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Habitological analysis

© Vitali Kaufman
См. также Habitology



  • Habitological analysis (HA, h-analysis) – analysis of proposed changes for undesirable effects and the level of achievement of declared goals, as well as the search for acceptable alternatives that minimize both such effects and the need for changes themselves


  • Habitological expertise (HE, h-expertise) – evaluation of effects
  • invention-research of alternative solutions to the original problem (AS, a-solutions) – brainstorming


1. Roundabout

The example is good in that it allows you to fully understand the essence and assess the merits of a qualified habitological analysis, without requiring any professional training (driving skills are useful, but not necessary).

The essence of the task


When the traffic became intensive enough, it became necessary to restore order when crossing intersections to minimize accidents. The rule “give way to right” was invented.This turned out to be a satisfactory solution for not too busy intersections, but quickly led to congestion at intersections of more loaded ones.
Then it was invented to regulate the order of travel clearly with the help of traffic police officers. With the development of technology, police officers were replaced automatic traffic lights together with the corresponding traffic rules. Traffic lights solve the main problem (minimization of accidents), but, firstly, this pleasure costs a lot of money and, secondly, limits the throughput of the intersection, temporarily completely blocking traffic for part of the stream.

Formulation of the problem

Find a way to control traffic at the intersection, minimally limiting its capacity – limiting (stopping) traffic for those and only those vehicles that have a real obstacle (competition from another vehicle).

Subject of analysis

Evaluate the solution: replace the regulated intersection with an unregulated roundabout under the following additional conditions:

  •  A special (new (!) For drivers) road sign is put on all sides of the roundabout (circle)
  •  Move in a circle counterclockwise (at the entrance to the circle, turn right)
  • At the entrance to the circle should give way to those who are already on the circle
    • that is, give in to those on the left — this is an exception to the general rule — give in to those on the right.

Actually h-analysis


Questions to answer

(taking into account the habits of those affected by the changes (at the time of the p-analysis!) – in our case, at least drivers, pedestrians and policemen)

  • Could the solution be implemented in principle?
  • What are the desirable effects of change?
  • What are the undesirable effects?
Answers on questions
  1. Realizable
  2. Desirable effects
    • The problem is solved satisfactorily
      1. collision probability decreases
      2. the intersection bandwidth is limited to the minimum – only in cases when there is a danger of collisions
      3. traffic lights and everything related to their production, installation, repair, turn out to be superfluous
        1. the solution is relatively cheap
  3. Unwanted effects
    1. Change-complicate traffic rules
      1. new special traffic sign required (at least one)
      2. special rules are needed associated with it
    2. these innovations need to train all road users – at a minimum, drivers and police officers, but preferably pedestrians
    3. all this requires significant expenses
    4. especially important
      • drivers are required to act in an unusual way (completely against the habit), and even in the complicated road conditions
        • give way not to the one on the right, but to the one on the left
          • it provokes violations, scandals and accidents, annoying drivers

AS – the invention of an alternative solution

Ideal end result – IER
  • Complete solution of the task in the framework of the usual traffic rules (no change)
Proposed solution
  1. A roundabout should be built at the intersection
    1. as in the current version
  2. Set the sign “Enter on a one-way road” – to the lef:
H-expertise of the new solution
  1. Reclizable
  2. Desirable effects
    1. The original problem is completely solved.
    2. Everyone is accustomed
    3. Nothing new in traffic rules
    4. No cost for new signs and training for drivers
    5. No additional annoyance to drivers.
  3. Unwanted effects
    • unknown
      • if this solution were considered before the adoption of the current traffic rules at the roundabout
  4. General assessment: a new solution in all respects is better than the current one


Why was it the actual solution that was adopted?

  • I do not know the explanation. I will be glad to any information and considerations on this topic.
    • Perhaps such a soluiion was not proposed (known) at the time of the adoption of a actual solution, an analysis similar to our h-analysis was not carried out, or significant shortcomings that were not taken into account by our h-analysis prevented its adoption..

