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Thread: Helicopters catching Skylab and Arab-Israeli peace

  1. #1 Helicopters catching Skylab and Arab-Israeli peace 
    Forum Freshman GreatBigBore's Avatar
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    I was just beginning my teen years when Skylab fell on July 11, 1979. I remember people talking about whether it would cause damage on the ground, and how such damage could be prevented. One TV news clip showed the ideas of an American classroom of little kids, perhaps preschool or kindergarten age: crayon drawings showing various ways of dealing with a falling space station. My favorite was a giant net stretched between two helicopters. The idea was for Skylab to fall safely into the net, allowing the helicopters to guide it gently to the ground.

    I think that we could learn something from the exercise of those little kids: we need some brainstorming, some way of being really creative, generating ideas, with no risk of criticism. We need to get a whole mountain of ideas out onto the table, because somewhere in that mountain there will be at least a few ideas that could be helpful, if not in providing immediate solutions, at least providing some possible ways to move toward peace.

    I have a very childish idea.

    Years ago I read an article in a science magazine about game theory and how it could be used in simple, two-sided land disputes. The formula was simple: have one side of the negotiators propose the most fair division they can come up with, but let the other side be the first to choose which piece of the pie they will take. This is a beautifully simple plan. It forces the people doing the division into really thinking about what's fair, because they know that they'll get the second choice.

    I propose this not even as a final solution, but just as a brainstorming mechanism: create a website that allows everyone, everywhere to present their best ideas on how to divide Palestine between Jews and Arabs, with the knowledge that each proposal gives first choice to the other side. So an Israeli would propose a division of Palestine that allows the Arabs to choose their half first. Let this website get filled up with hundreds or even thousands of proposals. The two sides of the conflict can sit at home, not having to worry about the pressures of negotiations, and quietly reflect on these proposals. Surely there will be a few, or at least one, that is thought to be a good idea by both camps. Maybe there could even be a voting mechanism, so the two camps of negotiators and leaders can see the popularity of the proposals, in case they want to listen to the voice of the people.

    I think that we can find a solution to this problem. Maybe I'm just the kid drawing helicopters catching Skylab, but even if it's a naive or even stupid idea, maybe someone smart will read it and be inspired to come up with a good idea.

    Has this already been tried and shown to be a really stupid or hopelessly naive idea?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree Twit of wit's Avatar
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    The fault in your reasoning is your assumption that they want to find a solution.


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    Forum Freshman GreatBigBore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    ...they...
    It's not they. It's we. All of us, together. We need to outgrow this "us and them" kind of thinking. I am convinced that there are plenty of average Jews and Arabs out there who don't care about race and just want to get on with their lives. I am convinced that the conflict is largely driven by a very small minority of racists on both sides. On all sides. We need a new way of thinking. We need to show these leaders that we want no more fighting. If we could get some kind of peace movement going, especially one that requests ideas from all the people of all races, they might listen.
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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, Judaism and Islam practice something foreign to the rest of us, that is, they deem certain parts of the earth's surface as "holy". Judaism claims Jerusalem as their "holy city" as does Islam (along with the cities of Mecca and Medina). In fact, Muslims originally prayed facing Jerusalem until, by Muhammad's account, Allah told him that Muslims should pray toward Mecca.

    Of course, each wants to control what each considers holy. Specifically within Jerusalem, both religions lay claim to what Jews call the "Temple Mount" (the dwelling place of God's divine presence and formerly the location of Solomon's Temple), which Muslims call the "Noble Sanctuary" (a kind of waystation for Muhammad on his journey to tour heaven and hell).

    Until one or both religions move away from such thinking, it seems this Hatfields-and-McCoys-type feud will continue.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman GreatBigBore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe
    Of course, each wants to control what each considers holy.
    That's the beauty of the game theory idea I mentioned: have one side divide the land in half, in whatever way they like, knowing that the other side gets to pick their half first.

    Of course, before all that, the whole world joins together and tells the Arabs and Israelis that they must divide the land, stop the fighting, and allow everyone just to live their lives in peace.
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  7. #6 Re: Helicopters catching Skylab and Arab-Israeli peace 
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatBigBore
    I was just beginning my teen years when Skylab fell on July 11, 1979. I remember people talking about whether it would cause damage on the ground, and how such damage could be prevented. One TV news clip showed the ideas of an American classroom of little kids, perhaps preschool or kindergarten age: crayon drawings showing various ways of dealing with a falling space station. My favorite was a giant net stretched between two helicopters. The idea was for Skylab to fall safely into the net, allowing the helicopters to guide it gently to the ground.
    It's interesting that you bring this specific example up. One of the first great acts of wisdom that is credited to the prophet Muhammad was settling a dispute over which of several tribes would be allowed to set the Black Stone into place, by putting it on a blanket and having each tribe pick up a corner of the blanket.

