January 30, 2002
FLC Reading: Introduction
Ambivalent process of "modernization"
Pillars: market capitalism, Western ideologies, and new technologies
1. Changing concepts and experience of space and time Causes: technology, exploration,
discoveries, new concepts Effects: mapping, horizons, density
2. Increasing cultural interactions Causes: exchange, transnational interpenetration,
transplantation, dissemination Effects: multicultural lifestyles and experiences
3. Commonality of problems facing humanity
4. Increasing interconnections and interdependencies TNCs, IGOs, INGOs, GSMs,
5. Synchronization and Inseparability of all dimensions economic, political,
1. broaden/relativize identities
2. "Western" modernity
3. reflexivity and disillusion
4. Glocalization via selection & adaption
February 6, 2002
Global Challenges of Techno-Science
1. Techno-Science and Globalization
- Outer nature/matter, human nature, and society
- Change of use and perception of space and time
- R & D: corporations/universities/government (military, space)
2. Definition of Technology and Science
- "Technology" is the systematic application of ideas in order to produce a desired outcome by manipulating the material world
- "Technological Practice" is the complex set of social and cultural patterns in which a society's technologies are embedded from organized scientific activity to knowledge of solving practical tasks
- "Science" is the systematic attempt to explain any realm of human experience, including nature, society, and human mental processes, by methods that can be replicated and that lead to shared knowledge
3. Origins of the Modern Mechanistic Techno-Science
4. Mechanistic Misconceptions of "Nature"
5. Postmodern Techno-Scientific Worldviews in Present Era
- New Physics/Chaos theory/Emerging Information Model
- Ecological postmodernism/postmodern organicism (Spretnak)
6. Assessing the Impact of Techno-Science
-Technological optimism/pessimism/"imperative" & "determinism"
- Contextual interaction of Technology, Society & Science
7. Forecast of Emerging Technologies (Halal et al.)
-TNC's, virtual/clustered communities, consensus/interntl restruct.
February 13, 2002
Philosophy of Technology in Global Perspective
Social impact of technological change in our age
1. Janus-faced technology, control of nature, and human history
2. Central Question: NOT "What can we do?" BUT "What should we
3. Three inadequate views about technology: optimism, pessimism, adaptism
4. Taking advantage: internal/external costs, support, interests, institutions
5. Technology and value change
6. Technology and religious change: ultimate values, secularism, relig. reactions,
7. Technology, society, and the public interest: expert culture, rationality,
8. Technology development, private firms and public welfare
9. Scientific expertocracy and democratic decision-making
10. Technol. alienation, gvt. intervention, individual rights & public responsibilities
Technology: the opiate of the intellectuals
1. Techno-Science, the Mesthene Report, and technology as religion ("laissez
2. Example of technology abuse: Vietnam war, computer guided killing and the
irrational foot soldier
3. The new technocratic elite/intellectual, technological inequality, and the
February 20, 2002
1. Who is Bruno Latour?
2. Reminder: Definition of Techno-Science Peterson (1999)
3. Origin and Purpose to Accumulate Knowledge?
4. Cycles of Knowledge Accumulation
5. Characteristics of Accumulated Science
a) Mobility, b) Stability, 3) Combinability
Collections in "centres", Refinements, "Paper world"
6. The Skeleton of Constructed Space and Time
7. Source of Hegemony: Tying things together in "core" center
"Data drowning," "n-th" degree, calculus & equations
Equations (a) tell us what is associated with what, (b) define the nature of
the relations, (c) often express a measure of resistance of each association
8. Abstraction Results: Formalism and Math Calculation
Process of abstraction, Theory & Reality, Formalism and Math=Vertical &
transversal culmination of univ. knowlg.
Abstract sciences thematize essential basics of knowledge
Irrelevance of cognitive abilities of human "translators".
9. Center Maintenance
The return of knowledge from the centres to the periphery
Trial runs, Simulations, and Failures of final practice
"Metrologie"=Elementary parameters & maintenance
Other (in)constants: weight, length, biological standards
Universality of the paper form & bureaucracy
No clear difference b/w social & natural sciences/hard and soft
sciences=result of organic process of knowledge accumulation for power
& influence. Demystify/deconstruct Techno-Science
February 27, 2002
Techno-Science and Global Arms Control
1. Global Techno-Science, Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense (ABMD), and Arms Control:
Who controls whom?
