Posted in Crazy Ideas for Peace, Musings, Sci-fi starters

Quantum Connections

Fright Futures – Bright Futures

25 May 2019

Jon Rudy

 

To continue with my series of what it would look like to imagine a bright future (rather than a dystopian one) I offer a story starter called Quantum Connections.  Thinking about how all things are unified at the atomic level, I imagine what it would be like for human consciousness to be fully immersed in knowing that love is the space between the atoms. So, here are the first paragraphs in that story . . .

 

Quantum Connections

All things are connected. By mid century this truism had worked its way into the psyche of most people on the planet. Something known by every other living thing, the bipeds with supposed higher order thinking had finally come to accept what every other physical manifestation – from the rocks to trees to warm blooded creatures – had known and embodied from the core of their molecular structure . . . everything is one.

 

As homo sapiens began to re-order their existence (political, social and economic) around the reality that all things are intimately interconnected, happiness began to become a ubiquitous byproduct. The realization that, even at the level of the quark, each thing is intertwined with every other in the universe…as with a spider web in jiggling one thread resonates throughout the whole net . . . brought a sense of responsibility and agency to humanity as never before.

 

In his lab, Matt a quantum physicist, accepted this reality as he pondered the next iteration of interconnection. He had recently discovered that it was possible to impress a field of gratitude upon a crystalline structure and have that temper every digital bit that passed through the clock circuit of microprocessors. The result?  Artificial Intelligence (AI) with timing from these care modulated networks now embodied a level of compassion that insured their decisions were based on the greatest golden path for the highest common good. Matt begin to dream about how compassionate AI might be possible to heal the planet from the excesses of industrialization and domination systems of the past centuries . . .

 

 

Posted in Crazy Ideas for Peace, Education, End of Enemy, Human Security, Imagine, Musings, Sci-fi starters

Fright Futures – Bright Futures

The human race is the only species (that we know of) that is capable of imaging its own frightening demise in such technicolor detail. In fact, looking at most science fiction produced today, a dystopian future where the world has been shredded by war, scorched by nukes and/or dominated by cruel and vicious despots is the norm. Science fiction tells us what the future will look like in some jolting ways. Author Arthur C. Clarke predicted satellites in geo-sync orbit decades before that became reality(1). Isaac Asmov wrote about the 3 laws of robotics as ways to keep robots (think AI) serving humanity instead of the other way around. (2) Kim Stanley Robinson wrote of how mars was colonized with the cycle of power, domination and war predictably following. (3)  This last one has yet to play out although it is clear we will colonize mars . . .

 

Does it have to be this way? What I suggest is that sci-fi writers have a huge role to play in helping humanity imagine that we will ‘get it right’ in terms of bright, happy futures filled with dignity for ALL. In this blog series I will suggest paragraph book starts with ideas that could be expanded upon to imagine a bright future on this planet. Here goes with my first Bright Future sci-fi starter. . .

 

 

The Cost of Denial

By the mid-2020s it became clear that the political cost of climate change denying made running untenable. In fact, in the 2024 presidential elections, not a single candidate in any of the 6 parties who fielded a congressional candidate had a record of silence, if not outright denial, of the so called ‘climate debate’ at the turn of the century. Such was the tsunami of unanimous demand from the populace for leadership to act!

 

(1) https://www.wired.com/2011/05/0525arthur-c-clarke-proposes-geostationary-satellites/

(2)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Laws_of_Robotics

(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_trilogy

Image from Wikimedia commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robot-clip-art-book-covers-feJCV3-clipart.png

Posted in Crazy Ideas for Peace, Musings

From the United Nations to the United Biosphere

From the United Nations to the United Biosphere

Jonathan Rudy

Peacemaker in Residence @ Elizabethtown College

17 July 2018

 

All things are connected.” This is a mantra I have been repeating and exploring ever since I heard it for the first time in 1984. Indeed, my very own definition of peacebuilding, arising out of my 30+ years of international work, includes at its foundation a re-connecting. So, in a time when our problems as a human species transcend boundaries of nation state, ethnicity, tribe and family, it is time to innovate like all things are connected.

 

To solve the wicked problems of war, famine, disease and the impacts of climate change, it is imperative to develop a new consciousness of how all things are connected. An expanded human consciousness that sees all people as siblings might not even be a large enough to make sense of and respond to our current plight. Humans have to develop a biospheric consciousness.

 

Nearly every liberal arts college in the US and Canada has a Political Science department whose broad task is to prepare the next generation of leaders for engaging in the political space for the wielding of power. But the definitions of ‘political’ imply the human centric differentiations drawn through social and partisan groupings that included power blocks, borders, boundaries and alliances.

