Let's face it, humanity has a lousy definition, accompanying practice, and analysis of peace.
In the preceding essays we have tried to provide alternative perspectives at defining and analyzing that which we define as peace, though the definition often retains its declaration as an opposition to war, and in most respects is otherwise ill-defined. We honestly do not know how to accurately nor adequately define peace. To say that it is the condition which exists when there is no war, belies the fact that the absence of war does not mean an absence of poverty, disease or conflict... since many conflicts which cause destruction and death do not become labeled as a war. In short, the model(s) we use... typically denoted by efforts to intervene in opposition to a conflict which may be claimed as "disturbing the peace"; however and by whomever the word "peace" is being described and whether or not destruction of property or death occurs.
Interestingly, we do not see Nobel Peace Prizes being given to whole communities or nations for efforts which amount to "keeping the peace". Very often the prize is given as a Nobel Prize Committee political statement to one or a few individuals and has thus been the criteria by which many people judge what is meant by peace and non-peace. The Nobel Peace Prize has not been effective in rendering a state of consistent peace, not because it lacks a genuine desire for peace, but because war... or non-peace conditions... can be very lucrative for some. Too many governments use war or non-war defined conflict, or peaceless circumstances in order to justify policies which will enable them to effect some manipulative control in order to provide a means to accomplish one or more motives of those in authoritative positions... and let the people be damned if they don't like their evaluation of what is needed and how it is best to be accomplished so as to position one or more people in positions that are expeditiously provisional in permitting them to acquire the results of some personal motive. "Collateral damage" is one of those expressions which is a substitute for saying "let the people be damned if they don't like it"... because "might is the right so long as it helps us to reach a desired height".
And the "might" used very often becomes a military commitment, even if war isn't "official" declared as a ceremony that... once initiated, becomes like a set of keys behind a locked door whose own key is around the neck of a particular person who is nowhere to be found... thus meaning the military becomes a machine acting with a heavy flywheel that is difficult to stop because so many people become habituated to the activities with which careers are made; along with fortunes. It is ludicrous for a nation to "play at the game of pretended peace" all the while spending billions on a standing military. It is an embarrassing hypocrisy. It is no different than a fireman dressed in a uniform discussing fire prevention, yet having the profession of fire-fighting established in the past by volunteer fire-fighters who wanted to be paid full-time for doing so by starting fires to give justification for permitting them to be fire-fighters who must have fires in order to "keep a sharp edge" to their level of skill by making sure fire prevention techniques are not absolutely definitive; or they would soon be out of a job.
While many readers may no doubt side with the need for having fire-fighters, the analogy between them and a standing army has many parallels, just as we might do so by comparing any uniformed service where destruction of property and loss of lives is a potential. Because there exists so many positions of employment which readily straddle the line between peace and non-peace conditions, if the potential, possibility or threat is completely removed, thousands upon thousands of people will be out of a job... which includes support staff and associated strategies for combating non-peace situations, be it fire, floods, hurricanes, terrorists, religious fanatics, criminals, rebellious youth, violent protestors, or what have you. Clearly, peace is not desired by many people... thought upon being questioned they would disagree... because peaceful activity does not necessarily afford progressive changes so that peace can be experienced by a greater majority. For example, many treaties and charters established between the general public and authority were due to the people threatening or committing acts of violence in an effort to be treated fairly. Whereas authority may well have defined the people in less than complimentary terms, it was those in authority who were instigating non-peaceful conditions caused by too much taxation, no protection from human, biological or other nature-born invaders; or other circumstances that were or are preventable.
