Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Next Stop: Dow 25,224 -- ERNT! Wrong answer!

The Dow is about to crash back to 10,000 in late 2008, about 50% of the projected 19,581 in 2009 predicted by Brian Hicks in 2007. Even far, far below the 17,252 predicted by 2008.

How can a "professional" be so wrong so big on such a huge topic?

Brian, care to publish a mea culpa maxima?

~ * ~

Now, check me if I am wrong here, but who realistically thought that the market was going to skyrocket to those levels unless we underwent a period of massive uncontrolled inflation?

Listening to NPR tonight, I believe a guest on Michael Krazny’s Forum made some salient observations. Considering the rate of inflation, the value of money lending in a period of deregulation led to utterly risky financial give-aways. The cost of money was less than 0%. You actually made money just borrowing it. And, without regulation, they let anyone have it.

Now? It’s spent. Like some wastrel drunk cousin who bought a car with your credit cards and crashed it into the tree on the way home. You owe the debt. We owe the debt. Each one of us.


But, of course, we don’t have a brand new car to show for it.

I’m sort of glad, in a perverse way, that the US government refused to pick up the Wall Street bar tab on this one. Not that I look forward to a period of economic crisis as people are going to lose their homes, but it was sort of an “enough is enough” message. Fiscal prudence and responsibility has to start somewhere. Taxpayers are burdened enough as it is.

2009-2010 are going to be economically hazardous times. Make no mistake. Global economic crises can lead to wars, famines and the deaths of millions. At this time in history, though, we need to face the reality of what we truly have before us: a Dow crashing towards 10,000, and possibly likely to stablize somewhere around 8,000 - 9,000 in 2009 to 2010. Not a rosy, bullish picture racing towards 20,000 - 25,000.

My great personal cares and sympathies to the familes around the world suffering in poverty and economic crisis because of the recent Wall Street woes. Hold on folks. The rocky ride is just beginning.

On behalf of Global Understanding,

-Peter Corless.
650-906-3134 (mobile)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pledge of Interest & Concern for the World


This pledge is to be recited by all persons who desire to commit and consider themselves active and participating members of the Global Understanding movement. This is the initial draft. I wanted to make it “good” without it being “overwhelming.” Even so, it may be too long for some people. I may have put in some words which some may find objectionable. I may have left out words others find as necessary. Please let me know what you think. This is your world. This is my world too. This can therefore be our work, composed together, for the good of all the world. I am not committing to having the pledge be utterly hacked apart and made meaningless. As the author and a principle behind the movement, some elements of philosophy and ethics shall remain unshakable in my work. Yet I am always open to improving and perfecting a work of politics, so that it can be shared easily for the benefit of as many people as possible.

Pledge of Interest & Concern for the World

I pledge my interest and concern
For the world in which I live
For my community and the environment
For all people and all living creatures
For as long as I may live

I pledge all my life and being
To continuously learn and gain knowledge
To ask good questions
To do my own research and investigation
To listen to what others have come to learn
To share generously what I have learned with others
To communicate truthfully and frankly
To express myself effectively and reasonably
To view and interact with the world using compassion and care
To consider and respect the opinions and feelings of others even if I disagree with them
To consider others with an open mind without prejudice
To act in faith
To speak the truth with consideration for others
To communicate forthrightly and bravely when I sense wrong-doing
To consider and compare what I learn to my ethics
To continuously revise and consider the appropriateness of my ethics and morals
To apply my ethics and my morals to my life and the world around me
To revise or expand my beliefs as I discover new wisdom and knowledge
To adhere to wholesome, productive ways and good principles
To honor my family, relatives, friends and community
To support the freedom, liberty and happiness of others
To act with kindness and compassion
To avoid malice and conscious harm
To be grateful for all that sustains my life and health
To do my best to honor and not abuse my gifts
To remember what I have pledged to undertake
To use my strength and spirit to uphold my commitments to others
To review my pledge each year henceforth
To understand and appreciate what I have done well
To understand what others have done for my benefit
To encourage others who I follow, who walk beside me, or follow in my path
To admit and identify what I need to improve upon within myself
For as long as I may live

