© 2010 Mark Macy
Barriers among nations, cultures, and religions are falling down as never before possible, thanks to modern communication technologies… especially the Internet. Here are just a few examples of how people can sit at home today and explore the world… from Russia to Latin America to the Middle East… from Asia to Canada… from Europe to Africa… from the USA to China…
For the first time in history, anyone with a little technical knowledge and a big dose of inspiration can compose a beautiful message and share it with the world! Astounding!
Last week we explored some of the technologies, like packet switching, that are making this coming-together of humanity possible. If we could dig beneath the surface of the vast worldwide network of computers, fiberoptics, cellphones, and other technologies to uncover a single force that’s making these global human interactions possible, that force could be summed up in a single word: Standards.
Today’s Standards Provide Technical Compatibility
It’s the standards for computers, phones, and worldwide networking that are finally bringing down the walls that have divided us humans for many thousands of years. They allow just about any computer or cell phone anywhere in the world, to talk to any other computer or cell phone anywhere else. The world organizations that manage those technical standards, to make sure everything stays compatible, include the IEEE, IETF, ISO, ITU, OASIS, W3C, XSF, AIIM, ASTM….
I’ve gotten to know many of those standards in the course of my work. Along with my ITC research and world affairs writing that I’ve done during the past three decades as a labor of love, I’ve earned my bread and butter working part-time contracts for various high-tech companies, developing not just user documentation but also tools for product developers. Today I work with bright engineers whose cutting-edge communication technologies are used all around the world. A big part of their job is to make sure their world-shrinking products conform to international standards.
When I started technical writing thirty years ago, standards were not an issue. Engineers were building small computer systems for specific purposes—word-processing, CAD/CAM design, and so on… and one system didn’t have to work with another system. Getting along together wasn’t a big issue back then.
Ha! There’s an understatement! Thirty years ago we were on the brink of nuclear war because two Superpowers couldn’t get along. United States was a market economy, Soviet Union was a centrally planned economy. Americans enjoyed the innovation made possible by personal freedoms and free-market capitalism. Soviets enjoyed the social stability and equity provided by a strong central government under communism. The two systems were incompatible economically and politically, both had strengths and shortcomings, both had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world, and they each held an intense mistrust of the other, bordering on contempt. It was a tense time for the world… and an especially wild time for peace researchers. Fortunately, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s started dismantling his communist empire into several smaller autonomous countries, most notably Russia… essentially defusing the atomic time bomb that threatened the world.
So, if we’re going to take that final step from a feudal past into a future of peace, that’s a great place to start… worldwide compatibility in economics and politics. Peace doesn’t occur until there’s compatibility. A fact of life: When there’s compatibility, only then can there be peace.
Tomorrow’s Standards Will Spread Compatibility Everywhere!
Now it’s time to take the secrets we’ve learned from high-tech compatibility and apply them to the world. As I said, those secrets are summed up in a word: Standards.
Today we need to develop standards that apply to all fields of human endeavor. If there’s any hope of sustaining peace among this unruly gaggle of gifted apes here on Earth, that’s it—standards.
Let’s start with society, politics, and economics. Basically, we’re a group of noble-savage human beings sharing space on Planet Earth, trying to live together under some semblance of peace. It’s not easy. Peace research in the 1980s mostly involved conflict resolution. Young people with dreams of corporate management are often disheartened when they learn that most of their energy won’t be spent on lofty objectives, but on sorting out personality conflicts and ego troubles among their employees. People can be hard to get along with, unless….
As I wrote in an earlier article, when our noble side prevails (that’s the side of us inspired by love, contentment, and good will), society is peaceful, and any political or economic system can flourish—capitalism, communism, tribalism, Islamism, democracy, autocracy… whatever. When our savage side prevails (when we’re driven by fear, greed, and ill will), then conflict and chaos disrupt human relationships at all levels, and political-economic systems falter and fail. Whether we attribute it to the corruption in a communist regime or the greed on Wall Street, it’s basically the savage side of human beings that brings us down. So…
*** A Social Standard ***
FOSTER NOBLE VALUES SUCH AS LOVE, CONTENTMENT, HONESTY, AND GOOD WILL IN EVERY PERSON, STARTING AT THE YOUNGEST AGE AND LASTING UNTIL DEATH.
