like quite a lot of effort to do so but they are the posthumans and I’m sure if they did want to it’s for a good reason.

Now it could be that our world that feels so real and is so perfectly normal that we can’t be in a simulation turns out to be completely artificial. The posthumans reality could have completely different laws of physics or fundamental variables that they didn’t include or change in our simulated reality. Referring to “Plato’s Allegory of the cave [7]”, where prisoners are chained in a cave forced to look in only one direction at a wall. There is a fire in this cave behind the prisoners that shines on puppets also behind the prisoners that cast a shadow on the wall they all face (See below). To these prisoners the cave around them and the shadow figures are their world, all sounds emanating from outside the cave and lights flickering seem to be all created by the shadow figures. If these poor prisoners where to escape then they would not know what to do with themselves in the outside world, it would be like stepping into another dimension. We could apply this to our experience in our world, everything we know we know to be right only because it’s what we’ve always known, or we hadn’t known better. So, the posthumans can manipulate its simulations programs (us) to know whatever they want as true reality. This could make all evidence for our reality being the original biological one simulated by the posthumans for insurance.

 

Quantum Monte Carlo effect

 

Students at the university of Oxford have done an experiment to try and create a computer simulation of the Quantum Monte Carlo effect or QMC [8] In short, the QMC is a phenomenon in physical systems that exhibit strong magnetic fields and very low temperatures, and manifests as an energy current that runs across the temperature gradient. They had to use random sampling to analyse many-body quantum problems where the equations involved cannot be solved directly. They discovered that the complexity of the simulation increases exponentially as more particles are analysed. So, the more information the computer had to analyse the more processing power it needs, this is quite self-explanatory for most computer programs, but this increases exponentially. So, every particle you add to analyse you must double the processing power. The researchers calculated that just storing information about a couple of hundred electrons would require a computer memory that would physically require more atoms than exist in the observable universe.

The QMC is a perfect example of a solid evidential proof that we are not living in a computer simulation and it cannot be ignored but that doesn’t mean we can’t refer to the author of the paper about the QMC, Zohar Ringel, “Who knows what the computing capabilities are of whatever simulates us?”. And I must link back to what I said about the posthumans controlling our reality and making their own laws of physics and computing for us to live with. This gives the philosophy I am applying to this argument an arrogant stance that it truly doesn’t matter what evidence is provided. So, it can be understandably ignored as useful and more of a trump card.

Conclusion

The probability of any race reaching a posthuman stage is extremely slim, the probability of a posthuman race running an ancestral based computer simulation is also extremely slim, if by some miracle these points are fulfilled then the probability of people with our kind if experiences that are living in a simulation is very likely. Whether a computer of a magnitude that could simulate a mind would be created is most likely possible, all of entirety around us can be manipulated to seem real, but just a program in its natural form. We know at least with our current understandings of physics that the entire observable universe down to its quantum level cannot be processed by any machine, we know this because of the QMC study and general nature of quantum entity’s. So, it comes down to whether us as a species overcome a very low probability of excellence then we must face a very high probability of gloominess. 

External links and sources:

[1] – https://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html#ftn2

[2] – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/mathematician-humans-extinct-2017-apocalypse-                      fergus-simpson-doomsday-argument-a7426451.html

[3] – https://www.adultswim.com/streams/rick-and-morty 

[4] – http://hplusmagazine.com/2009/04/07/brain-chip/ 

[5] – https://www.olcf.ornl.gov/summit/

[6] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlTKTTt47WE

[7] – https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm

[8](picture)  – https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm 

[9] – https://cosmosmagazine.com/physics/physicists-find-we-re-not-living-in-a-computer-simulation  

By Henry Mills

Similarities and Differences between 21st Century Living and the Medieval Ages

Compare the assumptions and expectations of medieval society, especially those of the common people, with what contemporary American society expects from life today.

Introduction

Are we better off than our ancestors? Many scholars have made attempts to identify how societies have changed in the 21st century compared to our ancestors.  This essay will focus on finding out similarities and differences between the common man’s expectations and assumption in the 21st century and the medieval age. It will then assess that the arguments concerning the similarities are stronger than the arguments concerning the differences with the use of various examples, namely, power dynamics of gender, race, ethnicity & religion, and prison and healthcare reform.

Key views of similarities and differences

There are two views on the differences in the public’s expectations and assumptions in the 21st century and the medieval period. Proponents of the traditional view that the events which occurred after the medieval age may have led to significant development and betterment of people, thus differentiating the expectations of the public from the medieval age.  Authors like Boroda (Boroda, 2008) argue that the peasants were living in a worse condition during the medieval ages. This was because the peasants were living in poverty and had no rights. The feudal system was prominent in the medieval age, whereby only lords own lands while the landless, called the peasants, worked on the lands belonging to the lords (Sider and Smith, 1997). The lords would allow the peasants to live on the land and cultivate crops if the peasants paid taxes (Sider and Smith, 1997). The farm work is often relatively more labor-intensive and the taxes that the peasants had to pay made them poorer with the time (Sider and Smith, 1997). The social Marxist revolt which liberated peasants did not take place until the 19th century. Hence, laborers in the medieval age did not have rights as that in the 21st century and thus lived in worse conditions (Sider and Smith, 1997) (Boroda, 2008). The peasant’s situation worsened due to the Black Death epidemic and the Hundred Years war, which increased poverty (Wuetherick, 2008). Even though agriculture was the main source of income, the epidemic and the war led 70 percent of peasants to search for jobs outside agriculture (Boroda, 2008). Ashton and Landen (Ashton, 1997) argue that it was only after the 17th-century industrial revolution that people started living a better life due to the rise of innovations and technologies.

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On the contrary, authors like Becker and Linder (Becker, 1965) (Linder, 1970) rightfully argue that the progress in technology that has so-called led development in human society has created new problems. For example, even if high labor-intensive work has been replaced by automatization, people are becoming less joyful as their leisure time has taken over with the abundance of other available commodities (Becker, 1965) (Linder, 1970).  Although slavery that became prominent in Vikings during the medieval age has been abolished, a new kind of slavery like in the form of wrongful imprisonment or detention is increasing in the modern era (Raffield, 2019). Some authors even suggest that a lot of new problems have been created in the 21st century which the people in the medieval ages didn’t have to worry about, including but not limited to climate change, social media influences, and fake news. The climate change in the 21st century is giving rise to new diseases and impacting farming everywhere, similar to the impact of Little ice age on agriculture in the 13th century (Boroda, 2008). Introduction of technology has improved daily lives of people in the 21st century, but at the same time oversharing due to social media has not only increased loneliness and depression among the youth (Sidani et al, 2016) but also increased racial, ethnic, and religious violence due to fake news.

Although the arguments that we are better off than our ancestors hold true since the materialistic expectations and assumptions of the public have changed since the medieval age, the basis of the latter view that the core of social expectations and assumptions of the public are the same in the medieval age and the 21st century holds true due to the following reasons.

Gender power dynamics

Power dynamics in society may affect the expectations and assumptions of people. Henceforth, understanding power dynamics in the medieval age and the 21st century will help in better understanding of the expectations and assumptions of the public to a certain extent. Firstly, understanding gender power dynamics in both periods may help us in identifying the expectations and assumptions of different genders. As Nelson and Rio  (Nelson and Rio, 2013) define the medieval period as “an age when private power was almost synonymous with public power”, patriarchy was evidently present except a few examples like Joan of Arc. A woman was always considered as not to be an own entity in herself but as a property of someone else, if married then belonging to the husband and if unmarried then belonging to her father (McNamara and Wemple, 1973). To enforce this belonging and the system of dower and dowry, women were not given many property and inheritance rights (McNamara and Wemple, 1973). Although in the 21st-century most of the women do have property and inheritance rights, factors like unequal pay in the workforce and lower representation of women in government reflect the concept of private power being synonym to the public power enabled by the patriarchy (Thornley, 2006). Although in the medieval age, some countries did have a few women rights written in their laws, kings and aristocrats who generally constituted all men gave judgments on the cases without understanding the woman’s side (McNamara and Wemple, 1973). Similarly, in the 21st century, politicians and corporate heads, which are represented mostly by men make decisions on women’s issues (Thornley, 2006).

On the other spectrum of gender power dynamics, men who chose peace instead of war were branded as less manly than the ones who fought wars or were more aggressive (Stewart, 2017). Similarly, the men in the 21st century often face similar toxic masculinity which has increased suicide rates among men (Payne and Swamy, 2018).

Racial, Religious, and Ethnic power dynamics

Another indicator of the power dynamic can be race and ethnicity. The impression of race, which is determined by the orientation of a person, was relatively much less obvious in the medieval age than the current situation in the US (Bartlett, 2001). While the impact of ethnicity is commonly seen in both the 21st century and medieval ages, religion had a greater impact on medieval ages than race (Bartlett, 2001). In the 21st century, the impact of immigration in the US from Asia and Latin America has encouraged a social debate. In the medieval ages, the impact of ethnicity became profound due to long-lasting wars such as the Hundred Years war (Wuetherick, 2008). While terrorism has created religion-based atrocities in the 21st century America, the dominance of Crusaders representing the Catholics in medieval ages led to suppressing of other minority religions (Bartlett, 2001).

Prison reforms and healthcare

Finally, the power dynamic represented through prison reform is a common social issue prominent in both the 21st century America and also in the medieval age.  The justice system and the punishments in the medieval age were relatively harsher and cruel than in the 21st century (Winter, 2013). The prisons in the 21st century are generally more humane than the medieval age. However, the public from both periods was demanding prison reforms due to corrupt law enforcement systems (Campbell and Denov, 2004). In the 21st century, people are protesting for wrongful imprisonments due to racial power dynamic (Campbell and Denov, 2004). In the medieval age during the 13th century,  the city’s governor would detain anyone he merely thought to be guilty of a crime or whoever was a threat to his power even though the law at that time had prohibited such behavior (Winter, 2013).

Innovations in healthcare were next to none. Antibiotics and other procedure weren’t present through the medieval age. Medicine manuals mostly content natural remedies (Connelly, 2018). That is why when the outbreak of plague like the Black Fever occurred, it spread very quickly killing about 40 million people (Boroda, 2008). During this time, the inequality between the elite and the peasants grew since the elite could take measures and live in isolation to avoid getting sick while the peasants couldn’t afford such isolation (Boroda, 2008). The income gap also increased due to the economic burden falling on the peasants (Boroda, 2008). Unlike the Black Death, the modern medicine and communication system has timely stagnated the outbreaks of epidemics such as Ebola. Even though the healthcare sector has seen some life-saving innovations, in the 21st century the burden of healthcare still falls on the poor (Stone, 2009).

Conclusion

For finding out similarities and differences in the common man’s expectations and assumptions in the 21st century compared to the medieval age, this essay has first discussed individually the arguments for and against the similarities being greater than the differences. It has then given examples of social power dynamics and shown that the living standards in both periods are different, but at the core of it, all the social issues remain somewhat similar. This, in turn, has shown that the similarities in expectations and assumptions are greater than the differences between the two periods.

In practice, to make the society better than our ancestors, we need to be aware of the profound impact that the medieval age has had on the issues and progressions of the 21st century which underlines the similarities in social issues.

Work cited

McNamara, J. A., & Wemple, S. (1973). The power of women through the family in medieval Europe: 500-1100. Feminist Studies, 1(3/4), 126-141.

Nelson, J., & Rio, A. (2013). Women and laws in early medieval Europe. The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, 103-17.

Stewart, M. E. (2017). The Danger of the Soft Life: Manly and Unmanly Romans in Procopius’s Gothic War. Journal of Late Antiquity, 10(2), 473-502.

Bartlett, R. (2001). Medieval and modern concepts of race and ethnicity. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 31(1), 39-56.

Connelly, E. (2018). “My Written Books of Surgery in the Englishe Tonge”: The London Company of Barber-Surgeons and the Lylye of Medicynes. Manuscript Studies, 2(2), 4.