Who, When & Where

Written by the hand of Peter Paul Conlon Corless in the modern English language upon this Thursday, the Twenty Fifth Day of September, in the year Two Thousand and Eight in the Christian Era, also known as Anno Domini (Year of Our Lord), at Six Hours and Forty Minutes post meridian (PM) as measured in the Pacific Time Zone, in the City of Mountain View, in the County of Santa Clara, in the State of California, in the nation of the United States of America, on the North American continent, on the planet Earth, in the Sol solar system, in the Milky Way Galaxy, in the Local Group of Galaxies.

Location in Latitude & Longitude from Google
deg-min-sec37° 23' 45.996"-122° 5' 26.934"

Revision History

Draft 0.1
Author: Peter Paul Conlon Corless
Date: 25 September 2008
Time: 6:40 PM, Pacific
Initial Proposed Draft
Subject to review and approval by the interested and concerned citizens of the world.

Global Understanding Audio

Global Understanding Audio (GU Audio) now has a home page:
It was remarkably easy to realize how I could take my Macintosh laptop and just start going out into the world and to become a podcaster. Yet now, I want to hear from you. I want you to make your own podcasts for the series.

This is what you need:

  • Interviewer: An interested and concerned citizen of the world willing to conduct the interview.
  • Personality: An interested and concerned citizen of the world willing to be recorded for one hour or less.
  • Media: A way to record the session.
  • Digitalization: A way to store it as an mp3 file.
  • Internet: A way to upload it to the web.
  • Preparation: Schedule, Meet, Soundcheck, Converse, Authorization, Begin.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Setting: Record half or more of the interview outdoors.
  • Basics: Ask who are you? What do you do? Why? How do you see the world? What major crisis or conflict do you see in the world? Why should others care? What can we do to help?
  • Unscheduled: Get off the beaten track. Ask curious questions. Let the conversation flow.
  • Production: Intro, Edit.
  • Post: Get it on the web. Write contextual article. Link up. Blog.

Q: Who can I interview?

A: Any interested and concerned citizen of the world who you believe thematically will fit the program and the precepts of the Global Understanding movement.

Q: What do I ask them?

A: How can we understand the world better, and live in harmony with each other? Any variation of that idea. You can ask serious questions. You can ask silly things too.

Q: Do I need to host this at globalunderstanding.org?

A: You can host it wherever you want. Send us a URL (for now, to me petercorless@mac.com with “Global Understanding Audio Interview” in the subject).

Q: Do I need your legal permission?

A: Not really. You don’t need our help or our permission to create your own “Global Understanding Audio”-type podcasts. People have been interviewing each other long before we got started, and people will do it outside of our context presently and for many generations to come. However, if you wish to work with us, we may wish to review your work, which takes time to listen to the interview, and if we want to help you by granting our musical motif, or our organizational title to your work, that may require a mutual understanding and a legal agreement, plus the time to post it to our server if you want us to host it ourselves.

Q: Thinking about automating this process?

A: Yes. In the long run, we will automate this sort of process. For now, we’re just getting started. Got to start somewhere, right?

Q: How do you afford to do all this, Pete?

A: Right now, I pay for it all myself. I had some stocks, but I sold them to afford to do this. Yes, it is great that I have this opportunity. Yes, I am running out of money. Yes, in the future, I will ask for donations and contributions, sponsors and grants.

Q: Is this a solo effort or is there anyone else helping?

A: It is just getting started. I have already had some people who wanted to do their own interviews of different people and each other.

Q: Can anyone do this?

A: Sure! You betcha! I want people to interview each other. Brothers and sisters. Friends. Family members. Kids interview their parents. Grandparents too. I want us to understand the world from each other’s eyes. When was the last time you sat down with someone and asked them, with fresh ears, what they really cared about? What they wanted all of us to do to help solve the issues in the world?

Q: Is this like giving people their “15 minutes of fame?”

