Short-termism Obsession with immediate problems Preoccupation with short-term problems
There is a basic mismatch between people's primitive, limited and distorted capacity to perceive what is happening in their immediate environment in comparison with the urgent need to find ways of directing and controlling the tumultuous changes which scientific and technological ingenuity has enabled them to initiate. The relatively recent, and rapid, cultural evolution involving intellectual, social and political innovation, has enabled people to plunder an environment whose resources have been generated over millions of years. This has made the much slower processes of biological evolution completely inadequate as a means through which humans can adapt appropriately to their environment. As a consequence there is an almost universal tendency to focus on the more immediate short-term problems which can be effectively grasped, articulated, communicated and acted upon. Those problems requiring sensitivity to, and detection or analysis of, an underlying long-term trend or one involving distant factors, are avoided, often deliberately from political or economic expedience.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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