Raffield, B. (2019). The slave markets of the Viking world: comparative perspectives on an ‘invisible archaeology’. Slavery & Abolition, 1-24.

Winter, C. (2013). Prisons and Punishments in Late Medieval London (Doctoral dissertation, University of London).

Boroda, K. (2008). Plague and changes in medieval European society and economy in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Journal of Arts and Science, 10(1), 49-59.

Wuetherick, B. (2008). A Reevaluation of the Impact of the Hundred Years War On The Rural Economy and Society of England. Past Imperfect, 8.

Sider, G. M., & Smith, G. A. (Eds.). (1997). Between history and histories: The making of silences and commemorations (Vol. 11). University of Toronto Press.

Ashton, T. S. (1997). The industrial revolution 1760-1830. OUP Catalogue.

Lin, L. Y., Sidani, J. E., Shensa, A., Radovic, A., Miller, E., Colditz, J. B., … & Primack, B. A. (2016). Association between social media use and depression among US young adults. Depression and anxiety, 33(4), 323-331.

Thornley, C. (2006). Unequal and low pay in the public sector. Industrial Relations Journal, 37(4), 344-358.

Payne, S., Swami, V., & Stanistreet, D. L. (2008). The social construction of gender and its influence on suicide: a review of the literature. Journal of Men’s Health, 5(1), 23-35.

Campbell, K., & Denov, M. (2004). The burden of innocence: Coping with a wrongful imprisonment. Canadian journal of criminology and criminal justice, 46(2), 139-164.

Stone, P. W. (2009). Economic burden of healthcare-associated infections: an American perspective. Expert review of pharmacoeconomics & outcomes research, 9(5), 417-422.

 

Active Living for the Older Person

Annmarie Leonard
Introduction
I am required to compile a report on active living in retirement for the older person. I have to include answers to the following four questions:

The role of the carer/organisations in promoting positive attitudes to ageing and retirement.
Ethnic and cultural influences on the older person in relation to retirement.
How health promotion and therapeutic interventions can enhance quality of life for person after retirement.
Discuss how family members can be included as partners in care for the older person.

The methodology I will be using throughout is the internet, books, library, work experience, personal experience and my own local facilities. I will be referencing throughout and I will have a bibliography at the end.
Who is an older person? Who has the right to put an age on it? NOBODY. Each of us are individuals and our daily living is completely different so therefore our level of energy, fitness and so on are also different. We are all unique in our own ways. Society today has different views on age, some think 40 is old and others say 50 is old, when in actual fact age is only a number. People preparing for retirement should never be made to feel like there life is ending. They need to be supported by their families and friends in order to make the transition from working 5 days a week for the last 40 odd years to having a lot more free time on their hands. A positive attitude towards retirement is a must also and you will find that the fear for these people is quiet strong and may cause them a lot of stress and anguish if they are not supported emotionally and reassured about everything including the bright future that lies ahead for them. The services and activities available in their local area will show them that there life is still well and truly for living. My own area of Edenderry supplies a wide range of activities for not only retiring people but also stuff that there family may want to become involved with. My local nursing home Ofalia House runs a day care centre in their premises which supply numerous activities for the older people in the community. These include daily games of bingo which all generations enjoy. I pop along with my nanny every now and then. Arts and Crafts, Pottery and Exercise classes are also available. Some services include a hairdressers at reduced rates so it won’t break the bank. (Ofalia House 2015) Along with what I believe to be an amazing service called “Meals On Wheels”. (Meals on Wheels 2014) They supply dinners to locals who for whatever reason may not wish to attend the day care facility. This service is very convenient for people and reasonably priced saving them time and money.

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My local library also runs a chess class for all ages on a Wednesday evening from 7pm-8pm. Arts and Crafts is also on here on a Wednesday morning from 11am-1pm. (Offaly County Council 2014) My local GAA club also runs bingo every Sunday night. This could be suitable for people who like to go out of an evening as opposed to playing at the day care centre. Again all the family can join in. (Edenderry GAA 2014) There are also a number of organisations which aid with retirement and other needs for the older person, some of which include Age Action, Bluebird Care, Active Retirement Ireland and Age & Opportunity. These are amazing sites with loads of information for the retiring person their family and also their possible healthcare assistants. It is also the carer’s duty along with the families in order to show encouragement and to be positive about everything. I would also be offering my hand of friendship which in turn will lead to their trust in me and I would take the time to sit and talk about their life experiences through which I have no doubt that I would gain loads of knowledge from and I would value every second that I was in their company. Sometimes all that is needed is a good chat and a cup of tea. They need to be felt valued and that their voice is been heard.
Factoring in the person’s religious beliefs is also an important factor. A recent report carried out in Poland shows that 46% of the people asked associated retirement with “ill health”. It is important to put a plan into action in order to change people’s mind set and prove that retirement really is there to enjoy. (Poland Country Report 2014) Ireland and Poland differ in this regard as I don’t feel Ireland relates retirement with so much negativity. Although some find the transition hard they do gel well into it and realise how much fun it can be. Retirement age is 66 in Ireland and currently 60 for women in Poland and 65 for men. However this is been hired up to 67 for both this year. (The Independent 2015) This in turn will allow polish people more time to adjust to retirement as I feel that especially 60 for a woman is too young. Also I have seen how well respected and treated the older people in Poland are as opposed to Ireland where we seem to treat them like their babies when in actual fact they have more wisdom and life experience than any of us. This needs to change. People need to wake up and realise that they are fully grown human beings and they need to be treated that way. It is extremely important to take care of an older person’s health. Always remember however that the older person is always the leader of any discussions appointments or plans which concern them. This will make them feel a sense of self-worth and that they are been included in every aspect and overall the goal is the same, to make sure they live out their retirement to its full potential and do everything they choose to. As you may find they have taken a drop in wages from weekly earnings to just the pension. Some people may have prepared for retirement by saving each week but the majority of people in this climate have little or no savings and these are the ones that will struggle financially. Reflecting on my own personal experience with my grandparents, they were bringing up their children in the 60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s and 00’s so they didn’t have money to prepare for retirement as every cent went on providing food clothing and shelter for their children. Although now they aren’t struggling I felt the need to ask one question. If it was a choice between food and heat what would you pick? Heat… I think you would find the majority of older people will pick heat. Therefore it is important that both the family and healthcare assistant are aware of this and arrange regular check-ups with the doctor who will keep an eye on their overall health as poor diet can lead to malnutrition. The doctor will do up a list of healthy and cheap foods in order for the person to be able to stay in full health and afford to be able to do so. I have enclosed a copy of a food pyramid for the older person. (Tufts 2002)
Therapeutic therapies are extremely important. The availability of which include physio therapy which is located in my own local day care centre. This will help with their overall ability to move around better, circulate their bodies and also having fun at the same time. These therapies don’t have to be kept serious they can be made enjoyable for all involved. (Ofalia House 2014) According to their level of strength and fitness suitable exercises should be combined and made into a fun activity, get all the family involved, it could be a walk along the canal to feed the ducks, it could be horse riding or it could even be yoga. Family can play a very active role here and at the same time without realising it they are putting a smile on their loved one’s face and making them feel alive and that life really can be fun. Another beneficial therapy may include occupational therapy which will help encourage people to live out and achieve their dreams, be it a simple task or a bigger task/ambition. Leaflets on healthy balanced diets and fitness can be found in your local doctors or in some cases the library. Visiting is extremely important also as it shows that they are taught and cared about so much. Some will have down days and need your support, be it emotional or physical, you just need to be there in whatever role you can.
Conclusion
Upon completing this assignment I have found that my local area caters very well for helping the older generation in preparing and dealing with retirement. It has a number of facilities, activities and support networks in place in order to encourage and support them through the process. However if I were to make one point it would be to maybe try and set up an outdoors club, i.e. a walking club, gardening club and so on. This would be beneficial to both the individual and their family. As a community however I found that there is still massive stigma associated with the older people and again begs the question… “How old is old?”
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”
(Ireland Calling 2014)
Bibliography
 
Online Images
Tufts (2002). Food Guide Pyramid for Older Adults {online image}, available: http://www.highfiber-health.com/images/Seniors_food_pyramid.gif
{Accessed 2nd January 2015}
Personal One to One Conversations
Farrell V. (2015) Ofalia House. Edenderry. Co. Offaly
Reports
Poland Country Report (2014) The Changing Face of Retirement {online}, available: http://www.aegon.com/Documents/aegon-com/Research/2014-Retirement-Survey/Country-Reports/Aegon-Retirement-Survey-2014-Poland.pdf
Websites
Age Action (2014) Promotes positive ageing and better policies and services for older people {online}, available: http://www.ageaction.ie/
{Accessed 29th December 2014}
Age & Opportunity (2014) Life is for Living {online}, available: http://www.ageandopportunity.ie/about
{Accessed 2nd January 2015}
Bluebird Care (2014) Care at Home and in the Community {online}, available: http://bluebirdcare.ie
{Accessed Date 2nd January 2015}
Edenderry GAA (2014) Cumann Luthchleas Gael {online}, available: http://www.edenderrygaa.com/
{Accessed 30th December 2014}
Ireland Calling (2014) CS Lewis quotes {online}, available:
http://www.irelandcalling.ie/cs-lewis-quotes
{Accessed 5th January 2015}
Offaly County Council (2014) Edenderry Library {online}, available: http://www.offaly.ie/eng/Services/Libraries/Library_Branches/Edenderry_Library/
{Accessed 2nd January 2015}
The Independent (2015) Poland raises retirement age to 67 {online}, available: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/poland-raises-retirement-age-to-67-7736903.html
{Accessed 22nd January 2015
 

Debate on Morality and Hedonism in Living a Good Life

What makes a good life?

Introduction

For centuries, philosophers like Aristotle and Socrates have debated what it means to have a good life. This is due to the simple that most people would like to be happy and die without regrets. It was important to these well-known philosophers that they uncover the true meaning of a good life since they believed it was crucial for humans to live well. This essay seeks to answer the research question: “what makes a good life?”  After investigation of the topic, clearly a good life is subjective and obviously different depending on the person asked. Humans strive to be happy and feel fulfilled in life. For example, they create bucket lists and celebrations of death. This is to experience importance and success when goals are accomplished. Because the lives of people are quite different in various aspects, it is difficult to reach one solution as to how a “good life” can be reached. “Good” is quite subjective and differs on who is asked. Still, the arguments are quite similar. The arguments always have an underlying theme of likeness. A good life includes a balance of hedonism, healthy relationships, and morality to achieve this common goal.

Hedonism and Pleasure in an Average Life

To have a good life, people must live with hedonism. It is common for humans to participate in excessive pleasures that can greatly decrease a person’s happiness. However, the argument can be made that some form of pleasure in activities are extremely important due to its relevance in modern life. People should indulge in pleasure that they find thrilling. An example of this is shown by Friedrich Nietzsche in his book “Will to Power” when he affirms that dominance being gained creates a byproduct of humans experiencing satisfaction and dissatisfaction. To elaborate, humans are creatures that tend to look upwards for power in their lives. Humans want to be the best in all they do because life is so competitive for them. School, academics, and recreational activities start to become hostile environments. To succeed in the aspects of their lives, people partake in outrageous activities to get ahead of each other. Humans are forced to choose options that result in pleasure that may impact them gravely sometime. This is not necessarily a terrible thing because people must learn from their experiences. Humans will not stop their harmful actions until they attempt them. This leads to a trial and error in which they will overcome naturally to become the best person they can be. Humans gain a sense of pleasure from indulging in activities that are deemed unlawful in society. This idea of pleasure can also be found in the quotation by psychologist Paul Bloom: “for all of our pleasures. . . beliefs about the true nature of these experiences will always make a difference,” meaning that humans pre-judge situations before knowing the reality of it (Lillie, 2015). Additionally, people who are given great knowledge of something before they experience it are more likely to enjoy it. This is due to the pressure of being liked and the idea that society’s opinion of a person is the absolute truth. In this way, society is extremely detrimental to young minds. The failure to formulate a singular opinion could lead to the loss of individuality. Likes and dislikes make up a large part of personality and how humans react to certain event. Partaking in pleasures leads to climbing a ladder of success. Conforming to others is the opposite of this. Conformation results in being caught up in the feelings of self-doubt. Indulging in pleasures that are genuinely liked is a big part of happiness; people should start to understand what and how their conforming changes them. In the words of Morten L. Kringelbach and Kent C. Berridge, in their manuscript “The Neuroscience of Happiness and Pleasure,” it is expressed that “80 percent also rate their current hedonic mood as positive,” showing the clear link between physical pleasure and happiness. Undoubtedly, happiness plays a large part in a good life. Happiness is a state where most people would like to see themselves in. Mental illnesses are a form of disorders that prohibit people from taking part in hedonistic pleasure while making many sufferers extremely sad and devastated. People find themselves indulging in physical pleasure to distract themselves from the harsh realities of day to day living that torment all people at some point. This could also be why many people take drugs for recreational drugs. Although drugs are dangerous in many cases, it is felt among drug users that drugs provide an escape. The pleasure of these physical possessions can provide a sense of relaxation.