In searching for some model, be it biological, mechanical or otherwise to describe the ideas of peace and/or war as recurring entities, there may be no singular model which best approximates a coherent grasp because these labels can be used to arbitrarily describe personal interpretations of a given moment in time and space. Someone else from a different vantage point may describe the same conditions an an alternative way depending on their life experiences. For example, a religious minded person may describe a given occassion of death and destruction as an extention, the "overflow" of a battle being waged between heaven and hell, with humanity caught in a mine field between the two. Different people from different walks of life may well describe the same situation as a tragedy, but not a war. Conditions which are interpreted by one person as being akin to a scene in the garden of Eden, while another look upon it as a time and place being described as serene by those who are not experiencing any physical or psyhic pain. Pain in mind, "spirit" or body can alter perceptions. If one is hungry, cold, thirsty or in pain, the "peace" of a place may not be appreciated because peace is thus described as in the eye of the beholder. Hence, a singular model for describing and analyzing (as well as applying) peace may not be what is most fortuitous for a cyclical way of existence on an incrementally deteriorating environment.
If we look upon peace and war as a dichotomy, as a pair, a similar idea from another subject area such as physics, with respect to modeling, might be of serviceable value to some readers:
Also called unified model
(It is the) description of atomic nuclei that incorporates aspects of both the shell nuclear model and the liquid-drop model to explain certain magnetic and electric properties that neither of the two separately can explain.
In the shell model, nuclear energy levels are calculated on the basis of a single nucleon (proton or neutron) moving in a potential field produced by all the other nucleons. Nuclear structure and behaviour are then explained by considering single nucleons beyond a passive nuclear core composed of paired protons and paired neutrons that fill groups of energy levels, or shells. In the liquid-drop model, nuclear structure and behaviour are explained on the basis of statistical contributions of all the nucleons (much as the molecules of a spherical drop of water contribute to the overall energy and surface tension). In the collective model, high-energy states of the nucleus and certain magnetic and electric properties are explained by the motion of the nucleons outside the closed shells (full energy levels) combined with the motion of the paired nucleons in the core. Roughly speaking, the nuclear core may be thought of as a liquid drop on whose surface circulates a stable tidal bulge directed toward the rotating unpaired nucleons outside the bulge. The tide of positively charged protons constitutes a current that in turn contributes to the magnetic properties of the nucleus. The increase in nuclear deformation that occurs with the increase in the number of unpaired nucleons accounts for the measured electric quadrupole moment, which may be considered a measure of how much the distribution of electric charge in the nucleus departs from spherical symmetry.Source: "Collective Model." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
Shell Nuclear Model
(This is the) description of nuclei of atoms by analogy with the Bohr atomic model of electron energy levels. It was developed independently in the late 1940s by the American physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer and the German physicist J. Hans D. Jensen, who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1963 for their work. In the shell nuclear model, the constituent nuclear particles are paired neutron with neutron and proton with proton in nuclear-energy levels that are filled, or closed, when the number of protons or neutrons equals 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126, the so-called magic numbers that indicate especially stable nuclei. The unpaired neutrons and protons account for the properties of a particular species of nucleus as valence electrons account for the chemical properties of the various elements. The shell model accurately predicts certain properties of normal nuclei, such as their angular momentum; but for nuclei in highly unstable states, the shell model is no longer adequate and must be modified or replaced by another model, such as the liquid-drop model, collective model, compound-nucleus model, or optical model.Source: "Shell Nuclear Model." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
Liquid Drop Model
(the Liquid Drop model) in nuclear physics, (is the) description of atomic nuclei formulated (1936) by Niels Bohr and used (1939) by him and John A. Wheeler to explain nuclear fission. According to the model, the nucleons (neutrons and protons) behave like the molecules in a drop of liquid. If given sufficient extra energy (as by the absorption of a neutron), the spherical nucleus may be distorted into a dumbbell shape and then split at the neck into two nearly equal fragments, releasing energy. Although inadequate to explain all nuclear phenomena, the theory underlying the model provides excellent estimates of average properties of nuclei.Source: "Liquid-Drop Model." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
In physics, in the shell models of both atomic and nuclear structure, any of a series of numbers that connote stable structure.
