Flying University Network 2019 Winter Scholar's Conference

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Flying University Network
contact email: 

$1000 in Cash and Prizes! $500 for First Place. $250 for Second Place. $150 for Third Place. $100 for Best Logo Submission! Awards will be announced at the end of the conference!!!

Submitted by Steven Harkness, Lousiana State University of Shreveport

Steven Harkness is a grad-student in the Master of Liberal Arts program at LSUS, studying the rise of American fascism and its relationship with the commmodification of information. He holds a BS in History from that institution. He is a world-read writer whose academic work can be viewed at www.theautopilot.net. He is also a father, a husband, and a veteran of the Iraq war. His goal is to make the Flying University a world-wide network of scholars, students, professors, and researchers. He can be reached at HarknessStevenB@gmail.com.

Visit https://www.flyinguniversitynetwork.com for more information.

Submit abstracts, logo contest entries, and all other inquiries to FlyingUniversityNetwork@gmail.com

Submit your abstracts for the 2019 Flying University Winter Scholar's Conference!!! The conference will be held on 8 Novemeber, 2019, from 9am to 5pm. Additional details of the conference will be announced along with the selection of finalists and their topics on October 31st. Deadline for submissions is October 15th. See the Resources page for information regarding submissions, including formatting, word-count, and other requirements.

Candidates will choose one of the following sections and submit a 300 word abstract to the email address listed above. Please include your full name, institution, relavent contact information, the title of your work, and a few details about your academic objectives.

(Note: All abstracts will be considered. Candidates are not required to select from these themes to participate. However, only submissions for these themes will be considered for subsequent publication.)

I. Recalling Hidden Heroes (Arts and Education)

 As we celebrate the anniversary of the Normandy Beach invasion by Allied forces, we often recall the brighter lights of history at the expense of many bold and capable citizens who played secondary and tertiary roles in and after the war. Volumes are written about Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Adolph Hitler, and Benito Mussolini. However, far less attention is payed to the supporting casts of characters who, respectively, enabled the accomplishments of those more memorable names. As a result of this enduring phenomenon, our real history tends to be subsumed by a more popular (and more simplified) mythological form which lacks  texture, depth, and detail, as a consequence of these perpetual omissions.  We want to shine a light on the personalities, thoughts, and deeds of those great and/or terrible figures left behind by the popular imagination. Below is a working list of names of important contributors who have the misfortune to exist at the periphery of our understanding in the best of times, and are entirely eclipsed in the worst of times. Pick a name on the list or choose your own based on this theme, and discuss their life and times, accomplishments and failures, and impact on the events of the era in which they lived.  Historical Figures of Interest

  1. Sumner Welles
  2. Wendell Wilkie
  3. Henry Cabot Lodge
  4. Walter Lippman
  5. Henry Stoddard
  6. Elihu Root
  7. Herbert Hoover
  8. Bernard Beruch
  9. Robert Lansing
  10. Mandell House
  11. John Foster Dulles
  12. Cordell Hull
  13. Henry Luce
  14. Harry Hopkins
  15. Harold Ickes
  16. Henry Wallace
  17. Dean Acheson
  18. Hamilton Fish Armstrong
  19. Gen. George C. Marshall
  20. V.M. Molotov
  21. George Orwell
  22. Ralph Ingersol
  23. Breckinridge Long
  24. Thomas Dewey
  25. Joseph Ball
  26. Tom Conally
  27. Arthur Krock
  28. Chiang Kai-Shek
  29. Arthur Vandenburg
  30. Edward J. Stettinius 

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II. Rational Eschatology (Sciences)

The world presently exists in a historically unprecedented state of environmental crisis. However, the human race seems to be split almost right down the middle on the mere validity, let alone the implications and solutions, of the concept of climate change. One reason for this, we posit, is that as a species we do not take the subject of our own extinction seriously. There are many ways to explain this outcome. Our affinity for religious teaching, for example, tends to subordinate legitimate concerns regarding the physical world, in favor of imaginative abstractions. Faith, in practice, has a way of absolving mankind of responsibility for nature. Another reason for "climate change denial," we believe, is a profound deficiency in the fundamentals of scientific training, to include language development, logical reasoning skills, observational knowledge, method, analysis, and replication. 

