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There are many--most notably in the Middle East and Africa. At root, they all seem to arise as fights over resources. As often as not, one or more monotheism is leading the fight and/or defending the bastions. In sheer volume the subject is so vast, it daunts even the most determined. But modern communication resources can simplify while providing guidance. In the engineering sciences, with understanding comes control. That works in the social sciences as well. The dramatic difference lies in the precision of what we know. Engineering can be as precise as we care to make it. Society is nothing if not highly variable within and among groups. Society is also beset with bias, dogma, and hierarchy. Nevertheless, the serious researcher, or interested observer can reach measures of understanding sufficient to bring peace. Dialogue is at the heart of the matter. For example we can:

  • Select and focus on a region.
  • Pay special attention to the local history.
  • Stitch together the several themes involved to make the current situation coherent.
  • Visit the area ourselves, spend time with citizens from the various sectors of society.
    • Pay special attention to:
      • Natural resources and associated economic interests.
      • Cultural and and religious practices.
      • Local education and medical resources.
      • Supporting entrepreneurship and the development of middle classes.
      • Employing dialogue in all conversations toward the end of building alliances instead of mortal enemies as the Neocons and Zionists among us do.
  • Formulate tentative positions, test them with others as we go along.
  • Communicate our positions with others of receptive mind.
  • Establish permanent contacts for reference and updating.
  • Establish networks with others and institutions concerned with peaceful coexistence and means to reach that state.
  • Become engaged in local community awareness activities.
  • Actively support education and relief efforts. Where possible, deliver support directly, for up to 99 cents of every dollar may disappear in "agency overhead" before it reaches addressees.

The style in which we do these things matters. Style is the intangible, and it may matter most of all for it can transmit enthusiasm, and other emotions vital to our mutual well-being. Our common goal is that which all humanity can be within a comfortable range economically. Guns suppress creativity. Dialogue enhances it.

  • Employ only the highest standards in what we do.
  • Treat others with the respect they deserve.
  • Listen carefully without judging; hear others out.
  • Ask questions and answers their quiestions honestly with as little bias as possible. If we know we are biased, simply saying so will do wonders. Others know we are honest and will deal with us in like manner.
  • Strive for quality, whether it be apparatus, ideas, communication, or behavior.
  • Put logic ahead of dogma. Employ dialogue.
  • Shy away from heated debate as argument usually hardens the positions of others, dulls their ability to to respond thoughtfully.
  • Accept others and their culture as they are. Learn how their cultures work.
  • Avoid condescension at all costs.
  • Adopt the best features for we have yet to see a culture that did not have good features.

The above assumes everyone has the integrity and emotional constructs to behave in like manner. Even if they don't, we may have nothing to lose. But they do.


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