War is horrific, costly and ineffective. The only reason it sticks around in such massive quantities is because businesses are making huge profits. Without this trillion dollar institution enabling and proliferating conflicts on an industrialized scale, wars would not persist as they do today.
Fortunately, the Internet is revealing this truth to us. We are coming together like never before and we’ll soon see how unnecessary and unwanted war has become. Gradually, we will take steps to do away with it, like taxing the shit out of the worst of the war-profiting corporations.
Eventually our emerging global society, with priorities shifting towards healing our planet instead of hurting each other, will see the world’s war budgets dry up as a new era of peace envelops our world.
(The Humanitarian Summit was going splendidly, until someone suggested a game of Pictionary.)
Trying to make the world a better place? This doesn’t necessarily make you a bleeding heart liberal. Just as volunteering and charity work aren’t always acts of altruism, humanitarian efforts and other noble causes can be undertaken with entirely selfish motivations. This is because of one simple truth:
When we better the world around us, we ourselves are better off.
Any steps you take that successfully improve the planet immediately provide you with the direct benefit of living in an incrementally superior world. So, get out there and help heal the earth and its people… do it for yourself!
(‘Just thinking ’bout photography’s rule of thirds.’)
Humans are incredible creatures.
Supporting this statement are the following words, penned by Philosopher Karl Popper, who stood for “world citizenship, peace on earth, and emancipation through knowledge.”
“I am all for intellectual boldness. We cannot be intellectual cowards and seekers of truth at the same time. A seeker of truth must dare to be wise – he must dare to be a revolutionary in the field of thought.”
“Part of our search for a better world must consist in the search for a world in which others are not forced to sacrifice their lives for the sake of an idea.”
“The question ‘Who should rule’ should be replaced by an entirely different and much more modest question such as ‘How can we organize our political institutions so that bad or incompetent rulers can do the minimum amount of damage?’”
“The task of legislation is to allow the greatest possible freedom of every citizen to co-exist with the greatest possible freedom of every other citizen.”
On being equally ig’nant:
“The main source of our ignorance lies in the fact that our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite. In our infinite ignorance we are all equal.”
Speaking critically of her nation’s media, Hillary Clinton says it “amounts to a million commercials… and arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that… is not particularly informative to us.”
The Secretary of State believes news outlets in the United States lack journalistic integrity, especially when compared to the standards set by foreign media like Al Jazeera, who report “real news”.
Even the agency responsible for the debacle were shocked by the lack of response. An internal memo reveals a sigh of relief as the scathing story had “not sparked any follow up coverage by mainstream media and seems to have fizzled.”
Federal Agents did execute some damage control, but it seems the propaganda campaign wasn’t even needed. American mass media is so dysfunctional that an important story can easily drown in the noise, all by itself.
So the news sucks in the States. Anyone informed by alternative sources will already be aware of this.
The US people are intentionally kept in the dark, distracted and sedated. If too many of them become aware of the role their nation is playing, they’d be in an ideal position to rise against the injustice.
Americans, just like people from all around the world, are joining in the movement towards a more just global civilization. Even if the revolution isn’t televised, don’t worry. It will most certainly be tweeted.
Now that humankind finally has some effective tools for ensuring transparency within the establishment, we’ll grow to expect and demand more of it from our political and economic systems. This will be great for our world, since transparency will help to expose the corruption within the system.
Given the instant nature of our world, it won’t take long for awareness of injustices to spread to enough people to make a difference. And, considering the way social sites provide the means to coordinate and mobilize groups of unlimited size, we’ll soon have the leverage required to counter even the world’s most influential institutions.
A world full of empowered humans, with the means to keep tabs on those entrusted with power, will be able to ensure the world’s system more accurately reflects the will of the people.
We’ll continually create a world with less injustice, less exploitation and less human suffering. Our species will finally end large scale armed conflicts and eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty from earth.
Rising up together, we’re challenging the corruption within the world’s system to manifest a more just human civilization. Given enough time, the whole world is likely to do the same as our fellow freedom fighters and relish the revolution.