The magic numbers for atoms are 2, 10, 18, 36, 54, and 86, corresponding to the total number of electrons in filled electron shells. (Electrons within a shell have very similar energies and are at similar distances from the nucleus.) In the chemical elements of atomic number 17 to 19, for example, the chloride ion (Cl-), the argon atom (Ar), and the potassium ion (K+) have 18 electrons in closed-shell configurations and are chemically quite stable. The number of electrons present in the neutral atoms constituting the relatively unreactive noble gases exactly correspond to the atomic magic numbers.
The magic numbers for nuclei are 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, and 126. Thus, tin (atomic number 50), with 50 protons in its nucleus, has 10 stable isotopes, whereas indium (atomic number 49) and antimony (atomic number 51) have only 2 stable isotopes apiece. The doubly magic alpha particle, or helium-4 nucleus, composed of two protons and two neutrons, is very stable. In nuclei, this increased stability occurs when there is a large energy gap between a series of filled energy levels and the next level, which is empty. Such large gaps are said to separate shells, although these shells are not as clearly linked to the spatial structure of the nucleus as electron shells are to their orbits.Source: "Magic Number." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013
(Note: the above mentioned "liquid drop" (dumbbell shape) configuration was found by early lunar explorers on the surface of the moon. It was thought that they were caused by some impact on a molten surface which solidified after being exuded into a cold space before returning to a cooling surface. Hence, it describes a moment in ancient time between a molten surface (or pool) and a surrounding cooler area.) However, one should not be left with the impression that only dumbell shaped ejected were created by bombardments are not the only forms.
Lunar rocks and soil
The lunar regolith (the surface layer of loose rock or other material, resting on a planet's bedrock) comprises rock fragments in a continuous distribution of particle sizes. It includes a fine fraction—dirtlike in character—that, for convenience, is called soil. The term, however, does not imply a biological contribution to its origin as it does on Earth.
Almost all the rocks at the lunar surface are igneous—they formed from the cooling of lava. (By contrast, the most prevalent rocks exposed on Earth's surface are sedimentary, which required the action of water or wind for their formation.) The two most common kinds are basalts and anorthosites. The lunar basalts, relatively rich in iron and many also in titanium, are found in the maria. In the highlands the rocks are largely anorthosites, which are relatively rich in aluminum, calcium, and silicon. Some of the rocks in both the maria and the highlands are breccias; i.e., they are composed of fragments produced by an initial impact and then reagglomerated by later impacts. The physical compositions of lunar breccias range from broken and shock-altered fragments, called clasts, to a matrix of completely impact-melted material that has lost its original mineral character. The repeated impact history of a particular rock can result in a breccia welded either into a strong, coherent mass or into a weak, crumbly mixture in which the matrix consists of poorly aggregated or metamorphosed fragments. Massive bedrock—that is, bedrock not excavated by natural processes—is absent from the lunar samples so far collected.
Lunar soils are derived from lunar rocks, but they have a distinctive character. They represent the end result of micrometeoroid bombardment and of the Moon's thermal, particulate, and radiation environments. In the ancient past the stream of impacting bodies, some of which were quite large, turned over—or "gardened"—the lunar surface to a depth that is unknown but may have been as much as tens of kilometres. As the frequency of large impacts decreased, the gardening depth became shallower. It is estimated that the top centimetre of the surface at a particular site presently has a 50 percent chance of being turned over every million years, while during the same period the top millimetre is turned over a few dozen times and the outermost tenth of a millimetre is gardened hundreds of times. One result of this process is the presence in the soil of a large fraction of glassy particles forming agglutinates, aggregates of lunar soil fragments set in a glassy cement. The agglutinate fraction is a measure of soil maturity—i.e., of how long a particular sample has been exposed to the continuing rain of tiny impacts.Source: "Moon." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013
