Friday, April 7, 2017

Technology and Just War Theory

My sister and nephew arrived last night.  Since their plane didn't get in until 10:03, we took a quick nap at 9.  The alarm went off at 9:30, and we listened to the news about the missiles.  My spouse said said, "Great.  We wake up, and we're at war with Russia."  Hopefully it won't come to that.
On the way to the airport, we discussed just war theory and the missile strike.  At least if we're all about to go to war, my philosopher spouse has determined that this strike was just, according to just war doctrine.
If I can be of assistance in any other philosophical or poetic quandaries you might have, just let my household know!  I remember when a student of mine found out that my spouse has a graduate degree in Philosophy; he said, "You guys must have interesting dinner conversations."
Yes, it's not every couple who would analyze current events this way.  I'm glad to be part of a couple who does.
It was surreal to have that somber conversation and then to arrive at the jumble of the airport.  I've never seen such a crowd so late at night.
Yesterday was a very strange day, in so many ways.  I made a lot of progress towards getting materials ready for our mock accreditation visit; we got the notice that it will happen in a week.  I was getting some artifacts for a binder from my own file.  I was looking over course materials from Fall 2015, the last time I taught an onground course where I had the option of creating curricula.  I was taking a moment to admire the materials I created.
Pride goeth before a computer freeze.
Our servers went down just before noon, and they weren't back up by the time I went home at 7 last night.  Sigh.  When our system goes down, we have very limited resources, since we access so much software from the system.  So, when it's down, I can't use Microsoft Office, for example.  Very limiting.
Sadly, I am used to these kinds of systems.  Most places where I have worked have not had enough bandwidth.  So I always keep the filing work, the copying, those kinds of tasks undone so that when the system goes down, I have something to do.
I am now caught up on all of those tasks.
Hopefully we will have full use of our technology today.  I will take an old-fashioned book to work with me, thus ensuring the system will be back to functioning.
And I will keep a wary eye on politics and world events.  My spouse is a pacifist at heart--the kind who believes that even if a war is just, you can't undertake it if you haven't tried every route to avoid it.
I am the person who feels that we should do more, but who doesn't have the first clue about what it should be. 
In the past, I might have thought that those in power had more of a clue than I do.  I am a bit fretful about all the unstaffed positions in the higher realms of government.  I am much more fretful about the people in power who don't have much experience.
But I have the heart of an optimist, the belief that while I cannot see the whole picture, I will assist in bending the arc of the moral universe towards justice.
How to do that?  After all, I am not in power in this administration.  I am far from the Syrian situation.  I cannot shepherd refugees to safety.
There are plenty of groups who work to help refugees and those who are trapped and must shelter in place.  My favorite is Lutheran World Relief.  I will make an extra donation this month.

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