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A. Make peace, justice, opportunity, and a clean environment for all the foundation of each and every present and future international agreement.CLICK HERE for how, why, and references
C. Get women into at minimum 50% of all leadership and management positions in government, business, and scientific endeavor worldwide-- and maintain that ratio (or better) into perpetuity; Also increase women's share of wealth, property, and business ownership across the board CLICK HERE for how, why, and references
D. Reduce to an absolute minimum the use of gratuitous violence in entertainment media and advertising-- including the gaming industry
There's strong evidence that exposure to virtual violence has a similar effect as exposure to real violence: greater aggression in those exposed, as well as less sensitivity towards the victims of violence. This implies such exposures can render an entire society more prone to aggression, violence, and crime at all levels, from personal through international (as mass public opinion perhaps more readily supports aggression than it otherwise would). In an age of increasingly dangerous weapons of mass destruction, instilling such tendencies towards violence and acceptance of same into the general population is tantamount to advocating the extinction of humanity.
Between the 1950s and 2000, something happened to make today's young adults and children more anxiety-ridden than they were in previous generations. During the 1980s average children possessed a higher level of anxiety than child psychiatric patients of thirty years before.
Exposure to violence, both real and virtual, seems one source of this anxiety. Many of our young seem to feel less safe and less connected to others than previous generations.
This mounting anxiety is apparently contributing to rising rates of substance abuse and depression among the younger population.
-- Children's Anxiety at All-Time High By Suzanne Rostler, Reuters Health/Yahoo! Health Headlines, December 15, 2000, citing the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 2000;79:1007-1021
In developed nations like the USA, many corporations are exploiting the way TV, radio, videos, games, and the internet have become defacto babysitters of many children due to the frequent absence or inattention of their parents, stemming from both often working and being otherwise time-pressed. These corporations use the latest child psychology information available in state-of-the-art multimedia to seduce children via violence, addictive mental hooks, and gaudy sensuality into shrill harassment of parents for the purchase of various products/services the corporations are pushing. This is leading to more than 50% of parents admittedly buying items for their children which they themselves disapprove of, but feel compelled to buy to avoid disappointing their children.
This ongoing virtual child abuse appears to be desensitizing children to violence and its results in general, perhaps leading to some of them later on inflicting great tragedies upon themselves and others as teens or adults. In short, this corporate abuse of children today may be leading, at worst, to a new 'lost' generation of violent criminals tomorrow. Or, at best, to a future generation of adults who themselves may become poor excuses for individual human beings-- and even worse parents.
The Center for a New American Dream is one group formed to combat this phenomena.
-- The nanny by Ralph Nader, Oct. 27, 1999, Ralph Nader/In the Public Interest, San Francisco Bay Guardian, sfbg.com
Violence appears to be a socially learned behavior, rather than any innate characteristic of normal young adolescents. Subjects showed that an inclination to violence necessarily followed significant social exposure to same. Such exposure included instances within the home and community, as well as video games, films, music, and internet usage.
-- Violence is a learned behavior, say researchers at Wake Forest University, 6 NOVEMBER 2000, EurekAlert!, Contact: Rae Beasley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-716-6878, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Over a matter of decades USAmerican audiences have become more and more entranced by violence in entertainment media, resulting in the production of ever more violent TV shows, films, and other media, in an ever-reinforcing spiral. This desensitization to violence has also affected children.
Original purpose of escalating violence in movies backfired, Virginia Tech film critic says, EurekAlert!, 25 OCTOBER 1999, Contact: Stephen R. Prince email@example.com 540-231-5044 Virginia Tech
From 8-3-02 jrm&aFLUX newz&viewz: Why is it easier for many to find things to die for than to live for?Suicide, murder, terrorism, war, and violence of many other sorts, both physical and mental, done to oneself and/or to others. It's remarkably easy for the average human being today to find something they consider to be 'worth dying for'. Usually, perhaps normally, such justifications for death are related to one's family, and sometimes friends and lovers. But governments often ask (or demand) that we (or typically men, anyway) see more distant or abstract ideas as sufficient to die for, such as nationalism/patriotism, etc. The most extreme of cult or religious leaders sometimes desire something similar from both sexes.
