Challenges to Comprehension Implied by the Logo
of Laetus in Praesens
Laetus in Praesens Alternative view of segmented documents via Kairos

October 1978

GPID Self-conscientization and in-project demonstration

Some irrelevant questions about the GPID project as a case study

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Proposed additional "Sub-project 25" of the Goals, Processes and Indicators of Development project
of the United Nations University on the occasion of a GPID meeting (Geneva, October 1978):
GPID Self-conscientization and in-project demonstration



This document has been elaborated following the news report (see Annex 1) of the self-immolation by burning of a 24-year old woman in front of the UN Offices in Geneva - hopefully her gesture is not totally wasted. She wished to draw attention to the easily-forgotten point that those who are concerned with remedying the condition of the underprivileged and oppressed often perpetuate, through their own actions and privileges, the conditions for which they claim to be providing remedies. This may also be illustrated by the importance and lack of self-awareness associated with a discussion in a smoke- filled room on "environmental air pollution", and the action and structures required to eliminate it.


In the interests of brevity, and because of its irrelevance in the current academic mode, this note has been structured in point form. As such the points made are not as fully qualified as would be appropriate in a more extensive review. The points are made in the form of questions where possible.

1. The GPID project is concerned with the goals, processes and indicators of development.

2. What are the consequences of the effective inability to give self-reflexive attention of a substantive nature (rather than administrative and procedural) to the status of a project suchas GPID within society ?

3. What are the Implications of the tendency to abstract the project from its social context and the heritage of previous efforts of a similar nature or intent?

4. Is it acceptable that the group should be unable to move to a new level of debate when faced with discussions having the following characteristics:


Parting thoughts of a 24-year old woman prior to self-immolation before UN Offices In Geneva (2 October 1978):

Immolation by Fire at the Palais des Nations
La Suisse
3 octobre 1978


ANNEX 2: Sub-projectissues and their implications for the goals, processes and indicators of the development of GPlD


1. Concepts of development

2. Needs

3. Rights

4. Alternative ways of life

5. Visions of desirable societies

6. Visions of desirable worlds


7. Theories of development

8. Expansion and exploitation processes

9. Liberation and autonomy processes

10. Militarization

11. Processes of the UN system

12. Alternative strategies and scenarios


13. Goals and indicators

14. Indicators of territorial systems

15. Indicators of non-territorial systems

16. Indicators of ecological balance

17. The politics of indicators


18. Dialogues

19. Networks

20. Semiotics

21. Mathematics

22. Forms of presentation

23. Methods of analysis

24. Inter-regional studies

25. GPID Self-conscientization and in-project demonstration

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