The Impact of Relationships

Not only is pleasure a large part of a good life, but relationships are also a vital part. This is not limited to romantic relationships but also includes relationships with coworkers, family, friends, and strangers. The way a person is perceived in society leads to their success in many aspects of their life which is common globally. This is quite evident in the excerpt “. . . people who had happy marriages in their 80s reported that their moods didn’t suffer even on the days when they had more physical pain,” showing that relationships are a huge factor in the content of people’s lives (Mineo, 2017). There is an obvious link between being happy and being in a healthy relationship. The way partners may react to each other may help one overcome dark times. Two are usually better than one and this could also be applied to relationships as well. A support system is great for people as isolation leads to boredom and sadness. Although a little of alone time is not harmful, doing things with a partner can significantly boost moods. While feeling lonely, people with a support system can obviously dig themselves out of a hole a lot easier than those who are alone. Isolated people often feel lonely and disconnected from others. Social interaction is healthy and challenging for the brain. People without mental health issues usually take in a healthy amount of social interaction that also includes spending time with others. Their happiness creates a joyful repeated experience that makes a good life. It was also found that relationships with family members led to 74 percent of people to claim they were happy (Ianzito, 2012). This proves the obvious claim that family makes people happier. In a healthy family, the children will often grow up creating wholesome relationships throughout their lives. The bonds families create are quite strong and unlike the relationships of those in abusive families. Parents have an especially important role in caring and developing and child that will grow up in a functioning society. The child could make a great impact in their life and it is the parent’s job to set an example of what the child should be doing to achieve happiness in their day to day life. This could greatly influence the success of the children because of the great habits. These familial relationships create an outline for whether a person can have a good life due to many issues that may arise during their lifetime. This is a huge impact and can influence a child’s life forever. Another illustration is that participants in a study who considered themselves more content were often described by peers as extroverted and friendly (Simon-Thomas, 2015). The correlation between social interaction and happiness is evident and shows that people feel better after being in social situations. Even introverts can benefit from being around loved ones or close friends. Humans have been social creatures through the early years of the species when they would hunt and live in groups or families. It is biologically ingrained in human’s DNA that they must interact with others. The presence of those that make people happy is an extreme form of empowerment and positivity. Of course, it is beneficial that the people have a positive relationship already.  Positive relationships can significantly impact happiness and quality of life.

Morality Regarding a Good Life

While hedonism and healthy relationships provide good lives, morality also plays a role. Many agree that a good life is one that allows someone to be helpful to lots of other people. This does not necessarily mean that everybody must become world leaders or activists like Martin Luther King Jr., but it does mean that it is everybody’s job to be a decent human being who shows compassion to others no matter what. A great statement regarding this is “The average life expectancy in Japan at 82 years is one of the highest anywhere, while crime levels are among the lowest,” showing the correlation between moral standing and life (Carr, 2014). This is not to say that a long life is good or to say that the law is always moral. Many laws are immoral; however, they often reflect the ideas that society shares in a certain place. Japan must be very healthy and quite happy in their lives or many would have died earlier due to stress caused by sadness. The longer the life, the happier the people are, and the happier people are, the better their life is. In a life where people could impact others’ lives positively, there is no reason they should try to purposely hurt others. It is quite difficult for one singular person to judge morality, but many  in government can this. It is important to think freely but people would also be better off following the law. It is also noted that “. . .  foremostly in relation to the improvement of one’s own moral behavior . . . Happiness is identified with virtue and has little voice of its own,” as a correlation between the two (DeGroot, Happiness and Morality: How far can Happiness make us Moral?). Clearly the relationship between the two is simple. A moral life leads to one that is better in many ways. For one, it will be a lot kinder. The good given to others will come back slowly and help with personal issues. All people have the choice between good and evil in life. This could be the difference between a good life. It could be linked to the decisions made regarding others and what is fair for all people and creature in life. This is bigger than one person; it includes many or even a friend. The good in others start to bloom inside and this changes everyday activities. Life feels joyful when others are happy too. The environment people are in impacts them and shows what they do make a difference in the world. As an example, the IB Learner Profile declares that the students from this elite program show discipline at the face of negative outcomes and respond to unfavorable situations with equity and nobility. This brings forth the fact that dignified student who show great effort and success in education have high senses of morality which is quite important. The crucialness of morality is undeniable and is the only chance at society being the closest to fair and equal. If humans all did their part to follow a certain moral code, a lot of problems like crimes would be solved. It is a major deal that all humans use morality as a key. Selfishness and greed block morality at times which much come to an end. Morality is the idea that leads to a successful life as helping and doing for other is extremely impactful.

Conclusion

This essay answered the question: what is a good life? A good life in some ways does correlate with experiences and life choices. This depends on the person, and the decisions they choose to make regarding their life. A good life impacts all people in the world. This is absent of religion, race, or any other difference in humans. People all around are affected daily by this concept of a good life. All people are capable of a good life and all can achieve this common goal. All people are striving towards a good life which com be accomplished with hard-work and dedication. What society tells us is not always fact, so it does lead to straying away from society’s standards at time and following personal targets. Morality is an idea that can only be made by oneself and leads to the worldly pleasure for all. The hedonism can be gained determination and sacrifice. Relationships require moral choices to be made that impact the strength of it.

References

Carr, Deborah, et al. “Happy Marriage, Happy Life? Marital Quality and Subjective Well-Being in Later Life.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Oct. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4158846/.

de Groot, Akshaya. “Happiness and Morality: How Far Can Happiness Make Us Moral.” Academia.edu, 2016, www.academia.edu/30173597/Happiness_and_Morality_How_far_can_Happiness_make_us_Moral.

Ianzito, Christina. “How to Be Happy – Friends, Family and Good Health Key – AARP Study…” AARP, AARP, 4 June 2012, www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-06-2012/how-to-be-happy.html.

IB Organization. “Learner Profile for IB Students.” International Baccalaureate®, www.ibo.org/benefits/learner-profile/.

Kringelbach, Morten L, and Kent C Berridge. “The Neuroscience of Happiness and Pleasure.” Social Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3008658/.

Lillie, Ben. “Why Pleasure Is Important.” Ted, Ted, 7 Dec. 2015, ideas.ted.com/why-pleasure-is-important/.

Mineo, Liz. “Over Nearly 80 Years, Harvard Study Has Been Showing How to Live a Healthy and Happy Life.” Harvard Gazette, Harvard Gazette, 26 Nov. 2018, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-a-healthy-and-happy-life/.

Nietzsche, Freidrich. Will To Power. Dover Pubens, 2019.

Simon-Thomas, Emiliana R. “Want to Be Happy? Make Your Relationships Exceptional.” Greater Good, Berkeley, 9 Nov. 2015, greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/want_to_be_happy_make_your_relationships_exceptional.

 

Social and Economic Barriers to Ethical Living

Is ethical living possible? What are the social and economic barriers which may prevent us from ensuring that everyone has a chance to live ‘ethically’?

Living ethically has been a longstanding part of human thought, with most of the current key ethical issues shaped by the over consumption of the worlds resources such as land, water and energy required for food production and the conflicting issues pertaining to growth in human population and food scarcity (Decker 2009, p. 579). The ethical questions of how we continue to sustain life amidst these challenges.  Ethical consumption being the purchasing and consumption that is considerate of societal and animal welfare, environmental concerns and development and Fairtrade issues such as labour practices (Ariztia T, Agloni, N & Pellandini-Simanyi 2018). 

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The question the essay will be exploring is who gets to choose and participate in living ethically? and can the individual when given the choice and opportunity to participate in ethical consumption make a difference? Particularly it will draw on what influences our choices and will look at the organic farming industry as a leading example of sustainable solutions. The essay will look specially at the point of view of the consumer and the discourse that emerges from history, media, societal values, religious beliefs and economic class (Thoughtco 2018). These discourses shape what we know, how we think and what we have access to. These inform our choices, which are representative of self and community identity. The essay will not be unpacking food habits pre-industrialisation/pre- globalisation but stating that choices significantly differed and were incredibly limited compared to contemporary times, nor will it unpack the ethical considerations farmers and corporate organisations should be ethically responsible for. 

Sociologists have played a role in the study of food ethics by researching the role of globalisation and its significant consequences of the discourses that affect food habits within individuals and communities as these contribute to the development and sustainability of our societies.  Sociologists look at societal changes by examining individual consumption choices and forming connection of moral contribution vs conscious intent (Sirian 2012). Sociologists perspectives on morality supports the understanding of consumption, who is the ethical consumer? and why do they choose what they choose? The vegetarian may choose to not eat meat, potentially based on diet and improving their health and/or the repercussion on the environment and/or an uneasiness for animal cruelty (Deckers 2009). The sociological concept referred to as ‘Mcdonaldization’ was created by American sociologists George ritzer, this notion creates an impersonal world that places significant value of efficiency,rationality, and control.  Ritzer states that too much of this creates spaces that breakdown individual freedom of choice and individuality which enables people to conform to one way of being (McDonaldization 2003.  This theory has been used by sociologists to explore how individual freedoms. Inshort “Mcdonaldization” theory is the opposite of ethical living. The more we consume, the more we want, regardless of how we create the products we consume.

 

The history of ethics has its roots shaped by authoritive institutions such as religious and academic spaces in particular philosophy, who have claimed access to a divine way of being.  Those who hold secular ideologies, that being non-spiritual, non-religious also fundamentally claim ethical discovery. Historical ethical mentors predominantly have been from these fields and have provided humanity with guidance on how to live (Kitcher P 2013). A range of different disciplines such as Anthropology have focused on explaining the motives, values and reasons that influence ethical consumption and the ethical consumer choice (Kitcher P 2013, p. 394).  These choices and dilemma’s have stemmed from free trade policies which were created in the 70’s that supported globalisation of products by removing regulatory barriers.

Free trade increased a nation’s economic growth, this model was not based on moral decisions, as with it came cheap labour (usually by marginalised groups), unsafe working conditions and the overuse and damage of natural resources (Wilkinson 2015).  Free trade has its national interests at heart, regardless of moral obligations to ‘other’.  Large scale food production saw significant changes to the environment, issues of land usage such as deforestations, the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from animal farming has surpassed global transportation emissions. These all have significant negative effects on overall global climate change (Deckers 2009).  Ethical ways of living and who delivers those messages has seen a shift, growth and change over time. Celebrity chefs are one of those that deliver key messages of ethical food choices due to their large scale audiences, their messages are highly influential as they have become cultural icons specially within Western middleclass societies. Chefs partnering with larger organisations such as Coles and Woolworths provides another platform to influence. Jamie Oliver a renowned chef has utilised this space to spread notions of ethical consumerism, he motioned with Woolworths who agreed to phase out the shelving of cage eggs by 2018and also utilised television where he replicated the way male chicks are killed. Oliver mentioned that the shelves where cleared of caged eggs the morning after (Lewis & Huber 2015) There is an assumption that marketing and television provides information that will stimulate ‘better’ choices. “We imitate what we see in real life and on screen and that’s where we take our social cues from” (Joy 2012, p.88) Using media as a vehicle to inspire ethical living such as “good planet media” whose simple idea of using media, film and television as a way to spread messages to influence societal norms and shift cultural thinking (Joy 2012). This is a great way to inform and provide access to education across social and economic barriers. Gone are the days when deciding what food to eat was based only on local resources, choice now comes with a whole array of new questions, options and ethical food dilemmas.

