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The Society Portal

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

Societies construct patterns of behavior by deeming certain actions or concepts as acceptable or unacceptable. These patterns of behavior within a given society are known as societal norms. Societies, and their norms, undergo gradual and perpetual changes.

Insofar as it is collaborative, a society can enable its members to benefit in ways that would otherwise be difficult on an individual basis; both individual and social (common) benefits can thus be distinguished, or in many cases found to overlap. A society can also consist of like-minded people governed by their own norms and values within a dominant, larger society. This is sometimes referred to as a subculture, a term used extensively within criminology, and also applied to distinctive subsections of a larger society.

More broadly, and especially within structuralist thought, a society may be illustrated as an economic, social, industrial or cultural infrastructure, made up of, yet distinct from, a varied collection of individuals. In this regard society can mean the objective relationships people have with the material world and with other people, rather than "other people" beyond the individual and their familiar social environment. (Full article...)

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A view of the Earth from space.
Sustainability is the capacity to endure through renewal, maintenance, and sustenance, or nourishment, in contrast to durability, the capacity to endure through unchanging resistance to change. For humans in social systems or ecosystems, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse, robust, and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. Robust, diverse, productive ecosystems and environments provide vital resources and processes (known as "ecosystem services"). There are two major ways of managing human impact on ecosystem services. One approach is environmental management; this approach is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in earth science, environmental science, and conservation biology. Another approach is management of consumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in economics.

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Execution of conspirators in Lincoln
Credit: Photo: Alexander Gardner; Restoration: Lise Broer

On July 7, 1865, at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt (shown left-to-right) were hanged for their roles in the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Eight people were convicted for the crime; three others were sentenced to life imprisonment, with the last receiving a six-year sentence. Mary Surratt's son John was able to escape and was never convicted for his role. His mother was the first woman to be executed by the United States federal government.

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The city block across the street south of the bazaar halls burned down in 1858. The old firewatch building is seen behind to the left.

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“ I mean, you go to the Internet and you can see all these conversations and arguments that our fans have about our music and that's wonderful to know, that people would take the time to be that involved. ” — Alex Lifeson, 1998

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Lev Chernyi (Russian: Лев Чёрный, IPA: [ˈlʲef ˈt͡ɕɵrnɨj] (listen); died September 21, 1921) was a Russian anarchist theorist, activist and poet, and a leading figure of the Third Russian Revolution. His early thought was individualist, rejecting anarcho-communism as a threat to individual liberty. In 1917, Chernyi was released from his political imprisonment by the Imperial Russian regime, and swiftly became one of the leading figures in Russian anarchism. After strongly denouncing the new Bolshevik government in various anarchist publications and joining several underground resistance movements, Chernyi was arrested by the Cheka on a charge of counterfeiting and in 1921 was executed without trial. (Full article...)

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