2. Global threats, Weapons of Mass Destruction & Disarmament
3. Four WMD Strategies: Arms control, defense, armament, attack
4. Cons re: Armament/Deterrence: peace through threat, predictability, retaliation
capability, "dead end" strategy, what next after "Day After"?
5. Strategy 1--Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: CTBT, START, AABM, NPT, unilateral
actions, "rogue nations" and world pressure
6. Con re: Strategy 1: a Darwinist world, technological determinism, national
interest/Realpolitik, historical pessimism
7. Strategy 2--ABMD: passive and active defenses, missile flight phases interference,
operations (detection, interception, control)
8. Con re: Strategy 2: no protection against ICBM's/short range cruise missiles
(merchant ships)/WMD use in harbors or countermeasures 9. History of Deterrence
and ABMD: Cold War massive attack deterrence (MAD), Post-Cold War limited attack
but asymmetric warfare
10. Policies Pursued by U.S. Government: ABM, 1997 Demarcation Agreements for
Theater Missile Defense=not ratified, U.S. Submarine Warhead Protection Program=quality
downsizing, CTBT & Biological & Toxin Weapons Convention=not ratified, withdrawal
from ABM Treaty w/o amendments as promised (12. 13. 2001), indication of retreat
from NPT commitment not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states
11. History of U.S. ABMD R&D Efforts 1984-2002: phases ranging from Techno-Scientific
exploration to deployment. Intervening factors: global political changes, technological
breakthroughs, and budgetary limitations, costs 1984-2000: $60 billion. 2002-07
estim. $100 billion.
March 6, 2002
Mediating Military and other Disputes of Global Importance
1. Basics of UN Mediation (Peacemaking and Peacekeeping)
Definition: use of multilateral forces for conflict settlement, such
as cease-fire lines/cease-fires, force separation, law & order,
Three Stages: peacekeeping (prevention), peace enforcement (sustaining
prevention), peace building (fixing after conflict).
Basic Tenets: UN Charter mediation & sanctions (Article 2, Sections
3,4, and 5), role of the Security Council-General Assembly, Revision
of rules in 1973.
2. The UN and the Israel/Palestine Conflict
Core issues of the Conflict: "Promised Land" of Zionism, Wars
between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Israel's right of existence,
Israeli occupation and Jewish settlements in the West Bank/Gaza/East
Jerusalem, International and Geneva Conventions, Exchange of occupied
land vs. peace and recognition, Role of fundamentalism, extremism &
terrorism on both sides.
20 UN resolutions since 1946 (#181, #242, #383 etc).
Importance of U.S. veto in Security Council re: implementation of resolutions.
UN Peacekeeping missions and their successes/failures:
- 1948 UNTSO cease-fire & negotiations
- 1956-73 UN Emergency Force (UNEF 1, see reading).
- 1973-1978 UN Emergency Force Two (UNEF 2)
- since 1974 UN Disengagement Force (UNDOF 1) on Golan Heights
- since 1978 UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
3. History of Israel/Palestine
3,000 years history, homeland claims by Jews and Palestinians, raise
of Zionism in 19th century, British Balfour Declaration 1917, Jewish
immigration in the interwar and post WWII period, Break-up of British
Mandate in November 1947, UN resolution, Founding of state of Israel
14 May 1948, followed by 1st Arab-Israeli war, Palestinian dispossession
& exodus, Suez Canal crisis 1956, Founding of PLO in 1964, Six Days
War 1967, Yom-Kippur War 1973, Camp David 1979, civil war in Lebanon
and Israel's invasion 1982-2000, 1st Intifada 1987, Gulf War 1991 and
Scud Missile threat of Israel, "Peace vs. Land" Oslo Peace
Accord 1993, Peace Nobel Prize to Rabin & Arafat, Rabin's Murder
1995, Failure to implement Oslo Agreement, 2nd Intifada 2000, 9/11/2001
and aftermath, Sharon vs. Arafat.
March 20, 2002
1. A Special Moment in Human History
- At issue are limits of planet's carrying capacity & possible solutions
to reduce fossil-fuel use via conservation, efficiency, new technology
2. Ecological Concepts
- Ecology, ecosystem, nested hierarchies, stability levels & threshold
3. Global Environmental Balance, Dangers & Causes of Degradation
- Symbiotic relationships and ecological balance in nature versus human
development regimes & ancient/modern ecological disasters.