That should be at the core of every family and the primary purpose of all schools, taught at a higher priority than conventional curriculum. Once noble values are being instilled in kids, only then comes the reading, writing, and arithmetic. Everyone should also learn about the savage side of our nature, probably starting in adolescence—how the R-complex in the brain and the hormones, especially dopamine and the brain’s reward centers, compel us to misbehave. This emphasis on noble values, and understanding of our noble-savage nature, should be the cornerstone of every business, every professional organization, and every government… not to mention every family!
Beyond that basic standard, there could be a whole range of standards…
… throughout society. Education, for example, could embrace Robert Muller’s World Core Curriculum…
… throughout politics. Society has nested levels of decision-makers, from the individual, up through family, community, city, county, province, state, and so on… all the way up to the United Nations. We need a standard to decide who decides what.
*** Political Standard #1 ***
EVERY DECISION SHOULD BE MADE AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE LEVEL, BUT HIGH ENOUGH TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE NEEDS AND WELL-BEING OF EVERYONE AFFECTED BY THE DECISION.
Most decisions in human affairs, day in and day out, are made by individuals. That’s the way it’s always been, and that’s the way it probably will always be. But, as people start bumping into each other and stepping on each other’s toes (metaphorically speaking), larger regulatory groups have to be set up to help sustain peace and order.
*** Political Standard #2 ***
DECISION-MAKING BODIES SHOULD REFLECT THE DIVERSITY OF THE PEOPLE THEY REPRESENT.
A society of men and women shouldn’t be regulated by a group of men. A society of blacks, whites, and Orientals shouldn’t be regulated by a group of white people. A world government shouldn’t be run by a bunch of Nazis or Romans or Egyptians or Americans; it should consist of representatives of all nationalities, cultures, and religions. (Say, that sounds kind of like… what… the United Nations?)
Anyway, cutting to the chase, it will require a commitment, at all levels of society, to foster our noble side while contending with our savage side, in order to achieve a future of peace… throughout society… and throughout politics… and…
… throughout economics. Society has always had to contend with economic crises, including:
- environmental destruction,
- mass execution,
- mass emigration, and
Yes, I consider all of these things to be largely economic problems, and although we can’t prevent them as individuals, we can certainly deal with them at the world level. In fact, I am completely convinced that we can eliminate all of these crises from our world in this century if we adopt the next standard.
*** An Economic Standard for the FUTURE ***
THE VITALITY RATIO: REDEFINE A SOCIETY AS THE SUM OF ITS PEOPLE AND PRODUCTS; REDEFINE RESOURCES AS THE FOOD OF SOCIETY; AND CALCULATE THE ECONOMIC HEALTH OF SOCIETY USING THE RATIO BETWEEN 1) THE AVAILABLE RESOURCES AND 2) THE RESOURCE NEEDS OF SOCIETY. (V=R:N)
To some, that may sound more complicated than it is. To other it may sound simplistic. I hope not. In any case, the Vitality Ratio is something I’ve been building up, boiling down, polishing, and perfecting since the 1970s, and now I think it’s ready to fly, thanks to the Internet.
Someday it’ll become the most reliable economic standard ever devised. Of that I have little doubt. Why? Because it’s perfectly natural. The Vitality Ratio is to society, what nutrition is to a human being. You simply define society’s “nutritional” needs for oil, fertile farmland, forests, ocean fish, and other resources, and make sure it’s getting an appropriate diet. You adjust needs to be in line with resources. And you do it with a computer network.
Whether it’s adopted or even acknowledged as a useful tool in my lifetime is doubtful, since it’s such a radical departure from mainstream growth economics. In any case, it’s now available… and that’s apparently one of the things I came to Earth in this lifetime to achieve. I’ve perfected it, I’ve announced it to the world, I’m working to patent it, and then I’ll hand it over to the UN once the UN given the sovereignty that it needs and deserves. (More on that in a moment).
