Peace Blogs

6.5 Billion People!

Mar
01

Our little planet just keeps getting more crowded, and more in need of a way to live together in peace and cooperation. On Saturday February 26th 2006, at 7:16 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the population on Earth reached 6.5 billion people. This is according to estimates, but who has time to go around the world counting everyone. And we are now adding 261 new people every minute around the world. An analysis by the International Programs Center at the U.S. Census Bureau points to another fact: some six years from now, on Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:36 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the Earth will be home to 7 billion people.

According to estimates from the Population Reference Bureau...

In the year 1000, the world's population was 310 million. In the year 1900, the world's population was 1.6 billion. In the year 2050, the world's population will be an estimated 9 billion. As of 2002, there have been 106 billion people ever born.

Remarkably, despite many new developments over the years, one fact looks the same: Populations are growing most rapidly where such growth can be afforded the least.

Posted By Justin read more

Celebrate Peace Day and help create a Department Of Peace

Jan
01

Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced historic legislation to create a cabinet level agency dedicated to peacemaking on July 11, 2001. "The time for peace is now," Congressman Kucinich said. "At the dawn of a new millennium, there is no better time to review age old challenges with new thinking that peace is not only the absence of violence, but the presence of a higher evolution of human awareness with respect, trust and integrity toward humankind. Our founding fathers recognized that peace was one of the highest duties of the newly organized free and independent states. But too often, we have overlooked the long-term solution of peace for instant gratification of war. This continued downward spiral of violence must stop to ensure that future generations will live in peace and harmony."

Kucinich's legislation to create a Department of Peace focuses on individual, group and national responsibilities of holding peace as an organizing principle. The Department of Peace will focus on nonmilitary peaceful conflict resolutions, prevent violence and promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights. A Peace Academy, similar to the five military service academies, would be created; its graduates dispatched to troubled areas around the globe to promote nonviolent dispute resolutions. "The challenges inherent in creating a Department of Peace are massive," said Congressman Kucinich. "But the alternatives are worse. Violence at home, in the schools, in the media, and between nations has dragged down humanity. It's time to recognize that traditional, militant objectives for peace are not working, and the only solution is to make peace the goal of a cabinet level agency." In addition, the first day of each year, January 1st will be designated as Peace Day in the United States and all citizens should be encouraged to observe and celebrate the blessings of peace and endeavor to create peace in the coming year.

SUMMARY OF DEPARTMENT OF PEACE LEGISLATION

Legislation introduced today by Congressman Dennis Kucinich to create a Department of Peace includes the following: Establish a cabinet-level department in the executive branch of the Federal Government dedicated to peacemaking and the study of conditions that are conducive to both domestic and international peace. Headed by a Secretary of Peace, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The mission of the Department shall: hold peace as an organizing principle; endeavor to promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights; strengthen nonmilitary means of peacemaking; promote the development of human potential; work to create peace, prevent violence, divert from armed conflict and develop new structures in nonviolent dispute resolution; and take a proactive, strategic approach in the development of policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, nonviolent intervention, mediation, peaceful resolution of conflict and structured mediation of conflict. The Department will create and establish a Peace Academy, modeled after the military service academies, which will provide a 4 year concentration in peace education. Graduates will be required to serve 5 years in public service in programs dedicated to domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution. You can help make the Department of Peace a reality, and participate in an historic citizen lobbying effort to create a U.S. Department of Peace.

This legislation was introduced into the U.S. Senate (S. 1756) and re-introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 3760) in September of 2005. Visit the Peace Alliance for more information.

Posted By Justin read more

Ray Kurzweil and the Coming Singularity

Sep
30

Last night I heard a lecture in San Francisco by the famed technologist Ray Kurzweil, who is the author of Kurzweil’s Law which explores “the exponential trend of accelerating returns governing life and technology.” Similar in scope to Moore’s Law, which dictates that technology will expand exponentially every 18 months, Kurzweil’s Law factors in social and cultural trends. As the Executive Director of the World Peace Through Technology Organization I feel it important to share some of the insights I learned from the lecture.

Mr. Kurzweil spoke primarily about broad trends with long-term implications leading to a “singularity” which will happen sometime around the year 2042. This singularity will be a point when Artificial Intelligence (AI) will overtake the human brain in intelligence and complexity, among other things. First, it is apparent that technology is growing exponentially and will soon encompass all important aspects of our life. This is evident with a profound paradigm shift every decade. Some trends facilitating this shift include:
1.    From the earliest times the evolution of the human species has accelerated quite predictably along a linear graph.
2.    In this Modern Age information technology (of all kinds) double their power (price performance, capacity, bandwidth) every year.
3.    Instead of a depression due to plummeting prices, instead we are seeing an increase in consumption as price performance increases.
4.    We are now seeing a doubling of the amount of genetic information produced every year.
5.    3D molecular computing will be the next big trend in information technology.
6.    The intersection of biology and technology – the biotech revolution – will soon produce major breakthroughs in better health and longevity.
7.    Designer gene technology through DNA manipulation will soon produce RNA Interference, the ability to switch off genes that do the body harm. This therapy could soon mean the end of cancer, asthma, allergies and many other diseases caused by the body’s overreaction.
8.    Programmed bio medicines will keep pace with gene research growth.

In short, every form of communication, biology and computer technology are doubling every year (x 1000), and we are now in the exciting second phase of exponential growth. We are now seeing the advent of miniaturized mechanical systems called “nanobots,” some as small as blood cells which can explore all aspects of the body, report back on problems or actually fix them. Scientists are doing reverse engineering biology with robotic devices, along with the mapping of the brain – the ultimate source of the new templates of intelligence (AI). If we can just take care of ourselves for the next 10 years, Kurzweil argues, biotech will take care of us after that.

Some final trends that were presented (in no particular order): models for understanding future trends often get simpler over time. Kurzweil showed the beautiful and complex Mandelbrot fractal and said it was only six lines of code to produce. The cost of information creates deflation, but this is what drives the explosive growth. Intelligence can be created through database patterns, including the advent of effective language interpretation technology. Tiny electronics will soon be embedded in the environment, eyeglasses and clothing. Full immersion of visual-auditory virtual reality is just around the corner. Interaction with virtual personalities as a primary interface, along with augmented real reality, is here to stay. Human intelligence will outpace biology, but what are the drawbacks? Namely protection from pathological AI! Indeed, the future appears to be a vastly different world than the one we now know. Let’s hope we don’t forget that we are still human beings …

Those interested in furthering their understand of the above concepts should acquire a copy of Ray Kurzweil’s new book entitled The Singularity is Near

Posted By Brad Olsen read more

Dance for Peace

Sep
22

There is no better way to release stress and have fun.

And if that won't bring peace, I don't know what will.

Posted By Anonymous read more

The new Peacetour site

Sep
01

The new site is live today.

There's lots of tweaks to come as we go forward. And some content will be coming soon.  But fell free to create an account and add to the mix.  Users can add .mp3 files, QuickTime video, have their own peace related blog, and participate in the peace forums.  And send any peaceful quotes of wisdom to webmaster@peacetour.org

Let's get the disscussion going!

Pax!

Posted By WPTTO read more

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