A: Sort of. Let’s give people more credit. You can be famous for at least an hour. At least! If not for the rest of your life. Or well beyond your passing. In reality we sort of interview each other every day, and do it in different ways. Some processes are more or less formal, and are either private, or public, or broadcast like a radio interview. Sometimes we interview each other over lunch. Sometimes these days over text messages. I wanted this to be a forum where people could express themselves and felt like their message was listened to. By at least an interviewer. And whoever else that interviewer passed the message on to.

Q: Do I need to be interviewed, or can I do this myself?

A: You can always set up a microphone and record yourself. I highly recommend it. That’s called an audio biography and/or a monologue. If you have relatives, especially grandkids or neices and nephews, they may appreciate those recordings of your thoughts immensely. However, that is a commitment only of your own time. The reason I wish for us to interview each other, is because it consciously creates a commitment of another human being. Someone else must prove, by showing up and asking questions, they are at least interested and concerned about your life sufficiently to sit down with you for an hour or so to conduct an interview. Say they live for 80 years (we should all be so fortunate). 365 days per year. 24 hours a day. That’s roughly 700,800 hours of life. That’s 0.000143% of their life. That’s 0.000143% of your own life. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV). It shows the commitment of two people for each other. That’s how we can begin to get the world to care. By caring about each other enough to listen.

Q: Do I need to pay for any interview?

A: It depends. If people don’t have an hour to talk about their lives, for free, they’re not necessarily your friends. If you have money in your pocket, and you want to give it to someone to be a “professional human” in your life, you can give them whatever you want. Hopefully legally. Should a grandfather charge his own grandkid for an hour of his time? Depends why and how he wants to get paid, doesn’t it? I’d probably charge a smile, if I had any grandkids of my own.

Q: Is anyone getting paid for this?

A: Not now. Maybe someday. Generally, we ask people to donate their time to the program, to keep overhead costs low. We are ideally doing this for love of our fellow humans without desire for direct personal gain or advancement. However, if the program gets successful, we may need to compensate people appropriately, both interviewers, production crew, IT professionals, IT service, software and equipment providers, other staff, and possibly even speakers, in order to keep the program going. Still, frugality is paramount. We want to keep overhead costs as low as possible. Please donate your time if you can.

Q: How can I help?

A: Listen. Think. Tell others what ideas, thoughts and feelings came up for you while listening. Then get involved in the world however you feel so moved.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dest In Nation

Grant Pollock (Dest)

Interviewed on...

Global Understanding Audio

by Peter Corless

Grant Pollock (Dest) for Global Understanding

Global Understanding Audio Interview #002
September 21, 2008
Recorded on Castro Street
Mountain View, California
(Playing Time: 43m 40s)

Grant or Dest

Grant Pollock, known as Dest, is a musician, poet, and traveler who left his family in Palo Alto, California at the age of 15 to travel the country to find his own reality. I encountered Grant, Dest, on Castro Street, Mountain View. In this exclusive interview and recorded performance, he shares his vision of life, liberty, and harmony.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Roz Savage Rows

Roz Savage

Interviewed on...

Global Understanding Audio

by Peter Corless

Roz Savage for Global Understanding
Global Understanding Audio Interview #001
September 18, 2008
Recorded at Shoreline Park
Mountain View, California

As a woman who has rowed the Atlantic Ocean solo, and has made the first leg of her cross-Pacific trip in a 23-foot-long boat, the Brocade, Roz Savage is the author of her story, and a maker of history.

In a one-hour interview, Roz Savage lays forth her life, her philosophy, her experiences on land and sea, and her vision for the world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poppies, And The Flower of England

I wrote a post for the Legio X Fretensis blog, “Poppies, And the Flower of England” which directly applies to the artistic themes of Flowers in the Cracks.

It also applies the Global Understanding movement, and the issues it wishes to address between 9/11 and 11/11 of this year, 2008.

More on that another time.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Flowers in the Cracks / Global Understanding - Take Pictures on September 11, 2008


It was sent off to the Mountain View Voice, The San Jose Mercury News, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and to many friends and family members.

Not everyone, but a good few people. I don’t yet have an email list for the GU movement.

