Istiqlál, 13 ‘Ilm (Knowledge), 179 B.E


Afternoon skies…


Started “Module 1: Setting the Stage” in the Foundations of Humane Technology course bundle offered by the Center for Human Technology

The module’s flow is interspersed with “course reflections” where the learner responds to a set of questions about the section just completed. Below is the first line of questions for consideration …

Take a look at the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

(Click on any goal to learn more about it.)

  • Which of these goals are most important to you?
  • What challenges represented by these goals have you experienced personally (directly or indirectly)?
  • What challenges have you been spared from?
  • What challenges have affected your loved ones or communities you care about?
  • What role should technology play in achieving the goals you care about most?

And this is my response …

Goals 16 and 17 are the most important. EVERYONE must partner together for peace, justice, and strong institutions to prevail. Including some individuals and groups and excluding others prevents progress on the remaining 15 goals. A majority of the goals concern basic needs. Exclusion from participation means having limited access to one or more basic needs. Examples abound worldwide where people cannot meet their basic needs. Yet, no real reason for this situation exists other than by design. Change the rules and change the way the social systems behave.

Technology provides the tools that empower people to change the rules. In effect, technology makes new rules and new social systems possible. Consider a social system where 1) everyone is in, 2) everyone interconnects with everyone else, and 3) what anyone thinks, says, and does affects everyone else. The resulting system would deny no one their basic needs.

Another section tomorrow …


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The issue of paramount importance in the world today is international peace. The European continent is like an arsenal, a storehouse of explosives ready for ignition, and one spark will set the whole of Europe aflame, particularly at this time when the Balkan question is before the world. Even now war is raging furiously in some places, the blood of innocent people is being shed, children are made captive, women are left without support, and homes are being destroyed. Therefore, the greatest need in the world today is international peace. The time is ripe. It is time for the abolition of warfare, the unification of nations and governments. It is the time for love. It is time for cementing together the East and the West.

Inasmuch as the Californians seem peace loving and possessed of great worthiness and capacity, I hope that advocates of peace may daily increase among them until the whole population shall stand for that beneficent outcome. May the men of affairs in this democracy uphold the standard of international conciliation. Then may altruistic aims and thoughts radiate from this center toward all other regions of the earth, and may the glory of this accomplishment forever halo the history of this country. May the first flag of international peace be upraised in this state. May the first illumination of reality shine gloriously upon this soil. May this center and capital become distinguished in all degrees of accomplishment, for the virtues of humanity and the possibilities of human advancement are boundless. There is no end to them, and whatever be the degree to which humanity may attain, there are always degrees beyond. There is no attainment in the contingent realm of which it may be said, “Beyond this state of being and perfection there is no other,” or “This has achieved the superlative degree.” No matter how perfect it may appear, there is always a greater degree of attainment to be reached. Therefore, no matter how much humanity may advance, there are ever higher stations to be attained because virtues are unlimited. There is a consummation for everything except virtues, and although this country has achieved extraordinary progress, I hope that its attainment may be immeasurably greater, for the divine bounties are infinite and unlimited. 1

  1. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 376-377. [return]