Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Keywords: Nature-based Solutions; transformation; framing; human-nature dichotomy; human-nature relations
Online: 25 December 2020 (15:05:31 CET)
Nature-based Solutions (NbS) have rapidly been gaining traction across the research, policy, and practice spheres, touted as transformative actions to jointly address biodiversity loss and climate change. However, there are multiple, alternative ways to imagine NbS in those three spheres. To inform the NbS discourses across these three spheres, we critically reflect on the prevailing framing of NbS and consider the potential of a different framing of NbS to support transformations towards regenerative relationships between humans and nature. Such reflection is urgently needed to ensure that research, policy, and practice delivers on the transformative ambitions of NbS. We propose a novel “core framing” of NbS, charting two pathways for how such a framing can support a human value-based transformation – first through influencing individual beliefs and values, and second through the communication and application of the NbS concept in research, policy, and practice. We argue that for NbS to support transformation, it must support a reframing of human-nature relationships, one where the interdependencies between people and nature are recognized as essential for social and environmental well-being. We elaborate on how such a framing is key to support inclusivity and collaboration between diverse research perspectives, policy objectives across scales, and implementation practices, to deliver successful NbS.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0484.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: nature exposure; nature deprivation; health disparities; wellbeing; built environment; urban health interventions
Online: 21 December 2020 (09:00:48 CET)
Shelter-in-place aimed at slowing COVID-19 transmission has altered nature accessibility patterns, creating quasi-experimental conditions to assess if retracted nature contact and perceived nature deprivation influences physical and emotional wellbeing. We measure through survey methods how pandemic mandates limiting personal movement and outdoor nature access effect self-assessed nature exposure, perceived nature deprivation, and subsequent flourishing as measured by the Harvard Flourishing Index. Results indicate that perceived nature deprivation strongly associates with neighborhood nature contact, time in nature and access to municipal nature during the pandemic, after controlling for shelter-in-place mandates, job status, household composition, and sociodemographic variables. Our hypothesis that individuals with strong perceived nature deprivation under COVID-19 leads to diminished wellbeing proved true. Interaction models of flourishing showed positive modification of nature affinity with age and qualitative modification of nature deprivation with race. Our results demonstrate the potential of local nature contact to support individual wellbeing in a background context of emotional distress and social isolation, important in guiding public health policies beyond pandemics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0125.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; green space; planetary health; nature connectedness; public health; nature-based interventions
Online: 6 January 2021 (15:04:09 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes to human lifestyles across the world. The virus and associated social restriction measures have been linked to an increase in mental health conditions. A considerable body of evidence shows that spending time in and engaging with nature can improve human health and wellbeing. Our study explores nature’s role in supporting health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We created web-based questionnaires with validated health instruments and conducted spatial analyses in a geographic information system (GIS). We collected data on people’s patterns of nature exposure, associated health and wellbeing responses, and potential socioecological drivers such as relative deprivation, access to greenspaces, and land-cover greenness. We applied a range of statistical analyses including bootstrap resampled correlations and binomial regression models, adjusting for several potential confounding factors. We found that respondents significantly changed their patterns of visiting nature as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. People spent more time in nature and visited nature more often during the pandemic. People generally visited nature for a health and wellbeing benefit and felt that nature helped them cope during the pandemic. Greater land-cover greenness within a 250 m radius around a respondent’s postcode was important in predicting higher levels of mental wellbeing. There were significantly more food-growing allotments within 100 m and 250 m of respondents with high mental wellbeing scores. The need for a mutually-advantageous relationship between humans and the wider biotic community has never been more important. We must conserve, restore and design nature-centric environments to maintain resilient societies and planetary health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0488.v6
Online: 23 May 2022 (05:50:22 CEST)
Origin, mechanics and properties of the Solar System are analyzed in the framework of Complete Relativity. The analysis confirms the postulates and hypotheses of the theory with a high degree of confidence. During the analysis, some new hypotheses have emerged. These are discussed and confirmed with various degrees of confidence. To increase confidence or refute some hypotheses, experimental verification is necessary. Main hypotheses and conclusions are: - Solar System is a scaled Carbon isotope with a nucleus in a condensed (bosonic) state and components in various vertically excited states, - Earth is a living being of extremely introverted intelligence, life is common everywhere, albeit extroverted complex forms are present on planetary surfaces only during planetary neurogenesis, - anthropogenic climate change is only a part (trigger from one perspective) of bigger global changes on Earth and in the Solar System during planetary neurogenesis, - major extinction events are relative extinctions, a regular part of transformation and transfer of life in the process of planetary neurogenesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0086.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis; nature; flood management; disaster
Online: 5 July 2021 (10:08:52 CEST)
A disaster wrecks those affected. It spares many in the affected areas, yet those spared may be indirectly impacted. Specific risks are often inherent within a social system or physical location, but they can also be created due to unavoidable natural or technological hazards. The consequences, however, can be similar in that they wreak havoc in communities and destroy economic systems. The analytical framework of deterrence and coping has ascertained beneficial in many circumstances, but a cost benefit calculation is a must to infer the feasibility of planning strategy and resource allocation. This study points to the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) of flood management by District Disaster Management Kulgam. The assessment is established on secondary pooled data collected from administration offices, NGOs, published Journals, and local and national newspapers. It also characterised the strategy, the technique adopted, and the sources of flood damage cost information. The totalled benefits report for 78686.18 lakh of rupees, and that of total costs account for 2218.75lakh of rupees. The Benefit-Cost ratio greater than one (>1) indicates that Flood Management in District Kulgam was economically feasible and successfully governed. The State of Jammu and Kashmir put up with necessary prevention and administration measures to break the spell of devastation due to floods to significant status.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0363.v2
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Materialist philosophy; State of nature; Hobbes; Kropotkin
Online: 19 February 2020 (11:50:14 CET)
A methodological similarity between Thomas Hobbes and Pëtr Kropotkin is the intention to spread a theoretical foundation to everyone, in the sense that they are willing to give to all the people a clear description of the reality and a subsequent political view. To do so, they use a scientific method, deductive (starting from empirical observations) in the case of Hobbes, inductive-deductive in the case of Kropotkin. Kropotkin underlines the educational value of the scientific method.In this work we want to highlight that, although they both start their argumentations from a materialist ontology, Hobbes and Kropotkin conjecture two completely different states of nature. Hobbes describes the state of nature through the two famous metaphors homo homini lupus (citing Plautus) and bellum omnium contra omnes, while Kropotkin introduced the theory of mutual aid. Both the theory of a state of war by Hobbes and the theory of mutual aid by Kropotkin have been revolutionary. Hobbes has been influenced by the scientific revolution initiated by Francis Bacon, one of his mentors, and Galileo Galilei, together with a criticism towards the ancient Greece philosophers, in particular Aristotle. Kropotkin has been influenced by the ground-breaking writings of Charles Darwin together with a very fruitful Russian scientific environment.We want to stress here that the disenchanted view of the human nature in Hobbes, a state of war due to the fact that everyone has rights on everything, helps him to legitimate sovereignty, while the positive view of human nature in Kropotkin, a spontaneous mutual aid among people in a community, helps him to legitimate anarchy. Therefore, the fascinating scientific methods of the two materialists Hobbes and Kropotkin to structure a solid political theory cannot neglect different views on human nature due to their historical contexts.