What could be the consequences of our analysis

It is important to understand that the habitological situation is now fundamentally different from the situation where roundabouts have only been put into action. Now that bad solution with a counterclockwise motion, from our point of viewit turned out to be habit. For some drivers, the solution we offer may now create additional problems, especially in the event of signs breaking or lack of attention at the entrance to the circle in the absence of other vehicles.
Nevertheless, it may be reasonable to introduce a new solution into action without canceling the old one. Enough at the entrance to the existing roundabout (circle) just put a sign (one-way left)  instead of a roundabout sign . And also, perhaps, to do it at the newly established roundabouts. Formally speaking, nothing more is needed.
In principle, the transition to a new solution can be made simultaneously at all roundabouts, if at the same time signs are replaced everywhere, the population is informed in advance, and the special signs of roundabout are later abandoned.
However, it should be borne in mind that the result of the analysis is obliged to take the most significant account of the current habits of those affected by the decision – the old decision has already become customary for many. We must separately carefully analyze the feasibility of the transition to a new solution – in other words, it now requires particularly careful h-analysis.
Another aspect – with the new solution, in principle, there is no need for the special concept of a roundabout as a special road attraction and a landmark on the road – it is currently widely used, including in navigators (“at the next roundabout, select the third exit”).
To reduce the negative effect of this, it is possible, say, to use the roundabout sign precisely and only for orientation purposes, replacing the direction of the arrows in it (to indicate a clockwise motion) and connect its installation with the sign  setting.
In principle, in the new conditions it may be useful and sufficient to simply update the rule of movement in a circle (clockwise) with a corresponding adjustment of the sign of the roundabout. At a minimum, it will save you from exceptions from the usual rules, it will be less annoying drivers and provoke accidents.
In general, the given example should be viewed primarily as an example of the h-analysis, and not as a proposal to change the traffic rules immediately.

2. Save the World From Climate Catastrophe


Sources: ‘Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN
This example is also very significant. Particularly good is that it also does not require any special training, but it concerns literally everyone.
Of course, if the very fact of the appearance of a widely discussed report – we analyze the conclusions from it – is not just another experiment-demonstration in the style of the recent scandal of the year with the publication of obviously delirious scientific articles in the allegedly decent scientific journals. 🙂

The full title of the report itself is alarming – two goals have been set with completely incomparable priorities – salvation from catastrophic climate change and the eradication of poverty.
This did not prevent the report from provoking a lively discussion with the panic headings mentioned above. Therefore, it is worth trying out habitological analysis on this material.

The report say that “C2. Pathways limiting global warming to 1.5° C with no or limited overshoot would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems (high confidence). These systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio of mitigation options and a significant upscaling of investments in those options (medium confidence).”

“D1. Estimates of the global emissions outcome of current nationally stated mitigation ambitions as submitted under the Paris Agreement would lead to global greenhouse gas emissions 18 in 2030 of 52–58 GtCO2 eq yr-1 (medium confidence). Pathways reflecting these ambitions would not limit global warming to 1.5°C, even if supplemented by very challenging increases in the scale and ambition of emissions reductions after 2030 (high confidence). Avoiding overshoot and reliance on future large-

scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) can only be achieved if global CO2 emissions start to decline well before 2030 (high confidence). {1.2, 2.3, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2, 4.4, Cross – Chapter Box 11 in Chapter 4″

Even if one accepts that the data is correct, the recommendations-conclusions in general look at least unconvincing, especially taking into account the habitology. We will try to deal with the findings. Let’s start with fixing the problem statement.

Note that “The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I dealing with the physical scientific basis of climate change; Working Group II dealing with issues related to impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III dealing with issues of climate change mitigation . ” It is worth to underline that no group is specifically focused on the search and assessment of methods for cleaning the atmosphere.

The essence of the task

  • Eliminate excess greenhouse effect
    • This is exactly the correct formulation of the problem, which directly follows from understanding the causes of climate change.
      • the correct formulation of the problem is half its solution 🙂
      • to eliminate the effect, and not to eliminate one of its intended causes
        •  for example, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
          • Not to “reduce emissions”, but to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide
            • if you believe that it is caused by this
              • and precisely as a result of human activity
      • We emphasize that, most likely, the greenhouse effect will have to be eliminated by a combination of already known methods and methods that have yet to be invented, both to reduce emissions and clean the atmosphere, and to change its reflectivity, etc.

