Saturday, April 25, 2009

AMERICA'S FUTURE IN SPACE COLONIZATION AND DEMOGRAPHIC WINTER

by Michael M. Hobby

NASA has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the implementation of the Constellation Program. The Constellation Program encompasses NASA's initial efforts to extend the human presence throughout the Solar System. Major elements of the Constellation Program are currently focused on providing the capability to transport humans and cargo to the moon, in support of lunar exploration missions, and to the International Space Station (ISS), while future efforts would support missions to Mars and beyond.

The Constellation Programmatic EIS has been developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and discusses the purpose and need for the development of systems needed to support these missions. See the following link for more information on the Constellation Programmatic and Environmental features either underway or completed.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/on_demand_video.html?param=http://anon.nasa-global.edgesuite.net/anon.nasa-global/ccvideos/cuip-purdue.asx&_id=undefined&_title=undefined&_tnimage=test.gif

Note the following from that link,

"'You do have to have an imagination," Howard says. By planning to stay on the moon, we're doing something that has never been done before. Yes, the laws of physics come into play and there are things you would love to see that just aren't physically possible, but we do need to be creative.'

His passion and imagination for spacecraft design began at an early age. A surprise to him at the time, his mother was actually delighted when she discovered he had etched the design of a spacecraft control station on the wall of his closet with a key when he was about eight years old. Howard kept his imagination churning and ended up where he belongs, designing life on the moon.

Howard believes, The sky is not the limit. The sky is where we begin.'

NASA’s Constellation Program isn’t just about building the next generation spacecraft, but launching explorers that will help us learn more about our world.
Discover the faces behind the hardware that will send humans to the moon and beyond."

We are in the development phase of an ever-expanding attempt to colonize space, both to insure mankind's survival and to increase our presence in and knowledge of the universe (and ourselves). These goals are among others necessary BEFORE we encounter intelligent species from other solar systems within our galaxy and beyond. For an example of how this might be plausibly undertaken, see the developing chapters of my newest novel, BACKUP FIVE [Hobby, Michael M., (2008-200?), http//:www.geoarchaeology.blogspot.com].

We know, for instance, that black holes can be self-regulating, such as GRS 1915. See NASA video link:

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/on_demand_video.html?param=/mov/322422main_g1915_zoom_sm_web.mov&_id=187822&_title=Erratic%20Black%20Hole%20CanRegulate%20Itself&_tnimage=322179main_grs1915_2panel_100.jpg ).

This makes astrophysical calculations possible, such as those demonstrated as far back as the Voyager program. The accuracy was so exact, that it was equivalent to firing a rifle in New York and hitting a Bulls eye in Los Angeles. However, until we have developed the understanding and technology for a Slip-stream spacecraft able to pass without danger through the Zero-Point Field (ZPF), we will be unable to test theoretical use of black holes either to “bend” or transcend the time-space continuum or acquire the data requisite for test missions.

This danger is not limited merely to space dust and potential debris belonging to as yet undetected species. As if that weren't enough, it will almost certainly require intelligent capability to alter course to avoid (IE, go around) passing through supernova which will appear and be exploding in virtual real time by the thousands, perhaps millions, whose light will not reach earth for tens or hundreds of thousands of years, but which at slipstream speeds will be instantaneous. Considerations such as these pose enormous challenges to inevitable technological development.
The supernova pictured was photographed by the Chandra in xray wavelength. It is within earth time the youngest supernova visible, only 140 years old, and thus we see it beginning to expand. At ZPF velocities, geometric multiples of the speed of light, it would appear and fully expand in microseconds.

It has been argued that the human species has not yet attained the level of progress which would ENTITLE it to survive, and that if it should, it is given that we will eventually destroy ourselves. We already have the technology to do so. However, lying in the path of an oncoming train will not stop it. One must move out of its path. An enormous percentage of religions believe, even portend, that such attempts are invalid, as soon the "end of the world" will be upon us.