So please, read and tell people to check out my posting for 9/11 tomorrow. And also over the next two months.

Change the world! Onwards to adventure!

-Peter Corless.
650-906-3134 (mobile)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Upcoming Calendar of Events

• November 11, 2008, at 11:11 AM: 90th Anniversary of Armistice Day. Before it was Veteran's Day, November 11 was a celebration of the peace that follows war. A day that recognized the civilian survivors of war as much as the veterans who fought it.

• December 10, 2008: 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Franklin Roosevelt died in office conducting the Allied Nation's cause for freedom. After his death, Eleanor continued and championed the struggle to guarantee those freedoms to every living person on earth, regardless of nation, without exception.

• February 14, 2009: Global Understanding Day. Though many of us recognize this as “Valentine’s Day,” there are many countries where Saint Valentine is not venerated, never mind recognized. And there are many people who are utterly ignorant of who Valentine was as a man, and presume that he’s a fat free-floating chubby baby with wings and a penchant for arrow fire. Instead, let this day be a global, more universal celebration for brotherly and sisterly love to all or fellow humans. This February 14, 2009 will be the 3rd Anniversary of the founding of the Global Understanding movement.

Exact events have not yet been determined. Please consider organizing your own, and post your commitments to hold events below.

One last thing: 11:11.

That was the time that the armistice fell over the Western Front of World War II. The “all quiet” spoken of in the famous novel.

If you truly wish to respect and honor the service of those who put their life on the line each day, whether in the military or even those who are paramilitary or police, to upkeep the laws and to safeguard their communities, use the moment of 11:11 AM each day to be a time of reverent prayer and reflective meditation. One minute each day. If you remember it.

Think about that moment, and consider in the world how many are fighting and protecting, versus how many are merely killing. I do not wish to venerate all veterans just because they wear the uniform. Otherwise, every psychopath who donned a uniform and did something patently criminal deserves kudos. Most soldiers have honorable intentions in what they do. Others abuse their power. The uniform itself is not the merit of the actor. What that person achieves while wearing the uniform is the basis of their personal honor.

Hence, I prefer to celebrate Armistice. The peace that follows conflict, or the peace protected by avoiding conflict. This “better peace” is what Saint Augustine saw as the only logical and moral reason for ethical people to come into physical conflict in the first place.

What we seek through Global Understanding is the “best possible peace” for all those involved in the conflict.

These three days may serve as reminders, on a worldwide basis, of what we wish to achieve: Peace through Armistice, the upholding of Human Rights, and the spread of Global Understanding through our care and interest, our love, for our fellow humans.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Acronym Soup

I have a lot of acronyms bouncing around in the braincase today: GU, GLU, GLUE, GUM, GUI

• GU = Global Understanding; the name of the ideal to foster mutual understanding on a worldwide basis to create peaceful progressive pluralistic societies.

• GUM = the Global Understanding Movement; the international group of people who hold to the propagation of the ideals of Global Understanding. Used when we treat the GU movement (with a little “m”) as a more formal term and organizing principle.

• GLU = Global Learning & Understanding; an alternative acronym to describe what we wish to foster as part of the movement. Suggested by Dana Lombardy at Pacificon 2008. I see Dana’s point. As interested and concerned citizens of the world, we wish for others to learn about the world. To understand it shall require education, both formal and informal. Even games will teach people about the world around them. Without learning, how can we understand?

• GLUE = Global Learning, Understanding & Education: My own next-step extension of the acronym. If for no other reason to create a harmony by spelling the word properly. Logically, if we have properly learned about the world in which we live, and understood what we have learned, we can then turn to our global neighbors and educate others. This makes the ideals for global understanding spin in a full cycle of learning from others, integrating into ourselves, and teaching others.

Sticking in the Brain

I see merits. I also see more domains and blog namespaces I’d need to grab. I don’t wish to be an intellectual glutton. And already, I have problems even securing the namespace for Global Understanding.

So for now, I’ll toss out some ideas about why these various acronyms are stuck in my brain, like the alphabet soup floating around the dog’s brain in “Martha Speaks.” (“Oh ho! This is gonna be fun!”)