Crowdvoting, when applied to a contest or competition, lets the public choose the winning candidates rather than having the outcomes being dictated by small, closed groups. Social media sites that allow liking, upvoting, and ratings are good examples of crowdvoting in action. As well, most of today’s televised talent shows rely on the audience to pick which contestants move on to the next round and ultimately win.
Now imagine if we combined the power of crowds with the wealth of the world’s financial elite. We’d end up with something similar to Kickstarter, only instead of funding creative endeavors, we’d have a process to find practical solutions for humanitarian causes.
Yes, this is what we our world needs: a social funding platform, backed by billions of donated dollars, that lets the public decide which projects are most worthy of receiving financial support. Boom! Just like that, doors and opportunities would open, generating huge strides towards a more just global civilization.
Not to worry, billionaires. Leaving such big decisions up to the unwashed masses has already been tried before. In 2008, for example, Google launched the 10^100 project, putting up $10 million to be distributed amongst publicly vetted, user-submitted proposals. Along these same lines, Pepsi has renewed their Refresh project into 2011, divvying up millions to fund great ideas every month.
An endeavor such as this could easily be spearheaded by one single wealthy individual willing to contribute a relatively small chunk of change, say $50 million. Then, as this trial run of democratic philanthropy proves to be a huge success, the process could be scaled up into the billions.
So there you have it… a breakthrough social innovation for the world’s wealthiest humans to embrace: letting everyone decide the best ways to help heal the world.
No matter when you read this, the following statement will always be true: We’ve never been closer to making world peace a reality than we are right now. This statement will always be true because with every new moment, our world gets a little bit better, and each step we take forward brings us one step closer to world peace.
Our world has been consistently improving for centuries, and will continue to get even better at accelerating speeds. This isn’t some dream… it is firmly rooted in reality. One source that confirms this is Indur Goklany, whose book The Improving State of the World brings credible research and reliable facts to support his thesis, which is that our world is getting better and better.
Here are a few of his key findings:
Global Poverty has been on the decline for centuries
We are living longer, healthier lives than ever before
We are better educated than our parents generation, and our children will be better educated than us
Pollution is down in developed nations
Pollution will drop in developing nations as they learn from what developed nations have already done
Food supplies have increased almost 25 percent per capita in the past 50 years
Goklany credits the continued improvements to mutually reinforcing, co-evolving forces he calls the cycle of progress. This same phenomenon is something we’ve been referring to as The Snowball Effect, and it shows us how each step towards a better world makes it easier to take the next step, meaning we are approaching a better world at an accelerating pace.
One of the best notions of world improvement is how the impacts are felt most dramatically by those at the bottom. Tiny improvements that would barely impact those of us in developed nations can have huge ramifications for those who live in extreme poverty. A small improvement to one’s standard of living can mean the difference between life or death. Just one step up can provide an opportunity to climb out of the trap of extreme poverty. (like with John and his MoneyMakerPlus)
This really brings home the fact that every one of us truly has the power to make the world a better place… and our world will only get better as more people become aware of this.
As our world improves, it will decrease the levels of suffering. As suffering drops, so too will tension. With less tension, we will have less violence, less war, and ultimately, more peace. As well, we come to see that our world really isn’t doomed, it will be easier for more of us to find peace within ourselves. A world full of humans embracing inner peace will be one more ingredient contributing to world peace.
Our world is getting better with every new day. Soon, a revolution of optimism will take hold of our planet as we come to recognize how we are truly on the brink of achieving world peace.
With each passing day, we are getting closer to having world peace become a reality. We’ve been progressing forward for centuries, and the past four decades have been especially fruitful. We have more of the good things, and less of the bad things. Don’t believe it? Check out this graph:
In this graph, we can see that the good things, like life expectancy, GDP, freedom and access to water are all on the increase. This is great for our world. As well, bad things like war deaths, extreme poverty, and illiteracy have consistently been on the decline, which is also some great news.
