The Conundrum of World Improvement

Written by Martin Winer

Continued from page 1

In interpersonal relationships, pain is often caused without intention Remember that this solution must be a comprehensive one. Our intention buster will catch negative intentions but much ofrepparttar pain ofrepparttar 125943 world is not caused with direct intent. Romance is a terrific example of a realm where pain is often caused without intent.

The real problem: lack of empathy The real problem with this solution is that first, it does not allow one to develop empathy and to learn aboutrepparttar 125944 effects of our intentions and actions. Second, it assumes thatrepparttar 125945 problems ofrepparttar 125946 world are always a result of negative intent. The problems ofrepparttar 125947 world are oftenrepparttar 125948 result of people taking actions without understanding their effects on other people. Thus, we need to increase empathy inrepparttar 125949 world to prevent people from taking actions which harm others.

Attempt 4 -- The Eye for an Eye Empathy Inducer Suppose, one were to take a banana fromrepparttar 125950 over supply caused by our previous attempts and play a trick on his/her neighbour. The neighbour suffers a terrible spill asrepparttar 125951 result of slipping onrepparttar 125952 peel and injures his back for 3 days. The empathy inducer will make sure thatrepparttar 125953 perpetrator suffers a similar fall causing 3 days of similar back pain. Surely our perpetrator will never attempt another such trick? This is a case of Mutually Assured Consequences betweenrepparttar 125954 perpetrator andrepparttar 125955 victim.

What ifrepparttar 125956 perpetrator is prepared to endurerepparttar 125957 consequences? Well what ifrepparttar 125958 perpetrator in future becomes really angry with someone? Now, we’re talking blood boiling angry. The perpetrator knows that it will cost him 3 days of pain to cause his enemy to slip using a banana peel, but who cares? It’s worth it.

We’d hope that people would soon realize that it’s just not worth it to endurerepparttar 125959 pain of hurting others and look to correct their problems through other means. However, one taking such an assumption does not understandrepparttar 125960 power of hate andrepparttar 125961 determination of those thus poisoned.

The real problem – lack of caring The banana peel example is a trivial one, yet we have built our ‘security’ policies around a mutually assured destruction. In general, we have sought to secure our world by assuringrepparttar 125962 death of our enemies. This clearly wasn’trepparttar 125963 last word in security because enemies have emerged who care not about death. They are willing to endurerepparttar 125964 ultimate consequence of killing another, their own death. In general, people often don’t care aboutrepparttar 125965 consequences (to themselves) of their actions.

Attempt 5 – Make people care How then do we make people care in general? We’re not talking aboutrepparttar 125966 suicide bombers anymore and we’re not trying to figure out how to make them care about losing their lives. The solution to that one is comparatively simple: convince them that there is no reward for their actions.

The harder question is how do we make people care about others in general acrossrepparttar 125967 board? We need full spectrum caring from caring about littering by throwing banana peels onrepparttar 125968 ground to caring about others andrepparttar 125969 effects you have on them.

Eliminate Opiates Afterlife Get rid ofrepparttar 125970 notion of an afterlife or some other time/place where everything will be ok. This obviatesrepparttar 125971 fierce urgency of here and now. Atrepparttar 125972 very least, make it clear that problems must be solved here and now, and not later.

Deities No need to eraserepparttar 125973 concept of God here, but it is necessary to eraserepparttar 125974 notion that we can ignorerepparttar 125975 problems we have with our neighbours and deal with God directly. It must be made clear that our purpose on this planet is to deal withrepparttar 125976 problems of this planet.

False deities It must be made clear that contributing to your 401K will never assure you peace and security. This is an opiate and a distraction fromrepparttar 125977 true problem at hand.

Blood is thicker than water There should be priorities for our caring for people in our lives. However, our ultimate happiness will come when water thickens to something close to blood.

Realize that this is a prisoners dilemma It’s crucial that we realize that our actions contribute to a sort of social inertia. It is this social inertia which ties us together. We must come to realize that if we act negatively, we invite others to do so. If we act positively, we promote people to dorepparttar 125978 same. While we may not immediately seerepparttar 125979 results of our positive actions, we are building towards a critical mass of positive people who will be able to reshaperepparttar 125980 world. Truthfully, our only lasting legacy is our contributions to this world.

