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Want more…Peace

Today is August 6th, Hiroshima Day.  Sixty-six years ago, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima.  Three days later, another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki.  Last year, I fulfilled one of my all-time travel dreams, and visited Hiroshima.  Seeing the atomic bomb dome, touring the museum, and walking around peace park was a wonderfully calming experience.  Visiting Hiroshima reinforced my belief that we must continuously strive for peace in our world, in our countries, in our cities, and even in our computer industry.

Here are a couple of pictures I took in Hiroshima on July 5, 2010.

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Memorial July 5, 2010

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Memorial July 5, 2010

(Click this link to see a larger version of the Atomic Peace Memorial)

Letter I found at the Peace Memorial July 5, 2010

Letter I found at the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Peace Memorial July 5, 2010

(Click this link to see a larger version of the letter)

We work in the highly competitive technology industry.  While I am as competitive as the next developer, I don’t ever remember being mean spirited in my actions or words.  I hope that we can all keep a peaceful and tolerant perspective in our articles, blog posts, emails, forum posts, and conversations.

Read the Hiroshima Peace Declaration

World Peace through Technology - inspiring world peace with benevolent technology

The World Peace Game by John Hunter

There is also a connection between Hiroshima and my hometown of Eureka California.  Father Eric Freed, catholic priest in Eureka and also Director of the Newman Center at Humboldt State University, wrote a book, "The Experience of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima in Poem", containing the translations and stories behind the Haiku’s of Hiroko Takanashi, a Hiroshima survivor.

Today, August 6, will continue to remind me that there are many more important things than just winning at any cost.

{ 11 } Comments

  1. Guest | August 6, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Hmmm… why are you so happy standing before the ruin ? and you are declaring ‘V’-ictory ? because you are from USA ?

  2. David Intersimone | August 6, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Guest - I am smiling for peace. I am giving the sign for peace. I am hoping for peace in our world in my lifetime. Your comment is part of the problems that I am talking about. Looking at the negative side, the dark side, and trying to see something that isn’t there. This post is an honest feeling from me, not a sinister plot or bad vibe. I truly believe we can work to change the world.

  3. jens Borrisholt | August 6, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Please stick to programming.

  4. David Intersimone | August 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Jens - thanks for the comment. There are always connections to programming in everything that I post/write. With software, that we develop, inside the fabric of everything in today’s world - we can do a lot to change our world for the better.

    Christopher Alexander, http://www.patternlanguage.com/leveltwo/ca.htm, said, in his keynote at the ACM Object Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA) conference in San Jose 1996 - http://www.sigplan.org/oopsla/oopsla96/oopsla96.html - that some of the attendees might think of developers as guns for hire. He said we can use our software to make a better world now and into the future. He also said that if we don’t do it, nobody else will.

    The transcript is available at http://www.patternlanguage.com/archive/ieee/ieeetext.htm

    The last part of his keynote really made a huge impact on me and still does today:

    "I’m going to be very direct and blunt for a horrible second. It could be thought that the technical way in which you currently look at programming is almost as if you were willing to be ‘guns for hire.’ In other words, you are the technicians. You know how to make the programs work. ‘Tell us what to do daddy, and we’ll do it.’ That is the worm in the apple.

    What I am proposing here is something a little bit different from that. It is a view of programming as the natural genetic infrastructure of a living world which you/we are capable of creating, managing, making available, and which could then have the result that a living structure in our towns, houses, work places, cities, becomes an attainable thing. That would be remarkable. It would turn the world around, and make living structure the norm once again, throughout society, and make the world worth living in again.

    This is an extraordinary vision of the future, in which computers play a fundamental role in making the world — and above all the built structure of the world — alive, humane, ecologically profound, and with a deep living structure. I realize that you may be surprised by my conclusion. This is not what I am, technically, supposed to have been talking about to you. Or you may say, Well, great idea, but we’re not interested. I hope that is not your reaction. I hope that all of you, as members of a great profession of the future, will decide to help me, and to help yourselves, by taking part in this enormous world-wide effort. I do think you are capable of it. And I do not think any other professional body has quite the ability, or the natural opportunity for influence, to do this job as it must be done."

  5. Bruce McGee | August 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Negative comments seem out of place in a post about peace.

    David,
    +1 for always looking on the brighter side. I try to do this (but don’t always succeed), and it has a definite positive impact on my home and work life.