While a minority consider this a mythical and implausible concept other than by an extinction event, it must still be confronted by thinking groups and individuals. My personal feeling is that governments will not only continue, but must significantly expand, programs to escape the event horizon of the next extinction event. Although this might seem inconceivably difficult to some, there are innumerable citizens and many countries around the globe, who will continue their increasing involvement in and funding of present efforts, already of historic proportions. It cannot be escaped, so much groundwork remains to be accomplished. Initial development and testing of technological components are already well within our capability.

I cannot overemphasize the geometric growth of present and as yet unenvisioned specializations required and occurring both in science and in Applied Science and Engineering Technology. To achieve these vital goals, particularly for the U.S. if Americans are sincere and even marginally serious in their desire even to achieve, far less preserve, high rank among nations they errantly regard as backward. We are rapidly falling behind for the most obvious of reasons. Education must begin in Head Start-age programs and strongly emphasize mathematics and science at the age virtually all students are most adept, teachable, and fascinated. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, in this sense = AMERICA NOT LEFT BEHIND.

We have NO children to spare.

This requires dramatic changes in both the number and academic strength of teachers in pre and post secondary education, and perhaps equally important, abandonment or fundamental revision of our Rio Grande border immigration policies and attitudes which, left unchecked, virtually assure walling ourselves in.

This also extends to millions of commonwealth children of citizens too afflicted by poverty and social handicap to fill this need in numbers of any significances. It also includes millions of children of citizens of closely tied nations such as the Philippines for the same reasons. The latter two potential reservoirs of students are immense. The importance of these considerations cannot be overstressed. Time is growly short-VERY short-for America in this regard. We fail to obfuscate policies and attitudes at national peril.

We must also remember that it is merely the false shadow of these issues, which many fear and view as crises, rather than opportunities, especially with regard to illegal or unchecked immigration. The Chinese glyph for “Crisis” translates roughly into English as Opportunity riding the dangerous wind. We must have political representatives and leaders wise enough to see the opportunity hidden within the crisis," and courageous enough not to cast it in pejoratives or in terms of class warfare.

To accommodate the apparent costs of a dramatic change of attitude and policy, we likewise need to re-focus, at a minimum, 50% of expenditures for defense into education and social programs designed to lift our nation to the level where scientific and technological leadership approaches reality, rather than the Pipe dream it currently, albeit regrettably, has become. This assertion will immediately generate an outcry from defense hawks, but allow me to give it some perspective. When I was still in my teens, I was virulently anti-communist and formed the first chapter of the largely Republican Young Americans For Freedom in Arkansas. I happened to see a program sponsored by the Young Democrats which addressed defense expenditures by our country. They had a poster board on the wall showing a horizontal bar graph of expenditures by the the U.S. at the top, and all of our "├źnemies"in descending amount of expense in billions of dollars beneath. The strange thing was that the U.S. "bar" was only partially visible, because it was a black roll of some material. To emphasize the point being made, the roll was unrolled. To my astonishment even in my frame of mind at the time, when fully unrolled, it extended off the poster board and around all four walls of the entire room! Regardless of the party in power, because the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned the nation about in the '50s is a primary source of campaign contributions, all congresses not only approve military budgets, but unfailing appropriate MORE than the budget to ensure garnering of campaign contributions to ensure their continuing position in the Washington aristocracy. If we remain crippled by policies so errant and juvenile as these, which are far less important aspects of our national image and illusionary global hegemony, our continuing descent in science and technology leadership is assured. Will we (ever) be able to surmount inertia? The looming Social Security obligation of the Baby Boomers is upon us and will not subside until after 2050. Discretionary spending will vanish over the next few decades unless we rethink our priorities.

Students acquiring degrees in all rigorous fields of science and technology will not be among those who ponder their financial future. The momentum of this exponential growth is by nature unstoppable and the financial rewards guaranteed; especially if the erosion of the Middle class continues and we become a nation of a relatively small High Class elite, and an increasingly disadvantaged poor underclass majority. America's small population is distinct compared to more populous nations, from whom professionals will be otherwise be increasingly drawn. This problem is enormously exacerbated by Demographic Winter with which, sadly, most of our population is entirely unfamiliar.