If you look around, you find almost everyone is constantly trying to persuade you that their particular agenda or idol or idea is worth dying for-- even if it only means a drawn out death, reached via one pinprick at a time. For as your free time is the most valuable asset of anyone alive, and most of us must give up great gobs of that time to earn money, then everytime we pay money for something we're trading a bit of our life for it-- and so dying a little.
Thus, Madison Avenue advertising is constantly pushing different brands and speeds of death upon us, not much different from the worst illegal drug pushers-- at least from one perspective.
The developed world is now inundated with such death merchants, with the overall level of advertising becoming almost subliminal now, as it pervades our internet experience, TV viewing, radio listening, theater visits, taxi cab rides-- practically any aspect of human experience you can name, today.
At the same time we're drenched in violence in our media, and urged to act on impulse and make more money ever faster so we can spend more faster-- and die faster. Apparently the ideal consumer would be one who frenziedly works their butt off for a lifetime so that they can buy as much stuff as possible, and never ever stop to contemplate any other aspects of their lives or the world.
Today's America seems the epitome of this, as the entire economy appears structured to minimize conscious thought or financial independence on the part of individual consumers, while also draining them in every conceivable way money-wise in order to keep them running the treadmill in their cage. America does little or nothing to train children how to resist this bombardment, or even how to manage their own budgets in order to protect themselves from financial ruin when they grow up.
We're all pretty much on our own, with 'every man for himself'. No wonder some foreign observers often comment on the short-sightedness, selfish and self-centered nature of certain Americans. In broad societal terms, we're raised that way.
I wonder though, if there's no way we could turn this around? Help one another find things to live for, rather than die for? Of course, some would sneer that such a philosophy smacks of cowardice, as it would dilute the urge to find just causes for death, either for onself or others, in pursuits like war or terrorism, etc. But life itself is often no picnic, as even we sometimes pampered Americans know from first-hand experience.
Indeed, choosing life over death is often the more difficult course for many of us, as death would release us from all sorts of obligations, uncertainties, and suffering, while life tends to do only the opposite.
We Americans effectively rule the world at the moment. But find ourselves aghast when our emphasis on essentially glorifying death saturates the globe, and helps result in things like suicide bombers and the use of airliners as manned missiles.
Just look at the Hollywood blockbusters we feed upon and export to the rest of the world. Often brimming with extreme violence, and focusing on heroes who can find something or someone worth risking their life for around every corner.
What can we do about all this? That's hard to say, as glorifying extreme violence, suicide, and murder is very profitable for our media elite and large shareholders, as well as very useful to our politicians when they want to elicit emotional responses from us in support of various wars, candidates, or passage of new laws, and our employers when they wish to motivate us to be as ruthless as possible in business dealings-- since American brand capitalism seems to have degenerated into something like a perpetual war footing itself, since the end of the Cold War. They've got us locked up tight in support of death and violence in so many ways that it's mind-boggling.
Sure, lots of folks including consumers and big business will be furious to see large chunks of legacy media like old films and interactive games removed from widespread circulation and viewing due to the new restrictions, because of their excessively violent content. But look at the bright side: this will also create a 'vacuum' of content in the media industry, spurring huge demand for new material, and thus a boom in its production by businesses big and small-- including self-employed individuals. Small entrepreneurial and independent production companies would suddenly enjoy a scale of opportunity beyond their wildest dreams. The entire world entertainment industry would be remade in less than a decade.
E. Reduce military expenditures worldwide and minimize the proliferation of weapons and weapon technologies-- expecially weapons of mass destruction or potential terrorism CLICK HERE for how, why, and references
H. Encourage widespread volunteerism, tutoring, and mentoring in order to cost-effectively strengthen democracy, improve and expand education and training alternatives, provide better care for the young, elderly, and disabled, and generally improve the health, happiness, and outlook for everyone involved-- including the volunteers/mentors/tutors themselves
Studies indicate this measure would benefit pretty much everyone involved, at little or no additional cost to businesses and government. It would also increase the security and well-being of humanity as a whole.