(A Bomb) In volcanism, (refers to the) unconsolidated volcanic material that has a diameter greater than 64 mm (2.5 inches) and forms from clots of wholly or partly molten lava ejected during a volcanic eruption, partly solidifying during flight. The final shape is determined by the initial size, viscosity, and flight velocity of the lava bomb. Some, called spindle bombs, are shaped like a football or spindle of thread; others, called cow-dung or pancake bombs, are flattened on landing; and still others are ribbon-shaped. If bombs are still molten or plastic when they land (a characteristic of those formed during the relatively weak explosions of basaltic magma), they may partly fuse to form volcanic spatter. If their outer surfaces are solidified and the interior still plastic, gas expansion and impact may produce breadcrust bombs with a cracked skin.Source: "Bomb." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013
While it may be difficult for some readers to reconcile the ideas of peace and war to the above physics models just as they would have difficulty trying to ascribe a non-religious form of enumeration to an analysis of religious-based cognitive patterns (such as recurring dichotomies and trichotomies), those who are willing to step in such a direction may be wondering whether peace and war have "magic numbers" that have not been assigned because the idea has not been considered. No less, what do the numbers represent if we conclude they too are but symbolic references of something more fundamental? Do we consider it a hard task because being on the planet Earth requires that we tune our cognitive orientations to align with a compass pointing in the direction of deterioration? And what about fluctuations in the compass caused by periodic alternations such as reversed polarities? When applied to geophysical boundaries, we may denote alternative considerations described by the Three Classical Problems described in geometry:
Ancient geometry: abstract and applied
The three classical problems
In addition to proving mathematical theorems, ancient mathematicians constructed various geometrical objects. Euclid arbitrarily restricted the tools of construction to a straightedge (an unmarked ruler) and a compass. The restriction made three problems of particular interest (to double a cube, to trisect an arbitrary angle, and to square a circle) very difficult—in fact, impossible. Various methods of construction using other means were devised in the classical period, and efforts, always unsuccessful, using straightedge and compass persisted for the next 2,000 years. In 1837 the French mathematician Pierre Laurent Wantzel proved that doubling the cube and trisecting the angle are impossible, and in 1880 the German mathematician Ferdinand von Lindemann showed that squaring the circle is impossible, as a consequence of his proof that π is a transcendental number.
Doubling the cube
The Vedic scriptures made the cube the most advisable form of altar for anyone who wanted to supplicate in the same place twice. The rules of ritual required that the altar for the second plea have the same shape but twice the volume of the first. If the sides of the original and derived altars are a and b, respectively, then b3 = 2a3. The problem came to the Greeks together with its ceremonial content. An oracle disclosed that the citizens of Delos could free themselves of a plague merely by replacing an existing altar by one twice its size. The Delians applied to Plato. He replied that the oracle did not mean that the gods wanted a larger altar but that they had intended "to shame the Greeks for their neglect of mathematics and their contempt for geometry." With this blend of Vedic practice, Greek myth, and academic manipulation, the problem of the duplication of the cube took a leading place in the formation of Greek geometry.
Hippocrates of Chios, who wrote an early Elements about 450 BCE, took the first steps in cracking the altar problem. He reduced the duplication to finding two mean proportionals between 1 and 2, that is, to finding lines x and y in the ratio 1:x = x:y = y:2. After the intervention of the Delian oracle, several geometers around Plato's Academy found complicated ways of generating mean proportionals.
A few generations later, Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c. 276-c. 194 BCE) devised a simple instrument with moving parts that could produce approximate mean proportionals.
Trisecting the angle
The Egyptians told time at night by the rising of 12 asterisms (constellations), each requiring on average two hours to rise. In order to obtain more convenient intervals, the Egyptians subdivided each of their asterisms into three parts, or decans. That presented the problem of trisection. It is not known whether the second celebrated problem of archaic Greek geometry, the trisection of any given angle, arose from the difficulty of the decan, but it is likely that it came from some problem in angular measure.
Several geometers of Plato's time tried their hands at trisection. Although no one succeeded in finding a solution with straightedge and compass, they did succeed with a mechanical device and by a trick. The mechanical device, perhaps never built, creates what the ancient geometers called a quadratrix. Invented by a geometer known as Hippias of Elis (flourished 5th century BCE), the quadratrix is a curve traced by the point of intersection between two moving lines, one rotating uniformly through a right angle, the other gliding uniformly parallel to itself.