This is one of many starkly obvious reasons why mankind must divert its energy from unproductive, budget-bleeding, nationalistic competition for hegemony and resource control and form a committed and efficient United Nations which can coordinate scientific and social programs at the international level. The programmatic structure and agencies are in place, but broadly speaking, need increased efficiency audits focused on both goal achievement, accountability, transparency, and elimination of corruption. Much progress toward these ends has been achieved in recent years, but much remains to be done. To this end, nationalistic expenditures must be re-channeled to the international arena. This process has also begun, but will not be fully possible until misguided patriotic and prejudicial religious and social sentiments can be successfully addressed and reversed (or eliminated). There are significant segments of our society that are likely incapable of recognizing this necessity and are thus on a path destined for increasing frustration and loss of voice in the future course of the nation. There are just too many goals which cannot be achieved by individual nations unilaterally. We must work together as a species, rather than a collective of special interests both nationally and internationally.

IF YOUR ARITICLE IS THE MORMON POSITION OF HOW GAY PERSONS ORIGINATE, CONSIDER THIS

Comment submitted to :

www.ldsphilosopher.com on March 20, 2009:www.ldsphilosopher.com/2009/03/19/metaphors-that-confuse-the-same-sex-attraction-debate/

Recommended reading by John Wilson in his Sixteen Small Stones of the same date

Jeffrey,

Your comments and the conclusions you draw, that "gay" behavior is "learned" are both interesting and informative. Not being gay myself, I cannot evaluate them as effectively as a gay person might.

Your discussion evidences that you are well aware that cultural contexts and implications of thought and observation, including how we perceive (or believe) those thoughts, leads to potential errors of metaphor as well as in our language. You have also identified one of the threads which can then affect (wrongly or deflected) the actual perception, were it viewed outside such contexts.

Great job! Prescient, because it then implies unarguably that one feels "compelled" (good choice of metaphor) by those contexts, which might be loosely referred to as their "social," even "belief," system, not to be confused with religious belief necessarily, although it certainly may manifest aspects of one for a given individual, and can become or act upon resulting behaviors as elements or reflections of it. This is about as succinctly as it could be put, and should clarify to a degree for your readers the importance of reflection upon conclusions of perception and language as an important "intermission," if you will, before permitting them to be incorporated into perceptions or beliefs which might then impel one to unnecessary and incorrect metaphors of thought and speech, followed in course by unnecessary conclusions or actual behaviors. All very well put.

Have you attempted to try this on yourself as a check on the entire concept of the thread you so eloquently discuss? I use this technique as a self-check, and find it very helpful. I'll create an example here, designed specifically for you, to which you will respond with the same process you describe. Note each element according to your model, and record the sequence of thought and resulting metaphors which comprise the "effluent" resulting from them. Here goes:

A "gay" or "homosexual" behavior and self-perception can arise within or be triggered by, social, religious, psychological, and other contexts and influences, such as association. This "class" of same sex "attraction," Thayne and Richardson have elucidated well. This class of attraction, as it might be called, may be unnecessary, as it may be "driven" by a mistaken metaphor related to the processes they describe.
The question then arises, "Are all incidents of "gay" self-perception and behavior thus generated?"

Obviously not, nor do they make such a fallacious and presumptive claim. A careful reading of how they have constructed their remarks and conclusions evidences strictures specifically incorporated into the arguments themselves. So let us assume, based upon their arguments, that there is another "class" of gay individuals (which they neither assert, nor attempt to imply, exists or does not exist) whose self-perception and behaviors stem from a different ethos. What might that be?
I will create and state, as though it were generally known and accepted (or believed), an explanation of "why" this other "class" exists, beginning with a familiar, reported account which itself may be metaphorical, if only in the manner originally related. Like Thayne and Richardson, I am neither asserting nor implying that the event did or did not occur. However, its metaphorical "aspects" are obvious in light of their arguments. See how many you can identify as you read it. For brevity, I will merely paraphrase it. Here goes:

One Sunday, following the sermon, a rural pastor was standing at the entrance to the chapel, meeting and shaking the hands of those in attendance as they left, as is customary. He noticed a five-year-old lingering nearby, who seemed to be troubled, as though she wanted something more than the handshakes and greetings being offered. After the line had trailed off, making eye contact with her again, she followed his cue and approached.