Industrialisation and globalisation have been major contributors of change, there are many more choices, their choice of what to consume or what not to consume affects others. The 70’s and 80’s saw a growing ethical and quality food production “stamp” which reinforced societal attention to the environment, labour conditions and animal welfare, called Fair trade. The fair trade movement set standards and polices that defined contemporary benchmarks of our world food systems and become a contributing factor in decisions and choices. It incorporates the labour rights of all and the care of the environment whilst being reflective of the responsibility of all involved, from producers to the consumers (Wilkinson 2015). One of the main differences is that there is usually a higher price attached to food products that have been produced under fair trade due to more expensive costs to produce the product ie wage costs (Deckers 2009?). Surian (2012) discusses that food costs play a significant role in mediating food choice, particular lower social economic groups who often use their resources to pay for other living essentials such as housing. The assumptions that can be made is that those who have less financial resources would be less likely to pay more money for a similar product they can get for significantly less,  especially if there is no information about how the product differs. Who gets to live ethically is determinant on economic and social withstanding’s and can be based on the notion of altruism, we should do the most good we can. Kitcher states that human altruism “still cramps and twists the lives of billions”(2013). The privilege of choice, should those that have the opportunity to choose ethical products, be made to? Should the choice to choose otherwise, be removed?

To choose what food you consume and to know and understand why you choose, is the privilege of education. Food choices and consciously deciding what you will and what you will not purchase is a privilege of economic freedom. However, Ariztia,Agloni and Pellandini-Sim anyi (2018) argue that ethical consumption definitions often are undertheorized in regards to the relation between individual choice and consumption. They note that there is a strong need to focus on the moral underpinnings of consumption practices and that these then have a flow on effect to ethical decisions that are created. Therefore suggesting that ethical practice is generated from moral thought and not the other way around.  Kitcher (2013) mentions how our lives are “hostage to the distribution” of fundamental resources and dominated by continuing historical influential traditions such as religion who claim a particular way of living is the “right way” to exist. (5, p 15). This is backed up by Ariztia,Agloni and Pellandini-Sim anyi (2018) who comment that individual choice is contingent on infrastructures that goes beyond the individual.  This challenge and explores the notion of “choice”, that even though the ethical consumer is a powerful medium can individuals and their ethical choices lead to a collective change when ‘choice’ is possibly a mirage? Their sentiments represent that our choices are not endless, they are confined (Pottinger 3, p. 661).

Based on economic, cultural, historic, social factors there are barriers to living ethically that  have been inspired by religious and historic customs. Societal values and norms also place a hierarchy on what is considered more important than other matters, some countries focus predominately on climate change and the environment, others on building economic stability and growth. (ref) Class and education also create spaces that educate certain ideologies based on what is considered the “right” way to live. Education institutions as mentioned by Kitcher (2013) impose barriers to freedom of thought and all too often promote a biased concept of what is worth pursuing. The question of why we should choose ethical consumption has some very straight forward rationalities. There is extensive evidence of inequality between countries which results in abuse of human rights. These stats provide an indication of the unbalance of resources and power and also provides a form of reasoning as to why conscious ethical decision making should be rule not the exception.

925 Million people do not have enough to eat

2/3 of the worlds hungry live in just 7 countries

1.7 billion lack access to clean water and 2.3 billion suffer from water borne diseases each year (Kitcher 2013, p. 15)

The global and local impact of our food choices and what we consumer hold great consequences for which we live, to communities, locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Access to food is an individual’s right but the choice to consume food ethically is limited when your resources to access food in the first place is also limited.

The more consumers are aware of their consumption choices’ and the impacts of those choices, the higher the possibility that they could influence environmental, political and social spaces. The ethical consumer has the power to shift and demand alternative ways of doing and being that are more in-line to their ethical viewpoints (Lewis & Huber 2015, p. 474).

The Thai government have strongly reinforced and encouraged organic farming. Organic produce benefits are not only health related due to non-chemical input but also keeps in mind, animal and societal welfare along with environmental issues. These benefits often are not visually seen by the consumer. Media and government polices have educated and influenced these sustainable methods of food production which have supports and sustains a self-sufficient economy (Sriwaranun, Gan, Lee and Cohen’s (2014).  Sriwaranun, Gan, Lee and Cohen’s (2014) research stated that most organic vegetables were commonly 100-170% more than other products. The research also unpacks interesting information about who and who doesn’t purchase organic produce.

51,7% of the interviewed people says that they are not able to buy it because of its more expensive pricing.

being privileged by people between 30 and 49 years of age regardless of their education (Sriwaranun, Gan, Lee and Cohen’s 2014).

Organic farming and consumption of organic food is one way of providing an antidote to ‘McDonaldisation’ (Pottinger 2013). Kitcher (2013) discusses weather living ethical living is possible for all quite simply states that it is possible, for all to be feed, to have shelter, education  but that is only possible if the size of the human population does not exceed superlative numbers. Kitcer does not go on to say what those numbers would be.

In conclusion globalisation and industrialisation has impacted our natural resources and have abused basic human rights by taking advantage of vulnerable minority groups. Due to this global frameworks and national policies have come into place such as fair trade, which ensures a minimal ethical living standard that the ethical consumer consciously takes in reflection within their everyday choices. Media, film and television and other forms of information sharing has seen a growth in moral and environmental concern,  these mediums influence consumers choice. Although individual behaviours have a limited impact on change but without the individual we would have not created the fair trade movement. More work needs to be done for those groups that do not get to participant in ethical living due to their economic status within societies. I do not believe treating all people equally equates to equality, opportunities need to be provided to those who do not have the privledge to consume ethically.  If the individual can shift societal norms and gain a collective concern to shift individual norms this would form a rule and the exception would be the alternative way of living. Individual behaviours and attitudes can form part of the collective,

References:

 

Ariztia T, Agloni, N & Pellandini-Simanyi, L 2018, ‘Ethical living: relinking ethics and consumption through care in Chile and Brazil’, British Journal of Sociology, vol. 69, no. 3, pp. 391-411.   

Cole, N 2018, What is discource? Thoughtco, viewed 5 October 2018, https://www.thoughtco.com/discourse-definition-3026070>.

Deckers, J 2009, ‘Vegetarianism, Sentimental or Ethical?’, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, vol. 22, pp. 573-597.  

Joy, R 2012, ‘Good planet media: Inspiring the shift to sustainable, healthy and ethical               living through media’, Goinggreen, p./pp. 88- 89.

Kitcher, P 2013, ‘Experiments of living: an ethical stance for the human future’, The Humanist, vol. 73, no. 1, pp.

Lewis, T & Huber, A 2015, ‘A Revolution in an Eggcup?’, Food, Culture & Society, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 289 – 307.  

Pottinger, L 2013, ‘Ethical Food Consumption and the City plans’, Geography Compass, vol.               10, no. 1, pp. 659–668. 

Sirian, A 2012, ‘Unlearning food predictability’, Italian Sociological Review, vol. 2, pp. 116-123.  

Sriwaranum Y, Gan C, Lee M & Cohen D 2014,’Consumers willingness to pay for organic products in Thailand’, Emerald Insight, Vol 42, No. 5, pp.480 – 510

Wilkinson, J 2015, ‘Food security and the global agrifood system: Ethical issues in historical and sociological perspective’, Global Food Security, vol. 7, pp. 9-14. 

2003,‘What is McDonaldization’, Mcdonaldization, viewed 20th October 2018

 

A Living Seed Bank for Forest Restoration

Toronto heritage trees: A living Seed Bank for Forest Restoration

Background and Rationale

Urban trees, as an important component of the urban environment, are essential because of the benefits or functions that they can bring to the entire community (McPherson, 2006; City of Toronto, 2013; Beacon Environmental Limited with Urban Forest Innovations Inc, 2016; Greene et al., 2018). From the ecological aspect, city trees can absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen thus reduce Greenhouse gas emissions further mitigate heat island effect and slow down climate change (City of Toronto, 2010; City of Toronto, 2013; Greene et al., 2018). From the social aspect, city trees can benefit humans in providing shade, promoting health and contributing to the energy-saving (Tyrväinen et al., 2005; City of Toronto, 2013; Ordóñez & Duinker, 2013).

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There is a tremendous need for forest restoration of local, national and global scales (McPherson, 2006; City of Toronto, 2013; United Nations, 2019). And considering 40% of canopy cover (a valuable metric for a healthy urban forest) can optimal the benefits brought by urban trees while maintaining urban forest sustainability, the City of Toronto’s council planned to increase canopy cover from 26-28% to 40% within 50 years in 2004 and included this goal into Toronto’s Strategic Forest Management Plan (SFMP) (Heynen & Lindsey, 2003; City of Toronto, 2010; City of Toronto, 2013; Beacon Environmental Limited with Urban Forest Innovations Inc, 2016). To achieve this goal, the city of Toronto decided to plant at least 100,000 trees per year(Beacon Environmental Limited with Urban Forest Innovations Inc, 2016) 

A large number of seeds are required to forest restorations considering the uncertainties during seed germination, seed survival rate, tree planting process and mortality rates (average 3%) (Lombardo & McCarthy, 2009; City of Toronto, 2013). Thus, seed source is one of the most important aspects of forest restoration and for the City of Toronto little is known about the exact time location to obtain good and stable seed source (Wang, 1974; Ontario Woodlot Association, 2015; Melissa, 2016).

Heritage trees are trees existed in a long period of history and old age that contains history and culture value (Forests Ontario, 2013). Large, old heritage trees have a high probability of containing original local-provenance genes that are adapted to the urban environment, local climate conditions and local biodiversity (Ontario Woodlot Association, 2015; Gellie et al., 2016; Ivetić et al., 2016; Forests Ontario, 2019).  And native trees help maintain forest resiliency and the need for native species was mentioned in SFMP (City of Toronto, 2013; Ordóñez & Duinker, 2013; Conway & Vander, 2015). Thus, the local heritage trees can act as a valuable potential seed source based on the adaptations to the local environment and this is also supported by SFMP (City of Toronto, 2013; Zhang et al., 2019). There are a total of 73 tree species native to Toronto, while the City of Toronto has a total of 115-116 tree species with only 43 native species (37%) and 72 nonnative species (63%) (Fig.1) (City of Toronto, 2013; Eric Davies, 2014). 

  However, local-provenance trees are not well-studied because of the differences and unpredictability of different tree species’ crop sizes, seed obtain availability and commercially availability (Wang, 1974). For example, some species are easier to get seeds as they are abundant and produce seed more frequently than other species, like northern red oak (Quercus rubra), good and mature acorn production often with 1-3 year cycle and acorn require two seasons to be mature (Dey, 1995; Healy et al., 1999; Ontario Tree Seed Plant, 2014). While other species may be harder as they are rare and the interval of producing seeds is longer like white oak (Quercus alba), with 4-10 years reproduction cycle (Dey, 1995; Ontario Tree Seed Plant, 2014). And because seed obtains availability varies with different trees and different species have different population abundance and seed periodicity (production interval) thus leading to the short supply and lack of understanding of the local seeds (Dey, 1995; Ontario Tree Seed Plant, 2014; Wesołowski & Maziarz, 2015). The red oak seeds (acorns) are actually in high demand due to the collection difficulty and favoured by customers (Ontario Tree Seed Plant, 2014).   

