Wednesday, January 9, 2019

750: An Optimistic Start of 2019....

Welcome back you all. It is time to resume our project, which deals with the question "On whose shoulders are we standing in the 21st Century ?" or " How did the 20th Century shape our future ?"
But of course I first want to wish you a most interesting 2019 and I'll do the best I can to contribute to that experience.
When you look at what is going on in Syria, Yemen, India, Russia and especially in the United States, you really could have feelings of pessimism about mankind.
But I yet want to ask the question "Is this justified ?" Is mankind really such a retarded disaster, a loser through the ages?
Here I'd like to fill your heart with some optimism though. We did really achieve something through history, which shows that we may have a future.
Take for instance slavery. The first modern political nation to abolish slavery was the American Republic of Vermont in 1777. 

Then followed one country after another. First slave trade was abolished, then slavery itself. The last one, Mauritaniƫ finally yielded to the rest of the world in 1981.
Last year we celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the result of what we learnt from the atrocities of two world wars and genocides.
The fourth article is dedicated to slavery: "No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms."
Till 1948 we followed Aristotle. He, father of Western philosophy, found that some peoples were naturally inferior and therefore suitable to live as slaves. 
But our enormous moral achievement, unseen in world history, shows that the moral ideals of the Universal Human Rights are not air castles.
Of course there still exists slavery in this world, but in the 21st century it is considered to be a crime against humanity and if possible prosecuted.
Torture and corporal punishment are also banned in more and more countries today, like stated in article 5:
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Today there are International Courts of Justice, which  convict individuals, who committed such crimes against humanity.
Amnesty International is permanently annoying and irritating countries with persistently revealing  their crimes and torture practices.
Take article 25: (the first part...) "(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health 
and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, (...)"
In 1800 90 percent of the world's population lived in extreme poverty, today hardly 8 percent. World Poverty Clock :
Article 26: "(the first part...)  (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. (...)"
From a historical perspective, literacy levels for the world population have risen drastically in the last couple of centuries. 
While only 12% of the people in the world could read and write in 1820, today the share has reversed: only 17% of the world population remains illiterate. 
Over the last 65 years the global literacy rate increased by 4% every 5 years – from 42% in 1960 to 86% in 2015. (
These spectacular improvements in the human condition are almost all thanks to an idea system
that originated in Western Europe from the 17th century: first the scientific revolution, then the Enlightenment. 
Nowhere in the Universal Human Rights are mentioned the origins of these ideals - and rightly so. 
Due to a coincidental twist of history, the Enlightenment first gained ground in Western Europe, 
after earlier attempts in other eras and other civilizations, but that might as well have been different.
In the past hundred years the world has changed in a positive sense more than is the previous 40.000 years of homo sapiens.
Just allow me once, at the start of a new and exciting year, to say nothing about how bad this world is, how bad, stupid, cruel and corrupt man can be.
That is not what the 21st century is based upon. It is based on what started in 1948: The Declaration of Human Rights. And it worked! Where there is time, there is hope....
Full text of  The Declaration of Human Rights:
Thank you for your attention again.....^_^