Subject of h-analysis

Proposed IPCC solution:

  • Change the habits of humanity so as to reduce carbon dioxide emissions

The emphasis on reducing emissions is made in the report based on the assessment that the effectiveness of atmospheric purification methods has not been proven on a large scale, and some of them may carry significant risks to sustainable development. I note immediately that the effectiveness of methods to reduce emissions in terms of the impact on climate change is also not proven. First of all, the very possibility of changing the habits of humanity to a sufficient degree, and even more so the possibility of correctly assessing the negative effect of such a change, is debatable.
What are the desirable effects of change?
What are the undesirable effects

Actually h-analysis


Questions to answer

(taking into account the habits of those affected by the changes (at the time of the analysis!) – in our case, the whole of humanity and its environment – consumers, manufacturers, ways of movement, food composition, and much, much more)

  1. Is the solution implementable in principle?
  2. What are the desirable effects of change?
  3. What are the undesirable effects?
Answers on questions
  1. Almost certainly unrealizable
    • In any case, as a proof, nothing really appears except “good wishes”
  2. Desirable effects
    • climate change will stop
      • however, provided it is really caused by the actions of a person
  3. Unwanted effects
    • humanity will be forced to significantly change their habits
      • including habits of comfort
        • heating, delicious food, flying on airplanes, etc.
    • especially important
        • attempts to change habits, specialy by force, can cause social upheavals that are quite comparable with the climate catastrophe that we want to avoid

AS – research of alternative solutions

Ideal end result
  • Eliminate excess greenhouse effect without changing people’s habits and without attempts to change them about it
Proposed solution
How to find a solution
  1. Concentrate on finding and verifying how to eliminate greenhouse effect
    • including methods of cleaning the atmosphere from excess carbon dioxide
      • methods that are not dependent on reducing emissions and not changing the habits of humanity
      • Fund these efforts from all imaginable sources, including private charitable foundations
      • Establish a special premium of outstanding prestige and size for inventing a method to solve a problem

Comment. The experience of creating breakthrough technologies, say, space or nuclear, proves the effectiveness of such a concentration of efforts, special incentives and, in particular, special funding for solving problems that seemed insoluble in the foreseeable future.
In any case, the feasibility of the goal is certainly no more dubious than the ability to change the entire way of life of billions of people without catastrophic shocks.


If global climate change is really associated with the volumes of atmospheric pollution caused by human activity, then, most likely, human resources should be sufficient for the invention of, say, efficient cleaning technologies, and for the actual purification of the atmosphere from comparable volumes of carbon dioxide.

Experience shows what a truly key role in human life is played precisely by cleaning methods and how effective they can be, even with a very high intensity of pollution. A civilized person is clean, not because he does not get dirty clothes and does not sweat, but because he regularly washes clothes and washes. Cities in countries with a high culture (a typical example is Finland) are clean, not because the population or visitors do not litter, but because a system of regular garbage collection is established.
It is important to emphasize that success is achieved not at the expense of hopeless (at least inefficient, and by virtue of this unreasonable) calls to change human nature or human habits, but at the expense of effective technology for removing dirt.
Of course, changing habits is sometimes reasonable or absolutely necessary (for example, striving to get rid of drugs, including smoking or drinking), but you should not rely on the effect of calls to change habits – you need to have ways to survive, even if calls to change habits are not effective. For example, be able to treat drug addiction forcibly or clean the poisoned stomach.

What could be the consequences of our h-analysis

If we follow the hysterical appeal of the type: ‘People, come to your senses! Save the world from the “climate catastrophe”‘, then we should act constructively, setting correct goals and testing the proposed solutions in the spirit of our habitological analysis, without succumbing to hysteria.


I am glad to thank Elvira Kiuru for her support, patience and very helpful comments.

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