    Quote Originally Posted by wiki Black Stone Article
    Muhammad is credited with playing a key part in the history of the Black Stone. In 602, before the first of his prophetic revelations, he was present in Mecca during the rebuilding of the Kaaba. The Black Stone had been temporarily removed while a new structure was being built. A story found in Ibn Ishaq's Sirah Rasul Allah (as reconstructed and translated by Guillaume) shows Muhammad settling a quarrel between Makkan clans as to which clan should set the Black Stone in place. His solution was to have all the clan elders raise the cornerstone on a cloak, and then Muhammad set the Stone into its final place with his own hands.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Stone
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  8. #7 Re: Helicopters catching Skylab and Arab-Israeli peace 
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatBigBore
    I have a very childish idea.

    Years ago I read an article in a science magazine about game theory and how it could be used in simple, two-sided land disputes. The formula was simple: have one side of the negotiators propose the most fair division they can come up with, but let the other side be the first to choose which piece of the pie they will take. This is a beautifully simple plan. It forces the people doing the division into really thinking about what's fair, because they know that they'll get the second choice.
    Okay. Let's me and you divide up your property.
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    Forum Masters Degree Twit of wit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatBigBore
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    ...they...
    It's not they. It's we. All of us, together. We need to outgrow this "us and them" kind of thinking. I am convinced that there are plenty of average Jews and Arabs out there who don't care about race and just want to get on with their lives. I am convinced that the conflict is largely driven by a very small minority of racists on both sides. On all sides. We need a new way of thinking. We need to show these leaders that we want no more fighting. If we could get some kind of peace movement going, especially one that requests ideas from all the people of all races, they might listen.
    OK now find a way how to explain it to them.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatBigBore
    It's not they. It's we. All of us, together. We need to outgrow this "us and them" kind of thinking.
    Okay, here's an idea. Jerusalem is a city of great controversy with at least four major factions having an interest there (Jews, Muslims, Christians and Armenians). So, instead of the time-honored "one cuts, the other chooses" method, the world converts Jerusalem, along with a corridor to the Mediterranean, into an International Zone, the way Europe did with Tangier in the previous century. This has been proposed before for Jerusalem.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman GreatBigBore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe
    ...the world converts it, along with a corridor to the Mediterranean, into an International Zone...
    Now that sounds like a great idea. I'm shocked that it hasn't already happened. We really need to open our eyes and see that the fate of the human race is up to us. We could become something so much greater than what we are now. Thanks for the link.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    The major problem is that apart from Jerusalem, Israel also occupies the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

    I have a feeling the Palestinians are a bit more upset about the entire West Bank thing than the immediate issue of Israel claiming East Jerusalem.

    Also, I'm not exactly sure what Armenians have to do with the issue, they're all the way North of Turkey, and would be grouped with the Christians anyway...

    A UN established international zone will never function. Mainly because it will be seen as a primarily Western intervention into the Middle East. I'm sure they'll be drawing parallels with the original establishment of the Israeli state.
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  13. #12  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy

    Also, I'm not exactly sure what Armenians have to do with the issue, they're all the way North of Turkey, and would be grouped with the Christians anyway...

    A UN established international zone will never function. Mainly because it will be seen as a primarily Western intervention into the Middle East. I'm sure they'll be drawing parallels with the original establishment of the Israeli state.
    Maybe not, but they'd probably feel less of an insult to their religious pride than they do now. At least the UN professes to be multi-cultural, whereas Israel professes only to be Jewish.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman Rickdog's Avatar
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    OK, I`m going to play in this ficticious scenario.

    Why don`t Jews raise their own children as being Muslims with all the laws that muslims have, and Muslims raise their own children as being Jews with their own Jewish laws, maybe when all their children reach maturity, maybe they will all learn to accept each other by accepting the love they prophess to their own children, without giving such a big deal on their diferences of opinion due to religious belief. Who knows ?, maybe they could find an oasis of peace and harmony in the same land all together at last.

    This all sounds pretty, but I also hope they all don`t start picking up on Christians afterwards, since the mess that we`ll have is going to be so big that could start a new type of religious confrontation.

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