Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Haiku of OSINT for 12/31/17

Iran protesters
Challenge radical mullahs
Demand their freedom

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day 2017

The world stands up and cheers today for International Women's Day in 2017 because half the planet's population has been marginalized for most of recorded history. I supported this day by attending tonight's town hall at the World Affairs Council of Northern California. Representatives from Career Girls and the Global Fund for Women were on hand to describe their projects, along with a multimedia artist who shared examples of her work. It's easy to look at their success stories and think that gender parity is on solid ground. The global numbers show how much work remains to be done.

The OECD Gender Data Portal publishes data describing a global gender wage gap. We can go further than numbers by assessing the gap's impact on global systems. The World Economic Forum publishes its own annual Global Gender Gap Report. The gap in numbers is taking a long time to close, but closing it should be a moral imperative given the crucial contributions women have always made to the global economy. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (aka UN Women) describes the impact of female economic empowerment in detail.

Women don't need me to speak for them. Their work in the modern world speaks for itself, and deserves recognition.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Friday, November 4, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Haiku of OSINT for 01/25/16

Multifaith talking
Much holiness all around
Not much for action

From Interfaith Dialogue To Multifaith Polylogue

I learned a new phrase today at the Commonwealth Club: "multifaith polylogue." It's the hip new trend sweeping the interfaith dialogue community. Look for it in the Parliament of the World's Religions as participants broaden the discourse. Theologians have talked across faith divisions for millennia. Talk is cheap; deeds are worth more than words.

People of different faiths can discover that they share interests in mundane things like sports and the arts. More importantly, the Abrahamic religions all share narratives emphasizing charitable works toward strangers and the less fortunate. The Noahide Laws offer Gentiles a path to righteous recognition in Judaism. Other faiths should be so generous.

I wonder whether faith conversations travel across civilization's fault lines. One civilization axis for Judaism / Christianity / Islam can find links between the Torah, Bible, and Quran with little difficulty because they all originated from the Middle East's mystery cults and wisdom traditions. Another axis for Hinduism and Buddhism could account for the syncretism of Asian traditions. Taoism and Stoicism developed independently but their modern adherents may be astonished at their similarities.

Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion is modern syncretism's call to action. All it needs are some colorful icons and it will be as compelling for contemplation as the Sistine Chapel's frescos. The compassion movement also needs some archetypal characters like the ones in the Star Wars saga. I would suggest myself as such an archetype because I express compassion for the poor, unfortunate souls who cannot operate at my high level of morality.

Pascal's Wager for the existence of God does not overcome the Epicurean paradox of why an omnipotent deity would tolerate the problem of evil. Theologians of many faiths are welcome to polylogue themselves over this quandry until the cows come home. Compassion activists will meanwhile be busy walking sacred labyrinths, accepting mindfulness, practicing yoga, and drinking masala chai tea (organic and fair trade certified, of course). All of these efforts will garner the usual results in human history, namely political upheavals and wars as Fourth Turning generational crises run roughshod over everyone's best intentions. We all certainly meant well. It's the thought that counts.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015