-- Democracy Strengthened When Citizens Belong to some Types Of Voluntary Associations, Study Says
Look at the reference above and then the one below. Taken together these studies indicate that having too many disadvantaged youth (read: poor or poorly raised) in one's country could be dangerous for that country's future as a prosperous and democratic state. Ergo, making sure to provide them (and their parents) with at least a modest amount of support in terms of health, education, and general guidance during their formative years would seem prudent.
It may be that establishing ways to facilitate connections between willing tutors and earnest students would help improve many nations (and the world) rapidly in many ways, and for minimal costs.
Jerome Rabow has written a how to guide for potential tutors and government agencies which might be interested in setting up such programs. It also includes a problem-solving section. The title of the book is Tutoring Matters-- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About How to Tutor [shop for this].
The book is based on Rabow's and his students' own documented experiences in tutoring over ten years.
|-- UCLA prof touts tutoring manual as cure for social ills; Reuters/CNN.com; August 18, 1999|
I. Make adequate and affordable computer hardware and software and internet access available to everyone worldwide
Technologies like computers, email, and the internet are all potential mind amplifiers and expanders. Ergo, the more human minds we get connected via same, the faster the pace of innovation we'll likely enjoy. And the wider and deeper education and free speech might take hold too, worldwide.
Encouraging the use of open source software across-the-board would likely help tremendously in this area, as open source tends to be free or lower cost compared to proprietary wares, and require much lower performance (read: cheaper) hardware resources. As an added bonus, the programming code of open source can usually be easily accessed and modified by users to offer a better fit to local circumstances, or correct problems or expand functionality on-the-fly-- things which are usually either impossible, or much more costly in terms of time and money to do with proprietary wares. Still another advantage is all this easy tweaking accessibility encourages users to learn more about their computing platforms and so expand or improve their skills, adding to their potential value to society in several ways, as well as their own employability and income potential. So open source may actually help raise living standards in at least some regions as well.
-- Why Human Rights Requires Free Software [Oct. 11, 2002]
-- Computers in churches, laundromats may bridge digital divide; EurekAlert
J. Develop and maintain intellectual property protections like patents, copyrights, and trademarks with the proper balance between protection of IP owners and the fair and practical usage of same by subsequent creators, scientists, inventors, programmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers
It seems the world is in dire need of some major reforms in current intellectual property practices, as of early 2003. The scary convergence of government and big business described elsewhere is resulting in a warping of the original intent of such laws in many ways, likely leading to less opportunity for everyone but a few powerful corporations, and less real innovation, over the long term. Such legislated increases in the power of monopolies would seem to be taking us back in time to nastier days, where a tiny elite owned and controlled huge chunks of the economy, and everyone else suffered for it.
Note that economists believe anti-competitive business behavior, especially when ignored or sanctioned by governments, can lead to economic depressions.
Some economists who've studied economic depressions believe the clearest causes of depressions are too little business competition, especially when government itself contributes to such reductions. Also, when governments prop up inefficient businesses rather than letting them fail, that too can help bring on depression.
The USA itself may still be vulnerable to experiencing economic depressions in the present or future. There's no clear way to guarantee they won't occur. All we have available are clues from past experience about how we might minimize the frequency and severity of economic downturns.
-- Could We Face Another Depression? By Christopher Farrell; BusinessWeek; The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. ; OCTOBER 19, 2001
The Republican political party of USAmerica controlled both houses of Congress for the whole decade preceding the Great Depression of the 20th century. They also held the Presidency during these years. They pushed tariffs to an all time high, often looked the other way as big business commited violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and market competition within the USA waned, and made tax cuts which benefited the wealthy.
It was after all this that the Great Depression took place, lasting for many years.
-- Encyclopedia Americana: Republican Party possibly by George H. Mayer, University of South Florida, Grolier Incorporated
K. Increase and maintain business competition wherever possible, and allow inefficient businesses to fail, worldwide; prohibit business monopolies and oligopolies and similar behaviors entirely where possible, and strongly regulate them wherever circumstances prevent total bans-- especially among larger companies.