- Depletion & degradation of global non/circulating planetary media
through inappropriate/excessive free for taking use=undermining planetary
hydrosphere, ecological networks, socio/biosphere.
- Current dangers and effects: Overpopulation, overharvesting, fossil
fuel use, unsustainable growth/consumption/waste leading to global warming,
atmospheric/water/land pollution, habitat destruction, species extinction,
reduction of biodiversity. Special effects on future generations, native
peoples & poor individuals/countries.
- Causes: human domination over nature, mechanistic philosophy, instrumental
rationality, capitalist free-taking.
4. U.S. Environmental, Development & Resource Problems
- Water/air pollution & scarcity, acid rain, waste disposal, chemical/nuclear
hazards, land degradation, soil erosion, wetland/forest destruction
5. Toward Sustainable Solutions: Controversies, Actors & Factors
- Controversy about exact causes, effects, and remedies to protect biosphere
& sociosphere resulting in political contestation of 1970 Clean
Air/Water/Endangered Species Acts, role of EPA, Kyoto Protocol, Arctic
- Actors and factors: NGO's, UN, EPA, environmentalists ("deep"
vs. "social" ecology movements), business, farmers, consumers
& other interest groups, public ignorance, lack of commitment, incompetence,
- Solutions: Zero plus sum game, ethical stewardship, sustainable development.
April 03, 2002
World Climate & Atmosphere: Acid Rain
1. Nature & Development of Acid Precipitation ("Acid Rain")
Natural vs. anthropogenically sources. Types of acidic precipitation
(wet & dry). pH scales of acidicity. Chemical processes & reactions.
Formation, distribution & impact of acid rain. Unintended effects
of the " tall stacks policy" of the 1960's & 1970's,
2. The Geography of Acid Rain
SO2 & NOX emissions in different world regions. Weather & wind
patterns. Urbanization, third world development & global acid rain.
Arctic haze. Denial vs. global monitoring.
3. Acid Rain and Geology
Role of bedrock characteristics. Granit/quartz vs. limestone/chalk.
4. Acid Rain and the Aquatic Environment
History since industrialization. Local & national impacts on lakes.
Increase of other toxic metal concentrations (Alum) & gradual destruction
of biological communities in ecosystem (fish, invertebrates, insects,
microscopic organisms, birds). Role of seasonal water deposits.
5. Acid Rain and the Terrestrial Environment
Factors contributing to soil & tree destruction, such as nutrient
depletion & mobilization of toxic metals. Tree dieback & "
Waldsterben" (Examples: maples, coniferous trees). Economic &
social long term effects.
6. Acid Rain and the Built Environment
Effect on different materials (chalk, limstone, marble, steel), Threat
to world's cultural heritage. Time lag effects.
7. Acid Rain and Human Health
London smog 1952. Chronic respiratory problems. Human heavy metals intake
via food chain/water/pipes/tanks/wells
8. Solutions to emission control
Six reduction methods of SO2 & NOX before/during/after combustion.
Artificial liming of water/lakes. Auto exhaust-catalytic filters. Cost-effectiveness
9. Economics and the Politics of Acid Rain
International emission control accords. Conflicts b/w Canada-U.S., Britain-Scandinavia.
Role of political lobbies/procrastination/misinformation/public ignorance.
April 10, 2002
Pollution and Health as Global Phenomena
1. The Atmosphere: Evolution and Composition
Evolution of atmosphere over the several hundred million years. Earth-atmosphere
is a "closed" system--no disappearance of pollutants or substances.
Reactivity of O2 (21%) & CO2 (0.03%) compared to N2 (78%) &
2. Regions of the Atmosphere
Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere. 99% of A. within 18 miles of
3. Radiation Balance
Reflection & absorption of UV rays (9% energy),Vis.light (41%),Infrared
4. Human Impact on the Earth-Atmosphere System
Introduction of pollutant gases/particles & changes in concentration.
5. Depletion of the Ozone Layer through CFC's
Ozone formation & depletion. Arctic ozone "hole". Effects
on humans, plants, animals. Policy Response: 1987 Montreal Protocol.
But CFC smuggling etc.