The trick for trisection is an application of what the Greeks called neusis, a maneuvering of a measured length into a special position to complete a geometrical figure. A late version of its use, ascribed to Archimedes (c. 285-212/211 BCE), exemplifies the method of angle trisection.
Squaring the circle
The pre-Euclidean Greek geometers transformed the practical problem of determining the area of a circle into a tool of discovery. Three approaches can be distinguished: Hippocrates' dodge of substituting one problem for another; the application of a mechanical instrument, as in Hippias's device for trisecting the angle; and the technique that proved the most fruitful, the closer and closer approximation to an unknown magnitude difficult to study (e.g., the area of a circle) by a series of known magnitudes easier to study (e.g., areas of polygons)—a technique known in modern times as the "method of exhaustion" and attributed by its greatest practitioner, Archimedes, to Plato's student Eudoxus of Cnidus (c. 408-c. 355 BCE).
While not able to square the circle, Hippocrates did demonstrate the quadratures of lunes; that is, he showed that the area between two intersecting circular arcs could be expressed exactly as a rectilinear area and so raised the expectation that the circle itself could be treated similarly. A contemporary of Hippias's discovered that the quadratrix could be used to almost rectify circles. These were the substitution and mechanical approaches.Source: "Geometry." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
"Substitution and Mechanical" approaches are models of exploration for solving a defined problem in a given way... yet it may exclude the ability of the problem to be solved in an alternative representation because it is constrained within a construct with particular rules, like horses having to run a race in a given direction under particular rules of conduct where seating, betting, gaming and refreshment varieties are controlled as well, and amount to what some describe as "rules of the game". Peace and war, by the very labels employed, arouse certain inclinations to mind which set into play the configuration of a mentality for which we are left with models of consideration which amount to tasks of doodling that may or may not serve some attendant purpose at a particular moment.
Are the labels "peace" and "war" crude name tags amounting to reflexive grunts but tell us nothing about physiological processes nor what instigated the reflexes to occur? Are they distant references that signal an event that occurred in a distant past, like ripples on a pond caused by a boulder dropped at a time and distance well away from where and when the ripple appeared? Is it possible to work backwards from the ripple to the place of origin, or will ripples appear in the same place, due to environmental and cognitive constraints, though the ripple causing event can take place in different areas by different means and for different reasons... but the ripples all look (are perceived) the same? Did the event occur by way of boulder from above or some singular disturbance below the surface or some collective activity? Because peace and war can be alternatively defined, they may not be what they appear to be... because the defined appearance is a crude colloquialism having acquired the status of a cultural tradition supported by assumptions supported by what is described as "common sense"... and is likewise alive and well in academic circles of professionals who adopt their own types of like-mindedness.
In our efforts to analyze peace, we are not merely interested in creating a means to carry out a program of maintenance for the purpose of creating global stability, but attempting to develop that which will ensure progress... even though its definition can be just as arbitrary. As of now, on this planet, both peace and war have to be defined in terms realistically proportional to the evidence which describes the deterioration of the planet and humanity's attachment which requires making rationalized adjustments for the sake of maintaining an equilibrium along a course of relying on the deterioration as if it were a drug we've become addicted to... sometimes referred to as peace and/or war.
