While SKIL does not have a staff of thousands and a budget of millions like this year's Nobel Peace prize winner the International Atomic Energy Agency, nor does SKIL attend to the existing poor or sick like Mother Teresa, or lead a nation away from apartheid like Nelson Mandela, or stop wars like Anwar Sadat; SKIL has created a powerful plan to reverse the human agenda from ever increasing conflict to ever increasing peace.
SKIL’s plan is implemented when everyone in a future global community selects a "one-child-per-family-behavior.” (Certainly not forever but for several centuries.) In the past, most parents rejected this behavior because each sees its immediate biological, economic, cultural, and religious costs. However, related to the behavior are invisible costs and benefits. One invisible benefit of choosing the one-child-behavior is ever-increasing peace. One invisible liability of choosing more-than-one-child-per-family is ever-increasing conflict. With these costs and benefits hidden, the one-child-per-family-behavior is seldom selected.
These peace/conflict costs and benefits are invisible because seeing them requires levels of temporal inference abilities the present generation does not have.
Past work at SKIL suggests, first, that most individuals do not possess an adequate level of temporal inference ability, and second that these abilities are stunted -- due to an educational process to which most generations have been exposed.
It was not the intent of a parent, peer, or teacher to reduce a child's temporal inference abilities. No one was in the conscious business of making his or her students "time blind." However, the low levels of these abilities in the current population suggest such success.(1)
For example, while it is easy to demonstrate the control that "increases or decreases in population" have over "increases or decreases in conflict," this generation does not have the cognitive abilities to either derive the relationship or give it meaning when it is presented.
Thus each individual sees no connection between his or her personal procreation behavior and the ever-increasing conflict that promises to fill our future.
The SKIL plan is to develop these higher levels of cognitive process in every member of a future generation.
In this way, behaviors that create ever-increasing conflict become universally unacceptable and behaviors that create ever-increasing peace become the highest necessity. Individuals with temporal sight will find the two-or-more-children behavior as unacceptable, as, earlier (temporally blind) generations found choosing the only-one-child-behavior.
The level of cognitive process the SKIL plan envisions, would have the same effect on the one-child-per-family-behavior as the present level of cognition has on the way an individual chooses to stay on the curb, letting a rushing bus pass before crossing the street. Both actions seem like the obvious best choice.
Given that this higher level of cognitive process is not present in this generation, and that there are few ways to change the cognition levels of existing individuals, reducing conflict (or creating ever increasing peace) through changes in cognition is seldom if ever considered an option.
However, this conclusion could be wrong for two reasons. First, those that have come to it have taken the difficulty of changing the cognitive abilities of existing individuals and inappropriately assigned it to implementing a process that develops future minds without the present generation's cognitive limitations.
Second, they have mixed up the difficulty of imposing the one-child-per-family-behavior on an existing individual with the difficulty of a person with a more developed cognitive process choosing the one-child-behavior which to him or her appears to be the obvious best choice.
Given these two common misconceptions, any plan, that requires one-child-per-family-behavior, has received very harsh reviews even thought it accomplishes the result everyone one wants – ever-increasing peace.
The rejection is all the more surprising when this same group laments the weakness of all other behaviors to stop humankind's headlong rush to conflict.
These distortions in humankind’s common sense should push the Nobel Committee to consider SKIL's nomination. The plan should be considered because it is fair and equitable. The wealthy and poor share the same burden to implement it. The plan works in both the developed and the undeveloped world.
It is a plan that will work - when even better versions of past peace plans, even in theory, will not.
For example, even while past Nobel Peace Laureates have improved the lives of many; certainly more than their fellow candidates, their efforts create little more than a momentary inflection in humankind’s rush to conflict. A plan that creates ever-increasing peace in comparison would be a monumental leap forward .
True, one-child families cannot be implemented through an individual's self-direction until a higher level of cognitive process is attained. Having everyone attain this level is an enormous undertaking. However, after attaining it, the new behaviors that result actually reverse humankind’s trek to ever increasing conflict.
SKIL's plan was first presented in 1975. And while it has received favorable review from individuals at the logical level, it has not received support from institutions. Under their present leadership, which counts only those individuals present today as a means of judging a plan's utility, alternative plans appear more productive.
Only an institution with a very long-term peace objective, only an institution that can count the peace benefits that accrue to great grand children and beyond, will be willing to consider the SKIL plan.
The Nobel Committee, by assigning credibility to the SKIL plan, will bring to the forefront of human consciousness, the cause and meaning of ever increasing conflict. It will bring to human consciousness the power of one-child-per-family to create ever-increasing peace.
Even with this consciousness, this generation may still have 2 or more children, but they will never be able to read the morning newspaper and say, "My procreative behaviors have not contributed to this conflict."
The Nobel Peace Committee has in the past honored peacemakers. Now is the time for the committee to honor the implementation of peace in its most universal context. It is time for the committee to become proactive - that is to launch a peace initiative rather than just honor the best initiative of the past.
Here is a chance for the committee to take an active role in making peace. They can promote a plan that reverses the present course of humankind toward conflict. In championing this plan, their act will be amplified. Many institutions will follow suit. Many scholars will begin work on the plan.
Alan Kay said, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." SKIL invents ways to create ever-increasing peace. The Nobel Peace Prize committee by awarding the SKIL plan a Peace Prize can play a powerful role in inventing peace. --
(1) (SKIL’s “process model learning theory” explains what components of common educational activities install “time blindness” and what alternative processes might create a future generation that is not time blind. (See www.skill.org)
Jack Alpert (Bio) mail to: Alpert@skil.org www.skil.org Other position papers