  6. Marco | August 7, 2011 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Great post, and answers, David, although I do understand that some might misinterpret a"V" by an American at Hiroshima…

    I hope more people in US think like you and be heard, for US’s own good. Right now, it spends more on the military than the equivalent of the next 8 nations combined. Plus, on the more mundane side, 2 unnecessary and costly wars (the guy was caught by an old-style commando after all, far from where the combats were being fought) have bring America close to an historical default.

    And, BTW, I believe world peace will come first than peace in computer industry, as the second depend on lawyers that have fight each other to justify their salaries…

  7. richard | August 7, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Those who love peace like myself need to look back at history. The U.S. geared up for war after pearl harbor. The U.S. war machine was non-existant prior to that.

    The fact we are still in europe is due to the inability of europe to protect themselves. Canada has no real military because the U.S. is their protection with the missile shield.

    It is a fact there would be less peace around the world without the military force of the U.S. on patrol. Please study history and see why things are the way they are now, and why they need to be that way.

    Peace through strength. Not force. I dont think people understand what hell would rain down on all of us without the protection of the U.S. Be more thankful the U.S. does what it does.

    If you think there is an alternative, i’d love to hear it. Please dont say Flower Power. That is just nonsense.

  8. David M | August 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Good post. Although on the surface it seems a pity it’s provoked some negative comments, you can view this as showing how important peace is to many people. I think your US citizenship makes it easy to view your words through the lens of US military activity, even though, rationally, and reading your comments, there is no reason to connect you to it.

    Richard, you may not be aware of how hostile the US appears to many other countries. Its support of non-democratic governments is not laudable either. However, you are right that the US’s gigantic military and economic presence does directly support many other countries. I’m Australian, and I think many people here think the US is a great ally.

    Something related to your words on programming is how difficult it can be to find an ethically justifiable job. I suppose there are plenty of jobs that have no effect on society for good or ill, but personally I don’t think that’s enough. My current (programming!) job directly assists scientists and environmental research. I know what I do has an effect, even though since it’s not direct (software provides assistance to the people doing the actual work) it doesn’t feel quite as good as it would if it were hands-on. But I like it, and I think it’s good to find a job in this sort of industry that directly benefits the world.

    Delphi & C++ Builder must be odd like that to you, since what they are used to create could easily be either good or bad. I suppose this is the case for any tool. I hope it’s good to hear that they’re used to create ethical software.

  9. richard | August 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I understand. Perception throughout the world will differ depending on who you are and where you live. My family all come from eastern europe. I have heard many stories passed down generations of what the old country was like. It is why to this day people everywhere fight to come here.

    Again, I advise people read history about the bomb and why they were dropped. For the U.S. it was body count of an invasion.

    Oh by the way, what other country would have built Japan and Europe back from destruction. Govts run by their own people, mind you with a democratic influence. The USSR? China? I think not.

  10. David Intersimone | August 12, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Based on comments about the picture of me smiling and flashing the peace sign (some say it is a "victory sign") and also after talking this morning with one of our Japanese employees, I have removed the picture taken of me in front of the atomic bomb dome. I am sorry if this picture caused anyone any stress or troubled feelings. I only wish the most positive best to everyone and especially to the Japanese people. I look forward to visiting with developers on my Japan tour of Tokyo, Kobe, and Osaka next month.

  11. david | August 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Interesting post. I live in the UK, where a lot of us are are thinking about conflict and its causes right now. IMHO conflict arises mainly through a desire from one party to take some of what another party has got without providing something of equal value (to the second party) in return. This is especially the case when a party is required to give disproportionately to others around them.

    It’s also easy, and beneficial to oneself to call for peace and understanding when you are the party that has everything already and calls the shots.

    We can all obviously only do what’s in our power. So how about you make the first move David?. My suggestion would be to help price emb products the same around the world. Rather than charging a massive premium where you can. A call for peace without an associated self-sacrifice is meaningless and can even be inflammatory.

    Here’s a positive idea that would allow more people to make a sacrifice. Start a new post, or maybe even a off-topic sticky thread, called, "I did this to make the world better’. Anyone who does something positive in an engineering context can post what they did and, as far as reasonable, how they did it. The only rules are that it has to be something you’ve done, not just an idea. The reasoning is that software engineers, like any other people, are usually quicker to follow and/or build on working examples than an abstract idea because there is less percieved risk. It would probably attract negative coments from those who dislike ‘do-gooders’, but I bet the majority of people would be supportive; there does seem to be real respect for people who actually stand up and do stuff for others at the moment.

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