  Therefore, more information about when and where to collect seeds, which related to seed forecast, is required for the continuing seed supply of Toronto’s local heritage trees which is in high practical value (Wang, 1974). The more forecasted of seed crops, the higher the possibility of reducing resource waste and ensure not missing the good crop time (Ontario Tree Seed Plant, 2014). Although the Ontario tree plant provided good guidance, the exact timing of seed production and periodicity are not always accurate in the field. Suggested by the Ontario tree plant (2014), acorns from red oaks are ready to be collected in September but according to previous years’ study and experience, they are actually ready in August, which means the real situation may be different from the reference manual and may result in missing of seed collection if lacking practical study of local heritage trees.

Research Objectives

This project has four main components: 1) review the policy of Toronto’s urban forestry restoration and determine the need as well as opportunity for local seeds, 2) review the ecological characters of Toronto native trees and evaluate their seed collecting availability and rank their prioritization, 3) conduct fieldwork to obtain data on seed availability, 4) outline the opportunity for using Toronto heritage trees as a seed source for local forest restoration.

Method & materials

Firstly, is the review of the City of Toronto’s policy related to forest restoration by searching related documents, try to find out where the City use local native tree seeds and send questionnaires to find out how much seeds they used and for what species and further conclude the need of native tree’s seed in the City of Toronto. 

Secondly, is the review of the ecological characters of Toronto native trees including their seed production intervals, population abundance and current status. Then evaluate their seed collecting availability by searching related documents and rank their prioritization by their population abundant and seed production intervals.  Thirdly, is to conduct fieldwork to obtain data on seed availability followed the methods from previous 2015-2018 Eric’s study- MFC thesis (Jane Michener: A Protocol for Seed Forecasting Oaks in the Toronto Ravines, 2016; Lepoivre Vincent: Old growth trees, seed collection in Toronto, 2017; Mathiled Kropin: Links Between Seed Forecasting and Tree’s Characteristics and Emilien Soulat: Internship Report A2, 2018) and made some updates. Study was conducted in Toronto ravines within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Cedarvale Ravine, Nordheimer Ravine, Rosedale Valley, Park Drive, Evergreen Brickworks, Edwards Gardens, Blythwood Ravine, Sherwood Ravine, Burke Brook Ravine, Sunnybrook Ravine, Crothers Woods, E.T Seton Park, Vale of Avoca, and Moore Park Ravine. And also downtown Toronto areas like the University of Toronto campus and Queen’s Park.

For Tree inventory and mapping, Eric Davies’s Google map-Big trees of Toronto (Fig.2) combined with the phone’s Google Maps app was used to find the exact location of those big trees, this tree map was developed for four years (2016-2018) mainly for native tree species in ravine areas in GTA and this is the fourth year (2019). So we only added and mapped big trees that are not on the map. We found the way to those areas by public transport first; when we meet with big trees (diameter at breast height (DBH) larger than 50 cm) that are not on our map we 1) identify each tree species, 2) give every tree a number, 3) record down their exact location by using GPS or Google maps, 4) measure DBH (in centimetres) at 1.37 meters by using Richter 5m Tree Diameter Tape and 5) measure tree height (in meters) by using Nikon Forestry Pro-Laser Rangefinder (Fig.3)  at least 10m away from the tree and from the top of the tree’s canopy to the base (Fig.3). If we are not able to see the tree’s canopy, the height will be recorded as “Unknown”; if we are not able to get close to the tree, DBH will be recorded as “Unknown”. 

For tree seed forecasting, this project’s method was continuously followed by the method of 2015-2019 Eric’s study-MFC thesis as mentioned above and made some updates.  We used Eric Davies’s Google map-Big trees of Toronto (Fig.2) and estimated this year’s (2019) crop size of some native tree species. And we focus on oaks species which are valuable not only because they are long-lived are species but also their acorns are important to the entire forest systems as well as human history (Auchmoody et al., 1993; Dey, 1995). Oak species we focus including red, white and bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and seed production of red oak for next year were also recorded (2020).

For oak species, we picked one side of the tree that we’re able to see the canopy through binoculars. Then, three random terminal branches were selected and RICOH PENTAX SD 8×42 WP binoculars for observing seeds on the branches will be used to observe the number of this year’s (2019) mature acorns (the second year acorn) on branches (Fig.4) and record down the numbers. Then under trees, we looked for branches that drop on the ground (because of wind or rain) to count the number of immature acorns (the first year acorn) (2020) (Fig.4). If we cannot identify those branches on the ground drop from which specific tree, we will not take the branches as well as the acorns into account and the 2020 seed forecast data will be recorded as “NA”. The Mean Acorn number and standard error were calculated by adding up three branches’ acorns amount and divided by three (three branches), then add and minus 2 as the standard source of Error.

For other native species, as we did for oak species, we also picked different sides of the tree that we’re able to see the canopy and used binoculars to observe the number of seeds (cone/samara/fruit) on terminal branches. We tried to observe three branches for every tree and recorded down the exact number of seeds (cone/samara/fruit) produced in this year. The Seed forecasted data are recorded as 0 (without seed) and 1 (with seed) for every tree. Data were collected and then imported to Excel for further analysis.

 Expected outcome

My expected outcomes including 1) the review of the policy of the City of Toronto urban forestry restoration, conclusion of the need and opportunity of local seeds and researches on present seed supply; 2) the review the ecological characters of Toronto native trees and evaluation of their seed collecting availability and developed a species list by ranking their species prioritization; 3) conducted fieldwork including tree mapping map and inventory more old-growth native trees within ravines areas and seed forecast overall tree species in the exiting Big tree map and checked the seed availability of native trees; 4) the outline of the possibility of using local heritage trees as living seed bank and seed source for seed supply to forest restoration. Management implication

This project can further increase the possibility of seed supply of local-provenance tree seeds to around 10,000 seeds per species per year and maybe more for some species with short seed production internal and abundant. This means, increasing the number of native species’ seedlings, saplings and trees for forest restoration. And start to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of local genes in climate adaptation, biodiversity and carbon sequence aspects.

 

Literature cited

Auchmoody, L. R., Smith, H. C., & Walters, R. S. (1993). Acorn production in northern red oak stands in northwestern Pennsylvania. Res. Pap. NE-680. Radnor, PA: US. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p., 680.

Beacon Environmental Limited with Urban Forest Innovations Inc (2016). Actions to Grow Toronto’s Tree Canopy. Retrieved 7 October 2019, from https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/pe/bgrd/backgroundfile-97020.pdf

City of Toronto. (2010). Every tree counts: A portrait of Toronto’s urban forest.

City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Urban Forestry (2013). Sustaining & Expanding the Urban Forest: Toronto’s Strategic Forest Management Plan. Toronto, Ontario.

Conway, T. M., & Vander Vecht, J. (2015). Growing a diverse urban forest: Species selection decisions by practitioners planting and supplying trees. Landscape and Urban Planning, 138, 1-10.

Dey, D. C. (1995). Acorn production in red oak. Forest Research Information Paper. No. 127. 1995. pp. 1-22, (127).

Eric Davies. (2014). North American cities, Toronto.Retrieved 10 October 2019, from http://www.ericdavies.ca/toronto.html

Forests Ontario. (2013). Trees Ontario’s Heritage Tree Program records and celebrates legacy tree landmarks. Retrieved 19 October 2019, from https://www.forestsontario.ca/blog/2013/07/26/trees-ontarios-heritage-tree-program-records-and-celebrates-legacy-tree-landmarks/

Forests Ontario. (2019). Toronto’s Trees Getting Back To Their Roots. Retrieved 11 October 2019, from   https://www.forestsontario.ca/blog/2009/05/19/torontos-trees-getting-back-to-their-roots/

Gellie, N. J., Breed, M. F., Thurgate, N., Kennedy, S. A., & Lowe, A. J. (2016). Local maladaptation in a foundation tree species: Implications for restoration. Biological conservation, 203, 226-232.

Greene, C. S., Robinson, P. J., & Millward, A. A. (2018). Canopy of advantage: Who benefits most from city trees?. Journal of environmental management, 208, 24-35.

Healy, W. M., Lewis, A. M., & Boose, E. F. (1999). Variation of red oak acorn production. Forest Ecology and Management, 116(1-3), 1-11.

Heynen, N. C., & Lindsey, G. (2003). Correlates of urban forest canopy cover: implications for local public works. Public Works Management & Policy, 8(1), 33-47.

Ivetić, V., Devetaković, J., Nonić, M., Stanković, D., & Šijačić-Nikolić, M. (2016). Genetic diversity and forest reproductive material-from seed source selection to planting. iForest-Biogeosciences and Forestry, 9(5), 801.

Lombardo, J. A., & McCarthy, B. C. (2009). Seed germination and seedling vigor of weevil-damaged acorns of red oak. Canadian journal of forest research, 39(8), 1600-1605.

McPherson, E. G. (2006). Urban forestry in north america. Renewable Resources Journal, 24(3), 8.

Melissa, S. (2016). Seed Source Matters! Conserving Genetic Diversity — Forest Gene Conservation Association.  Retrieved 19 October 2019, from https://fgca.net/2016/12/seed-source-matters/

Ontario Tree Seed Plant (2014). Seeds of Ontario Trees & Shrubs: Field Manual for Crop Forecasting and Collecting. Forest Gene Conservation Association for the Ontario Tree Seed Plant.

Ontario Woodlot Association. (2015). Why Seed Source Matters. Retrieved 11 October 2019, from https://www.ontariowoodlot.com/information/seeds-trees/why-seed-source-matters

Ordóñez, C., & Duinker, P. N. (2013). An analysis of urban forest management plans in Canada: Implications for urban forest management. Landscape and Urban Planning, 116, 36-47.

Tyrväinen, L., Pauleit, S., Seeland, K., & de Vries, S. (2005). Benefits and uses of urban forests and trees. In Urban forests and trees (pp. 81-114). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

United Nations. (2019). Global forest goals and targets of the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030.  Retrieved 19 October 2019, from https://www.un.org/esa/forests/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Global-Forest-Goals-booklet-Apr-2019.pdf

Wang, B. S. (1974). Tree-seed storage (Vol. 1335). Department of the Environment, Canadian Forestry Service.

Wesołowski, T., Rowiński, P., & Maziarz, M. (2015). Interannual variation in tree seed production in a primeval temperate forest: does masting prevail?. European journal of forest research, 134(1), 99-112.

Zhang, X., Bai, X., Hou, M., Chen, Z., & Manzanedo, R. D. (2019). Warmer winter ground temperatures trigger rapid growth of dahurian larch in the permafrost forests of northeast China. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124(5), 1088-1097.

Figures

Native and non-native tree species in Toronto

Source: http://www.ericdavies.ca/toronto.html

Eric Davies’s Google map-Big trees of Toronto

Source:https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1NZrbnqkVJj7fTX-QQxbJjePhYR1domev

Nikon Forestry Pro-Laser Rangefinder and operating principles

Source:https://www.craftys.co.nz/product/nikon-forestry-pro-laser-rangefinder-10-500-meter-3-point-measurement/

Red oak acorns in the first year (left) and second-year (mature) (right)

Source:http://www.kusemuseum-naturepreserve.org/Plants/Trees/RedOak.htm?fbclid=IwAR3vSyH6nysKDjd__YXD5CTwkPFYDh5F4Xurq8P5TT-VarpeLJwiS7MOKVI

 
 

An expository sermon on holy living

An expository sermon on Holy Living

Introduction
How many of you feel Holy this morning? Don’t worry you don’t have to lift up your hands. When some one talks about Holiness the first thing I think about it God and His holiness. This morning I want to talk about our call to a holy livinglife. We all know that we are called to live a holy life but what do we do about it. DO we make any effort towards it or are we just praying for God to make us Holy and waiting for fire to fall down from heaven to make us Holy. We live in a world where holiness has lost its meaning. In this contemporary society everything goes, we can do anything as long as we feel good about it. What is our responsibility in this world, What are we called to do in this un holy situation? So we are going to look at the reasons why we are called to live a Holy life.
Main Points
1. We are called to live a holy life because He is holy (1: 16)
A] Real meaning of holy
The word ‘Holy’ is derived from a cluster of words in Greek. It means to be pure, to be set apart, sanctify and so on. But no meaning of this word can describe it properly.[1] Christ was the perfect example for Holiness. ‘Be Holy for I am Holy’ is mentioned for about 5 times in the Bible. Holiness is not a new thing which the apostles discovered in the New Testament, it was present from the beginning of the Old Testament. He God gave Moses all the laws not to make their life difficult but to bring them one step closer to holiness; one step closer to Himself.