6. Rising Levels of Atmospheric CO2-Global Warming/Greenhouse Effect
Rise in fossil fuel combustion, destruction of forest cover, poisoning
of oceanic photoplankton. Doubling of CO2 by 2100 & 2o C. increase.
Only small minority of research rejects conclusions. Largest polluters:
U.S. and China.
7. Other Greenhouse Gases with cumulative effects equivalent to CO2
Methane, Nitrous Oxide, CFC's, Sulfur hexafluoride, PCF's, HFC's
8. Impacts of Global Warming
Drastic changes of rainfall/temperature. Effects: diminishing crop yields,
loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels, human illness, climatic "Jumps"
9. Greenhouse Policy Debate
Rio Summit. UN Framework Convention on Climate Control. 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
U.S. withdrawal b/c of domestic concerns/ voter apathy/ ignorance/ misinform
(U.S. contributes 23% of global pollution with 4% of world pop.)
10. Policy Options
60% slashing or capping emissions near present levels. Improving energy
efficiency. Replacing fossil fuels with "soft energy path"
technologies. Reversing forest loss. Reducing CFC emissions & other
greenhouse gases. Taxing the use of fossil fuels. Increase research
for climate adaptation.
April 24, 2002
The United Nations: Charter, Organization, Challenges
1. UN Charter
History: Originated from WWII alliance, successor of inter-war "League
Basics: preservation of global peace, human rights, fundamental freedoms.
2. Organizational Structure
- General Assembly (185 nations): budget/elects administration/reports/discussion/world
- Security Council (15 members): 9 non-permanent & 5 permanent members
(P5), decision body with P5 veto power
- ECOSOC & other commissions/committees: special discussion/report/recommendations
- Trusteeship Council
- International Court of Justice
- UN Secretariat/General Secretary: executive/administrative function
- Specialized agencies/autonomous organizations/ad hoc bodies: ILO,
FAO, UNESCO, WHO, World Bank group, IMF, IMO, WTO, etc.
- 1,500 NGO's: consultative status/civil society link
3. Post Cold War Challenges
- UN reform of staffing & budget: underfunding, search for new resources
- Security Council reform: inclusion of new members & democratization
blocked by P5
- New global tasks: expansion of peace keeping missions/humanitarian
intervention, weapons proliferation and disarmament (small arms, land
mines, means of mass destruction), global governance/global civil society,
coalition building/consultation/cooperation, global leadership
- New conflicts: self-determination and ethnic conflict (Bosnia, Kosovo,
East Timor, Palestine
), North-South divide (G-77), environment
(Kyoto Protocol), sustainable development, refugees, population control,
food supply, women's rights
- New developments in world politics: global integration & interdependence,
economic liberalization, democratization & fragmentation, multilateralism,
raise of NGO's/IGO's/TNC's, U.S. hegemonic superpower status.
May 01, 2002
What is Globalization?
- Globalization is a historical process of the last few hundred years
- the widening, deepening, and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness
- a social and political process involving various actors and institutions
that shape worldviews, opinions, identities, cultures
- a geographical process with nodes, empty spaces as well as full ones
- changing flows of goods /services /capital /people /diseases/ ideas
/customs /cultures, i.e. particular trades in cars, oil, weapons, opium,
Coca Cola, world music, which make up various world systems of specific
Technological globalization: time-space convergence
- shipping, railroad, air,
- Communication/ Information :
- telegraph, telephone, fax, email, WWW, video-conferencing
- Destructive Technologies for War and Defense
- weapons of mass destruction, ABM, landmines, terrorist technologies
Environmental globalization in the Bio- & Sociosphere
- Global climate change (air, water, soil):
- Greenhouse gases /global warming (Kyoto Protocols), Acid rain, Ozone
- Global Pollution and Waste
- Genetic Engineering and its Effects on Humans, Animals, Plants
- Sustainable Alternatives: conservation, reduction, awareness, protest
- Multi-national organizations: U.N.
- Multi-lateral agencies: IMF, World Bank
- International regulatory bodies: WTO
- International judicial organizations: ICC
- Trans-national agreements: NAFTA
- Multi-national political unions: EU
- Multi-national military structures: NATO
- Non-Governmental Orgs (Greenpeace)
- Transnational Corporations (McDonald,GM)
- Global and Local Protest Movements