"How are you this morning, little girl?" She replied that she had a favor to ask.

"Well, of course. What can I do for you?"

"I'm worried about my husband and my sons. I haven't seen them since I died in the car accident five years ago, and I want you to go by and check on them. They're not far from here."

Given a child's imagination, the pastor wasn't necessarily surprised, but in an attempt to perhaps ascertain the source this child's perceived memory, he asked where they lived.

"Will you write this down?" she asked.

Without manifesting the least doubt or surprise, he agreeably removed a pen and note pad from his coat pocket. She then told him the name of a nearby town, the street address, and the names of her "husband" and "sons," which he dutifully recorded.

"Why don't you just ask your parents to take you by," he asked.

"I asked them, but they just ignore me and say I'm imagining it. They don't believe me. But you are a preacher, so I knew you could ask God, and then you would."

"Well, I'll see what I can find out." he reassured her.

Thanking him and for the first time, smiling happily, she left and joined her parents, who had been waiting by the car, unaware of the nature of their discussion.
The pastor pondered what had just transpired. He resisted his initial urge just to relate the matter to her parents. During the week, as he sat preparing the next week's sermon, he became curious as to the source of the town name, the street address, and the names she had given him so matter-of-factly. At length, as the town was so near, he decided to drive by and see who actually lived there. Perhaps the visit would provide some bit of information which might help lead to a better understanding of why this little girl, clearly troubled, had approached him with her "concerns."

He drove to the adjacent town, located the street without difficulty, and discovered there was such an actual address. He knocked on the door of the house, feeling awkward and thinking of how to approach conversation with whoever might open it. Momentarily, a woman answered the door.

"Excuse me," he said politely, "I'm probably at the wrong house, but I'm trying to find Robert _______."

"No, you're at the right house, but he's at work right now. Can I help you?"

"I'm the pastor of ______ church in ______. I wanted to speak with him, and see how he and boys were doing." he said, mentioning the boys names.

"We already have a church here in town. But he's fine and so are the boys; they're at school."

"Are you his new wife?"

"Yes. My name's ______."

"I wondered if he had remarried since the accident." He felt he was really out on a limb now.

"We were married last year. He and the boys were devastated when they lost _____. It was so sudden and unexpected. Especially the boys. But we're all very happy now. Would you like me to call him?"

"No, I happened to be here, and I thought I'd drop by."

They exchanged parting pleasantries, and the pastor drove back to the church, somewhat overwhelmed.

The next Sunday, the little girl repeated the previous Sunday's behavior, waiting patiently until most others had left. He was relieved, considering how she might have reacted if he had not followed up on his promise to her. He then related to her that her "husband" and "sons" were fine, that he had remarried, and they were all doing well. She manifested intense, genuine relief, then asked,

"Who did he marry?" He told her the woman's name and that they had been married less than a year, but were very happy.

"I'm so glad it was her. She's my friend, and such a sweet person."

She thanked him almost as an adult might, given the same "circumstances" and walked away. From that time forth, she never mentioned the affair, and seemed to have entirely forgotten it.

This account or story is rich in metaphor at many levels. Like Thayne, I am neither suggesting, nor implying, that it actually occurred, or that it did not, or that it is true or not true. How it is received depends upon the "orientation" and "cultural" contexts, among others, of the reader. I have related it only to provide a context, which could also be considered metaphorical, for what now follows:

The, let us use the metaphor, "veil," drawn between the child's last life and the one she was currently living was obviously too "thin," another metaphor. Due to its "thinness," significant "bleed-over," another metaphor, of memory of her past life into this life occurred. Once the issue of greatest importance, the abrupt termination of that previous life which she expected to live, and the resulting trauma, grief, and concern for those most-loved, yet left alone, had been alleviated, all memory of it vanished, for the veil was then fully drawn.