 

What we need is a Bio-litical (Biolitical) Science department in our higher education institutions. This degree would teach the next generation of leaders how to wield power for the largest greater common good that is based on an awareness of the connection rather than differentiation and boundaried nature of all things. A progression in thinking would be the formation of the United Biospheric (UB), a forum that would bring all things to a table of consensus for the common good for all. What would it mean for earth, water, air, and fire, along with species of plants and animals, to have an equal say at the UB? What would a UB Security Council look like or would having developed this forum give an unprecedented level of security only dreamed about today? What new listening skills would humans need to develop to even be able to hear the concerns of, say, fire within our biosphere yet alone honor and respect fire as an equal member of the UB?

 

The first tasks for humans would be to dismantle our species-centric thinking that pervades, at least in the Western World, the actions of humans. Fortunately for those of us with enlightenment and Eurocentric cosmologies, we don’t have to reinvent this. Many indigenous cosmologies already have pieces of this understanding.

Posted in Afghanistan, Crazy Ideas for Peace, End of Enemy, Musings

Meeting in shadow and light

Meeting in shadow and light

Jonathan Rudy
Kabul Afghanistan 2011

 

We do meet for a moment,

my war waging compatriots,

and I.

 

In the blink of an eye they pass overhead,

a liquid shadow, casting a strobe like effect

from their Blackhawk rotor blades.

 

It is the occultation of light that connects us.

 

The outline of the helicopter,

here and gone,

for that one instant we merge,

inhabit the same space.

 

Why does it have to be the darkness,

cast over my small compound space

for the briefest of time,

which brings us to together?

 

How is it that we can be one in the light?

Posted in Afghanistan, Crazy Ideas for Peace, End of Enemy, Human Security, Musings

End of Enemy Series

4. Creating Reality
I have been intrigued by the question of how much of our world we create in our own minds. This question was made really clear on the streets of Kabul and rural north of Afghanistan. This journal entry from: 24 Oct 2012…posted to a student on the topic of culture on the Etown Blackboard Discussion Board…

 

This past weekend I experieJon speaking to Dist 9 mediatorsnced the hospitality of the people of northern Afghanistan. I felt safe, cared for and the warm welcome of a people who have an ancient culture. Yet just at arm’s length away were the vehicles of war from my own nation, on edge for fear of being shot at. They were at war. How can our two realities exist within the same space-time continuum? What is the difference between me in my host’s Toyota Corolla enjoying the beauty of rural Afghanistan and my compatriots in their Armored Personnel Carrier who see danger behind every rock?

 

Could it be that the language we use helps create reality? If you have not done so already, check out the Handbook on Human Security: A Civil-Military-Police Curriculum* that was recently written by Lisa Schirch and co-published by Alliance for Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute and Global Partnership for the PreContrasting languagevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). On page 146 is a chart comparing and contrasting State and Human security terminology. On the one hand the ‘other’ is an enemy, criminal or perpetrator. On the other hand the ‘other’ is a more neutral term; stakeholder. A stakeholder is someone to engage, hear a story from and who has an interest in what happens. Stakeholders, being such a generic term, begs questions about who, what, when, where, why and how. The other 3 terms, enemy, criminal and perpetrator denote a precast, prejudged role with no room for story or depth.

 

*Schirch, Lisa. Handbook on Human Security: A Civil-Military-Police Curriculum. The Hague, The Netherlands: Alliance for Peacebuilding, GPPAC, Kroc Institute, March 2016. P. 146

Posted in Crazy Ideas for Peace, Education, End of Enemy, Human Security, Musings

End of Enemy Series

  1. Interlude to the Present

I am currently in northern Thailand giving a series of talks on peacebuilding and human security at the Institute of Religion, Culture and Peace (IRCP) at Payap UniversPrayers Vert smity. I experienced a wonderful example of the positive/creative language I have been blogging about when Dr. Suchart Setthamalinee, IRCP faculty, invited me to the local mosque for Friday prayers. The message, brought by a student, urged the faithful to “resist retaliation and embrace forgiveness because forgiveness is central to life.” He implored “when someone does evil to you and you retaliate, the evil they have done comes to you. But if you don’t return evil for evil then the evil stays with them.” With those simple yet profound words the Islamic community in Chiang Mai reinforces the tradition of neighborliness and unity which has characterized interfaith relations here.

 

Chiang Mai Thailand is a place where the major religions have a long history of natural co-existence. As I chatted with the leaders of the mosque, however, I became aware that the historical mutual respect these leaders have toward each other, is under stress from global attitudes and realities. Many times in our conversation the term ‘Islamophobia’ came up.

 

It strikes me that the normative impulse for humans to get along with their neighbors can be understood as a kind of passive co-existence. The globalization of division, hate and exclusivism is challenging the interfaith sphere in Chiang Mail to become active co-creators of harmonious living. Can we imagine Mosque Visit dialogue partners-smcommunities where we more than tolerate each other but embrace the notion of thriving together in our diversity? The mosque in Chiang Mai can!