Online: 24 November 2019 (13:05:56 CET)
There is growing awareness that “Nature-based Solutions” (NbS) can help to protect us from climate change impacts whilst slowing further warming, supporting biodiversity and securing ecosystem services. However, the potential of NbS to provide the intended benefits has not been rigorously assessed. There are concerns over their reliability and cost-effectiveness compared to engineered alternatives, and their resilience to climate change. Trade-offs can arise if climate mitigation policy encourages NbS with low biodiversity value, such as afforestation with non-native monocultures. This can result in maladaptation, especially in a rapidly changing world where biodiversity-based resilience and multifunctional landscapes are key. Here we highlight the rise of NbS in climate policy—focussing on their potential for climate change adaptation as well as mitigation—and discuss barriers to their evidence-based implementation. We outline the major financial and governance challenges to implementing NbS at scale, highlighting avenues for further research. As climate policy turns increasingly towards greenhouse gas removal approaches such as afforestation, we stress the urgent need for natural and social scientists to engage with policymakers. They must ensure that NbS can achieve their potential to tackle both the climate and biodiversity crisis while also contributing to sustainable development. This will require systemic change in the way we conduct research and run our institutions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0012.v3
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Nature-Positive; Quantified Benefit Assessment; Security; Wellness; Viability; Gain
Online: 21 April 2022 (17:37:36 CEST)
The needs for environmental reporting to include positive outcomes considering differences between creation of less harm, benefits and net benefits are explored. To become mainstream, nature-positive development needs positive messaging, measures and metrics to guide, plan and assess urban outcomes. With the accelerating climate crisis and negative messages getting the upper-hand, it’s important to avoid paralysis by bad news. Whilst striving for a nature-positive world, more effort should be on moving beyond zero to qualify and quantify benefits, gains, and regenerative outcomes instead of oscillating around damage and loss sticking points. Life Cycle Benefit Assessment (LCBA) is a method to measure gains in accelerating restoration and climate security. It enables a good news focus as its reach is to quantify and show positive gains beyond the negative and zero loss outcomes. The paper aims to clarify concepts, challenges and quantitative methods then review real-world third-party-certified case studies. Climate security, human wellness and resource viability gains inside safe operating space within planetary boundaries are quantified as positive benefits. Contrary to conventional Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) LCBA assigns damage and loss as negative debts and benefit as positive gains. It concludes that LCBA offers business and design a new environment assessment tool, with research needed on economic and other outcomes.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0428.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: Ecuador; Rights of Nature; Reserva Los Cedros; Conservation; Mining
Online: 23 August 2021 (10:49:44 CEST)
In 2008, Ecuador recognized the Constitutional Rights of Nature in a global first. This recognition implies a major shift in the human-nature relationship, from one between a subject with agency (humans) and an exploitable object (Nature), to a more equilibrated relationship of respect. However, the lack of a standard legal framework has left room for subjective interpretations and variable implementation. The recent widespread concessioning of pristine ecosystems to mining industries in Ecuador has set up an unprecedented conflict and test of these rights. Currently, a landmark case involving Los Cedros Protected Forest and mining companies has reached the Constitutional Court of Ecuador. If Ecuador’s highest Court rules in favor of Los Cedros and the Rights of Nature, it would set a legal precedent with enormous impact on biological conservation in Ecuador and, potentially, the world. Such a policy shift offers a novel conservation strategy, through citizen oversight and action.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0713.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Flood management; ecosystems; climate change; indicators; benchmarking; nature-based
Online: 30 November 2020 (09:55:54 CET)
This paper discusses devastating urban floods in the year 2019 that caused human and socioeconomic losses in many countries, including Iran. The main question addressed by this paper is the choice between two flood management models, namely, the optimal and nature-based flood management or the existing hazardous situation that damage the ecosystem and natural resources. The analysis of this paper will find the main responsible factors in the mentioned floods in Iran. For this reason, it examines the impacts of the existing flood management that neglects the ecosystems, environmental components, and nature. The method of this research includes theoretical studies, case studies with the help of structured interviews, and observations. A benchmarking technique compares the two alternatives. The comparisons use seven indicators abstracted from successful global experiences and local knowledge. Finally, this research presents a model for optimal flood management that is applicable everywhere in the world.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0077.v1
Subject: Keywords: biodiversity; climate change; forests; nature-based solutions; policy; resilience
Online: 6 December 2018 (07:39:13 CET)
The current focus on afforestation in climate policy runs the risk of compromising both longterm carbon storage and human adaptation. It also works against efforts to stem the tide of biodiversity loss. We outline why an emphasis on diverse, intact natural ecosystems—as opposed to tree plantations with fast-growing exotic species—will help nations deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and much more.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0336.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: nature-based solutions; climate change adaptation; biodiversity; ecosystem-based adaptation
Online: 23 October 2021 (14:19:30 CEST)
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are increasingly recognised for their potential to address both the climate and biodiversity crises. These outcomes are interdependent, and both rely on the capacity of NbS to support and enhance the health of an ecosystem: its biodiversity, the condition of its abiotic and biotic elements, and its capacity to function normally despite environmental change. However, while understanding of ecosystem health outcomes of nature-based interventions for climate change mitigation is growing, the outcomes of those implemented for adaptation remain poorly understood with evidence scattered across multiple disciplines. To address this, we conducted a systematic review of the outcomes of 109 nature-based interventions for climate change adaptation using 33 indicators of ecosystem health across eight broad categories (e.g. diversity, biomass, ecosystem functioning and population dynamics). We showed that 88% of interventions with positive outcomes for climate change adaptation also reported measurable benefits for ecosystem health. We also showed that interventions were associated with a 67% average increase in local species richness. All eight studies that reported benefits in terms of both climate change mitigation and adaptation also supported ecosystem health, leading to a triple win. However, there were also trade-offs, mainly for forest management and creation of novel ecosystems such as monoculture plantations of non-native species. Our review highlights two major limitations of research to date. First, only a limited selection of metrics are used to assess ecosystem health and these rarely include key aspects such as functional diversity and habitat connectivity. Second, taxonomic coverage is poor: 67% of outcomes assessed only plants and 57% did not distinguish between native and non-native species. Future research addressing these issues will allow the design and adaptive management of NbS to support healthy and resilient ecosystems, and thereby enhance their effectiveness for meeting both climate and biodiversity targets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0624.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Palaeontology Keywords: Urbanization; Gulf of Trieste; Ostracods; Nutrients; Environmental stress; Marine Nature Reserve
