And on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.
It might be from the Bible, but it’s a sentiment that transcends all faiths, all cultures, all people. Peace is something that beauty queens wish for, diplomats work toward and golden ages of history are measured by.
It might some abstract and philosophical. As an idea to be studied, one might think it would fall under the arts of social sciences and the practice of law. Technology? Not so much.
But Penn State researchers are collaborating with counterparts at the University of Texas at Dallas to find a way to use crowdsourcing to achieve world peace.
“Our goal is to curate a database of news articles that detail militarized interstate disputes,” said David Reitter, an assistant professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology.
The National Science Foundation has put $1 million into the project that Reitter is working on with Penn State political science professor Glenn Palmer and Texas professor Vito D’Orazio. They want to create a “digital catalog of militarized incidents between nation states across the world, covering a period of several years.”
The idea, according to Penn State, is to use the information to get a better picture of the world and how its countries come together.
“This will help others understand where and why conflicts arise, what the trends are and, ultimately, how we can counteract militarized tensions,” Reitter said in a statement.
It’s a big idea. World peace is one of those concepts that seems simple enough on the surface. Don’t fight. There you go. But in reality, it is a distant star to be sought, balancing things like economy, religious differences, historical context, and more, all stacked precariously and ready to topple with the slightest push.
But just because it’s an idea that is hard to achieve doesn’t mean the star isn’t worth following.