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Questions from the floor

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2008-01-28No history Add My version 
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Questions from the floor
All questions, comments from the floor must be made with minimal reference to ideas or publications that haven't been raised during the paper and discussion.
The questions should be as available to the whole system present as possible
Our thesis - 'The Pattern of War'
is that it's happening right now.
through exploring war simply through an historical, case by case lens, we are limiting our ability to comprehend the pattern of war as a function of the system(s) we live in.
Underlying all these events is a pattern of discrimination, of separation between peoples, validated through the establishment of 'otherness', which then allows us to destroy what is not part of us.
In response to Anthony Giddens' astonishment that war has not been significantly addressed in academia; academia functions using the same structures, and thus can not objectively self-reflect. IF the scientific, scholastic systems contain the structures necessary for war there is therefore no space - freedom to question war as it questions the very fabric of the institution's being.
Our argument is presented from multiple levels of analysis - from individual to national and global. Our thesis is that the pattern replicates in every system and structure, and that it's endemic nature is the reason for our inability to manage it when it reacts in ways we don't like. Therefore, examples at the individual level are just as powerful as examples between nations or large groups.
1 The purpose of this discussion?
what do you want to have happen as a result of discussing war?
If you want it to stop, then there are two routes: to a) find the antedents of war and illuminate them (which assumes that people will act to prevent if they understand the process) or b) find examples of non-war and copy them.
2 Categorization
linguistic tools to influence psychological thinking both individually and wider
Necessary to categorize and to make decisions as to who is friend or foe
2.1 War as a pattern
What patterns do you currently have, that would lead to war if they were amplified and spread amongst the whole of your nation? For example, tell child what to do, child doesn't do it, hit child; keep firearms in house, hear noise, shoot possible burglar; dispute with colleague, create ally network to get colleague removed from post. Can you identify war like from non-war like patterns in your own behavior? What would it cost you to live in non-war like patterns? If that cost is too great, then asking a group or nation to stop fighting is incongruent.
Individuals have conditioned responses to others and to otherness, that involve deleting, distorting and generalizing the information presented to them. This results in the development and maintenance of in-group and out-group boundaries.
E.G normal, proper, the way things are done around here, outsider, that's rude, manners
Not only do individuals do this, but the process is colluded by peer groups, family members, work teams etc. Phrases such as 'she's not our type of person', 'they'll fit right in' are indicative of a collective set of norms, which enable people to ignore information that contradicts or challenges their agreed 'sameness'.
Groups then do the same - territory, football clubs, uniforms
Down sizing, sacking, managing out, competitor, rival loyalty
Media does it: black white, asian, working class, they, us, ethnic, etc.
Nations do it. Allies, friends, brothers, enemy, common ground
To live in diversity, you have to accept that there are no personal absolutes and that reality is socially, not individually constructed. What I consider true is often different to what you consider true. Since much indoctrination in education, work and society runs counter to this ontology, it requires a big shift in thinking and understanding.
2.2 Consequences of mis-patterning
Eye for an eye
Wasted time
Repeated patterns of destruction
In partnership with evolution and increased scientific/industrial capability then repeated patterns start to form destructive spirals without the possibility
Obscuring of wisdom
Replicated mistakes
2.3 Super nodes
For a system to change rapidly, effecting supernodes, rather than ordinary nodes makes for faster system update/change.
To get a system to evolve, allow the conditions for self-reflection, trust that the more information that is available to more parts of the system, the faster will be it's updating.
Need to trust in the evolution of the update because we can't control it through modeling.
2.4 Wars - Wise or Ignorant
As a system becomes aware of dynamics/patterns/conflicts are there times when war is a wise/viable response to the pattern - as there may be times within a workforce/team when it becomes clear that one or two managers cannot work together and one has to go.
Or there are too many chiefs and it's time for a culling
3 Audience involvement
3.1 Solutions that perpetuate the problem
Race and employment conference - I need a top table I can trust to head the conference
Diversity awareness using 'scientific' divisive categories - I don't need to go to diversity training I'm black.
Who appoints whom to run a war ravaged country?
Most forms of questioning or interrogation.
3.2 Solutions outside of the problems
4 Case studies
4.1 Child Killers
Jamie Bulger killers, Liverpool, England
Silje killers, Trondheim, Norway
Web site: world service, guardian
Children as killers
4.2 Schizophrenia
Medical Anthropology - responses to schizophrenia as an individual or societal problem
4.3 Media case study
Leah Betts
5 Social structures that comply with war
Noam Chomsky - power structures
5.1 Scientific norms
Science has brought the NORM into all aspects of Western Thinking
Once there is a concept of the NORM then there is normal and not normal
When things are categorized as being outside of the norm then there is hyper-reactivity to diversity
5.2 Work and organizational culture
How organizations get individuals to do things they wouldn't normally do.
5.3 Sport