Online: 25 July 2020 (19:00:43 CEST)
For the first time the distribution and modifications of living ostracod associations present in the Gulf of Trieste (GoT) in relation to the alterations caused by human activity in the last 20 years were investigated. The results were compared with the main chemico-physical parameters (especially nitrogen and phosphorus) measured over the same period, which can lead to a general decrease in environmental quality. For a more in-depth analysis of the changes recorded by ostracods in the last 50 years, a period in which eutrophication and anoxia increased, we revisited the study carried out by Masoli in the GoT in 1967. The results obtained made it possible to verify how over the last 20 years, ostracod assemblages have suffered a decrease both qualitatively and quantitatively. Most of the species recovered show characteristics of opportunism and tolerance to environmentally stressful conditions, high organic matter concentrations and oxygen deficiency. The ostracods analyzed in 1967 showed similar results with few dominant opportunistic species. We verified how ostracods recorded in GoT, similar to Mollusks and Foraminifera, the possible environmental crisis linked to the recurrence of mucilage and hypoxic events documented for the Gulf of Trieste in the last 50 years. Finally, a comparison with the best environmental conditions found in the Marine Nature Reserve of Miramare (MPA) allowed us to emphasize the important role of protected areas to avoid the loss of biodiversity due to urbanization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0302.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine polymer; amphiphilic nature; cationic group; polymer aggregate; endocytosis
Online: 14 July 2020 (11:28:18 CEST)
Water-soluble and cytocompatible polymers were investigated to enhance a transporting efficiency of biomolecules into cells in vitro. The polymers composed of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) unit, a hydrophobic monomer unit, and a cationic monomer unit bearing an amino group were synthesized for complexation with model biomolecules, siRNA. The cationic MPC polymer was shown to interact with both siRNA and the cell membrane and was successively transported siRNA into cells. When introducing 20 − 50 mol% hydrophobic units into the cationic MPC polymer, transport of siRNA into cells. The MPC units (10 − 20 mol%) in the cationic MPC polymer were able to impart cytocompatibility, while maintaining interaction with siRNA and the cell membrane. The level of gene suppression of the siRNA/MPC polymer complex was evaluated in vitro and it was as the same level as that of a conventional siRNA transfection reagent, whereas its cytotoxicity was significantly lower. We concluded that these cytocompatible MPC polymers may be promising complexation reagent for introducing biomolecules into cells, with the potential to contribute to future fields of biotechnology, such as in vitro evaluation of gene functionality, and the production of engineered cells with biological functions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0203.v2
Subject: Keywords: biodiversity; climate change adaptation; ecosystems; Paris agreement; policy; nature-based solutions
Online: 14 September 2019 (12:07:15 CEST)
Ecosystems are not merely vulnerable to climate change but, if sustainably restored and protected, are a major source of human resilience. Not only is the evidence-base for the importance of these “Nature-based Solutions” (NbS) growing rapidly, but NbS are featuring with increasing prominence in global climate change policy. Here we report on the prominence of NbS in the 141 adaptation components of the 167 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that were submitted to UNFCCC by all signatories of the Paris Agreement. In total, 103 nations include NbS in the adaptation component of their NDC, 76 nations include them in both their adaptation and mitigation component, and an additional 27 include them as part of their mitigation plans only. In other words, 130 nations—or 66% of all signatories to the Paris Agreement—have articulated intentions of working with ecosystems, in one form or another, to address the causes and consequences of climate change. However, commitments rarely translate into robust science-based targets. As climate pledges are revised in 2020, we urge the ecosystem science community to work closely with policymakers to identify meaningful adaptation targets that benefit both people and the ecosystems on which they depend.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0403.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Nature-based solutions; climate change adaptation; climate change vulnerability; social-ecological systems
Online: 20 September 2022 (12:35:06 CEST)
Nature-based solutions (NbS) - working with and enhancing nature to address societal challenges - are increasingly being featured in climate change adaptation policy and plans. While there is growing evidence that NbS can reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts in general, there is a lack of understanding on the mechanisms through which this can be achieved, particularly in the Global South. To address this, we analyse 85 nature-based interventions in rural areas across the Global South, and factors mediating their effectiveness, based on a systematic map of peer-reviewed studies encompassing a wide diversity of ecosystems, climate impacts, and intervention types. We develop and apply an analytical framework of people’s social-ecological vulnerability to climate change, in terms of six pathways of vulnerability reduction: social and ecological exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Most cases (95%) report a reduction in vulnerability, primarily by lowering ecosystem sensitivity to climate impacts (73% of interventions), followed by reducing social sensitivity (52%), reducing ecological exposure (36%), increasing social adaptive capacity (31%), increasing ecological adaptive capacity (19%) and/or reducing social exposure (14%). An analysis of mediating factors shows that social dimensions are equally important as technical factors in NbS to achieving equitable and effective outcomes. Attention to the distinct social and ecological pathways through which vulnerability is reduced helps to harness the multiple benefits of working with nature in a warming world.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0130.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: blue-green infrastracture; nature-based solutions; urban green spaces; invasive trees; trampling
Online: 11 August 2019 (11:24:47 CEST)
