Defining a Universal Measure of Progress

Defining a Universal Measure of Progress

Progress is an interesting process, suggesting beneficial advancement of something with respect to a point in time. To define a universal measure of progress with respect to mankind, one would have to first look at what are basic necessities for all human beings. To define what the basic human needs are, one must examine what is needed for human survival. All human beings need food, clean water, and the ability to cope, maintain their existence, with their environment. Survival also implies that people reproduce and carry on generation to generation. Now that the basic human needs, a universal definition of progress can be ascertained. A universal measure of progress for mankind is the beneficial advancement of society’s abilities to meet the basic human needs for their individual societies. Now that a definition for a universal measure of progress has been established, one must find out how to evaluate progress in any given society.

When quantifying this progress we must evaluate all aspects of individual societies with regards to how they provide benefits and deficits to the society's ability to meet the basic human needs of the individual members of the society. There are many different ways to evaluate the data. One way would be to look at the societal average with respect to the ability to meet the basic human needs. This avenue would provide a general idea of the progression of a society. This method of data analysis can be accurate, but it can also hold error because it does not fully provide information about any outliers in the data. Another way to examine the data would be to look at sub-societal averages. This method would provide a more specific idea of a society's progress. A third useful way to examine the progress of a society would be to look at the minimums and maximums of the data. This method would help interpret the measurement of the societal data, providing an idea of the maximum and minimal amounts of progress for each society. If all of these methods of data analysis were used, one could ascertain a more full view of a society's progress. Now that we have figured out how to analyze the data for societal progress we must look at and define what kinds of data should be collected for understanding progress.

Food is essential for every human being's survival. To collect progress data with respect to food there are a few factors we must examine. One must look at a society's ability to meet their food consumption needs with respect to quantity. One must also look at what nutrients are obtained for a society's food and what nutrients are expended by the individuals in the society for their living activities. When examining the acquisition of food for a society, one must also look at how well the food is acquired and prepared with regards to disease control. Caution must be taken when examining this aspect of the food data, as different societies have different disease problems and levels.

Water is also necessary for everyone's survival. This is also similar to the food data in what is to be collected. Water is used in many aspects of society. Human consumption of water is necessary. If there is agriculture some water must be delegated this activity. Even if a society is not agricultural, some water still has to be reserved for the societal ecosystem. Another usage of water is for bathing and cleaning. This usage is also important for data collection as disease can affect the survival capabilities of a society. There are many more usages of water that can affect the progress of society. Another important aspect to examine with regards to water data collection would be the quality of the water. For example there might be an ocean of water next to a society but salt water is not viable for human consumption. If the water is disease ridden it would hinder a society's ability to survive.

A third aspect to examine for data collection would be a society's ability to cope with the environment around them. This aspect of data collection can contain many different types of data relevant to human survival. While humans are “warm blooded”, they still need to maintain their core temperature. If the environment in which they live is not ideal for the human body type, modifications, like clothing and shelter are necessary. For collecting information for this data set one can examine what a society’s ability for modification with respect to what amount is of modification is necessary in their environment. Shelter can also provide some protection from danger, such as natural disasters and animals that might threaten the survival of individual members of the society. For whatever threats caused by natural disasters are relevant, one must evaluate what are a society’s abilities for prevention and restoration. No matter how efficient the societies, natural disasters can very well disrupt the system.

It is also relevant to recognize that environments are subject to change and humans, just as any animal, constantly alter their environment. To collect information for this data set one must have a good understanding of the ecosystem surrounding a society, as well as the mechanisms within a society that could potentially alter the ecosystem and to what degree. It is important to examine a society’s ability for modification, and how versatile this ability is with respect to foreseeable changes in the environment. If a society were perfectly in tune with their environment and were able to prevent any changes in their environment, this would be just as good as a completely versatile ability for modification.

Another aspect of society to examine for data collection would be a population’s ability to maintain their existence generation to generation. If a population is declining or increasing, one must examine how this will exert stress on their environment and determine if the population can survive. Disease prevention and control are also important for the survival of a society. Disease can not only threaten the lives of individuals in a population, but can also disable them, which would certainly reduce their ability to meet their basic needs.

To measure the progress of a society one must have an exceptional understanding of the workings of a society and how it affects their relationship with their environment. There are multiple important factors regarding a universal measure of progress for mankind. A society’s ability to meet their basic needs, such as food, water and a stable body temperature are important. It is also important to examine what factors affect the society’s ability to meet their basic needs and to what degree. A universal measure of progress is thus defined as the advancement of a society’s ability to meet the basic human needs and ensure its preservation, generation to generation.