It is a testament to his incredible gifts that Martin Luther King’s book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? is perhaps more relevant today than it was 50 years ago. When we fully awaken and respond to its call to action, the planet will be transformed.
We must frankly acknowledge that in the past years our creativity and imagination were not employed in learning how to develop power. We found a method in nonviolent protest that worked, and we employed it enthusiastically. We did not have leisure to probe for a deeper understanding of its laws and lines of development. Although our actions were bold and crowned with successes, they were substantially improvised and spontaneous. They attained the goals set for them but carried the blemishes of our inexperience.
When a new dawn reveals a landscape dotted with obstacles, the time has come for sober reflection, for assessment of our methods and for anticipating pitfalls. Stumbling and groping through the wilderness finally must be replaced by a planned, organized and orderly march.
All inhabitants of the globe are now neighbors. This world-wide neighborhood has been brought into being largely as a result of the modern scientific and technological revolutions. The world of today is vastly different from the world of just one hundred years ago. A century ago Thomas Edison had not yet invented the incandescent lamp to bring light to many dark places of the earth. The Wright brothers had not yet invented that fascinating mechanical bird that would spread its gigantic wings across the skies and soon toward distance and place time in the service of man. Einstein hadn not yet challenged and axiom and the theory of relativity had not yet been posited.
Human beings, searching a century ago as now for better understanding, had no television, to radios, no telephones and no motion pictures through which to communicate. … Science had not yet peered into the unfathomable ranges of interstellar space, nor had it penetrated oceanic depths.
These days when it seems like humanity isn’t up to dealing with the problems of police shootings, politics, terrorism and numerous other challenges, remembering the big challenges we have overcome can be useful. The Abundance book has plenty of examples of the progress being made to raise the quality of life for more and more people, but that takesa good bit of time and thought and just doesn’t feel big enough. There’s a quick and easy way to be reminded of how people of all races, genders, political parties and countries can work together to tackle enormous problems successfully – look up in the sky. Tonight(7/7/2016) and for the next few nights, one can see Jupiter near the moon in the western sky where the sun has just set.
3 days ago, a basketball court sized spacecraft completed a 5 year journey and successfully entered orbit around Jupiter. This has been described as “the hardest thing NASA has done” – comparable to hitting a golf ball in New York into a hole in Los Angeles! Jupiter is 540 million miles away and as wide as 11 Earths! One could fit all of the planets in our solar system inside Jupiter.
Another benefit of looking up and seeing a place humans have sent equipment to is that it reminds us there is an abundance of material resource available to us. It’s awesome and anyone can choose to go outside, look up and be inspired.
Last and First Quarter Moons
Part 1 of this series began at the first quarter phase of the Moon on 01-16-2016. Today we’re at the last quarter which is as illustrated above, the visual and geometric opposite of the first quarter. These two positions of the Moon are also the second primary set of binary/polar relationships after the new and full Moon positions. Today, in part because few people farm we’re not as directly connected to the practical value of these polar relations. The full moon is hard to ignore but we’re generally not familiar with waxing, waning or gibbous(when’s the last time you heard someone say that word). Ironically, while science pays less attention, there are many people who are aware of at least the crescent moon phases for religious reasons. Still, our awareness doesn’t change the fact these relationships encode the same valuable knowledge as boolean math and logic gates which power computers. In Part 3, we’ll take an in-depth look at how digital logic drives the relationships which govern how the Moon’s orbit presents the Sun’s light to us.
The image above shows the moon at the beginning of its first quarter phase as it appeared in the northern sky on the evening of January 16th, 2016. It was generated by NASA’s Dial-A-Moon visualization system. While the moon has traveled one quarter of the distance it will cover during its orbit, it has also moved exactly one half of the distance between the new and full moons. It will be shown in subsequent posts that halving the distances between the 8 lunar phases gives expression to a system of boolean logic of two variables generated by the dynamics of the moon’s orbit. How this relates to many different fields, including but not limited to digital sciences will be explored.
Understanding first quarter moon | Moon Phases | EarthSky
The Universe Today
This NY Times article on upward mobility quotes a study showing that where you live plays a big role in determining economic opportunity. This leads some to believe that moving is the answer but the article concludes that
For all the benefits that moves can bring, they are not a solution to poverty, said people who have seen the new paper as well as the researchers themselves. Finding ways to improve those neighborhoods, for people who cannot or do not want to move, is also important, researchers and policy makers said.
This reminds me that 50 years ago after the 1965 unrest in Los Angeles, the Watts Labor Community Action Committee(WLCAC) was founded with the motto Don’t Move – Improve. Studies by researchers and policy makers can be helpful but did we really need to wait 50 years to be told about something someone in the village had already done? Look around you, find a problem, come up with a solution, use family, friends and the web to find the intellectual and monetary capital to implement it. While the steps are pretty simple, committing to see it through takes a great effort.
It was good to see conservatives and liberals agreeing on Morning Joe and elsewhere that decades of systemic economic failure are creating a permanent underclass in Baltimore and throughout America. At the same time there’s a need to recognize that people have been not only saying this for some time, but also acting to prevent the present crisis. One participant in CNN’s Black In America Part 4 Silicon Valley documentary in 2011 noted:
As I said in the documentary, not fixing this problem ultimately leads to a permanent underclass. And if you think Occupy Wall Street is a troubling signal regarding dissatisfaction around wealth distribution, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I fear the growing wealth disparity, particularly along racial and ethnic lines, will be catalyst for significant civil unrest.
Commenting in 1982 on the 1965 Watts riots, the late community pioneer and founder of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee Ted Watkins said:
If we continue in the direction that we are heading in cutting out all of the support a community like this is getting. Not only Watts but New York, Washington D.C. and Detroit MI, possibly, people will be at war.
A Practical Man
Perhaps what’s needed most is a sense of urgency and the will to move beyond relying primarily on protests and government programs. We don’t have all of the science, technology, engineering and math resources we need but we have enough to start making an impact right now today. We can’t “buy black” if there’s no black company making the product, but we can choose how we spend our money so that we can invest in ourselves, our past and present knowledge of how to make products.