Team:Basic Needs

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Basic Needs (coordinators: Supernova)

Activities: Define Basic Needs, according to Maslow and others, to identify clearly what Human Needs will be required to be met by IMAR and the community

This is the Wiki page for The RBE10K Project's Basic Needs Team. To find information about other teams, see the complete list.


[edit] Objectives

Define content for the RBE10K/Needs page, which will serve to identify the basic requirements of the whole project.

[edit] Summary

The cornerstone of basic needs research is most probably Maslow's hierarchy (pyramid) of needs. The pyramid has 5 levels: Physiological needs (food, drink, air, sleep, sex), Safety, Love and friendship, Self-esteem/status and Self-actualisation. The basic underlying idea is that the lower level needs come first, then if they're satisfied one can move higher. The first four as classified as D-needs (Deficiency) while Self-actualisation fulfils B-needs (Being). This means the first four focus on what's missing while the tip focuses on what else could be achieved to reach one's full potential.

There have been alternative versions of the pyramid, one putting high emphasis on evolutionary needs (breeding and parenting) and also noting that lower level needs never disappear even if you generally have them covered[1]. Choice Theory [1] lists these as basic needs: Love & Belonging, Power, Fun, Survival, Freedom. These pretty much correspond to Maslow's theory, with the addition of Fun (Freedom comes from Safety). Manfred Max-Neef proposes that there are universal needs that interact with each other. These are Idleness (Relax), Subsistence (Survive), Freedom (Choose), Affection (Love), Identity (Belong), Protection (Protect), Understanding (Understand), Creation (Create), Participation (Stand Up). A danger is that by fulfilling one need, one may compromise another, such as by trading freedom for security. The upside is that many activities fulfil multiple needs. One motivation behind this view is that poor people are not necessary lacking in the higher steps of Maslow's (they can be very creative and often have a strong sense of community). [2]

[edit] In RBE10k

RBE10K aims to provide everything required for both the body and the spirit/psyche. One problem here is that coming from a capitalist system there is usually a conditioned wants and desires whilst needs are unmet or not even considered. However, a significant proportion of volunteers for the experiment will be activists that will be aware of, among other monetary marketing conditioning characteristics, the effects of television shows and advertising, and therefore it can be expected for them to have a lesser degree of conditioning than the average.

The current planning focuses mainly on physiological needs, which are required to be clearly identified, described and analysed for the IMAR system to provide the most effective solutions to ensure universal access and abundance, and will also take up the bulk of the budget and workload. This involves characteristics and features of buildings, types of food to purchase and produce locally, ensuring there is sufficient water supply, determining how much electricity will be required, and consider the most effective and appropriate medical care. Belonging needs will likely be covered by an intense communal lifestyle, sound psychological support, and communal interaction such as play, parties, workshops, etc. Musical instruments, sports instruments, etc. would also stimulate group activity. The community will be actively engaged with the rest of the world through the Internet, via social networking, email, blogging, etc. Self-esteem will be stimulated through communal activities, active training and activities to promote compassionate and nonjudgemental attitudes, and psychological support and self development through a variety of activities from workshops to counselling. Self-actualisation will be thoroughly stimulated by a plethora of activities, and the promotion of mastery as a worthwhile and healthy life goal.

Health (homeostasis) is the main focus in Basic Needs, and will mostly be dealt with through strategies to promote healthy behaviours. Whilst palliative medicine, and even preventive medicine in some cases, will occasionally require services only provided by facilities in the monetary market system, such as surgery and diagnosis, it is expected that the incidence of such need will be significantly lower than the average in the monetary market system, due to the RBE's strategies for promotion of healthy behaviours and appropriate nutrition.

Freedom and choice will be protected and promoted by the system, however at the cost of a requirement for self- and social-responsibility in the resulting absence of controlling and protecting systems. Ensuring freedom requires the implementation of strategies to minimise the occurrence of abuse, i.e. freedoms of some at the expense of freedoms of others. Strategies must be found to enable non-disruptive freedom of speech, and freedoms that are inherently anti-social like playing loud music or producing unpleasant fumes. The development of such strategies would involve, for every need identified, asking "What is the underlying need and how can it be satisfied in a way that does not impact anyone else's freedom?"

[edit] The new approach to Needs

A new approach to defining needs must be centered in the relationship between an individual, with their specific point-in-time characteristics, and their environment. Different people has different needs, and any given individual has different needs at different stages in their life, throughout the day, and even second by second. There is a dynamic equilibrium between an individual and their internal and external environments, an equilibrium that is akin to an organism's homeostasis or the equilibrium found in an entire ecosystem.