We want to create a new paradigm for the species by approaching the subject of human extinction on more thoughtful and deliberate terms. Below are the Five Destinies of Mankind, as developed by Flying University founder, Steven Harkness. They represent a new taxonomy of possible natural outcomes as discovered by simple logic, proceeding upon the assumption that the human race is finite. Choose any one of these categories and develop a specific scenario to present to a generalist audience. Your work will introduce and explain the mechanics of a specific real-world extinction-level event and discuss strategies for preventing and/or surviving it. 

The Five Destinies of Mankind

  1. Terracide- A naturally occurring crisis, such as a volcanic eruption or a viral epidemic, which renders the planet uninhabitable.
  2. Agricide- A man-made crisis, such as nuclear war or pollution, which renders the planet uninhabitable.
  3. Genocide- The willful, voluntary, and deliberate destruction of the human race beyond the capacity for stable re-population, or spontaneous mass-sterility to the same effect. 
  4. Celectiacide- An extinction-level event originating elsewhere in the solar-system or outer-space.
  5. Terminus- Extinction resulting from the inevitable collision between the earth and moon or the earth and sun, at the end of its natural lifespan.

_______________________________________  III. Hope is the Bottom Line (Business and Management)
Business is booming in most of the developed world, but recent studies indicate that poverty remains on the rise. Homelessness, mental illness, disease epidemics, substance abuse, violence, criminality, and suicide accompany this unfortunate trend, and clear-cut, practical solutions do not often seem forthcoming. At the heart of all political turmoil, in the American two-party system especially, the question of whether the issue of wealth and income inequality should be dealt with by public services or private interests remains unanswered, and has enthralled generation after generation. The alternative to a highly socialized form of administrative government, criticized for its expensive complexity and tendency toward overreach (the conservative, small-government view), must otherwise be a moral-renaissance on the part of the business community at-large. That the wealth exists to provide these basic services seems beyond contention. What we are short onis new vision, and the will to implement it.

It is certain that the worth of a true engine of prosperity must by necessity be measured in terms of its effectiveness at elevating the condition of its least privileged, but we believe the relationships between capitalism and poverty go beyond paternalistic questions of who foots the bill. It has been repeatedly shown that inflation, industrial migration, low-wage growth, market instability, and outright malfeasance, not to mention the consumer debt that underwrites the whole system, each play an active roll in creating or exacerbating the problem of poverty. Choose one: Examine the relationship between an existing business model or management strategy and the communities in which it impacts, or present a new business model or management strategy that seeks to address the plight of a disaffected group in your community.

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IV. Game is Life (Technology) They said it would rot our brains! They said we were wasting our time. They told us to grow up and be responsible. Yet video games, and gaming in general, turned out to be one of the most dynamic and prolific cultural forces of the 20th century, in spite of only really arriving on the scene in the last couple of decades. They remain a defining characteristic of the 21st century experience, as conceivably every young person in the developed world is likely to have taken a controller, keyboard, or tablet, in hand to revel in a few hours of mind-melting, heart-pounding action. Board games, trading card games, and role playing games, which do not require a console or a power supply, are also immensely popular. Whether solving puzzles, dodging bullets, or simply creating something awesome, players everywhere are leaving reality behind for a little while to bask in the glory of the Golden Age of Gaming. 

We think this genre of human expression is worthy of and indeed long overdue for its day in the sun. Like it or not, gaming is here to stay, and the numbers indicate a level of prevalence that suggests it now occupies its own category among the sociological institutions. Kinship traditions, educational standards, agricultural and industrial skills, and faith practices all took thousands of years to develop into sophisticated and uniquely identifiable customs. This new thing that humans are doing all over the world is less than five decades old, from infancy to multi-billion dollar industry. But does your college or university offer a course on Team Fortress 2, Magic the Gathering, or Minecraft? Would it be silly for them to consider it? Or, with respect to these observations, is is silly that they don't? We want your opinion! What is the impact of gaming on human interaction, personal development, intellectual growth and emotional health? What is your favorite game and what do you love about it? Share a memorable experience and a prediction for the future.  Good Luck, Have Fun, and GG!

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