Public access to high quality green environments has become a key issue for city managers and a matter of environmental justice. Remnants of natural ecosystems allow citizens a direct contact with nature, but conversely the presence of people contributes further to the existing disturbances. Urban pressures on ecosystem remnants may act to favour the expansion of some invasive species in cities. Whilst the negative impacts of invasive species on ecosystem function is well documented little is known how invasive species influence the use of green spaces by people. Here, we examined one of the few remnants of urban riparian forests in Europe, the Vistula river valley in Warsaw which has recently become an attractive recreation site. Despite their high ecological value, the poplar and willow forests have been increasingly taken over by the invasive tree species Acer negundo. We examined the status of the invasion process and the relationship between recreational ecosystem services and the characteristics of the tree stands – tree species, tree density and age and NDVI values. We found the willow forest to be more susceptible to invasion by A. negundo than the poplar forest, which was revealed in significantly higher share of the maple individuals and their greater volume per unit area. Presence of A. negundo affected biodiversity resulting in decreased undergrowth density and number of species. The use intensity by the public, assessed on the basis of trampling intensity and the density of existing informal tracks, were negatively correlated to the presence of A. negundo. This study highlights the need to integrate invasive species management into green infrastructure planning and management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0308.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: diamond like carbon; DLC; Tribology; rubber; flexible; nature inspired; coating; friction; sealing; delamination
Online: 23 March 2022 (04:32:51 CET)
Even though hard, low friction coatings such as diamond like carbon (DLC) would be beneficial for the per-formance and longevity of rubber seals, a crucial challenge – as graphically illustrated in Figure 1.a – remains. The elastic mismatch of rubber substrate and DLC coating prevents a fracture free coating application. In this work a nature inspired approach (Figure 1.b) is applied to render the stiff coating flexible and resilient to delamination at the same time by direct patterning. Rubber substrates were laser structured with tile patterns and subsequently DLC-coated. Tensile and tribology tests were performed on structured and unstructured samples. Unstructured DLC-coatings showed a crack pattern induced by the coating process, which was further fragmented by tensile stress. Coatings with tile patterns did not experience a further fragmentation under load. During continuous tribological loading, less heterogenous damage is produced for tile structured samples. The findings are ascribed to the relief of induced coating stress by the tile structure, meaning a more resilient coating.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0104.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: Anthropocene; nature; capitalism; ecological crisis; geoengineering; planetary boundaries; climate change; extinction; environmental crisis
Online: 7 May 2018 (07:39:13 CEST)
The Anthropocene has emerged as the dominant conceptualization of the current geological epoch and, more significantly, of Humanity’s relation to nature. By its proponents the Anthropocene is espoused as a “solution formulation,” an analytical tool which clarifies Humanity’s multifarious impacts on nature and nature’s subsequent crises; and further as a conceptual apparatus from which to launch mitigation and adaption strategies, promising deliverance from or at least engagement with ecological crises. However, the Anthropocene is not a neutral concept, merely illuminating transition within ecological conditions and connections between human activities and nature; rather, it is a particular prism from which to understand humanity’s relation to nature. And, as the Anthropocene becomes ascendant both analytically and politically, it becomes vital to question its imaginary, how it constructs nature and Humanity, how it influences and constrains responses to ecological crises, and what the long-term implications of operating within this imaginary are. I argue that the Anthropocene as a political/analytical prism rests upon flawed conceptions of nature, history, and humanity, rending it an impotent construct from which to respond to ecological crises; offering only partial and presumptive “solutions” in the form of intensified governmental regulation and the application of manifold technological “fixes” through the geoengineering of Earth’s systems, in an attempt to address isolated aspects of ecological destruction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0209.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Urban green areas; health; urban health; emotional health; physical health; well-being; nature; environmental medicine; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 pandemic; Vienna; Austria, environmental perception; pandemic; human nature relationship; recreation; age
Online: 14 September 2022 (12:08:02 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic drew public attention back to the living conditions related to housing, access to green areas in close neighbourhood and nearby recreation. Several studies confirm that visiting green spaces improved the health and wellbeing in times of crisis. This representative study for the metropolitan area of Vienna, Austria’s capital, confirms the high relevance of contact with nature, particularly for citizens to cope with the negative consequences and perceived stress, anxiety, nervousness and many other negative symptoms experienced during the health crisis. It highlights the importance of nearby smaller but also medium to large scale green areas in cities for health and wellbeing of the population. Moreover, it specifically adds novel insights on age effects in use and perception of urban green spaces during COVID-19 pandemic. The online panel survey (n=1012) was conducted in summer 2021. In order to obtain a representative sample reflective of the population’s characteristics, a (stratified) random sample was selected by applying the quota method. The objective was to obtain a sample which represented gender, age and regional distribution of the population of the City of Vienna as well as the immediately surrounding local communities. Interestingly, particularly young people spent more time outside in green areas during the pandemic, discovered novel spaces for the first time and stated a high relevance of contact with nature for their wellbeing. Elderly people above sixty five, on the contrary, stayed more frequently at home. Significant differences are visible between the age groups also with regard to negative symptoms experienced in case of restricted access to green areas due to strict pandemic measures such as lockdowns and quarantine. All age groups, however, similarly acknowledged the importance of green areas for their physical, mental and emotional health in general during the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0235.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Finance Keywords: World economy restructuring; nature of global crises; risks of the financial markets; leadership problem
Online: 21 January 2020 (10:06:40 CET)
The World economy after global crisis of 2008–2009 entered a restructuring era. It defines relevance of researches of its directions and patterns. The principles of determinism and systemic analysis are methodological basis of article. In research were used the methods of processing Big Date, as of continuous changes and the symmetric analysis of macroeconomic indicators according to databases of the IMF, WB, BIS, the Central banks and treasuries. As a result of the research it is proved that depth and globalism of recessionary processes are caused by a combination of crisis of world financial system and civilization problems. Intrinsic signs of risks in the modern economy caused by the duality of the nature of global crises have been identified. There are analyzes: the deficit of resources of the international financial institutions, a negative role of a fixed rate of Yuan, a big share of derivatives and off-balance obligations of banks, use of SPV in structures of deals, growth of debt obligations, trade wars, slowdown in the growth of the Chinese economy, aggravation of contradictions between global and national finances. The thesis is reasonable that deglobalization and dedollarization deepened this conflict, started the rollback mechanism from achievements of globalization, led to tariff wars. By means of a systematization it is proved the key directions of the restructuring of global economy: legal basis, leadership and reserve currency. On the basis of SWOT-analysis of the USA and China it was concluded that the question of leadership of one country should be excluded, but slow transition to use SDR (with a basket from 15–20 currencies) as a reserve.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0233.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: urban rivers; ecological status; ecosystem services; developing countries; Nicaragua; nature-based solutions; green infrastructure