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B] One of the fundamental characteristics of God
God’s Holiness can neither be understood nor grasped by our human minds. Holiness is one of the images of God which was lost in the garden of Eden. It could be only replaced by God Himself, by dying on the cross and making us pure. HE is always Holy. We are called to live like Him. So we are called to be Holy. When we were made we were made in the image of God. One of His fundamental images is holiness. So we were obviously made Holy. But we fell from our holiness because of our disobedience. We are missing out in one of the fundamental images of God. We have to be made into his image so one day we can see His face. If we are not made into His image we will not see Him face to face. It is just as simple as that; if we are not holy, we will not see God.
C] Illustration
Once, as an experiment, the great scientist Isaac Newton stared at the image of the sun reflected in a mirror. The brightness burned into his retina, and he suffered temporary blindness. Even after he hid for three days behind closed shutters, still the bright spot would not fade from his vision. “I used all means to divert my imagination from the sun,” he writes, “But if I thought upon him I presently saw his picture though I was in the dark.” If he had stared a few minutes longer, Newton might have permanently lost all vision. The chemical receptors that govern eyesight cannot withstand the full force of unfiltered sunlight. There is a parable in Isaac Newton’s experiment, This is what the Israelites experienced in the wilderness. They had attempted to live with the Lord of the Universe visibly present in their midst; but, in the end, out of all the thousands who had so gladly fled Egypt, only two survived God’s Presence. They were all revealed and called to be Holy as God. But only two survived in the end.[2]
2. We are called to live a holy life because we do not conform to evil desires (1: 14)
A] We also have our share in Holiness (Hebrews 12: 14)
It is true that when we come to salvation in Christ He washes all our sins away and makes us Holy. We become perfect and clean through Jesus, but it is our duty to then keep ourselves clean. Holiness is not only what God can give to us but it is also what we can manifest with what He gave us. Paul says it quite clearly in Hebrews 12 : 14 (NIV) ” To make Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be Holy. ; Without without which we cannot see Godholiness no one will see the Lord”. Holiness is a serious matter. We tend to take God for granted. When we give in or conform to the evil desires of the world, we say that it wasn’t our fault but it is our flesh. We blame it on our human nature. Paul challenges us not to try to be holy but ‘take every effort possible’ in other words we must strive or even fight to be Holy. Effort means to use energy to get something done.[3] Holiness should be such a longing of our heart that we would put our whole energy to get it done.
B] No compromise in Holiness
Holiness is being spotlessly clean. Without Holiness we can never enter the presence of God. The Old Testament priests were the perfect example of this. The priest entered the presence of God only once a year. They dreaded that moment. Thought it was regarded very high to enter the Holy of Holies, it was dreadful at the same time. In that moment if they were found guilty of sin , there was no time for explanation they were just struck dead. They prepared themselves for the whole year for that one day in God’s presence, the presence of the Holy God. We are so privileged that there is no curtain between God and us, we don’t need a high priest to stand in for us anymore, Christ has already done it for us. We can enter God’s presence anytime anywhere we want. As for us its not a once a year thing it’s an every day thing. WE are living in the age of grace, God does not strike us dead anymore, though grace is available for free it is not cheap, so let us not take it for granted.
C] Illustration
In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives little animal called the ermine, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it.
Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don’t set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn’t enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life. – HGB[4]
It doesn’t always cost our lives to be Holy. But most of the time it could cost things or people that are dear to our hearts. When we are of this world, we make the things of the world our own. We usually cling to things and people which could take God’s place in our lives. So when we come to Christ we ought to replace them with Christ. When we do the right thing, even our own friends might not understand us, their there might even come times where we have to give them up for holiness, for there is no compromise on Holiness.
3. We are called to live a holy life because we were redeemed by the precious blood. (1: 23)
A] Free access to Holiness – The way of Holiness (Isaiah 35 : 8)
It is true that we don’t have to do anything to become Holy because we are washed by His blood. But we have to take effort in keeping it. It is quite clear in Isaiah 35: 8 that the way to God is holiness, there is no other way. Christ has done his part, by making the way. But to keep our self on the highway or to get kicked off lies on our hands. There is no place for unclean or wicked people on this road.
B] Set Apart to be an example
We are set apart and called to be holy not to seclude ourselves from the world but to be the light. D.L. Moody, A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine. One of the misconceptions in the churches today is that they become holy and they become literally set apart. They don’t associate or mingle with the people of this world. They develop something which is famously called as the Holy huddle. They become so ‘holy’ that the people of this world cannot even get close to them, they just have to be set apart. But that is not what God has called us to be. The difference between the Pharisees and Jesus was that Jesus toughed touched the unclean but they didn’t. The Pharisees where were Holy as well, they did everything God commanded them to, but they didn’t understand it. We are not called to be a Pharisee but we are called to be more like Him. We are not made Holy to be set in museums as specimens but to reach out to the unclean in turn. When we become ‘holy’ day by day let us be humbled by the fact that we don’t deserve it , but it is through grace. Reach out to make them Holy. As the story of Isaac Newton’s experience let our holiness hurt their eyes, not to chase them away from us but to draw them closer to Him who has called us to be ‘ Set apart’, ‘ to be Holy.
In conclusion let us make every effort to be more like Him every day. Let us just not sit back and pray for holiness but take every effort to be holy. Holiness is not only what God gives us but it is what we manifest with what He gave. Let us not compromise with the things of the world. Are we willing to lay down everything to pursue holiness? Holiness is not only works and deeds but is also passionately pursuing a relationship with God. Let us never compromise with holiness. If you are thinking that you have done all these all through out your life. You’ve always been pursuing God for holiness and have a wonderful relationship with God, then don’t become a Pharisee. Let us not settle down in that place in a holy huddle but let us affect others with our holiness. Let us be a light shining in this unholy land. We are set apart not to be in a museum but to be a light, that hurts the eyes but still draws them closer.
Bibliography
http://bible.org/illustration/ermine [03 September 2009]
Fwd. Ogilvie, L. J. Nelson’s Three in One Bible Reference Companion Nashville: Thomas nelson Publisher, 1982
[03 September 2009]
Ed.. Martin Ralph p. and Davids, Peter H, Dictionary of the Latter New Testament and its development Leicester: Inter Varsity Press, 1997.
[1] Ed. Ralh P. Martin and Peter H. Davids, Dictionary of the Latter New Testament and its development (Leicester: Inter Varsity Press, 1997), p. 485.
[2] [03 September 2009]
[3] Fwd. Dr. Llyod John Ogilvie, Nelson’s Three in One Bible Reference Companion (Nashville: Thomas nelson Publisher, 1982), p. 206.
[4] http://bible.org/illustration/ermine [03 September 2009]
 

Right to Adequate Standard of Living

RIGHT TO ADEQUATE STANDARD OF LIVING FOR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
INTRODUCTION
‘’ A RIGHT IS NOT WHAT SOMEONE GIVES YOU; IT’S WHAT NO ONE CAN TAKE FROM YOU ’’
–Ramsey Clark
Human rights exist to all human beings. Those rights are which is fundamental for living and other human existences. Such as, right to live, speech, work, movement, freedom etc. Whatever their nationality, colour, sex, religion, language or any other status they are all entitled to human rights. Human rights play a great role in everyone’s life but not everyone realizes it. Those should not be taken away. They are inalienable. But in some specific cases it can be restricted. For example if a person is caught by a court for a crime, the liberty right may be restricted.

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Engineers have meaningful ways to development. But many of us would wonder what engineers can do with human rights. Indeed engineering has everything to do with human rights. As engineers it would be more important to ensure human rights of ours and people who works with us. Those lead to continue designing and implementing projects protecting standard of all living beings. In the 21 century, it seems that there will be increasing engineering opportunities in the human rights field.
So in this assignment we are suppose to understand about human rights and discuss about one human right recognized by the international convection on economics, social and cultural rights.
According to International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Article 12:
1. The states parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for:
a) The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child;
b) The improvement of all aspects of environment and industrial hygiene;
c) The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases;
d) The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness.
Everyone has the right to a living standard sufficient for the health and well being. Water is one of the measurements of measuring living standard. However without access to water other rights could not be exercised such as article 12. So everyone has the right to use clean and accessible water. And have to making sure that do not get sick from drinking it and from using it.
‘’ACCESS TO SAFE WATER IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN NEED AND THEREFORE A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT’’
–Kofi Annan

http://banksandhumanrights.ch/cs-rights?ci=10
For everyone the water supply must be sufficient for personal uses. Some uses are drinking, washing, domestic purposes, cooking, and personal hygiene. According to the data of the WHO (World Health Organization), a one person need between 50 and 100 liters of water per day. But due to population growth people can’t access safe drink water.
Lack access to drinking water – nearly one billion people
Lack access to sanitation -nearly 2.6 billion people
Die from sanitation related diseases per year -nearly 1.6 million people
…From WHO data

A boy collecting water from a drinking water pipe following a break in the pipe at Bangalore.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/activists-rap-bwssbs-leakage-reduction-project/article1063685.ece
Because of using unsafe drinking water there are many health problems have arising in Sri Lanka.Out of the 25 districts, more than 15 districts are affected by this problem. Waters in towns are polluted with domestic sewage and industrial effluents and toxic, and waters in rural areas are polluted with agricultural waste and fertilizers.
This planet is suitable for living from other planets due to the availability of water. The amount of drinking water in the world is very few. It is less than one percent. The government should provide safe drinking water to people. But Rathupaswala, Weliweriya water issue is yet to be solved. People in Rathupaswala faced a huge problem about their drinking water. Their drinking water was unhygienic due to an industrial waste of a glove factory in Nedungamuwa.According to observations; it was disclosed the PH content in the water was below 3.5 percent. Many residents get their drinking water from plastic tanks. But it was not satisfied..So they had to go to the nearest places looking for water. It has become an added burden to them. People had organized a protest at Weliweriya to regain their rights. But what they received was a rain of bullets instead of water. Three people were killed and over 40 were injured. The military has no right to intervene in civil protest. It is not good of involvement of military in civil affairs. We cannot accept it. So this Rathupaswala water problem becomes a human rights violation. This incident shocked the entire country.Eventhough the government has ordered to remove the glove factory, the problem still exist. Still people in Rathupaswala get their drinking water from black plastic tanks which they were provided.
Also there are many serious health problems because of using unsafe drinking water in Sri Lanka.People face difficulties to access drinking water in dry zone.
Pipe-borne water coverage in Sri Lanka – around 34%
….From 2008 national census
So the rest of the people depending on wells, hand pump tube wells, rain water harvesting tanks,canels,streams etc.Much of agriculture is located in the country hill and then toxic chemicals which are added to agriculture enter the country water system and are delivered to around the country. For example via the Mahaweli,Kelani,Kalu,Walawe.Then people who use this water as drinking water are caused health problems.Beacuse of this water pollution number of persons suffering from renal problems has increased. These diseases were leading death in Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, and Badulla.
What can chemical engineers do about the unsafe water problem?
1) This unsafe water and related health problems needs to be solved urgently. The first thing that needs to be done is stop polluting the water. The factories which are caused water pollution should be established with an environment conservation license and make sure they are reducing the use of toxic chemicals enter the water system.
2) Another step is treating sewage. Actually Sewage can be treated and reuse after chemical treatment.
3) In many situations treatment of water is necessary to make it suitable for drinking. The main health risk is, water is contamination with waste water. This introduces bacterias, viruses and it can be caused for waterborne diseases. So all pathogenic organisms must be removed. The following table shows the removal of some water contaminants by various treatment processes.   

