Brainstorming World Harmony
A close relative asked me for some ideas regarding world harmony through the internet and education. I sent off a five minute brainstorm. I come up with some of my best ideas when I work quickly. Here they are in no particular order:
1. I've long expounded on a theory of mine that governments, especially ours, should spend money on a world peace initiative involving either requiring or (more likely) making it difficult to refuse spending 6 months abroad to overcome xenophobia and the type of provincialism that causes folks in Kansas to view (let us call them) "Iraqis" as less-than-human fodder to be bombed, etc. And I mean make it available to EVERY American: grape pickers, farmers, assembly line workers, welfare recipients, Harvard students, lawyers, high school students, and fast food workers.
2. Along the same line, what of a U.S. President who had never left the continental United States ( except perhaps for a college binge in Tijuana) and then becomes President, and his first international act of note is to declare war on da furriners. What if Bush had been enticed or required to spend a semester or so wherever he'd have liked, and, let's say he'd chosen Paris, and let's imagine he'd fallen in love with a French girl. Would there have been any chance of french fries being renamed "Freedom Fries," etc?
3. I recall when I first got involved with the internet. It was back before there were any pictures or even colors on the worldwide web. It had to do with getting into different university libraries and in various countries. I was amazed. This was back when the few of us who knew about the technology (pre-mouse even) were traveling the world libraries with programs named Archie and Veronica. Later, something called Mosaic created a more usable interface IN Color. That led several Illinois University students to create something called Netscape, and the rest is history. But, when I used the most rudimentary technology a dozen or fifteen years or so ago, I remember one day running down to Joyce and exclaiming, "I'm in Russia!" That was when the Soviet Union still existed, and I almost felt like a "traitor" just for "visiting" a Soviet library online.
4. Today, thanks to the internet, there are no borders. Did I share with you a dialogue between me and an Iraqi chemical engineer I happened to be playing chess with online? That was a most profound interchange. He was out of work due to the war. He also didn't want us there and said that a nation as old as his could solve it's own problems. This sort of exchange happens online among many people worldwide by virtue of the internet. What a boon to world understanding and harmony!
5. Think also of the law enforcement predicament - trying to enforce U.S. laws - anti anti anti pornography pot sedition - when the "perpertrators" are not subject to U.S. laws. Anything goes. Or in Rastfarian terms: "One love...let's get together and feel alright."
6. What of Doctors Without Borders?
7. What of the European Community?
8. Can any of this (should any of this) be stopped?
9. What of India and China? India has the greatest technical university in the world.
10. So, much of this is very hopeful, and I am hopeful, except that my own country may be the most resistant to change. It's time for great thinkers, diplomats, statesmen, to step forward. All the Bushie Neocons care about is the bottom line. But they'll lose there too without subscribing to the movements of which we speak.
11. In terms of education, what about a virtual university of the world where students of particular schools gain credit from online courses from overseas universities and credit for participation in international forums and through actual visits to other countries? How about international work-study programs?
12. How about tracking the most successful students from other countries and creating test instruments based upon the stuff that makes them successful. Call it "TRS" for "The Right Stuff." To get the right stuff, American students will need to measure up to a World standard, etc. etc.
Please add your own Comments and Ideas. When prompted, you can sign in as "other" but please add your name to your text. Always feel free to also look at the comments of others as well by pressing on "comments" throughout these postings. Should you prefer, my email is edcoletti @sbcglobal.net.
Found Poem (based upon an interview with NYC Firefighter Maureen McArdle-Schulman)
Somebody yelled something was falling.
We didn't know if it was desks coming out.
It turned out it was people coming out,
They started coming out one after the other.
We saw the jumpers coming.
We didn't know what it was at first
But then the first body hit
Then we knew what it was
And they were just like constant
I was getting sick.
I felt like
I was intruding on a sacrament.
They were choosing to die
I was watching them
And shouldn't have been.
So me and another guy
Turned away and looked at a wall,
And we could still hear them hit.