Monitor and strongly punish unethical business lobbying of government agencies or officials, especially where such is found at middle to high levels in government
L. Develop and continually improve upon low cost and practical ways for people to use renewable and alternative energy sources in their daily lives, worldwide
Cheaper energy means more money for other matters, like food, medicine, housing, education, etc. Cheaper renewable energy sources means a migration away from present sources like coal and oil which contribute much to global pollution problems. More practical energy alternatives means fewer resource shortages for people to fight about.
M. Create a wholly new global political party supporting as many of the causes described on this page as possible, within the present system. CLICK HERE for how, why, and references.
N. Develop low cost and practical ways for people to live and work in regions too inhospitable and costly, and/or inaccessible by way of typical technology means of the late 20th century
One way to reduce tensions and conflicts between people is to literally separate them from one another: offer them more total space in which to live and work, and more distance from others-- a larger 'comfort zone' or 'territory' of sorts. For physical beings in a physical world this usually requires more physical real estate. Unfortunately, world geography only offers a finite amount of easily accessible and practical to use dry land for such matters. Fortunately, technology advances can expand the accessibility and usefulness of even the remotest and harshest areas over time, via measures like wireless internet access, and transportation such as ever more economical and easy to use aircraft and watercraft. Changes in government and business policies can encourage an increase in telecommuting and similar aspects of such wider distribution measures.
|-- Suburban Crowding Arouses Tensions (washingtonpost.com)|
Physical real estate can also be multipled via technology and investment by building up (skyscrapers) or building down (underground). Luckily the nature of human perceptions allows us to effectively multiply real estate in non-physical ways as well, such as through virtual reality supplements to the physical world.
New forms of economical transport and long term living/working arrangements for regions like hot or cold deserts, rugged mountain ranges, deep forests and jungles, swamps, and others would allow humanity more 'elbow room' within which to grow and thrive. Such innovations would needs be low or zero impact upon the environment in order to provide maximal benefits.
An added bonus to reducing population concentrations in current and future urban and suburban areas would be that such a redistribution would reduce the useful number of high value targets for terrorism or war.
O. Develop low cost and practical ways for people to live and work underwater
So how could this help us? We could spread out over the Earth much easier-- the majority of the planet is ocean, remember. With a booming population more room would help tremendously in quelling disputes.
Being able to work and live underwater would also make it easier for us to farm the seas and mine their minerals and hydrocarbon wealth, and maybe take up more sustainable and ecologically-friendly practices in regards to sea harvesting than we have achieved so far.
Opening up the sea to more intensive use would also create lots more economic opportunities for everyone. More prosperity usually makes for more peace.
One great bonus to developing the technologies required to fully exploit and colonize the deep ocean is that the sea depths may actually be more threatening to human life than the vacuum of space. For instance, compare one person suddenly dumped into space with one thrust into a deep sea bottom location. The deep sea guy will be instantly crushed, while the space guy will perhaps have a minute or so to find a way out of his predicament, before death overtakes him. So much of what we learn at the bottom of the sea is bound to make it easier for us to live in space too, later on.
P. Develop affordable and practical ways for people to achieve Earth orbit
So what good would a cheap way into orbit offer for human survival and prosperity? How about an infinite supply of raw resources? Enough to literally make poverty among humanity worldwide unjustifiable, and maybe even impossible? The solar system is overflowing with mineral wealth, as well as rocket fuel and other wonderful stuff. The main bottleneck to all this is the presently expensive route to orbit.
Besides the infinite resource supply, there's also all the elbow room. A cheap means to orbit would make it much easier for lots of folks to move into orbiting habitats and beyond, to places like the Moon, Mars, and other bodies in the solar system. 'Niche' societies of humanity which preferred minimal interaction with others could well find nirvana in space. The new expansion to our domain would be trillions of times larger than what mastering the Earth's ocean depths would provide us.
Lastly, if we were spread out over more than merely one world, it'd be much tougher for anyone or anything to wipe us all out, no matter what sort of weapons or technology they possessed. Expanding far into space would be the ultimate insurance policy against the extinction of humanity.
|-- Humans Doomed Without Space Colonies, Says Hawking; Yahoo! Science Headlines; October 15, 2001|