Human needs change permanently at individual level, and vary greatly at social level too between different groups of people. It can be said that the needs of a community is the total of the added needs of each individual. The IMAR system will provide some personalised guidelines and support for individual needs, and may use this information anonymously to enhance the accuracy of the needs of the community. However the focus of the IMAR system will be to provide for the needs of the community as a general average, at least at first.

Needs are interrelated and dependent on circumstances. As an example, needs for water supply for hygiene will likely be higher in hot climates than in cold climates, inasmuch as higher on hot days than in cold days. Water use for hygiene would also depend on the type of activities on the community, i.e. likely to be greater in communities with high incidence of hand-on work like agriculture and machinery than in communities with high incidence of intellectual and technical work.

There are also special needs for individuals who are not in perfect shape physically, intellectually, emotionally, or functional neurally. IMAR must cater for these special needs with an appropriate degree of priority according to provisions of equality and management of risk of self harm or harming others. Needs must also respect neurodiversity and ensure there is no attempt for normalisation, but rather, supportive of the particulars of the neurological type of each individual, i.e. autism, dyslexia, ADHD, and also mental and personality disorders such as narcissism, melancholia, neurosis, etc.

Each Need, then, must be identified in relation to other needs, circumstances, environmental characteristics, time, individual circumstances, individual characteristics, individual goals, social goals, available resources, and predominant culture (or added averages of the various cultures). Needs must be identified primarily for the purpose of supporting IMAR, and IMAR's main concern is the provision for individual homeostasis, social sustainability, and environmental sustainability. Thus Needs exceed those of the humans, but also those of the community at large, and those of the surrounding environment too.

[edit] Individual Needs (Homeostasis)

Homeostasis is the state in which an organism is stable and has the least change over time, or the least chances of leading to premature death. A RBEM system is most concerned, as a top priority, with the provision of everything required for maximising every individual's homeostasis. This involves the following:

  1. Clean oxygenated air
  2. Clean water to drink
  3. Safeguard from extreme temperatures
  4. Sufficiently nutritious and energetic food
  5. Hygienic systems for minimising chances of acquiring infectious diseases
  6. Access to physical and mental exercise
  7. Access to a social network providing emotional, interpersonal and sexual support
  8. Access to privacy
  9. Recognition, acceptance and respect within the community
  10. Freedom for full self-expression
  11. Access to a place of worship and spiritual activities

[edit] Community Needs (Social Sustainability)

Social Sustainability is the state in which a society is stable and can endure over time. A RBEM system is very concerned, as a priority only seconded to Individual Needs, and on par with Surrounding Environment Needs. In terms of priority, Social Sustainability is on par with Environmental Sustainability due to the symbiotic nature of these two, which together comprise general Sustainability. The needs for Social Sustainability comprise the following:

  1. Ensure that the community is in good terms and good legal and regulatory stance within the host country and state/province/locality
  2. Consensuated community objectives
  3. Consensuated community values and principles (a RBE system requires some of these to be in line with those of RBE itself, such as Openness, Horizontality, Voluntarism, Empiricism, Access as opposed to Property, Cooperation as opposed to Competition, Gifting as opposed to Trading, etc)
  4. Trust in IMAR's ability to produce highly effective recommendations
  5. Trust in IMAR's meritocratic system, and respect for a given field's highly-merited individuals' authority and decision-making ability within such specific field
  6. Social bonding practices and activities
  7. Support for parenting and raising young
  8. Protection from discrimination, hostility or abusiveness from individuals or groups
  9. Universal access to the Internet, information about the community, and unrestricted places and activities

[edit] Surrounding Environment Needs (Environmental Sustainability)

  1. Maximise natural unadulterated space, by keeping land use per-capita to a functional minimum
  2. Avoid human-produced pollution and nutrients that threaten wildlife due to toxins or altering the natural biodiversity balance
  3. Control or exterminate invasive species resulting from past or present human activity
  4. Assist ecosystems by restoring populations of threatened wildlife or depleted local vegetation due to past or present human activity

[edit] Existing studies

[edit] Members

Coordination and research
Research and technical support

[edit] Requests

Participants for our Basic Needs planning team.
Defining Basic Needs is of core interest to the project. We request assistance most specially by academics of social sciences and philosophy, however no special skills are needed other than an interest in the subject, everybody's welcome.

[edit] Offers

Support in defining priorities according to Basic Needs planning
We can provide assistance when it comes to choosing between several interests, based on needs that are most urgently needed to be focused on

[edit] References

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