Once the Vitality Ratio is implemented appropriately, the economic symptoms listed above will begin to dissipate in the course of two generations. I promise. But it’s not liable to happen anytime soon. Mainstream economists will denounce the ratio as simplistic. Government leaders will worry that it’ll rattle the status quo. Nations will continue to resist giving up their autonomy to the UN…. So, we’ll have to wait patiently ‘til we rag-tag humans are ready for the Vitality Ratio.
Meanwhile, there are certain variables within that ratio that, by themselves, ARE of critical concern at this time.
*** A Population Standard to Adopt Now ***
MAINTAIN A FERTILITY RATE CLOSE TO 2 IN EVERY COUNTRY.
The fertility rate is the number of children the average woman will bear in her lifetime. If a society maintained a fertility rate of 2, the population would stay about the same over the years, assuming all kids grew up healthy and no one moved in or out of the country. Those would be unreasonable assumptions, of course, so a fertility rate “slightly above 2” or “about 2” would be healthy enough.
Currently, several African nations have fertility rates of 7+, and it’s in those countries that famine, genocide, and bulging refugee camps have become a way of life and gruesome death in recent years. To deny the connection between chronic overpopulation and these perpetual economic catastrophes, a person would have to be blinded by stupidity, ignorance, dogma, ideology, or some other debilitating condition.
Anyway, soon it’ll be time to get on with a viable solution. That solution, of course, must be a family planning program like the one implemented in China a half-century ago—the same program that has made China a prominent economic power in today’s world. Enact that sort of family planning program in Rwanda, Congo, and other desperate African nations today, and most of them could be economic powerhouses by the end of this century. (That’s not an empty promise.)
India has a fertility rate that’s probably around 4 or 5, although the publicly released figure is 2.68. Overcrowded slums, deadly stampedes for food and clothing, and a swelling population of 1.2 billion belie any claims of a moderate fertility rate in India. And this is just a taste of the horrific problems that Indians will suffer in the coming years if they don’t find a way to lower the fertility rate to 2 or less… without rigging the numbers!
*** An Economic Growth Standard to Adopt Now ***
REPLACE GROWTH ECONOMICS WITH SUSTAINABLE ECONOMICS.
Unbridled economic growth is to society what cancer is to the body: uncontrolled growth of toxic systems. Renounce economic growth as a measure of economic health because once a society has “matured” (achieved a sustainable balance between resources and needs) continued growth is really a symptom of economic disease. Growth economics is ultimately suicidal to a nation.
Let’s move onto religion. Religions (especially western religions) have been as contentious as nations during the past couple thousand years. They talk a good game of peace, but lots of people continue to be killed in the name of religion. So, here’s what I’d tell the western religions:
Christians, you want God’s chosen savior? Fine.
Muslims, you want God’s chosen prophet? Fine.
Jews, you want to be God’s chosen people? Fine.
That’s all fine… as long as you take all that, and all of your other exclusive creeds, and move them gently to the second seat… and put in the driver’s seat a simple set of mutually acceptable standards, such as…
*** Religious Standards ***
1– YES, THERE IS ONE SOURCE THAT’S THE SOURCE OF ALL.
2– YES, WE EACH ARE A PART OF THE SOURCE AND THE SOURCE IS A PART OF US, SO AT OUR VERY ESSENCE WE ARE ALL ONE.
3—LIVING BY SUCH NOBLE VIRTUES AS LOVE, RESPECT, GOOD WILL, AND FRIENDSHIP CAN BRING US PEACE AND JOY DURING OUR LIFETIME AND BEYOND… WHILE PREOCCUPATION WITH SUCH SAVAGE ATTITUDES AS FEAR, ANIMOSITY, VENGEANCE, DESIRE, AND ILL WILL BRING US CHAOS AND UNHAPPINESS NOT JUST IN THIS LIFETIME BUT THE NEXT.
4—KNOW THESE BASIC SPIRITUAL TRUTHS AND PRACTICE TIME-PROVEN TECHNIQUES TO FOSTER THE NOBLE SIDE.
Every religion has such techniques to choose from—prayer, meditation, contemplation….