Online: 20 May 2019 (09:07:23 CEST)
Natural rivers in urban areas bear significant potential to provide ecosystem services for the surrounding inhabitants. However, surface sealing by houses and street networks, urban drainage, disposal of waste and wastewater resulting from advancing urbanization usually lead to the deterioration of urban rivers and their riparian areas. This ultimately damages their ability to provide ecosystem services. This paper presents an innovative methodology for a rapid and low-cost assessment of the ecological status of urban rivers and riparian areas in developing countries under data scarce conditions. The methodology uses a combination of field data and freely available high-resolution satellite images to assess three ecological status categories: river hydromorphology, water quality, and riparian land cover. The focus here is on the assessment of proxies for biophysical structures and processes representing ecological functioning that enable urban rivers and riparian areas to provide ecosystem services. These proxies represent a combination of remote sensing land cover- and field-based indicators. Finally, the three ecological status categories are combined to quantify the potential of different river sections to provide regulating ecosystem services. The development and application of the methodology is demonstrated and visualized for each 100 m section of the Pochote River in the City of León, Nicaragua. This spatially distributed information of the ecosystem service potential of individual sections of the urban river and riparian areas can serve as important information for decision making regarding the protection, future use, and city development of these areas, as well as the targeted and tailor-made development of nature-based solutions such as green infrastructure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0495.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Numerical Analysis & Optimization Keywords: nature-inspired optimization algorithm; fruit fly optimization algorithm; multileader strategy; random walk; cooperative algorithm
Online: 26 September 2018 (04:16:45 CEST)
A swarm based nature-inspired optimization algorithm namely fruit fly optimization algorithm (FOA) has simple structure and ease of implementation. However, FOA has a low success rate and a slow convergence because FOA generates new positions around the best location using fixed search radius. Several improved FOAs have been proposed. But their exploration ability is questionable. To make the search process to transit from the exploration phase to the exploitation phase smoothly, this paper proposes a new FOA constructed from a cooperation of the multileader and the probabilistic random walk strategies (CPFOA). It has two population types working together. CPFOA's performance is evaluated by 18 well-known standard benchmark, and 30 CEC’2017 functions. The results showed that CPFOA outperforms both the original FOA and its variants in terms of convergence speed and performance accuracy. The results base on CEC’2017 show that CPFOA can achieve a very promising accuracy when compared with the well-known competitive algorithms. CPFOA is applied to optimize two applications; the MLPs classifying real datasets and extracting parameters of T-S fuzzy system for modelling Box and Jenkins gas furnace data set. CPFOA can find parameters having a very high quality compared with the best known competitive algorithms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0296.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: reading comprehension; speech-in-noise recognition; nature F0 contours; flattened F0 contours; Chinese character decoding
Online: 10 June 2021 (13:36:17 CEST)
Theories of reading comprehension emphasize decoding and listening comprehension as two essential components. The current study aimed to investigate how Chinese character decoding and context-driven auditory semantic integration contribute to reading comprehension in Chinese middle school students. Seventy-five middle school students were tested. Context-driven auditory semantic integration was assessed with speech-in-noise tests in which the fundamental frequency (F0) contours of spoken sentences were either kept natural or acoustically flattened with the latter requiring a higher degree of contextual information. Statistical modelling with hierarchical regression was conducted to examine the contributions of Chinese character decoding and context-driven auditory semantic integration to reading comprehension. Performance on Chinese character decoding and auditory semantic integration scores with the flattened (but not natural) F0 sentences significantly predicted reading comprehension. Furthermore, the contributions of these two factors to reading comprehension were better fitted with an additive model instead of a multiplicative model. These findings indicate that reading comprehension in middle schoolers is associated with not only character decoding but also the listening ability to make better use of the sentential context for semantic integration in a severely degraded speech-in-noise condition. The results add to our better understanding of the multi-faceted reading comprehension in children. Future research could further address the age-dependent development and maturation of reading skills by examining and controlling other important cognitive variables, and apply neuroimaging techniques such as functional magmatic resonance imaging to reveal the neural substrates for the contribution of auditory semantic integration and the observed additive model to reading comprehension.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0747.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: nature-based solutions; productive urban landscapes; decision support systems; edible cities; urban agriculture; circular economy
Online: 31 May 2021 (11:30:52 CEST)
In the last five years, European research and innovation programmes have prioritised the development of online catalogues and tools (handbooks, models, etc.) to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of Nature Based Solutions (NBS). However, only a few catalogues and toolkits within European programmes are directly related to mainstreaming of NBS for food production (i.e., edible NBS). Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to present existing NBS tools through the eyes of productive urban landscapes. We reviewed 32 projects related to NBS and 50 tools were identified and characterised. Then, the 6 tools already available, and providing indicators, were further analysed in terms of their format and knowledge domains. Our main conclusion demonstrates that there is a lack of tools capable of supporting users for planning and implementing edible NBS, calculating the food potential of the city and/or of individual edible NBS, including the needed resources for implementation and operation (water, nutrients, energy), and assessing their urban design value, environmental and socio-economic impacts. And when they do exist, there is a resistance to share the models and equations behind the tools to allow other projects to reuse or validate them, fact which is contrary to Open Science principles stood up by many research public agencies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0473.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: 1.globalization, 2. participative democracy, 3. deliberative democracy, 4. Collective decision-making, 5. human nature
