Just as in politics it takes a lot of different points of view to come up with a good compromise, in academics and many other professions multiple views are crucial. In my dissertation, I discovered the average Midwest US College with a peace studies program had ten interdisciplinary programs. Much lip service is given to interdisciplinary work; but most colleges still reward tenure based on the narrow needs of the discipline the academic comes from or is housed in. One device to overcome this problem is to give interdisciplinary programs a voice on tenure decisions. It would be good if all the interdisciplinary programs were represented by a department of interdisciplinary programs or a dean of interdisciplinary programs. Some examples of the benefits of interdisciplinary thinking follow.
In my younger years I experimented with five difference religions. This gave me much greater perspective on the common practice of prayer. I was once practicing my Buddhist chanting when I compared notes with my landlady’s saying of the rosary. The benefits were remarkably similar. Then it struck me that meditation, prayer, chanting were all similar practices and mental disciplines with similar benefits. Having multiple religious views allows one to better comprehend the great truths about ourselves and humanity such as the golden rule, found in all religions.
Locating a point in three-dimensional Euclidean space requires triangulation. Even our eyes work this way, as two eyes allow depth perception estimates of how far away things are. Likewise, in space, two observatories or measurements of one observatory taken from different parts of earth’s orbit over time can determine the distance of an object far away in space.
Peace Studies Example
Like the historians who think biography is history, my peace studies colleagues too often believe in individual efforts and personal change are the keys to peace, and too often underestimate the role of institutions like the military industrial complex. When they do look at military spending they overemphasize alternative ways to spend that money. They underestimate the lack of human economic progress because the capital and research diverted to the military undermines the civilian manufacturing sector ability to grow and provide better jobs and products for the rest of us, as seen in the strong German economy. Opportunity cost is a lost concept on them. Too often the humanities perspective denigrates and ignores the business perspective. And too often the business perspective also only focuses on the money and ignores the direction the society is moving, expanding our horizons or futilely trying to control our enemies. Too often looking at our enemies as evil rather than misguided leads us into overreactions that only serve the purposes of multiplying them.
Peace Economics Example
Economists, caught up in the history of economic thought, focus too much on microeconomics, believing that macroeconomics will never become a science. Too use the analogy of physical matter phases of gas liquid and solid, economics starts with a focus on individual decisions (gas) building them up into business decisions (liquid flow of society). They fail to see “solid state” of peace economics that lost capital sent to the military stalls growth while deficit spending adds to growth in the annual records. In the longer term the land ocean 54-year cycle leads directly into the same economic long cycle and the major war cycle. In the medium term the Juglar capital investment cycle of about nine years balances out the annual errata. Together these forces produce a scientific model of economic productivity growth. Without the precision in the historical record, economics would still be in the squishy liquid phase, with proverbial “too many factors” preventing the movement into a new level of science.
54 Year Long Cycle Example
Global warming science has been so captured by a mutually peer reviewing in group of scientists that they claim 97% certainty about the greenhouse effect. However, I have audited four local global warming scientists’ classes and learned how the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Undeniably there is a Greenhouse Effect and Earth could be an ice ball without it. But I have witnessed some of the scientists distorting the record to prove their points and to avoid healthy criticisms. They have shown an unhealthy defensiveness against new ideas thanks to pressure from the fossil fuel industries. One student paper showed the model used in class projects leveled off in the second century of warming without changing the trajectory of fossil fuel usage. Students were instructed to model for one century only. But even though energy models clearly show a huge amount of solar radiation immediately evaporates water when it hits the surface, they stubbornly resist analyzing the differential impact over land versus ocean as I have. Even though my modeling is obviously true, few share my understanding except for a World Future Society audience of fifty in Chicago on July 20, 2013. Other less sophisticated audiences are just stunned. I have 56 repeat events roughly equally divided in the three basic categories of natural, economic, and political (mostly wars) with 20 precise fits to the year and 95% accuracy overall. I have three levels of different proofs for each transmission mechanism from natural to economic to political. But when I talk to climate scientists they fail to recognize the work of industrial engineers like Frederick Taylor, businesspeople like JW Forrester and economists like Sivard, Kondratiev, and Juglar. When I explain anomalies of the temperature record are easily explained by my evaporation theory they look like deer caught in the headlights and move on rather than try to understand me. Few people can match the nine fields of specialization I have, so they remain restricted to their narrow fields and can’t keep up with me, except for the renaissance people who have nominated me for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The breadth scope and complexity and basic research style of my work could not be matched without my nine fields of specialty of math, science, wargaming, engineering, accounting, business, politics, peace economics, and long cycle theory. And I left out history art and religion. Interdisciplinarity allows me to make connections, plug holes, and otherwise see around corners that others do not see. Leadership experience teaches me the art of making complex decisions and understanding the psychology of other leaders, such as the war decision. The world will change dramatically for the better with less wars in the future when leaders recognize the self-defeating nature of excessive military spending levels that leave a nation with a much smaller economy to win future wars with. And long cycle theory tells us when to expect those future major wars. Together these things change the high military mantra of peace through strength into the reverse low military high growth mantra of strength through peace. Academics and politicians please consider nominating me to the Norwegian Nobel Committee at
For additional information please see this key seven pages about my ideas:
Please cite this work as follows:
Reuschlein, Robert. (2018, January 1), “Interdisciplinary Insights” Madison, WI: Real Economy Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Interdisciplinary-Insights,2018153181.aspx
Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute
Nominated Vetted 2016, and Given Odds for the Nobel Peace Prize 2017