GLU/GLUE (“glue”) and GU (“goo”) are both sticky, viscous, fluid substances. Things stick together with glue, whereas goo? Goo can be anything, I suppose. Toxic waste, or life-saving salve.

My own thoughts lean more to the simple “GU.” Two letter acronyms are powerful. Especially those with “U” in them. UN. US. UK. UL. The “U” brings to mind the symbol for “Union” in set theory.

“G” is a curious letter. According to my favorite Wikipedia, it was invented in 230 BC by Spurius Carvilius Ruga, who opened Rome’s first fee-paying school.

Yet “UG” doesn’t sound as harmoniously poetic as “GU.”

“UG” would rhyme with pug, and tug, and mug, and the Lovecraftian monster, the gug. It sounds like something a caveman would say, or something you’d utter while being piled on by a high school football team. Gutteral (albeit “Gu” shows up in an alliterative manner in Gutteral).

“GU” rhymes with new, and zoo, and cue, queue, blue, flu, flue, true, “Ooo!” and you. It sounds more facile, happier, wonder-filled. More sophisticated, without being sophist. Lyrical.

As far as poetic alliteration, we have some odd and sublime uses: Gutteral, Gun, Gurney, Guenevere, Gustav, and so on.

Strangely, Gu is also the name of a god, according to Wikipedia, though the name is more popularly rendered as Ogoun. He is a god of fire, iron, politics and war, worshipped in Haiti and amongst the Yoruba people of West Africa. According to Wikipedia:
“He gives strength through prophecy and magic. It is Ogun who is said to have planted the idea, led and given power to the slaves for the Haitian Revolution of 1804. He is called now to help people obtain a government more responsive to their needs.”
Perhaps, 202 years after the Haitian Revolution, Gu asked Karl John to start the Global Understanding movement. Perhaps 2 years later, I also heard this, and began the Global Understanding Institute.

So much for spinning ideas around the Two Letter Acronym variant of GU. Let’s move on.

Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs) are also good, yet are different. Like a government agency. Hence I created the Global Understanding Institute (GUI).

I wanted something that sounded foundational, in a tip of the cap to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. But rather than “go private” as good ol’ Harry Seldon decided to do, as a scientist who did not want to interfere with the outcome of his grand experiment, I wanted to go public. Specifically because I wished to draw attention to the crises we face, and to engage in positive social dialog before we condemn ourselves to a thousand year period of galactic darkness. I don’t wish to be a Mule to control the fate of humanity.

I wish to be a humanitarian who got us all around the game table of the world, and helped arrange a better possible win-win for as many humans as we can manage in the 21st Century, along with all the animal and plant species and natural habitats we can preserve and steward.

The game theories and social sciences and arts which underly the Global Understanding Institute are, and will be, a scaled down version of the postulated psychohistory of Foundation. Those sciences were predicated for utility only on a large scale: a planet or galaxy. The maths, arts, sciences, game theory and engineering principles we’ll use at the GUI need to be appropriate for 1 person, and need to scale up to 6 billion people presently, towards a possible 10-100 billion for the next few centuries. Somewhere in that order of magnitude.

I suppose we could say the GU movement, and the GUI, are committed to Global Learning & Understanding (GLU), or, to spell it fully and make it a full-cycle process, Global Learning, Understanding & Education (GLUE).

But as you can see, we are now bantering semantics rather than doing work. I like GU for the overall movement (GU movement, or GUM). Then GUI for the non-profit foundation to act as an organizing principle for the movement.

GLU and/or GLUE sounds good too. I just don’t know how to use them yet, and haven’t integrated them into my thinking fully. I also don’t want to begin a slippery-slope of grabbing all the possible acronyms in the universe, and diverting the namespace of the organizing principle across too many splinter ideas and thoughts just yet.

Like the young children that Martha Speaks is aimed at, I want to keep this simple, positive, and upbeat for now. I’ll make more combinations of letters and words in the future. For now, I just wanted to share these with you, my readers, and get some feedback.


