Sunday April 15, 2012 Michael Eisenscher will discuss the economic consequences of a militarized foreign policy and economy. He will describe how a decade of militarism and war has contributed to the economic crisis and how continuing to prosecute the “war on terror” will prolong and deepen that crisis, while actually undermining national security. He will report on the emerging Bay Area and national movement for “new priorities” – which seeks to redirect revenue from the bloated military budget to create jobs, repair the social safety net, protect the environment and meet a host of other urgent social needs – and will suggest what is required for a transition to a peace economy.
Many diverse ideas related to the goal of world peace and security, free of nuclear weapons, have been proposed in numerous books and articles. But what ideas have national governments already agreed to? And what progress have they made so far? Using information from the United Nations and national governments related to this goal, Humanists Tim Lee, Alex Havasy, Sena Havasy, Dianne Jacobsen, and Bob Gauntt will discuss the World Peace Education Project (founded by Bob in 2010 — see www.WorldPeaceEd.org) aimed at increasing public awareness of these issues.
The elections in San Francisco last fall highlighted once again the thorny issue of how votes are counted, with the poll results being counted on that occasion using the ranked-choice system. Is that the best method? On the face of it, you’d expect mathematics to provide the answer, as it does on so many occasions. Unfortunately, when it comes to the democratic process, the one thing mathematicians are sure of is there is no perfect method. Dr. Keith Devlin, Executive Director, H-STAR Institute, Stanford University, and “the Math Guy” on National Public Radio, will explain some of the flaws of all the systems.
Dr. Alex Cannara will review the three key reasons for nuclear power, summarize key reactor design choices, and discuss (a) why Thorium is important, (b) key legislation being drafted, and (c) what citizens & groups can do. Dr. Cannara has years of experience as an engineer and professor, and is the lead developer of a proposal on safe nuclear power for the 2011 MIT CoLab Competition now being judged.
Arthur M. Jackson, longtime Humanist Community member and leader, will for the first time provide a PowerPoint presentation about his book How to Live the Good Life: A User’s Guide for Modern Humans. This book is the result of over fifty years of struggle to find a naturalistic model for ethics and morality able to provide existential and emotional support to the individual. He was looking for a fundamental understanding of life and the world in which we find ourselves, based on the science paradigm rather than tradition, authority, or cultural relativism. He proposes that this has led him to a science of religion and ethics capable of supporting a religion of wisdom.