0: no effect +: positive effect – : negative effect
Table taken from:http://www.lenntech.com/small-community-water-supplies.htm#ixzz2rJmibVU0
.

Desalination water will become an important water source in Sri Lanaka.It can help with water problems is to build plants to desalinate sea water. There are many ways to remove salt from sea water. Desalination technology will be considered in situations where sufficient water cannot be found. In some cases desalinate water may be cheaper. Desalination technology can be divided into two groups. They are desalting technology and membrane desalting. However these two types of methods can be used to get fresh water from sea water in Sri Lanka.

Water fluoridation

So as a chemical engineer, by using these methods we can solve this water problem. The world will be a better place when the human rights are approved by all people.

References

 

Dangers With Living in Close Proximity to Power Lines

Research Task:
ASSESSMENT OF DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH LIVING IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO POWER LINES

 
Introduction
There have been several deliberations about the biological effects of exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF) and their possible detrimental effects on the health of humans and animals over the years. Illnesses attributed to power lines include abnormal heart pulses, leukaemia, cancers, miscarriages, birth defects, and other conditions that might lead to premature death. Regardless of the conclusions of many studies that find no evident risks, many people remain uncertain about the safety of power lines. The aim of this investigation is to determine and discuss the ethical issues behind power lines in residential areas and whether there are dangers that should be seriously considered.
Research Question
Are electromagnetic fields around power lines harmful to people living in close proximity to them?
Hypothesis
Those exposed to power lines in close proximity for long periods of time may obtain health problems however the power lines are not the main cause of the health issue but rather a factor. The reason for this is that there is not sufficient research conducted to prove that power lines are dangerous and that no health programmes have advised people to refrain from living near power lines or protected them from them either. There are many possible risks associated with electromagnetic radiation as it is not only available from power lines but also from apparatus such as microwave ovens, computers, wireless networks and cell phones. However these are more powerful forms of electromagnetic fields that are essentially more detrimental to human health than power lines.
Data Research
All electricity is generated, transmitted, or used and electric and magnetic fields are created due to the existence and motion of electric charges. (Gledhill, 2014) An electromagnetic field (EMF) has two components: an electric field and a magnetic field. When two objects have a voltage difference between them, an electric field is created. There is an electric field between a power line and the ground below because the power line is at a large voltage relative to the ground. (Nedlands, 2006)The electric field is measured in volts per meter (V/m) or in kilovolts per meter (kV/m). (See Figure 1 below) A magnetic field exists when electric current flows through a wire. Thus magnetic fields surround the power lines conducting current from the power station to residential areas. (Geoff Cackett, 1979)Transformers decrease these high voltages for local distribution to homes and businesses.

Figure 1 – Graph indicating the relationship between the Magnetic Field and Distance from the High-Voltage Power Line (Runge, 2011)
The magnetic field from a power line can vary extensively because the current in the wires depends on the amount of power expended. In contrast, the electric field from a power line varies very little because the voltage fundamentally remains constant. In general, these fields are time-varying vector quantities categorised by a number of constraints which include their frequency, phase, direction, and magnitude. (Portier, 1998)

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Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are areas of energy that are invisible and connected with the usage of electrical power(Birnbaum, 2014)EMFs are characterized by wavelength or frequency into one of two radioactive categories: non-ionizing and ionizing.( See Figure 2 below) High-voltage power lines that transmit electricity expose anything nearby to electromagnetic radiation as they create electromagnetic fields around them. (Goldberg, 2014) Electromagnetic radiation is any form of energy that is sent as waves or rays between two places. Electricity and magnetism are both jointly responsible for many kinds of radiation. (Knapp, 2002)

Radiation Type

Definition

Forms of Radiation

Source Examples

Non-Ionizing

Low to mid-frequency radiation which is generally perceived as harmless due to its lack of potency.

Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
Radio frequency (RF)
Microwaves
Visual Light

Microwave ovens
Computers
House energy smart meters
Wireless (wifi) networks
Cell Phones
Bluetooth devices
Power lines
MRIs

Ionizing

Mid to high-frequency radiation which can, under certain circumstances, lead to cellular and or DNA damage with prolonged exposure.

Ultraviolet (UV)
X-Rays
Gamma

Ultraviolet light
X-Rays ranging from 30 * 1016Hz to 30 * 1019Hz
Somegamma rays

Figure 2 – Table indicating differences between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation types (Gledhill, 2014)
The strongest EMFs are found around those major transmissioned lines that carry the highest voltages and currents. EMFs are also present around suburban distribution systems that carry large currents but at much lower voltages,. (Nedlands, 2006)
Electric and magnetic fields are also different in the way they interact with our bodies. Electric fields have very little penetration, while magnetic fields can penetrate to our inner organs. (Toufexis, 1989)
A biological effect is any change that could occur either short term or long term in the physical state of the human body. (Runge, 2011) EMF’s are able to induce the conductive matter of the human body and may result in observed changes in the human health. The epidemiological studies have inspired laboratory research into how EMFs could be associated with cancer. It is generally recognised by researchers that EMFs cannot initiate a cancer. They suggest instead that EMFs may play a part in promoting the growth of an existing cancer.
Researchers from the University of Tasmania and Britain’s Bristol University(See Figure 3 below) found that in a study of 850 lymphoma, leukaemia and cancer related conditions that living for an elongated period near high-voltage power lines increased the risk for these conditions much later in life (Zeman, 2011). However, the British Medical Journal published a paper on the investigation of the effect of 50 Hz magnetic fields on the existence of several types of cancer and concluded by stating that the extremely low frequency magnetic fields of high voltage power lines at typical residential levels do not appear to be associated with an increase in cancer among various adults; this also pertains for the haematological malignancies and for tumours of the nervous system as well as for the male and female hormone related cancers in genitals. (Verkasalo., 1996) As for specific cancer types, the presence of extremely low frequency magnetic fields remains indefinite. Numerous studies appear to display a weak association between incidence of some cancers and the exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields. The reason for this is that the electromagnetic energy from power lines are of extremely low frequency and therefore low energy. They are evidently different in frequency from ionizing radiation such as X-rays and gamma rays and are non-ionizing. Biological material absorbs the energy from higher-frequency more readily. In contrast, extremely low frequency EMF does not have enough energy to heat body tissues or cause ionization. Generally, the evidence that power line fields cause or donate to cancer is weak to non-existent according to most scientists.

Figure 3 – The study conducted by the University of Tasmania and Britain’s Bristol University produced these results. (Zeman, 2011)
According to ESKOM and several other studies, electric fields of the intensity encountered close to power lines, cannot damage crops. (See Figure 4 below) Laboratory studies that expose animals to electromagnetic fields, looking for variations in body function, chemistry, behaviour or general health and have also concluded that they have no effect on the fertility, behaviour, carcass quality, reproduction, meat, milk and egg production or the development of their offspring. (Rayleigh, 2006)

Crop

Setting of study

Authors

Finding

Sunflower seeds

5 kV/m electric field

Marino et al, 1983

Reduced germination rates in a minority of the tests

Corn

500 kV power line

Hilson et al, 1983

Lower yields, but explanation not clear (suggested that it could reflect less spraying near power line)

Cotton, soy beans, clover

500 kV power line in Tennessee

Hilson et al, 1983

No effects

Various

765 kV power line in Indiana

Multiple reports

No effects

Various

1200 kV power line in Oregon

Multiple reports

No effects

Wheat

7.7 kV/m field, Japan

Endo et al, 1979

No effects

Pasture grass

1200 kV power line, USA

Rogers et al, 1983

No effects

Figure 4 – Table indicating results of various investigations conducted on the effects of power lines on crops (Rayleigh, 2006)
Disadvantages of power lines in residential areas:

Recent studies approve a reported association between eminent long term health risks (e.g. cancer) and proximity to residential power lines, but it is not certain if the observation is coincidental or not. Physical impossibility of any health effect has been argued by scientists due to weak levels of EMFs, while others uphold that the potential health risks should not be terminated. (Zeman, 2011)
The World Health Organization (WHO) publications state that EMF such as those from power lines, can also cause short term symptoms such as headaches, fatigue,anxiety, insomnia, prickling and/or burning skin, rashesand muscle pain. (Verkasalo., 1996)
Power lines are not visually appealing in residential areas and are more prone to external damage as they are exposed to people living around them.

Advantages of power lines in residential areas:

House prices are less expensive closer to power lines as people usually look for homes without obstructions.
Any technical or maintenance problems are fixed as soon as possible as many people depend on the residential power lines.
There is no compelling evidence of health hazards from power lines as many forms or research indicate that some health risks are associated with power lines in close proximity but it does not prove that they are the direct cause of any biological dangers. (Goldberg, 2014)

CONCLUSION
Therefore there are known health risks that appear to relate to power lines and their electromagnetic fields emitted but no evidence completely proves that biological effects have been conclusively demonstrated to be caused by living near high-voltage power lines. Many scientists believe that exposure to the low-level EMFs near power lines is safe, but some scientists continue research to look for possible health risks associated with these fields. The risks are clearly small if there are any risks associated with living near power lines.
References
 

Birnbaum, L. S., 2014. Department of Health and Human Services. [Online] Available at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/od/index.cfm [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Geoff Cackett, R. K. A. S., 1979. Core Physics. In: C. Ratray, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 211.
Gledhill, M., 2014. Electromagnetic fields (EMF). [Online] Available at: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/ [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Goldberg, R. B., 2014. Environment, Health and Safety. [Online] Available at: http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/emf.htm [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Knapp, B., 2002. Visual Science Encyclopedia. In: M. Sanders, ed. Heat and Energy. Danbury: Grolier Educational, pp. 13-14.
Nedlands, 2006. Powerlines, Electromagnetic Fields and Health. [Online] Available at: http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/cproot/1372/2/Powerlines_Electromagnetic_Fields_and_Health.pdf [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Portier, C. J., 1998. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. [Online] Available at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/assets/docs_a_e/emf1.pdf [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Rayleigh, R., 2006. EFFECT OF ELECTRICAL FIELDS, IONS AND NOISE. [Online] Available at: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/coarc/sites/default/files/publication/88 DC lines cattle crops (’88).pdf [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Runge, K., 2011. Eskom Fact Sheet. [Online] Available at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/emfrapid. [Accessed 3 August 2014].
Toufexis, A., 1989. Health: Panic Over Power Lines. Times Magazine, 127 July , pp. 40-42.
Verkasalo., D., 1996. British Medical Journal. [Online] Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/313/7064/1047.abstract [Accessed 3 August 2014].
Zeman, G., 2011. Health Physics Society. [Online] Available at: http://hps.org/hpspublications/articles/powerlines.html [Accessed 3 August 2014].

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Roper- Logan- Tierney Activities of Living Case Study

Introduction

Illness of one family member inevitably affects other family members and the whole family (Navidian, Rezaei and Payan, 2016).The purpose of this essay is to explore how to deal effectively with nursing problems; patient-centred care and holistic approach with the use of Roper- Logan- Tierney (2000) activities of living, which is based on twelve activities of daily living that includes breathing, temperature, personal hygiene, communication, eating and drinking, mobilizing, eliminating, maintain a safe environment, working and playing, expressing sexuality, sleeping and dying (roper, logan and Tierney, 2000).