Posted in Crazy Ideas for Peace, End of Enemy, Human Security, Musings

End of Enemy Series

  1. Alternative Language (cont.)

In my last few posts I suggested that we dispense with fighting enemies and focus on creating the world of peace and security we want. I pondered if the place to start was transforming our English Language idioms that are shot full war-like language. …How many of you caught that I just used one of those violence oriented saying …”shot full of…” ?

 

I challenged the readers in the last post to shift language to more organic and peaceful language. How about instead of “shot full of…” that I used the word “peppered, salted or spiced?” Our English Language is peppered with war-like language.

 

Have you thought of alternatives to the use of “bullet points?”  How about “pearl points?”

 

Cassini Pix of Earth

I posed this challenge to a class at Elizabethtown College and they artfully came up with this substitute. Instead of “targeting that idea for a campaign” they suggested, “planted that seeds for future growth.”

 

I propose using earth-based, organic language to orient us away from war-like language and toward a nurturing, sustaining language that reconnects us to Mother Earth. The effect might be increased awareness for our biological, finite nature which in turn could increase respect for this little blue ball spinning around the sun we call home.

 

(Picture is of earth (the small blue dot) from the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn)

 

Posted in Crazy Ideas for Peace, End of Enemy, Human Security, Musings

End of Enemy Series

  1. Alternate language

Have you ever pondered if and how our very use of language keeps us focused on the fight with enemies? For example, what do we call the dots in front of a series of items on a page?  Bullet points?  Have you ever noticed how soaked the English Language is with war making? Take these examples:

 

  • ideas shot down
  • attack a problem
  • more ammunition for the argumentpearl points
  • magic bullets
  • combat illness
  • campaigns and crusades for issues
  • bombed=failed
  • aim your sights higher
  • in the trenches
  • doing battle with my kids
  • charge into a situation
  • armed with the facts
  • taking flack for some decision
  • fight for justice
  • saying ‘shoot’ when I goof up
  • drawing the battle lines
  • ambush journalism

 

And if that were not enough we are constantly urged by advertisers to “arm ourselves against” ignorance, insurance fraud, termites ….” We declare war, endless wars on drugs, poverty, corruption, crime, cancer, rust, toilet bowl rings.

 

I am tired of war. I want something different and I believe the place to start is my own thinking which directly impacts my language.

 

I challenge you, until the next posting in a few days, to find alternative, more organic ways to say the things listed above without the aggressive, warmongering language.

Posted in Coffee, Crazy Ideas for Peace, Philippines

Coffee for Peace

cropped-coffeeonhand-front-page-1 A simple coffee bean bringing world peace. Sound outrageous?  Well that is the grand plan if the PeaceBuilders Community Incorporated (PBCI) in Davao City, Mindanao has its way. Beginning only ten years ago as a presence among parties in the long running wars in the southern Philippines, they currently have Peace and Reconciliation Communities spread throughout the Philippines. Even if this was all that visionary Dann Pantoja and the team at PBCI would have accomplished this would have been admirable.

 

However, connecting the values of justice and peace to a fair trade coffee business has made this venture down right remarkable. In ten short years Coffee for Peace (the entrepreneurial arm of the vision) has vastly increased what rural coffee farmers receive for their bCoffee plants1-smeans while encouraging the producer communities in a whole range of integrated skills. From tending coffee plants, to reforestation, to financial management skills to training baristas, the business acumen of Joji Pantoja has made this the social impact enterprise to watch. Indeed this merger of peace and coffee has attracted much attention earning Coffee for Peace numerous awards and notoriety from the United Nations, Price-Waterhouse Cooper, The Asian Development Bank and more.

 

Lattee sm

With so much doom and gloom the world, I am inspired and humbled to have seen this story close up from the beginning as PBCI and Coffee for Peace make the world just a little more harmonious . . . one cup at a time.

Posted in Crazy Ideas for Peace, Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute, Musings, Travel

Three Views

My colleagues at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute suggest there are at least three views of things that are metaphoric for seeking solutions to violent conflict. TheUNIMA helecopter view from a helicopter, Land Rover and walking. Viewing problems from a helicopter presents a flattened and panoramic field of vision where only major features of the terrain are visible. A helicopter leaps to the ‘destination’ without the inconvenience and snarls of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

 

The view from the Land Rover is a more nuanced, giving a ground level understanding of the bumLandCruisersps and twists in the road. The temptation is to drive at high speeds through villages to get to a destination some distance ahead. From behind the tinted glass, the rider gets a detached perspective never having to come face to face with real people. That is unless the vehicle stops and the rider alights.

 

Shoes

It’s only in walking that one grasps, viscerally, the difficulty of traversing the road. Through the five senses the heat of the sun, the smells and sounds of the journey becomes intimately familiar to the walker. Might the solutions that emerge from struggling on the journey together, walking shoulder to shoulder, be the most sustainable even though they are the ‘slowest’?  What will it take to get us out of our helicopters and Land Rovers and get a bit of road dust on our feet?