The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:21] herman Bergson: So, do I see some smiling faces? :-)
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we allow it .... and that is why i have hope in spite of problems
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): My father used to say all that at times I recall
[13:21] herman Bergson: When you look at what is achieved in is awesome...
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is true
[13:22] herman Bergson: Quitesssential is that you look at long  term results
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:23] herman Bergson: Due to our media we are confronted all the time with the DAILY news...the short term effects
[13:23] herman Bergson: They can be serious. I won't deny that....
[13:23] herman Bergson: But what do they means for the long term...
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a hundred years ago people lived in my area in a "plaggenhut"
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): don't know the english word for it
[13:24] herman Bergson: I can't ignore it...but the present situation in the US with its president is a real testcase regarding long term effects
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): little mud house?
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes, sort of
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje
[13:25] herman Bergson: mud house  is a suitable term
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): now I have a house of stone:)
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): poverty was all they had
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): things have improved for sure
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so many good medical science too
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so much i should say
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes and for 2019 we should keep that in mind too :-)
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hang up a list Herman in case we forget
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): which we will
[13:27] herman Bergson: We all know what good things we have achieved in education, medicine, infrastructure, emplyment and so on....
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:28] herman Bergson: and whatever government there comes.....people don't like to lose all that
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes true
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and wont
[13:28] herman Bergson: Take education for women.....
[13:28] herman Bergson: is common to us....but it is the fruit of a constant fighting for such rights
[13:29] herman Bergson: Look at the medic care in the US.....
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it have been a long rough ride to get to where we are now
[13:29] herman Bergson: People claim a right to general medical care....from a social perspective....
[13:30] herman Bergson: In Europe every country has general medical care...everyone is insured....
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:30] herman Bergson: it is doable...and others see this....
[13:31] herman Bergson: so what arguments are against such a benefit for everyone...
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): don't ask we will get into it
[13:31] herman Bergson: We in the Netherlands don't question this...the very idea....
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same here
[13:33] herman Bergson: My observation is that our societies have become so individualistic that we have lost sight of the social concepts like solidarity, mutuality and so on
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): afraid so
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): egoism
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:33] herman Bergson: I just bought a book which deals with the fact that a science as Sociology is disappearing
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh?
[13:34] herman Bergson: Psychology dominates the narrative
[13:34] herman Bergson: Sociology has become marginalized
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wonders if it has be absorbed by another new science
[13:36] herman Bergson: I dont think so Gemma
[13:35] herman Bergson: we are not just individuals.....we are social people too...
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will emerge as soon a everyone  figures out the effect of social media
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): new ways of socially connecting
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): like now
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): second life
[13:36] herman Bergson: The fact is more that we do no longer see that a society is more than a collection of individuals
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is so
[13:37] herman Bergson: which means that there are more processes in a society than just actions of individuals
[13:38] herman Bergson: Like the Trump base is a sociological phenomenon...not the sum of individual believers
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:38] CB Axel: I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean society is more than just the sum of the individuals?
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will think about that
[13:38] herman Bergson: concepts like freedom and peace are social concepts....
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:39] herman Bergson: an individual might sacrifice his life to protect a value of his society
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is still very much alive in the services
[13:41] herman Bergson: the #MeToo debate is not just about is about the sociology of the man-woman relation in a society
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess i see the idea
[13:42] herman Bergson: So...all Human Rights achievements are not just actions of individuals...
[13:42] herman Bergson: it is the result of how our world operates from a sociological perspective
[13:43] herman Bergson: And to understand our world is to look at it sociologically....which is most manifest in long term changes
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well the sociology had better not disappear!
[13:44] herman Bergson: And from that perspective I could offer you this positive and optimistic lecture :-))
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:44] herman Bergson: So, I wish you all an optimistic  and happy 1029 :-)
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thanks
[13:45] herman Bergson: Thank you for your participation again ^_^
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thursday might bring another new member
[13:45] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you herman and class
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i hope to live that long Herman :))
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and tessy could not come today
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa ok
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a nice start it was (citing yoda)
[13:45] CB Axel: In today's world of a rapid news cycle it's easy to forget how far we've come and how long it has taken us to get here.
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is very true cb
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): why there should be a list on the wall
[13:46] herman Bergson: INDEED CB....right to the point!
[13:46] CB Axel: Because things don't happen as quickly as the news comes out we forget that all those changes took time.
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will we remember when we are infuriated
[13:46] herman Bergson: That wall has to be build yet, Gemma :-))))
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): little space behind you
[13:46] herman Bergson smiles
[13:47] CB Axel: It has taken a couple centuries for the US to become the mess it is now. We can't expect to repair the damage to our government in one election cycle.
[13:47] herman Bergson: ahhh that wall...thought it was to the south of me :-)
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a solid metalic wall:)
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:47] Roger Amdahl is offline.
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope to be here thursday
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Trump keeps the city apparatus closed until he gets the wall while wailing like a baby about it
[13:48] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman, for reminding me of the time line of humanity.
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:48] herman Bergson: Gonna be exciting....he's going to address the nation at 21h tonight NY time
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well well have to hope for the best
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh right
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and keep optimistic
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:49] herman Bergson: I look forward to that speech of Mr. T.
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): 10 minutes maybe
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as said, hope for the best and that he don't makes an even greater mess
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): keep optimistic
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:50] herman Bergson: His 4000 alleged terrorists across the southern border have been reduced already to a group of 6 people :-))
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): running off
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but he has to go for sure
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well cu next time
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:50] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma...happy fishing
[13:50] CB Axel: Bye, Gemma.
[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye Gemma :-)

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