Friday, 29 February 2008

changing the world

didn't have time to post yesterday. was too busy trying to change the world (or at least a small part of it), and will be pretty occupied with that over the next few days. ask me in a couple of years time whether or not i was successful!

other people trying to change the world are the aotearoa new zealand centre for peace and conflict studies trust. bit of a mouthful, but these hardy souls have managed to set up a chair in peace and conflict studies at otago university. not a bad effort for a couple of years of solid effort. apparently they are currently advertising the director's position, so if you're interested in spreading peace in the world, here's your chance.

the major problem will be getting the students. in the current world where studies in humanities are seen as having little job potential, and given the closures of various departments around the country, it's going to be a challenge to get our young people to take out student loans for peace studies. which is a pity, because, as i mentioned in an earlier post, if we put as much money into peace as we do into war, the world might look a little different today. the centre is still looking for funders, so if you're interested in donating or want to be added to the mailing list, you can email

on another note, the ABC network (american, not australian) did an interesting programme, where "ABC outfitted a Texas bakery with hidden cameras and had actors play a female customer wearing an Islamic head scarf, or hijab, and a sales clerk who refused to serve her. The actor playing the clerk also used anti-Muslim slurs." the results were quite interesting and apparently mixed. it would be a good idea for someone to try that kind of thing here, and find out if us kiwis fare better than our american counterparts. i suspect results in various parts of the country might differ. or maybe not.

also, a recent gallup poll "shows that shows that the overwhelming majority of Muslims condemned the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001 and other subsequent terrorist attacks". the sample size was apparently more than 50,000.

which seems to indicate that more people want peace in this world than want war. but somehow we're not winning. which is why i'd urge you to support the peace studies centre. it's a small first step.

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