If we project forward based on present trends, the graph will look something like this:
As we can see, within 20 years, war deaths and extreme poverty should be eliminated. We’ve discussed the ties between poverty and war before, so it can be expected that as we see a decline in one, we see a corresponding decline in the other.
But, when we take into account the accelerating rate of progress and how each step towards a better world makes it easier to take the next step (thanks to the snowball effect), it isn’t unrealistic to expect an end to extreme poverty and war to arrive even sooner. Fantastic news!!!
Did you know that the world today is the most peaceful it has ever been in modern human history? Well, despite what those who profit from fear may want us to believe, its true… we are indeed living in a time of peace. The world has been getting more and more peaceful every day for quite some time.
A comprehensive study by the Human Security Center at the University of British Columbia found that “the number of armed conflicts has declined by more than 40 percent since 1992”. This same study also shows how, after five decades of inexorable increase, “the number of genocides and violent conflicts dropped rapidly in the wake of the cold war”. As well “wars are not only less frequent today, they are also far less deadly.”
We are truly fortunate to be part of this generation. Not only are we becoming more peaceful, we are also becoming more prosperous. Up until the 1800′s, the vast majority of us lived in moderate to extreme poverty, and our average life expectancy was 30 years. Now, just 200 years later, only 20 percent of us live in extreme poverty, and the average life expectancy in our world is 70 years.
It is no coincidence that we have more peace and more prosperity, for the two walk hand in hand. As we eliminate poverty from our world, we will be removing a root grievance that leads many people to take up arms – meaning a world without extreme poverty is a world much closer to having a lasting peace.
The phenomenon responsible for such vast improvements over the past two centuries is something we like to call the Snowball Effect, and it refers to how, much like a snowball rolling down a snowy hill, the movement towards a better world has been gaining speed and size with every step.
As we can see in the graphic, gains in any of these key factors leads to a better world, which in turn, makes it easier for us to achieve gains in all the other factors.
To see a real world example of the snowball effect in action, we can look at a case involving a Kenyan farmer named John. John’s life changed when he was introduced to an ingenious device called the MoneyMakerPlus. The MoneyMakerplus is a low-cost, manually powered water pump, designed by a Nairobi based non profit group called KickStart.
John’s land used to be sparse and dry, for he relied on a bucket to water his crop. Now, thanks to his affordable water pump, he sees a seven fold increase in his crop yield. 45,000 others have bought a MoneyMakerPlus, and many, like John, have seem dramatic improvements to their farms.
In this example, we can see many of the factors of the snowball effect at play. The group who designed the pump – KickStart – are people helping to improve the world. The MoneyMakerPlus is the fruit of some advanced engineering, which comes thanks to improved education. The result is cheaper, better technology. This technology, in turn, improves agricultural yields.
Thanks to the surplus crops, farmers like John can now afford a better education for their children and an improved quality of life. For those who’ve been given a way out of the trap of extreme poverty, we can see a real surge of hope and optimism. The same holds true for the people working to improve the world – they get to see that their efforts really can work.
While John and the MoneyMakerPlus may highlight how the snowball effect works, it certainly is not an isolated case. Everywhere around the world, every single one of us have been gaining access to better tools, new resources, more information… all of which will give us the power to become more productive. We will get more out of our days and more from our labor.
To those of us who already live in a developed nation, this might not be an overwhelming improvement, but to the 20 percent of the human race – the 1.4 Billion people who still live in extreme poverty – the snowball effect will show dramatic improvements to their quality of life. It will mean they are no longer starving to death, or getting sick from easily preventable diseases, and to them, this will be life-changing.
And for everyone on earth, the snowball effect will mean that we get to enjoy living in a world that is consistently improving. Eventually, thanks to our cyclically improving world, we will reach the point to where we’ve eradicated extreme poverty, eliminated institutionalized war, and ushered in a new age of equality, peace and prosperity.
With each passing day, our world improves faster than the day before. A better world is coming… believe it.