Within the context of "pretending" or "accepting" that the account is accurate in its essential elements (depending upon one's "orientation"), the above conclusion is both plausible and rather obvious. Now, let us extend the implications posed beyond this single child to a broader context, specifically, the other "class" of gays whose self-perception and behavior did not arise in the manner defined by Thayne and Richardson. Let us use metaphorical "scissors" to separate those whose self-perception and behavior are "learned" from those whose self-perception and resulting behaviors stem from "memory." Clearly, they represent a different "class." Where am I going with this?

To sharpen our focus, let us discuss those who are not members of either "class" of gays, but adhere to a belief in "past lives," sometimes referred to, incorrectly some maintain, as "reincarnation." Reincarnation can imply (or impose upon) the simple belief in past lives that we have all lived before criteria (karma) that may not, some believe, influence subsequent lives. That limitation aside, it is commonly held by both groups that we may have been a woman in the life preceding this one, in which we are a man, and that we may have been a man in the preceding life, but emerge as a woman in this one. While we need not assert, nor adhere to, any element of the examples given, or the implications posed, if in either case, the "veil" is thin, for reasons we will not attempt to address (they are irrelevant to the present comment), what self-perceptions and "behaviors" might result?

Your thoughts?

Sincerely, Michael Hobby
Michael M. Hobby – A condensed version of “About Me” - 4/1-09


1-I am a Homo sapiens sapiens with four sons (Rodney Nephi, Burnie Teancum, Jacob Moroni, and Michael Helaman) and four daughters (Chastity Marie, Faith Abish, Esperanza Alene, and Mercedes Mariana)

2-I am not perfect; I am highly evolved

3-I am a scientist with an interdisciplinary education and perspective. I am a geoarchaeologist (BA:Latin American Studies-emphasis Archaeology, BS: Geology, MS: Hydrogeology, PhD s in progress: Geoarchaeology and Environmental Science

4-I am a writer

5-I am a contractor

6-I have taught High School Journalism and Art

7-I am a certified Marine Technologist

8-I am spiritual, but adhere to no organized religion. Within this context, I believe that healthy friendships and family relationships should be governed by the following quote: "I hope, brother Lyman, that our religious opinions will never be a barrier between us as brethren. On my part, it never will while I am possessed of my natural intellect." - Oliver Cowdery, letter to his brother, Lyman, January 13, 1834)

9-I am a Scorpio

10-I am an inventor with 3 U.S. Patents; 2 in biotechnology and one in heavy metal extraction chemistry

11-I love to cook and enjoy virtually all kinds of food

12-I am a photographer

13-I am an entrepreneur

14-I am an explorer, adventurer, and discoverer

15-I am widely traveled in every state but Alaska, in all but two countries in the Western Hemisphere, Egypt, Nubia, and Spain in the Eastern Hemisphere. I hope to add West Africa to that list

16-I read and conduct research dynamically and unhesitatingly alter my belief system accordingly

17-I believe that whatever has been throughout history, or is presently labeled "heretical," “unorthodox,” "lunatic fringe," and similar pejoratives, is likely to be closer to the "truth" than what has been or is currently considered "orthodox" or "consensus." These, I consider mental and spiritual leg irons

18-I believe a man (or woman) is neither bound by, nor obligated to, what one has been taught or has taught, has espoused, asserted, believed, or advocated from birth up in the past (unless he is a fool), but rather by and to what he espouses, asserts, believes or advocates in present time

19-I am a Democrat and a humanist, because I care about others, including the disadvantaged, socially estranged or ostracized, and the less fortunate. (I strongly recommend that you watch: http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1Uk-DwUvJw as a self-check if you claim to care about others)

20-I hate hypocrisy

21-I distrust consensus

22-I despise Theocracy, Inquisition, and Authoritarianism

23-I pity the self-righteous, the lazy, and the willingly ignorant

24-I detest the pompous, the dogmatic, the judgmental, and all others who do not understand the meaning of the word, "mote"

