About the Disaster Center
August 20, 2005
The purpose of our existence is to figure out the purpose of our existence.
In the course of accomplishing this task we can use our capacities for whatever purposes we decide.
We come to this question after having been subject to abuse. The history of the human race is a history of abuse. We have utilized the freedom, inherent in our capacity to discover the purpose of our existence, to bring harm to each other.
The nature of the social structure that we are born into depends upon the relationships and roles that have been established in time. These social structures are beyond the understanding and the control of any individual. We are born into societies in which the cards that we are dealt were determined for us by the conditions surrounding our birth. By the time we wake to consciousness, it is only after roles and relationships have been programmed into us. We then spend the rest of our lives attempting to figure out the rules, to explain, justify, or to punish others, because of the nature of the way we have been programmed to see each other and ourselves. The rules vary. They were made up as humanity experienced and created its history. The rules ordain certain limits in our play of the cards. The rules are not fair, but if we come to terms with this fact, there is a lot room for play.
All that is left to us is to accommodate ourselves to the existing social structures, upon which we are dependent, in order to have any measure of control over our social existence. Having accommodated such structures, individuals become the defenders of their social system, even when they understand that it is the ultimate cause for the problems that they experience, for the alternative it appears would be chaos, and any order is better than no order. We are trapped. We may understand why we are trapped, but we have no alternative to go to.
I originally created this site as a location where individuals could go in order to locate information related to on going disasters. A disaster being any event that could bring about a discontinuity. As the site evolved, I reported ongoing disasters, produced a Daily USA Disaster Situation Report, and studied the science of disaster communication and mitigation. As I have studied and learned my definition of a disaster has not changed, but the goals of the site have changed. One of my goals was to find out how to make information distribution about disaster mitigation profitable. The object being that if the science of disaster mitigation can be made profitable then at some point disasters will have an end.
As I explored the subject of disaster mitigation, I discovered that through history humans have tended to respond to disasters, but not to take a proactive approach. We have a history of learning from our mistakes. This predilection may be said to be an original sin. Because we are not forward looking, or forward thinking, our knowledge about how to respond in the present can only have its origin in the past. Change and opposition to change are inevitable. Yet, the disasters of the future are inevitable if we do not recognize that the patterns of the past may not best serve our interests as we enter the Digital Age.
The greatest tool that exists for disaster reduction in any society is the individual. Yet, no individual can have existence apart from his or her family, clan, tribe, state, or nation. Ultimately, we are all connected and there is a consciousness that we share. It is our need for definition, so as to navigate through the world, and our limited capacity of awareness, which cause us to believe that our consciousness is something that is separate and distinct in ourselves.
Government was first created about five hundred generations ago, in the Middle East. The purpose of that government was, within limits, to provide individuals the greatest freedom to be productive. Prior to that time humanity lived in rival clans and tribal groups in which a great deal of energy was expended in attacking and defending against the attacks of rival clans and groups. It appears that the thing that brought about the foundation of civilization was the worship of gods based upon the city, in which one lived and worked. The worship of a city god caused people to set aside their clan and tribal rivalry and join in extended communities in which greater percentage of time could be devoted to productive labor.
The result of this change was one of a few periods in human history when relatively great creativity and prosperity were achieved. Yet, the systems created eventually went through a series of collapses. Natural disasters, man made disasters, and technical disasters caused these collapses.
The man made disasters were of two types. One is that humans are basically a family/clan/tribal entity. The individuals who had power used it for the benefit of their family/clan/tribal, without regard to the consequences on other families/clans/tribes. The second cause was that the original states were conquered. Groups of families/clans/tribes of shepherds joined together for the purpose conquering the prosperous people who engaged in sinful practices. The pattern of virtually all societies in the present age is based upon two classes of people, the conquered and the conquering. All State law evolved from a set of rules that were applied by a conquering people to conquered peoples.
History is not created in a vacuum. It is the result of interactions and the lessons learned from interactions across the generations. Across the generations, laws and patterns of relationships have been created that provide the form and limits to the structure of the relationships that can take place between individuals, whose lives are lived in relational structures and with the relational structures of other individuals, families, clans, tribes and nations.
The possibility of change is limited by our understanding the experiences that have given rise to these structures, and as we enter the Digital Age our understanding of these relationships is expanding exponentially. We are approaching a point in time in which it will be possible to map out the nature of our relativistic existence against the background of absolute existence.
The nature of the purpose of our existence is to determine the
purpose of our existence. By circumstances beyond our control the
history of the human race is a history of abuses by types and classes
of people against each other. This is why the individual is the
greatest risk/threat management tool. As we respect the rights of
each individual to pursue their productive potential, there can be no
reason or benefit from the violence that arises from interest groups.
A day will come when children will be born in peace and security,
but first we must seek justice for the individual. This is a
reduction message that is older than the Bible.
The Disaster Center is dedicated to the idea that individuals have the potential to be the greatest force for disaster reduction.
The Disaster Center
Anchorage, AK 99502