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It’s a VUCA world out there, people ….

person of interest2I’m a big fan of the TV show “Person of Interest” and last night I watched the long awaited first episode of Season 5. It has turned into a story about two warring supercomputers, one of which is good. Good supercomputer had to be totally rebooted last night and as it became reacquainted with its human helpers, it considered the amount of death and mayhem they had inflicted during the fight for goodness. To no science fiction readers’ surprise, it ended up deeming them every bit as bad as the bad guys.

The supercomputer has a point. When does what you are fighting for become irrelevant due to the amount of carnage and pain you have inflicted? Is the answer really “never”?

Enter an article in my to-be-read file called “The Madness of Modern War” published on the blog Alternet and written last month by William Astore. I stumbled on it this morning and it fed right into my funk about the moral ambiguities of fighting for peace. It begins

Since 9/11, can there be any doubt that the public has become numb to the euphemisms that regularly accompany U.S. troops, drones, and CIA operatives into Washington’s imperial conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa? Such euphemisms are meant to take the sting out of America’s wars back home. Many of these words and phrases are already so well known and well worn that no one thinks twice about them anymore.

fighting2Things do have a way of coming together like this, don’t they? The truth is, life under the watchful eye of good computer would be a whole lot nicer than human life on bad computer’s watch. And life in the freedom loving  U.S.A., for all of its faults, is orders of magnitude better than anyone’s life under the rule of the Islamic State.

So exactly how horribly is one morally entitled to behave in order to achieve an outcome destined to provide more freedom and joy for all?

I fall in the camp that believes there are limits. Something you do remains something you have done, and it stretches your capacity to do the unthinkable. I worry that good guys can become bad guys by imitating them. I think that part of a moral compass includes having lines you will not cross, and directions you will not go.

Let me be clear. I will fight for my own life and my liberty, and thank the others who do it for me. But I will not pay any price to purchase those things, and I like to think that I have the courage to accept that.

Peace2You don’t think you agree? If your life, or your freedom, required you to push a button and wipe out every living creature in Australia, would you do it? Would you let someone else do it for you? How about just half of Australia? Just a quarter of it? Okay, exactly how much of Australia are you willing to destroy? How about if we change the country to Somalia? Syria? Sweden?

It’s a messy question, isn’t it? As a species we can identify some actions clearly on one side of the line and others clearly on the other, but it is all that grey area in-between that gets us into so much trouble. How about we begin by at least agreeing that there is a line. That’s a start.

William Astore concluded his article with

If the gray zone offers little help clarifying America’s military dilemmas, what about VUCA? It’s an acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, which is meant to describe our post-9/11 world. Of course, there’s nothing like an acronym to take the sting out of any world. But as an historian who has read a lot of history books, let me confess that, to the best of my knowledge, the world has always been, is now, and will always be VUCA.

Well said.

 

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2016 in peace

 

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May 2014 bring peace, joy and hope to all!

Please enjoy this collage of my favorite images of peace from the past year.

Best of Peace

Thanks and credit to (from upper left, clockwise) 1. Robert J.R. Graham’s website 2. http://hashtagpeace.tumblr.com/ 3. http://peace.maripo.com/p_hands.htm 4. Peace and Harmony by Lauren Voiers 5. Shutterstock 6. Artist saleire at Red Bubble 7. Hippie Peace Freaks Facebook Page 8. Original art by Laura Barbosa 9. Peaceful World by Peace Simon

For a look at my favorite images of joy from 2013, please visit my y1 blog here.
For a look at my favorite images of hope from 2013, please visit my z2 blog here.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in art for peace

 

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Peace Signs

1 Peace

Hippie Peace Freaks

Funny how things come at you clumps. One day its cute kittens every place you look, the next day its information on vitamin supplements. Yesterday, I had a “peace” day. Signs were everywhere. And many of them were on Facebook.

One of the joys of creating a Facebook page for my collection of novels 46. Ascending has been the way it has given me reason to seek out other people’s pages and to share some of my favorite finds. I’m not sure what the exact etiquette is on sharing posts from the Facebook world on ones blog, so I will ask you to please drop by the wonderful page called Hippie Peace Freaks and kindly give them a like while you are there.

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama

There is no better place for peace signs than the Facebook page of the amazing Dalai Lama, who happily shares his wisdom with those of any faith (or none). Please consider liking his page as well. There may not be anyone more likable on the planet.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

I am also impressed with much about the new Pope Francis and share this from his Facebook page. He doesn’t have his staff working on powerful imagery to go with his thoughts (yet) but these are thoughts worth liking.

Peace One Day

Peace One Day

Finally, a huge LIKE to the people who get out there and do something to promote world peace. Please visit the page for Peace One Day, where you can view this photo of a meditation flash mob at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. A meditation flash mob may sound like an oxymoron, but these participants took off their shoes and meditated for an hour to promote mindfulness and peace in the world. Do such actions make a difference? Do photos of such actions make a difference?

I think we all change just a little when we start to see peace signs everywhere we look.

For more of my favorite signs of peace, please drop by my Facebook page Number 46. Ascending, and look around as well.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in peace

 

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The look of peace ….

I am once again in search of images that convey the idea of peace. Interesting ways to assemble the peace sign work well, and this tumbler page for #peace has many of them,

Click for hashtagpeace

Click for hashtagpeace

Doves are a favorite also, and I found this version with doves and olive branches especially appealing.

Click to visit Robert Graham' site

Click to visit Robert Graham’ site

Finally take a look at this beautiful mural. It is from a fascinating website listing many examples of peace monuments using the symbols of hands & handshakes

Click for more

Click for more

If you like the idea of searching for an image to capture a quality we all seek, come see images of joy on my y1 blog here and images of hope on my z2 blog here.

 

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in peace

 

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