An example would help Perhaps ifrepparttar 125981 world could be shown a community where they care for one another, then people could see, by contrast,repparttar 125982 dark world they currently live in. If such an example were available, perhaps this would help people seerepparttar 125983 errors of their ways.

Am I my brother’s keeper? “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This wasrepparttar 125984 answer Cain provided God when He asked: “where is your brother” (knowing full well he was murdered). This embodiesrepparttar 125985 ‘I-thou’ andrepparttar 125986 ‘us and them’ philosophies that have plagued this planet from time immemorial.

There have been numerous examples of strong comradery that develops out of situations where a group of people have each others lives in their hands. Such comradery is common inrepparttar 125987 military for example. If we could extend this comradery and cause people to realize that they have other peoples’ quality of lives in their hands, we may very well solverepparttar 125988 world’s problems and cause people to care. Thus, we must always answer: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” with ‘Yes.’

This work is a thought experiment into how to improve the world. Martin Winer is a computer scientist by day, developing, and a social scientist by night. You can contact him at: if you have any suggestions/comments. has the formatted version for ease of reading.

A Guide to Election Night for the Non-Political Junkie

Written by Terry Mitchell

Continued from page 1

As states are called, their electoral votes are placed into one candidate's column. Also, look for each news organization to utilize a map ofrepparttar United States, which starts out with each state depicted as white. As a state is called for Bush, its color is changed to red; as a state is called for Kerry, its color is changed to blue; hence,repparttar 125942 red states and blue states. Look for Kentucky to berepparttar 125943 first state called. That state closes its polls at 6:00 Eastern Time and will almost certainly fall into Bush's column. Once a candidate reaches 270 or more electoral votes, he will be declaredrepparttar 125944 winner ofrepparttar 125945 election, regardless ofrepparttar 125946 total popular votes or how many red or blue states he has earned.

If Bush wins allrepparttar 125947 states he won in 2000 and no more, he will win by a larger margin (277-261) inrepparttar 125948 electoral college than he won by last time (271-267). Actually, he could lose one of his smaller states like New Hampshire, without picking up one that Gore won, and still winrepparttar 125949 election. This is because, based onrepparttar 125950 2000 census,repparttar 125951 population has shifted a bit and six congressional seats (and thereforerepparttar 125952 same amount of electoral votes) have shifted from "Gore" states to "Bush" states.

The key states to watch throughoutrepparttar 125953 evening will berepparttar 125954 so-called "battleground" states. The candidate who winsrepparttar 125955 majority of those states will likely winrepparttar 125956 election. By most estimates, these states include New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, and New Mexico. Most ofrepparttar 125957 other states are considered to already be inrepparttar 125958 column of one candidate orrepparttar 125959 other. As a general rule, Bush is expected to be strong inrepparttar 125960 south, southwest, and mountain and prairie west. Kerry looks to be strong inrepparttar 125961 northeast, upper Midwest, and alongrepparttar 125962 Pacific coast. I don't see any state further west than New Mexico or Colorado being a major decisive factor. It is already assumed that California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii will all go for Kerry, while Alaska will go for Bush.

Colorado could prove to berepparttar 125963 most controversial this time, but only if everything falls right. There is an initiative onrepparttar 125964 Colorado ballot to award its electoral votes proportionally, instead of awarding all nine of them torepparttar 125965 winner, as it does now. If passed, this would go into effect immediately with this election. Sincerepparttar 125966 race in Colorado is expected to be close,repparttar 125967 results of this measure would effectively take four electoral votes away fromrepparttar 125968 winner ofrepparttar 125969 state and give them torepparttar 125970 loser. Therefore, ifrepparttar 125971 measure passes andrepparttar 125972 candidate who wins Colorado losesrepparttar 125973 election by less than nine electoral votes,repparttar 125974 measure will have cost that candidaterepparttar 125975 election. Obviously, a major legal battle would ensue if that happened.

One final item to watch for on election night isrepparttar 125976 battle for control ofrepparttar 125977 House andrepparttar 125978 Senate. The Republicans currently hold a slim margin in both houses. Several key wins, or "pick-ups," byrepparttar 125979 Democrats could turn things around in their favor in one house or possibly both. Conversely, some pick-ups byrepparttar 125980 Republicans could increase their margin in one or both house. Key races that could go either way will be monitored closely throughoutrepparttar 125981 evening.

Terry Mitchell is a software engineer from Hopewell, VA. He operates a website,, on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media. Mr. Mitchell is also a trivia buff.

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