This blog article’s getting embarrassingly long, so let’s try to wrap things up.
Bright thinkers and founding fathers of bygone ages should be respected for the wisdom they imparted to the world, but it would be foolish to try to regulate situations today with old, timeworn ideas… which could not take into account modern realities like nuclear energy and chemical industries and the destruction and pollution they cause… the Internet with its potential not just to inform and unite but to inflame and polarize… the burgeoning of human population to 7 billion people… technologies like the Large Hadron Collider that smashes the basic building blocks of matter at the risk of destabilizing the Earth’s crust beyond repair….
It’s time now for a shift in attitude that will accommodate a shift in planetary management… a shift from an international arena of adversaries vying with each other for dominance and resources… to a global arena of collaborating nations, religions, and industries enjoined under compatible values and standards against mutual problems and obstacles.
*** Standards at the Planetary Level ***
REFORM THE UNITED NATIONS TO GIVE FAIR REPRESENTATION TO ALL HUMANS AND HUMAN GROUPS, AND EMPOWER IT TO MAKE AND EXECUTE DECISIONS RELATING TO THE DETERIORATING GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM, GLOBAL WARMING, NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND OTHER EARTH-SHAKING TECHNOLOGIES, AND OTHER ISSUES THAT HOLD OUR PLANETARY FATE IN THE BALANCE.
I know that some of you will think that what I’m about to say is a mistake… that many people will read it, shake their heads, and discount any merits in the preceding information based on what they see as folly in the closing statements. They’ll throw the baby out with the bath water, you think.
Well, it’s wake-up time….
Among my dreams is one day to see the amazing high-tech communication equipment that’s being developed today used not just to break down barriers among diverse cultures and nationalities on Earth, but also to strip away the veil that obstructs our view of other worlds… especially the worlds of spirit. I’d like to see the most advanced communication technologies applied to ITC research. Imagine a team of researchers on Earth sitting in a conference room, a panel of video screens covering a wall… with images of their spirit colleagues fading in and out on the screens, as various invisibles join the meeting for awhile, then disappear… some of them delivering audible voice messages through the equipment and dialoguing with the their human friends….
After many years of ITC research, I KNOW that such a project is possible and will happen someday, but I also know that the timeframe for such a project is not up to me, nor is it up to any group of people. The logistics of establishing an ITC bridge are mostly in the hands of advanced spirit groups working with the support of ethereal beings, or angels… and they all have to work with teams of humans here on Earth who can somehow manage to sustain a degree of resonance or harmony over time… not an easy thing to do with our personalities, egos and hormones!…. In any case, connecting subtle minds in timeless realms with our human minds and with the dense technologies of our time-driven world requires tremendous planning and effort on their side! Hopefully that’ll be the subject of a future blog—the complications of an ITC bridge from an other-worldly point of view….
Meanwhile, before talking about other-worldly breakthroughs, there’s a lot to be cleaned up and healed here on Earth. We humans have proven that we can bring order, compatibility and monumental progress to worldwide communication with the Internet. Now, if we hope to survive into the next century, we have to take the secrets we’ve learned from the Internet and apply them to all facets of our lives.
We need to adopt sensible standards at all levels of society.
# # #
I gleaned ideas for this article from my two anthologies published two decades ago and most of their authors, whose ideas over the years have interlaced and grown together in my mind into a formidable view of the world!… For this article I gleaned ideas especially from…
Dutch Economist and Nobel Laureate Jan Tinbergen,
Canadian Peace Researcher Hanna Newcomb,
America College Professor Howard Richards.
Thai Social Scientist Prachoomsuk-Achava Amrung,
Finnish Economics Researcher Hilkka Pietila, and last but definitely not least!…
World Citizen Robert Muller, retired Assistant Secy-Genl for the UN from its inception.
Best and worst countries to be born – Election fraud 2012 – Best and worst US presidents – Humor in politics – Biggest political news – End of the American dream – Blown to bits in the computer age – Standards, the key to peace – What Obama and Stalin really have in common – Bad counsel and a short leash – Capital punishment & the human spirit – Edward Snowden and a transparent world