25-I believe the words: loyalty, fidelity, and trust have meanings

26-I am widely read (always with a dictionary at hand); a FEW of my favorite titles are, Pale Blue Dot, The Secret Life of Plants, Journeys Out of the Body, The Sirius Mystery, On Writing, The Field, The Biology of Belief, 1421, 1491, Pale Ink, Beyond the Andes, The Lost Book of Enki, The Ashes of Waco, The Expanding Earth, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The Island of Seven Cities, Scars of Evolution, Suddenly Psychic, Forbidden Archaeology, Early Life, Rediscovering the History of Lost America, The Elements of Style, The Elements of Grammar, Mystery Writer's Handbook, A New Earth, and Fiction titles too numerous to list; I am never without a library

27-I am an art collector and thrive upon art and music (and yes, own an iPod Nano)

28-I love aesthetics

29-I love watching ice-skating, Washington Journal, football, action, western, adventure, mystery, romance, drama, discovery, and educational programs-and movies

30-Some of my favorite series are Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Heroes, and Lost, among others

31-I believe there are more hours in the day than generally admitted

32-I seldom miss appointments and am almost never late

33-I hate boredom, and thus have lapses into PC video games (and yes, own a QOSMIO Gaming laptop)

34-If I have questions about the most current technology, I ask my children first

35-I am a visionary and a romantic
www.nakedcapitalism.com forum post:

The ramifications of the massive, recent write downs has also been massive, and extends well beyond our borders. The perhaps far greater ramifications of what I think has been correctly predicted as inescapable even with valiant government efforts to at least slow them, may be yet to come.
One of those, which I really wish some of you with far-reaching vision would address and at least attempt to enumerate (even broadly) is those affecting the enormous and rapidly expanding segment of we on SS who either have lost, or failed to prepare for adequately, any significant cushion.
I realize the thrust of your site is not directed to this sector, but the current milieu has far-reaching impacts which are growing. Some of these are unarguably crises, but to coin a familiar phrase, are also "opportunity riding the dangerous wind."
To focus my opening remarks, let me address one in particular, an opportunity I am seizing. Born in 1946, I am on the leading edge of a massive wave of Baby Boomers utterly unprepared for a depression if, and this IF is enormous, we are retiring in the United States.
One aspect for which your site IS properly oriented is the impact of the U.S. decline upon neighboring and distant economies. I recently bookmarked on UTube a short video entitled, "Did you Know" which shocked even me, who thought I did. It makes obvious the accuracy of some of the posts on your site and those to which it is linked. I recommend it to anyone who hasn't viewed it as two stunning minutes. It wasn't lost on me, and I doubt it will be lost on anyone else who watches it. Although it doesn't specifically address the additional long-term pressure of demographic winter on U.S. decline, which I have been pondering since becoming aware of the concept, it indirectly buttresses it.
Let's take Mexico as a perfect example, the opportunity I am seizing: Even at the 10:1 exchange rate, it was possible for an American on SS to enjoy an upper middle-class lifestyle. With a nest egg, it translated well into an upper-class. At the current 15:1 (and growing) exchange rate, which only defines the impact of the first part of the collapse of the banking and housing sectors, the dispiriting, ascending unemployment rate, which is far from the crest, etc., etc., the hundreds of thousands (and rapidly expanding number) of quasi and fully retired American expats in Mexico have shifted into the upper class with SS alone! Along the U.S.-Mexico border, the exchange rate makes little difference; it remains essentially a dollar-based economy and will persist as such. Within the interior, however, where we Americans are concentrated, exists an entirely different world.
The brilliant foresight of the Mexican government in removing the classic restraints affecting retirement of Americans there has dramatically changed the picture. The new, annually renewable visa eliminates the semi-annual trip to the border; the residency visa (Type 2) enables one to bring all of their belongings across the border duty-free (where your possessions are is always where your home really is). Full access to Mexico's modern health care system, elimination of restrictions upon where a foreigner can outrightly own property, including such determinants as owning controlling equity in business enterprises, especially entrepreneurial, has established de facto citizenship with the single limitation of the right to vote. Mexico sees the Baby Boomers coming, and they have thrown the door wide open. I should note that the door was wide open BEFORE the first phase of financial collapse bordering on depression had even begun! A massive and expanding transfer of U.S. wealth to Mexico is in the offing.
As a geoarchaeologist very familiar with every region of Mexico, culture-shock vanished long ago. For those mortified at the thought of enjoying their retirement outside our borders, the number and depth of incidents of (known) corruption at all levels of U.S. politics and government is only the opening salvo, and is, or should be, a powerful salve. As an expat retiree quickly learns, the feared language barrier is essentially a myth. Not only is English widely spoken or understood, Americans have tended to concentrate in the most desirable areas, which inevitably morph them into quasi-American communities. It's what we do anywhere we go.
My comments barely scrape the surface. As attractive as expat life now looms, the next half of the collapse (let's hope it can be limited to that) will balloon this opportunity even more. For those who generally follow your site and who generally still have something of a nest egg, that opportunity is vast indeed.
We'll see if I'm correct in my portrayal. I'll keep you posted following my arrival in Oaxaca on April 6th. I am creating a forum on my website, GEOARCHAEOLOGY, specifically for this purpose. Expect postings to that forum beginning in earnest around mid-year. Your thoughts? Sincerely, Michael M. Hobby