Global Understanding wants YOU! to help change the world

This was it! The poster I handed out at Pacificon 2008, 28 - 30 Aug 2008, at the Santa Clara Marriott, right between 237 and 101 off Great America Parkway.

I have also been using it as a flyer to hand to all the interested and concerned citizens of the world I meet. It serves many functions: business card, talking points memo, 1-page manifesto, recruiting poster, plus conversation-and-thought-provoker. I also use it to make wild sketches and charts if I have no other paper handy, as many know I am wont to do.

In future iterations, I will likely change things. But for now, this is the historic “First Official Print Document for Global Understanding.” Or at least an electronic facsimile thereof. May it go down in history as the first printed instantiation to communicate what we are setting out to do!

To readers who have found this flyer: The ideas we are working on are like living entities. Please keep them well if you get your hands on them. I printed up 200 flyers and gave about half to Franklin Pham yesterday to distribute. Please don’t litter or destroy needlessly. If you are not interested enough to keep them, please pass them on to someone who would be. Recycle the ideas, not just the paper!

Also feel free to use the paper to its full extent however you wish. Write on the back and in the margins. Frame them and hang them on the wall in your places of work, education or leisure. Or make your own copies, and hand them on to other interested and concerned citizens of the world! I suggest 100-200 of them to be able to cover a reasonable-sized event. Contact me so I know where you will be going, and how you wish to help spread the Global Understanding movement’s word.

Use the big GU logo for mobilization, the same way the anthropomorphic Uncle Sam was used to mobilize the United States for the First World War. Because this cause is, in effect, the call to take intellectual arms against a sea of intolerance, and by integrating with the cultures involved, to diffuse it. We are staking the best ideals of humanity against our own worst nature. We hope to prevent World War III from occurring this century. Before another nuclear weapon is hurled. Before another 72 million more end up dead, as they did in World War II.

We also need to ameliorate the Malthusian problem of too many mouths to feed, earning too little to feed and care for themselves. Beyond horrific possibilities of war, billions may die of starvation, poor water and lack of medicine this century. This is also a rallying cry to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

This poster for Global Understanding is our first to rally the people of the world. It is stark. Black and white.

Because that is the clarity of the vision we must have for now. The yin and the yang of it. We must be creative and receptive. We must write, black on white, to declare our principles and our pledges. We must be logical and forward-thinking. We must be crisp and precise. Efficient and frugal.

In the long run, we can get to the richness of full color. For now, I'm glad the logo looks sharp in black-and-white. People “got it.” Everyone seemed to like the simple acronym. With one exception: Dana Lombardy suggested we call it “Global Learning & Understanding” (GLU vs. GU). I’ll write a separate article about that.

The flyer was done in Microsoft Word. I am having technical difficulties with the Adobe Creative Suite (won’t save), and CS2 (won’t even launch). I called a friend I know who works at Adobe to consider an upgrade to CS3, but for now, I’ll hold off. I need to dig up my serial #’s for CS2 to get technical support.

So that’s the barrier for progress on the graphics front. If anyone out there has a spare copy of Adobe CS3 to grant to the organization, we’ll clear that hurdle. Otherwise, it’ll get solved in due time.

Onwards to adventure!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

GU Movement Progress Report, 3 Sept 2008

After the Labor Day weekend, it is time to sit back and consider where we are, and where the movement is going.

Pacificon went great!

• Passed out the very first organizational flyers for Global Understanding movement! (More about that later.)

• Made a lot of contacts and caught up with many old friends again.

• One solid Volunteer recruited! The person wishes to keep their contribution private.

• A family recruited as Razumijen playtesters.

• Had good discussions with "old guard" wargame designers, like Dana Lombardy and John Hill; they did not shoot the idea out of the water entirely, which means it has some possible merit! Both are appropriately cautious. Funding, John points out, is going to be the key issue. Dana believes that "Global Understanding" (GU) should be "Global Learning & Understanding" (GLU).

Survey question of the day:

Which do you prefer?

• Global Understanding (GU)
• Global Learning & Understanding (GLU)

Vote with your comments!