If we view peace and war as (symmetrical) mirror-images of one another, in that they are always present though their type/level of "presence" may exhibit a malleability due to different environmental/social clues, then the idea of symmetry as a form of conservation law might well apply. For example, in the occasion of war, some elements of war is not constant. There are periods of non-war even when war activities take place. In other words, killing and destruction are intermittent activities even under combat situations. While intensity may swing wildly as a pendulum, intensity is not constant. Soldiers do not fire weapons without pause. Even if they were able to, ammunition sources would become depleted because resources are limited. No single soldier nor unit of soldiers are equipped with an endless supply of resources or for that matter, an endless supply of personal energy. Most often, the characteristics of war play out in non-war activities such as when troops are marching, sleeping, eating, resting, awaiting orders, getting provisions, moving from place to place, etc... Likewise, peace does not have a constant... unless "constant" is to be defined as a variability. These variabilities thus constitute a pattern that has not be appreciably analyzed as part of human cognition. Along with the words symmetry and mirror-image is parity that can be internal, external, or somewhere in between.... unless one wants to indulge in some metaphysical inclusion of inter-dimensionality... though any alternative would nonetheless be part of the realm we inhabit. That which exists outside the known physical realms may be unknowable. We should also describe symmetry that is readily visible, that which is invisible, and the occasions of intermittancy which might involve experts with various contentions if some are in a time and place where symmetry becomes apparent and others are in a time and place where they do not witness an expression of symmetry. For some, only seeing it for themselves will make them a believer.
Yet, the idea of symmetry may be applied differently depending on what subject one is speaking about. Indeed, it can be the case that the idea of symmetry can be thought of as a means to define the perceptions of those interested in different subjects— not necessarily because there is an exact fit for the same form of symmetry, but because the idea of symmetry correlates well with an unrecognized usage of a pattern-of-two cognitive stream of thought seeking some formula to be expressed in a manner of respectability. For example, while one person may refer to a piece of modern art as trash, another may define it as culture. The word "symmetry" thus becomes viewed as "culture" instead of as "trash" or some other depreciation. By borrowing terms from different subject areas, the same unchanged material can be rewritten so as to provide a different perspective, though the underlying information is not substantially improved. In a closed system that exists, using alternative words and ideas to describe the same things to be perceived, allows for an opportunity to change a mountain into a molehill or a junk pile into a treasure trove. It is like repackaging an old idea so that it is removed from its "fixed functionality" like a claw hammer being used only for hammering or pulling nails and not as a means to crack open walnuts, as a doorstop, paper weight, or some alternative application having nothing whatsoever to do with nails, wood, carpentry or construction. Such is the same when looking upon the words "peace" and "war". Their form creates fixed functions in the minds of individuals and institutions (like the United Nations, Nobel Prize Committee, and governments as well as departments within governments).
The functional fixedness of the words peace and war can be distinguished by simply looking at the absence of interest in requiring all students to take classes on peace and conflict resolution. Instead of teaching the idea to our very young as a requirement of citizenship, conflict resolution is (if at all), taught in some counseling training programs instead of as an enculturated way of life. Instead, we have to have this or that presumed expert because this aspect of peace making has been culturally fashioned into a particular social script and staging. Instead of peace being a required course from elementary school upward and used as a means of qualification for any and all employment positions, it is left to be interpreted as some personal extraordinary ability to be accomplished by an "expert" negotiator, whereas in fact all of us engage in acts of peace keeping and negotiation everyday. If we didn't, multiple laws would be broken and permitted to be disobeyed. For example, in the area of disturbing the peace due to excessive noise (typically made by loud music or power tool), even though laws may exist which define acceptable decibel levels; police or peace officers are not equipped to accurately measure sound levels and often do not know the law well enough themselves, and make arbitrary judgments based on whether how many or how often a complaint is made. Very often the public has adopted some urban legend type of understanding involving noise disturbance such as being able to have loud music so long as it is not after a given hour such as ten o'clock at night. This same sort of wrong-headedness occurs with the ideas of peace and war as well. And when law governing world peace and war are either not set in place or are practice arbitrarily according to the view point of whomever is in authority at a given moment, the situation is made much worse. It is bad enough when people disturb the peace when both they and law enforcers have a faulty understanding of the law... yet when there are no actual laws or no actual law enforcers except for ulterior motivated governments using deceit and social infamy to justify an action in order to accomplish the motivations of one or more authority figures, we have the occasion of witnessing a very stupid era of human cognitive indulgence that the Nobel Peace Prize committee and United Nations participate in.