Friday, April 24, 2009

MICHAEL M. HOBBY SOCIETAL FORUMS

Our beliefs and opinions pertaining to societal issues are of little influence if they do not extend beyond our own personal universe. Mankind today is in serious need of greater unity and harmony, not only in matters of global trade and diplomacy, but in matters of social regard, acceptance, and interaction not plagued by prejudice, misconception, nationalism, and regional interests, etc.

That can only be achieved by setting aside our darker selves, and courageously attempting to achieve meaningful results. Nothing is less helpful to others than speaking to the mirror and regarding those with varying opinions, beliefs, and lifestyles as defective, demented, or less than ourselves. I have visited innumerable forums and sites and have generally come away disappointed, not necessarily with the issues being discussed, but in the attitudes manifested in the comments. Hostility, bitterness, and nationalism are enormous roadblocks not only to achieving a better world, but also to our own personal growth and development.

They increase polarity and generate similar response from others. For example, I am widely traveled; when visiting the Southern Cone, comprised of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, I was struck by the FRIENDSHIP BRIDGES connecting these nations. There were no menacing border guards brandishing weapons, no checkpoints; anyone could come and go. Nevertheless, taking Brazil as an example, where I found warmth and admiration for Americans among the people, because the U.S. requires not just a passport, but a visa from Brazilians, I as an American was required to obtain a visa before I could visit Brazil. Such affronts are not only unnecessary, they create perceived contempt.

There is a reason why our two bordering neighbors, Canada and Mexico, don't have incidents like 9/11. They don't interfere in matters of other nations. They don't have a CIA or KGB that topples their governments (even if democratically elected) in order to appoint dictators who will provide them with their resources without just compensation, they don't start wars with them, or circulate international diatribes, or attach pejoratives to them. As a nation, we need to learn from those mistakes, or there will be more 9/11s, perhaps much worse, as I portray in my novel, JIHAD.

So the purpose of this site is to attract and engage with like-minded individuals who would enjoy helping make meaningful improvements to international relations. Individuals and groups who desire empathy and responsible interaction with those of differing, often less fortunate, social groups. Those who strive not to make everyone else like themselves or shun and disparage them if they are not, but to develop and operate within a paradigm which comprises the entire human race as a species, not a collective of envious or meddling adversaries. Those who are happy with things as they are, or think themselves better than everyone else, or more beloved of God, and similar attitudes are likely to find this site offensive and annoying. I regret those sentiments, but I also know that there are a great many worldwide to whom this site will feel like home, and who recognize that it has always been the few, not the many, who have changed history. This home will to them be a happy and hopeful one. Our arms are long enough to embrace others, regardless of how they differ from ourselves. That is the promise.

Note that all activity should be governed by the professional ethics described in "FAIR PLAY AND UNFAIR PLAY In the Pursuit of Truth," located at:

http://geoarchaeology.blogspot.com


Sincerely,

Michael M. Hobby