Online: 19 April 2021 (12:14:03 CEST)
We live in the time of profound transformations commonly labelled with the word “globalization”. The rise of one ecological-technological-social system encompassing our whole planet is an important element of these processes. Solving big global problems demands knowledge of two complementary sorts: on the one hand – going “in depth”, on the other – going “in breadth”. The present paper assumes the second (in a sense: philosophical) perspective. It tries to analyze some relations between the development of technology (IT) and the development of democracy. The notion of democracy, its various forms and axiological reasons for it are considered first. In the subsequent chapter different consequences (both positive and negative) the IT development has for contemporary democracy are discussed. In the next chapter the evolutionary nature of the technological development is debated as well as the question of (democratic) control of this process. The development of Artificial General Intelligence is presented as a challenge for democracy
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0344.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Nature-based solutions (NBS); Hydrometeorological hazards; PHUSICOS project; Implementation barriers; Flooding; Landslides; Avalanches; Rockfall; Europe
Online: 14 December 2020 (14:19:27 CET)
Nature Based Solutions (NBS) are becoming increasingly important in both the EU and individual countries' political agendas, as a sustainable means to reduce the risk posed by hydrometeorological hazards. However, as the use of NBS is increasing, a number of barriers regarding their practical implementation also becomes apparent. A number of review studies have summarized and classified barriers, mainly in urban settings. PHUSICOS is a H2020 Innovation Action to demonstrate the use of NBS in rural and mountain landscapes. Large scale demonstrator case sites with several sub-projects are established in Italy, Norway and in the French and Spanish Pyrenees. The present paper describes the project's NBS measures, and their experienced barriers, some of which have resulted in full cancellation of the planned interventions. Many of the barriers experienced in rural settings have the same root causes as the ones described from urban areas, and the main barrier-creating mechanisms are institutional factors, resistance among stakeholders and technical and economic issues. The key element, however, is lack of knowledge about the ability of NBS to deliver a series of co-benefits in addition to their risk-reducing effects, and that long-term thinking is required to see the effect of many of these co-benefits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0411.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: safety; electrical contractors; construction accidents; nature and outcome of injuries; Chi-square test of independence
Online: 31 December 2019 (11:19:50 CET)
Electrical contractors have experienced a rise in occupational fatalities in recent years. In 2017, electrical contractors also had the second highest number of non-fatal injuries among specialty trade contractors. Identifying statistically significant dependencies between these catastrophic outcomes and a handful of well-defined contributing factors in construction accidents offers a first step in mitigating the risks of construction accidents in this trade. Therefore, this study used methodologies of descriptive and quantitative statistics to identify the contributing factors most affecting occupational accident outcomes among electrical contracting enterprises, given an accident occurred. Accident reports were collected from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s fatality and catastrophe database. To ensure the reliability of the data, the team manually codified more than 600 incidents through a comprehensive content analysis using injury-classification standards. Inclusive of both fatal and non-fatal injuries, the results showed that most accidents happened in nonresidential buildings, new construction, and small projects (i.e., $50,000 or less). The main source of injuries manifested in parts and materials (46%), followed by tools, instruments, and equipment (19%), and structure and surfaces (16%). The most frequent types of injuries were fractures (31%), electrocutions (27%), and electrical burns (14%); the main injured body parts were upper extremities (25%), head (23%), and body system (18%). Among non-fatal cases, falls (37%), exposure to electricity (36%), and contact with objects (19%) caused most injuries; among fatal cases, exposure to electricity was the leading cause of death (50%), followed by falls (28%) and contact with objects (19%). The analysis also investigated the impact of several accident factors on the degree of injuries and found significant effects from such factors such as project type, source of injury, cause of injuries, injured part of body, nature of injury, and event type. In other words, the statistical probability of a fatal accident—given an accident occurrence—changes significantly based on the degree of these factors. Beyond these outcomes, the described content-analysis methodology contributes to the accident-analysis body of knowledge by providing a framework for codifying data from accident reports to facilitate future analysis and modeling attempts (e.g., developing logistic regression models) to subsequently mitigate more injuries in other fields.
Subject: Materials Science, Surfaces, Coatings & Films Keywords: fundamental science; atomic nature; hard coating; expansion and contraction; force-energy behavior; surface and interface
Online: 2 April 2019 (12:41:20 CEST)
Coating of suitable materials having thickness of few atoms to several microns on a substrate is of great interest to the scientific community. Hard coatings develop under the significant composition of suitable-natured atoms where their force-energy behaviors when in certain transition state favour binding. In the binding mechanism of suitable atoms, electron belonging to outer ring filled state of gas-atom undertakes another clamp of energy knot belonging to outer ring unfilled state of solid-atom. Set process conditions develop the binding of different-natured atoms when processing their suitable composition in a system. Atoms of different nature develop structure in the form of hard coating by locating their ground points between the original ones. Here, gas-natured atoms increase the potential energy under decreasing levitational force of electrons, whereas, solid-natured atoms decrease the potential energy under decreasing gravitational force of electrons. In TiN coating, Ti–Ti atoms bind under the difference of expansion of their lattices, called nets of energy knots, where one atom just lands on the already landed atom. An adhered N-atom to a Ti-atom forms its position among four Ti-atoms where N-atom occupies the interstitial site of Ti-atoms. Two oppositely working force-energy behavior atoms deposit in the form of coating at substrate surface as per set conditions of the process. The rate of ejecting (or dissociating) solid-natured atoms depend on the nature of their source (target), process parameters and processing technique. In random arc-based vapor deposition system, depositing differently natured atoms at substrate surface depends on the input power. In addition to intrinsic nature of atoms, different properties and characteristics of coatings emerge as per engaged forces under their involved energy. The present study sets new trends in the field of coatings involving the diversified class of materials and their counterparts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0051.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Nature Inspired Algorithms; Swarm Optimization; Elephant Search Algorithm; Energy-based Localization; Acoustic Positioning; Wireless Sensor Networks.