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 In strict compliance with NMC Code (2018), Patient and hospital’s name used in this essay are changed for the purpose of privacy and confidentiality (Woogara , 2015). Mr Johnson, who is 75 years old, with body mass index of 30, went to the GP due to loss of balance, headache and impaired vision. His blood pressure was checked which indicates high blood pressure of 220/ 140 mmHg (Gov.Uk, 2019). Johnson was refered to hospital by the GP because of the high blood pressure where he was admitted in stroke unit. Martin and Manley, (2017) stated that an accurate assessment results to a good discharge and so, assessment becomes the first stage of every information collection

Dignity, Privacy and Confidentiality plays a vital role in patient care, therefore while observation and gathering information, Mr Johnson was communicated in loud tone as stipulated by Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2018).Initial assessment was carried out by the Nurse asking his past medical history, how often, for instance every five minutes and how severe is the loss of balance, how long he has been feeling dizziness and headache,  any high blood pressure history in his family, his health and lifestyle and some relevant questions regarding his condition. After that, general assessment concerning his level of response, ability to communicate, ability to see properly and difficulty in balancing (nhs.uk, 2019).  The Nurse asked the healthcare Assistant to do observation on Mr Johnson like taking his blood pressure to cross check the correspondent with 220/140 mmHg result from GP, his respiratory rate was 18%, body temperature 38oC, saturation level 94% ok, blood sugar 6.5 ok but his condition was not improving.  As she was checking and observing him, the healthcare Assistant  noticed that Mr Johnson was sweating profusely. The information from observation was recorded  and documented properly and informed the Nurse concerning her observations (The Royal College of Nursing, 2018).As a result of his sweating and dizziness, the Nurse took Mr Johnson’s blood sample for further test to check for infection and the cause of continuous severe headache. The result indicated danger and possible signs of stroke. The Nurse informed the Doctor to review and decided to send him to C T Scan to confirm any damage, the level of damage, minor or developing stroke before prescription. The CT brain Scan result shows ischaemic stroke that affected his brain. Ischaemic stroke happens whenever blood clot blocks the easy flow of oxygen and blood to the brain by plaques deposit (Furie and Jayaraman, 2018). The Doctor prescribed Alteplase injection for  Mr Johnson’s treatment which should be taken originally 900 micrograms/kg maximum each dose 90 mg. Treatment must commence immediately within 4.5 hours of symptom noticed; was administered in more than 60 minutes, the beginning 10% of dose was given through intravenous injection and  intravenous infusion (Dworzynski et al., 2015). The medication was effective and his health improved.

The Nurse prepared a care plan using The Activity of Living assessment tool by Roper-Logan-Tierney (2000).Holistic approach and centred care was effectively achieved as a result of the Nurse, Mr Johnson and his family being involved in order to give his opinion and be aware of the process and set target to be achieved. (Kelley, Brandon and Docherty, 2016). The care plan includes all vital areas such as his psychological, sociological, and physiological, biological, his social, spiritual and cultural care (The King’s Fund, 2019). Furthermore, well-written information on his needs and medication was put into considerations.  Effective communication and good teamwork plays vital role in entire stroke care and also enhance patient knowledge, reduce grievances and increase Nurses’ confidence (Mitchell et al., 2019), whereas failure or error in communication  among colleagues can lead to serious harm such as administering wrong medication to the patient. The confidence of patient increases when Nurses communicate effectively. The methods of communication; verbal and non-verbal communication helps in understanding the health needs of Mr Johnson and family.

Non-verbal message tends to be powerful than written or spoken words. As an Adult nurse, observation of patient body language can be as important as looking out for clinical symptoms and in order to be a good communicator body language should be kept in check. Physical reaction, facial expressions and eye contacts are also non-verbal. According to Montague et al (2013) found that eye contact and social touch made patient regard health professionals as empathetic (Montague et al 2013).

The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code (2018) stated that nurses should use a range of verbal and non-verbal communication methods, and consider cultural sensitivities, to better understand and respond to people’s personal and health needs (NMC,2018). Both communications helped in the rehabilitation process with Mr Johnson. The result of CT scan shows that part of his brain was affected by the stroke. As Adult Nurse, much care needs to be considered on how speech is made For instance, the tone and volume of message and use of calm words, tone, pitch and emphasis of phrase over others. (Nursing Times, 2019)

In the case of Mr Johnson his speech was affected which resulted in communication impairment (Akyurek, Unal and Bumin, 2018) .Teamwork and effective communication skills are important for Nurses in supporting the well-being of their patient. Teamwork (Librarian, 2019). Multidisciplinary team are healthcare professionals such as Doctors, Nurses, and other healthcare specialists from distinct area of specialization that work together, constant communication and share sources(Horton et al., 2011).An effective team priority centres on the patient’s condition, inquires on the patient problem, initially assess the patient, discuss and make provision for recommendation. Reeves( 2017) states that multidisciplinary meeting in the rehabilitation of stroke patient are challenging, emphasizing that a successful multidisciplinary team requires a good set of structured document with agenda;  pre-meeting preparation and skilled chairing (Reeves et al., 2017).

According to Royal College of Nurses (2018) Adult Nurses are the main point of contact for patients and their families (RCN, 2018). The Nurse worked in collaboration with Mr Johnson and his family to provide holistic approach and patient centred care, health and well-being such as psychological ,emotional, social and physical.The Nurse also administers medication, serves as an advocate and a communicator.( NICE, 2017). Part of Adult nursing role was achieved when the Nurse played crucial role in collaboratively working and planning  meetings with Mr Johnson, his family and healthcare professionals sure as Doctor, Speech and Language therapist, Physiotherapist, Dietician, his career, Occupational therapist and Psychologist to discuss the patient care plan and his discharge (Tyson, Burton and McGovern, 2014)

Mr Johnson’s speech was affected due to the effect in the neurological control of muscles. The Nurse often encourages the patient to use his own words. Closed question with yes or no anwers are encouraged. (Christiansen and Feiring, 2017). To assist, the Speech and Language, Therapist needs to assess Mr Johnson in the slurred speech, to check his impaired communication.

The reduction in physical function on his left side, the patient finds walking difficult and could not position himself while sitting; this poses him to a risk of fall. The physiotherapist needs to assess falls when dealing with his mobility and integrate it in his care plan. Other aspect to put into consideration is provision of low bed when discharged, standing and sitting aid. Mr Johnson’s weight and high BMI also exposes him to the risk of fall (Davidson and Waters,2000).Less or probably no physical excises contributes to weight gain.

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The change in lifestyle and daily routine daunts patients after stroke likewise Mr Johnson, to handle such situation, Occupational therapist needs to be involved to assess and support in his daily living. (Amlani and Munir, 2014). On the other hand, all the needed referrals such as community Nurses to assist Mr Johnson will be arranged by Occupational therapist.(Barker,Treml and van der Velde, 2017).

Good nutrition enhances patient quick recovery, while poor nutrition affects most stroke patients (Himmelgreen, 2012). This was applied in Mr Johnson’s case, as a result of his difficulty in chewing and swallowing; his dietician will assess and review his diet, the food chart will indicate suitable foods for the patient. The Dietician teamwork with the patient family and Nurse involved, in reviewing his care plan. (Turkel, 2015).

The Psychologist assists in providing cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational and mindfulness intervention for Mr Johnson’s healthy behaviour to lessen depression symptoms and improve his quality of life (Amlani and Munir, 2014).

The argument observed is that some observations are carried out visually despite human error that can occur and so; this questions the accuracy of some result and observations. Although this depends on the Nurse that takes the assessment. Notwithstanding, the assessment process is useful and continuous (Berman et al. 2010).If the initial assessment fails to be accurate, it can be repeated.

Evaluation of Mr Johnson’s care activities, treatment and his performance using Roper-Logan-Tierney’s (2000) activities of living model. The Multidisciplinary team involved in Mr Johnson’s care planning and rehabilitation concluded the set plan and treatment. In evaluating it was realised that Mr Johnson met his targets and responded positively to treatment. His blood pressure was 240/140 when he was admitted presently 120/80, severe headache has stopped. His medication needs to be stop, with healthcare professionals’ teamwork such as physiotherapist and speech and language therapist, he can talk and move his left arm. He can be independent and self-caring at home (Orem, 2001).                       

In Conclusion: Holistic care approach and patient centred care is very vital in patient care, it reinforces the important nursing care and  the significant benefit in healthcare sector. It allows teamwork and gives opportunities to the patients and their families to be involved in the patient care plan unlike before patients depend on healthcare professional decision. The positive outcome shows its benefits and different health sectors across the globe adapted it as nursing care tool. 

Reference

Akyurek, G., Unal, B. and Bumin, G. (2018). Relationship Between Activities of Daily Living and Motor and Communication Skill: Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 99(10), p.e19.

Amlani, N. and Munir, F. (2014). Does Physical Activity Have an Impact on Sickness Absence? A Review. Sports Medicine, 44(7), pp.887-907.

Barker, A., Treml, J. and van der Velde, J. (2017). What works, What doesn’t, And Why: Learning From The World Largest Hospital falls Prevention Trail. Innovation in Aging, 1(1), pp.650-651.

Christiansen, B. and Feiring, M. (2017). Challenges in the nurse’s role in rehabilitation contexts. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(19-20), pp.3239-3247.

Davidson, I. and Waters, K. (2000). Physiotherapists Working with Stroke Patients. Physiotherapy, 86(2), pp.69-80.

Dworzynski, K.,Ritchie, G., Fenu, E. MacDermott, K. and Playford, E. (2015). Rehabilitation after stroke: summary of NICE guidance. BMJ, 346(jun12 1), pp.f3615-f3615.

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Himmelgreen, D. (2012). “You Are What You Eat And You Eat What You Are.” The Role Of Nutritional Anthropology In Public Health Nutrition And Nutrition Education. Nutritional Anthropology, 25(1), pp.2-12.

Furie, K. and Jayaraman, M. (2018). 2018 Guidelines for the Early Management of Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke. Stroke, 49(3), pp.509-510.

Kelley, T., Brandon, D. and Docherty, S. (2016). Electronic Nursing Documentation as a Strategy to Improve Quality of Patient Care. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43(2), pp.154-162.

Kyriaco, U., Jelsm, J. and Jordan, S. (2015). Monitoring vital signs using early warning scoring systems: a review of the literature. Journal of Nursing Management, 19(3), pp.311-330.

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Martin, A. and Manley, K. (2017). Developing standards for an integrated approach to workplace facilitation for interprofessional teams in health and social care contexts: a Delphi study. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 32(1), pp.41-51.

Mitchell, G., Ford, S., Ford, S. and Ford, S. (2019). Communication skills 1: benefits of effective communication for patients. [online] Nursing Times. Available at: https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/assessment-skills/communication-skills-1-benefits-of-effective-communication-for-patients/7022148.article (Accessed 1 Jan. 2019).

Montague, E. (2018). An Intervention Study of Clinician-Patient Nonverbal Interactions and Patient Perceptions of Visits. Journal of Healthcare Communications, 3(s1).

National Institute for Clinical Excellence, (2017) Stroke: diagnosis and initial management of acute stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA). NICE. London.

Navidian, A., Rezaei, J. and Payan, H. (2016). Efficacy of Supportive – Educational Intervention on Psychological Reactions of Family Members of Intensive Care Unit Patients. Journal of Nursing Education, 5(4), pp.51-58.

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Organization, W. (2019). Interprofessional collaborative practice in primary health care: nursing and midwifery perspectives. [online] Apps.who.int. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/120098 (Accessed 1 Jan. 2019).

Orem, D. (2001). A CONCEPT OF SELF-CARE FOR THE REHABILITATION CLIENT. Rehabilitation Nursing, 10(3), pp.33-36.

Reeves, S., Pelone, F., Harrison, R., Goldman, J. and Zwarenstein, M. (2017). Interprofessional collaboration to improve professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Roper, N., logan, w. and Tierney, A. (2000). The roper-logan-Tierney; model of nursing based on activities of living. Edinburgh churchill livingstone.

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Turkel, M. (2015). Caring for self. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 29(4), pp.613-614.

Tyson, S., Burton, L. and McGovern, A. (2014). Multi-disciplinary team meetings in stroke rehabilitation: an observation study and conceptual framework. Clinical Rehabilitation, 28(12), pp.1237-1247.

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Woolf, P. and Woolf, P. (2019). NHS England » Adopting the holistic approach. [online] England.nhs.uk. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/adopting-the-holistic-approach/( Accessed: 1 Jan 2019).