Dear Wander and all,

I'm so glad that we as a scientific community are responding to these events. One thing I was wondering was whether we might also include the need for mutual understanding more explicitly in the statement. 

The most dangerous thing about us human beings isn't our eagerness to use violent means when we have strong beliefs but our tendency to believe strongly and uncritically that we are right and thus justified in imposing these beliefs on others by force. This is also what leads to us, through vilifying or maligning each other, to polarisation. 

As scientists, what distinguishes us is that we are able to critically examine all beliefs and positions, and to seek understand them. Tolerance based on an  understanding of how and why different people and peoples differ in their beliefs is far more valuable than tolerance based on a misunderstanding of these. So I was wondering if we might modify the text a little to reflect this idea, e.g.

A flourishing global culture and functioning global society is built on mutual understanding, an eagerness to embrace diversity, and when values conflict, informed tolerance. The IS attacks on innocent citizens appear to be aimed at undermining this tolerant culture by fuelling a polarisation process, setting up groups of people against each other. Rather than responding with violence, leading to a spiralling down to a repressive state, as scientists we believe that we should support critical thinking in areas dominated by dogmatic and repressive powers. We prefer drones offering internet access over drones packed with with explosives. Better a bombardment with laptops than with rockets. Mind that lead is better used for printing than for bullets!

Chih-Chun

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Research Associate, Complex Systems Scientist
Engineering Design Centre, Department of Engineering 
University of Cambridge
http://abmcet.net/Chih-Chun_Chen/home.html





Van: News and discussion about computer simulation in the social sciences [[log in to unmask]] namens Jager, Wander [[log in to unmask]]


Verzonden: zaterdag 14 november 2015 20:00
Aan: [log in to unmask]
Onderwerp: [SIMSOC] Statement on behalf of our community on the Paris attacks

Dear friends

Usually we publish our ideas in scientific journals, but considering the impact of the terrorist attacks on innocent citizens on our society, the attack on Paris as the most recent gruesome act, I think that we, being scientists addressing the dynamics of society, have a responsibility to address the general public more directly. A polarisation of society, resulting in conflict, seems to be the aim of these fear-inducing attacks. The more society at large is aware of this likely aim, the more a liberal and tolerant culture might be resilient to such attacks.

I propose publishing a statement on behalf of our scientific community. The following tekst is a sightly adapted post I made on Facebook. It might serve as a start for a joint message, which should have tolerance and openness as key values for a global culture to strive for.

A flourishing global culture requires tolerance and the embracing of diversity as important principles. The IS attacks on innocent citizens appear to be aimed at undermining this tolerant culture by fuelling a polarisation process, setting up groups of people against each other. Rather than responding with violence, leading to a spiralling down to a repressive state, as scientists we believe that we should support critical thinking in areas dominated by dogmatic and repressive powers. We prefer drones offering internet access over drones packed with with explosives. Better a bombardment with laptops than with rockets. Mind that lead is better used for printing than for bullets!

 If you support this message just let me know, and if you have some suggestions for improving the tekst and for bringing this message out your input is valued very much.

I hope to share a final tekst on Monday, which I want to circulate on this list.

Warm regards from concerned citizen.

Wander Jager


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Groningen Center for Social Complexity Studies
University College Groningen
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