Online: 3 July 2018 (13:54:19 CEST)
This work addresses the energy-based source localization problem in wireless sensors networks. Instead of circumventing the maximum likelihood (ML) problem by applying convex relaxations and approximations (like all existing approaches do), we here tackle it directly by the use of metaheuristics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the ﬁrst time that metaheuristics is applied to this type of problems. More speciﬁcally an elephant herding optimization (EHO) algorithm is applied. Through extensive simulations, the key parameters of the EHO algorithm are optimized such that they match the energy decay model between two sensor nodes. A detailed analysis of the computational complexity is presented, as well as performance comparison between the proposed algorithm and existing non-metaheuristic ones. Simulation results show that the new approach signiﬁcantly outperforms the existing solutions in noisy environments, encouraging further improvement and testing of metaheuristic methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0395.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Innovation; Up-scaling; NBS Nature-based solutions (NBS); Hydrometeorological hazards; PHUSICOS project; Flooding; Landslides; Avalanches; Rockfall; Europe
Online: 16 December 2020 (08:33:57 CET)
Impact in the form of innovation and commercialisation is an essential component of publicly funded research projects. PHUSICOS, an H2020 Innovation Action project, aims at demonstrating the use of nature-based solutions for mitigating hydrometeorological hazards in rural and mountainous areas. The work program is built around key innovation actions, and each WP leader specifically responsible for nurturing innovation processes, maintaining market focus and ensuring relevance for the intended recipients of the project results. Key success criteria for PHUSICOS include up-scaling and mainstreaming of NBS to reach broader market access. An innovation strategy and supporting tools for implementing this within PHUSICS has been developed and key concepts forming the basis for this strategy are presented in this research note.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0560.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: MIGI; microbiome-inspired green infrastructure; microbiome; urban microbiome; nature-based intervention; biodiversity; greenspace; green infrastructure; multispecies urbanism; EcoHealth
Online: 21 April 2021 (09:01:13 CEST)
Background: Microbiome-Inspired Green Infrastructure (MIGI) was recently proposed as an integrative system to promote healthy urban ecosystems, through multidisciplinary design. Specifically, MIGI is defined as nature-centric infrastructure restored and/or designed and managed to enhance health-promoting interactions between humans and environmental microbiomes, whilst sustaining microbially-mediated ecosystem functionality and resilience. MIGI also aims to stimulate a research agenda that focuses on considerations for the importance of urban environmental microbiomes. Objectives: In this paper we provide details of what MIGI entails from a bioscience and biodesign perspective, highlighting the potential dual benefits for human and ecosystem health. We present ‘what is known’ about the relationship between urban microbiomes, green infrastructure and environmental factors that may affect urban ecosystem health (ecosystem functionality and resilience as well as human health). We discuss how to start operationalising the MIGI concept based on current available knowledge, and present a horizon scan of emerging and future considerations in research and practice. We conclude by highlighting challenges to the implementation of MIGI and propose a series of workshops to discuss multi-stakeholder needs and opportunities. Discussion: This article will enable urban landscape managers to incorporate initial considerations for the microbiome in their development projects to promote human and ecosystem health. However, overcoming the challenges to operationalising MIGI will be essential to furthering its practical development. Although the research is in its infancy, there is considerable potential for MIGI to help deliver sustainable urban development driven by considerations for reciprocal relations between humans and the foundations of our ecosystems –– the microorganisms.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0531.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: nature of stock rights; state-controlled firm; income smoothing; institutional investor; pressure-resistant institutional investor; pressure-sensitive institutional investor
Online: 28 August 2021 (15:07:13 CEST)
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the institutional investors which can affect financial performance for corporate sustainability on the income smoothing. Therefore, this study focus on the connection between the nature of stock rights and income smoothing in China. For this study, hypotheses were established on the relationship each state-controlled companies, income smoothing, and information equilibrium of individual investors, and empirical analysis was conducted through related variables. The analysis results are summarized in three categories as follows. First, this research finds that state-controlled firms (CONTs) prefer income smoothing activities compared to non-state-controlled firms for the long-term sustainable development of firms using data from 2011 to 2019. Second, this study found out that Institutional investors support the behavior of CONTs to smooth their earnings because this behavior is seen as an attempt by CONTs to convey valuable private information to other investors. Third, we was able to discover that institutional investors' monitoring effect is predominantly driven by pressure-resistant institutional investors. This research complements the lack of empirical research on income smoothing and enable to give a guideline that the type of stock rights is a critical key determinant of participation in income smoothing activities for stable growth and sustainability in the future.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0453.v2
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: Matter; Consciousness; informational physics; fundamental physical problems; cosmology; quantum mechanics; relativity theories; Standard Model; particles; antiparticles; fundamental Nature forces; EM force; magnetic monopole; Gravity; quantum gravity; fast bodies mechanics; Lorentz transformations; spacetime; experimental testing
Online: 17 June 2022 (13:33:51 CEST)
This article is some review of results that were obtained at 2007-2021 years development of “The Information as Absolute” concept and the informational physical model, which is based on the concept; including a number of fundamental physical problems are briefly considered in framework of the conception and the model. Recently in physics there are several publications, that present lists of the problems. However, those lists are essentially incomplete, for at least two reasons. Firsts of all, a number of phenomena are studied traditionally by philosophy, and so corresponding problems are usually considered to be “metaphysical”. However, they relate also to some concrete physical phenomena. For example, physics evidently studies Matter, and so the metaphysical problems “what is ontology of Matter”, “what is “Space”, “Time” and a few other physical phenomena and notions as well, are really a Meta-physical problem “what does physics study?” There are other fundamental physical problems, which are not considered as such in physics, and are absent in the “fundamental problems lists”. Those include the problems, which really exist, yet are incorporated into standard physical theories, and so are fundamental “implicitly”, which in physics are “solved by default”. Note, though, that a number of “Meta-physical”, and concrete fundamental, problems more in detail are considered in the paper “The Informational Conception and Basic Physics”, https://arxiv.org/abs/0707.4657 , v5 (2021), so this paper is, in certain sense, an expanded conclusion of this paper, which includes, correspondingly, more in detail consideration of some more general physical problems. Besides, the concrete problem “What is Life”, and the rational cosmological model, where a few vague points in standard cosmology rather probably are rationally clarified, while the fundamental problem “matter – antimatter asymmetry” in Matter is solved practically for sure, are considered, and one of recently published rather complete “lists of fundamental problems” is commented in Appendix.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0235.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: database; disaster prevention; disaster risk reduction (DRR); climate change adaptation (CCA); stakeholders; nature-based solutions (NBS); mountain; hydro-meteorological risks
Online: 9 December 2020 (16:48:34 CET)
In the context of global changes, Nature-Based Solutions (NBSs) increasingly draw attention as a possible way to reduce disaster risk associated with extreme hydro-meteorological events while providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits at the same time. The PHUSICOS platform is dedicated to gather and analyse relevant NBSs used to reduce disaster risk associated with extreme hydro-meteorological events in mountainous and hilly lands. To design the platform, an in-depth review of 11 existing platforms has been performed. The platform currently references 152 literature NBS cases and is continuously enriched with demonstrator sites through the contribution of NBS community. The platform also proposes a qualitative assessment of the NBSs collected according to 15 criteria related with five ambits: disaster risk reduction, technical and economical feasibility, environment, society and local economy. This paper presents the structure of the platform and a first analysis of its content.
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: Afforestation; Climate change mitigation; Ecological Restoration; Forest landscape restoration; Large-scale tree planting; Natural regeneration; Nature-based solutions; Stakeholders participation
Online: 5 September 2020 (08:01:43 CEST)
Global climate change requires urgent solutions. Ambitious tree-planting initiatives, many already underway, aim to sequester enormous quantities of carbon, partly compensating for the anthropogenic CO2 emissions that are a major cause of rising global temperatures. However, poorly planned and executed tree-planting could actually increase CO2 emissions and have long-term, deleterious impacts on biodiversity, landscapes and livelihoods. Here, we highlight the main environmental risks of large-scale tree planting and propose ten golden rules, based on some of the most recent ecological research, to implement forest ecosystem restoration that maximizes rates of both carbon sequestration and biodiversity recovery, while simultaneously improving livelihoods. These are: i) Protect existing forest first; ii) Work together (involving all stakeholders); iii) Maximize biodiversity recovery to meet multiple goals; iv) Select appropriate areas; v) Use natural regeneration wherever possible; vi) Select species to maximise biodiversity; vii) Use resilient plant material (with appropriate genetic variability and provenance); viii) Plan ahead for infrastructure, capacity and seed supply; ix) Learn by doing (using an adaptive management approach); and x) Make it pay (ensuring the economic sustainability of the project). We focus on the design of long-term strategies to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises and support livelihood needs. We emphasize the role of local communities and their dependence on benefits from successful reforestation programmes that restore ecosystem functioning and deliver a diverse range of forest products and services. While there is no simple and universal recipe for forest restoration, it is now crucial to build on the public and private interest in this topic to ensure interventions provide effective, long-term carbon sinks and maximise benefits for biodiversity and people.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0178.v3
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: consciousness; meta-causation; pre-reflective self-consciousness; physicalism; causal productivity; dynamism; laws of nature; laws of physics; temporal non-locality
Online: 27 August 2020 (08:27:28 CEST)
How, if at all, consciousness can be part of the physical universe remains a baffling problem. This article outlines a new, developing philosophical theory of how it could do so, and offers a preliminary mathematical formulation of a physical grounding for key aspects of the theory. Because the philosophical side has radical elements, so does the physical-theory side. The philosophical side is radical, first, in proposing that the productivity or dynamism in the universe that many believe to be responsible for its systematic regularities is actually itself a physical constituent of the universe, along with more familiar entities. Indeed, it proposes that instances of dynamism can themselves take part in physical interactions with other entities, this interaction then being “meta-dynamism” (a type of meta-causation). Secondly, the theory is radical, and unique, in arguing that consciousness is necessarily partly constituted of meta-dynamic auto-sensitivity, in other words it must react via meta-dynamism to its own dynamism, and also in conjecturing that some specific form of this sensitivity is sufficient for and indeed constitutive of consciousness. The article proposes a way for physical laws to be modified to accommodate meta-dynamism, via the radical step of including elements that explicitly refer to dynamism itself. Additionally, laws become, explicitly, temporally non-local in referring directly to quantity values holding at times prior to a given instant of application of the law. The approach therefore implicitly brings in considerations about what information determines states. Because of the temporal non-locality, and also because of the deep connections between dynamism and time-flow, the approach also implicitly connects to the topic of entropy insofar as this is related to time.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0134.v1
Subject: Keywords: nature and nurture of sexual orientation; development of sexual orientation; Puberty; Voice and sexual orientation; causes of sexual orientation; MGN and sexual orientation; biology of sexual orientation
Online: 8 March 2020 (05:11:50 CET)
A testable theoretical model is presented, proposing which brain parts and mechanisms are responsible for the nature and the nurture components of all human sexual orientations. The model integrates observations from humans and a wide range of animals. If validated, the model would provide a proximate explanation of the biological substrates of all sexual orientations. The basic assumptions of the model are: (1) Children learn automatically and subconsciously in non-sexual conditioning experiences cues for recognizing sexual mates. That skill emerges at puberty. (2) Adults in the child’s surroundings act as innocuous, unaware role-models that provide the learned cues for recognizing mates. (3) Voices of men and women serve as the innate, primary unconditioned stimuli (US) in that learning process. (4) The hypothalamus is the main area that elicits the signals of the unconditioned responses (UR). Those signals trigger the learning of the associated conditioned stimuli (CS) broadcasted by the role-models. (5) The amygdala, base nuclei of the Stria Terminalis (bnST) and hypothalamus play in humans similar roles to those they play in the other species. (6) The human medial geniculate nucleus (MGN) plays the roles played by the olfactory bulbs in rodents. (7) Detectors of innate primary US and activators of the unconditioned sexual responses (UR) are located in the MGN, Amygdala, bnST and Hypothalamus Axis (MASHA). The learned conditioned stimuli (CS) are recorded in the MASHA and in cortical areas. (8) The innate US-UR connections vary across three groups of children. In the first group, only men’s voices trigger the UR. In the second group, only women’s voices trigger the UR, and in a third group each voice can trigger the UR. That determines the learned cues. The first group will be attracted at puberty only to men, the second only to women, and the third group to both.