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Hire Buddhist monks as air traffic controllers

Comin' in on a wing and a prayer.
  (+19, -1)(+19, -1)
(+19, -1)
  [vote for,

Air traffic controllers serve a critical function for our society's transportation system. In order to fulfill their duties, they need almost superhuman powers of concentration, and the ability to maintain focus for extended periods, unabated.

Buddhist monks who practice meditation extensively have recently been tested under controlled conditions and have been found to have what researchers call superhuman powers of concentration.

It seems only natural that these athletes of mental focus should be enlisted to perform the vital function of air traffic control. In this way, members of the Sect of the Pure Landing can help all sentient beings get to their destination safely.

robinism, Jun 21 2004

The future of air traffic control http://members.cox.net/robinism/ATC.jpg
A monk monitors the eight-fold flight path [robinism, Oct 21 2004, last modified Jan 08 2005]

SIFY 9/2003 http://sify.com/new...ory.php?id=13253101
Research on the measurably great mental powers of buddhist monks [robinism, Jan 08 2005]

Why I trust a Buddhhist monk with my life. http://www.iop.or.jp/0111/dorn.pdf
For Buddhists and Hindus, the rationale to act peacefully is philosophical as well as moral and emotional. They see spiritual reasons for altruism. The three most relevant here, which are highlighted in the Lotus Sutra as well as other Buddhist and Hindu scriptures, are: belief in a higher nature (Buddha-nature or, in Hinduism, the Atman or soul containing the divine spark) that exists in all human and sentient beings, the interdependence of all living things (as in the Buddhist teaching of dependent origination or pratiya samutpada in Sanskrit) and karma (the belief that all acts will be rewarded in kind, with good acts resulting in good to the doer). Accordingly, the more aware one is of the sacred teachings and the more faithful one is in their practice, the more altruistic one becomes. In a sense, the personal self is expanded through belief in a common underlying consciousness and universal interdependence, so that doing good to others is, in fact, a service to one’s own self. Adherents have reason to exhibit an abundance of good will (metta) and compassion (karuna) to others. They perform more seemingly selfless acts...
Fundamental moral principles easily and immediately flow from these three basic spiritual beliefs. Perceiving an underlying divine nature of all human beings, the adherent easily accepts the essential equality of all. From the triple recognition of divine nature, spiritual interdependence and karma come the need and desire to show respect for the sanctity of life. Buddhists have an exact equivalent to Moses’ Sixth Commandment in the Buddhist phrase “you should not kill others” and some Buddhist scriptures even go further to say that you “must not hate any being and cannot kill a living creature even in thought.”
The assertion that all human beings, indeed all sentient beings, are endowed with a ‘Buddha-nature’ encourages not only respect for human life but reverence for all life. [robinism, Jan 10 2005]


       This would also open up a further market for my Dalai Lama Door Stop <link>
etherman, Jun 21 2004

       what would happen if superhuman air traffic controllers concentrate on only one aircraft out of say 5 awaiting clearance for landing ? mid-air collision/ empty fuel tank or what !
vedarshi, Jun 21 2004

       So who would do all the Buddhist Monking in their absence?
DrBob, Jun 21 2004

       We could train buddhist monkeys.
etherman, Jun 21 2004

       "Mid-air collision matters not to Brahman."
contracts, Jun 21 2004

       [vedarshi] You have a good point, that there might be some aspects of air traffic control that the monks can't handle. Striking for more money would be another example.   

       However one kind of meditation they practice is open awareness, so they probably could handle five streams of information at once.   

       Empty fuel tank? Of course the fuel tank is empty. Everything is empty, [vedarshi]...   

       [DrBob] wonders who would do the monking. A valid concern. I think it would be, the monks who can't handle five planes at once. Any monk who causes a collision, straight back to the monastary.   

       [Contracts], Buddhist monks make compassion and loving kindness toward all sentient beings one of their most important duties. I guess I should have included that in the original description for people who didn't know.
robinism, Jun 21 2004

       "468 Heavy, this is Controlissattowa, advise fuel status, over."
"Controlissattowa, 468, confirming tanks are half empty, over."
"468, surely you mean half full? Over."
"Err... yeah... you know..."
Zanzibar, Jun 21 2004

       <stupid cliche joke>You'd need to hire twice as many though – for every monk air-traffic controlling, you'd need another one not to.</scj>
Detly, Jun 21 2004

       Ah, zen air traffic control. If a plane crashes and no-one is around, does it make headlines?
harderthanjesus, Jun 21 2004

       Two planes colliding make a noise like... well, like two planes colliding. What is the sound of one plane?
Detly, Jun 21 2004

       If you put enough buddhists in a plane, will it hover in mid-air?
RayfordSteele, Jun 21 2004

       [robinism]i meant to say that fuel tanks would get emptied due to circling around the airport for long time waiting for the turn to land or even waiting for some response from the air traffic controller as he would be concentrating on one aircraft. now that you have mentioned, such persons can handle may be 5 streams of information at a time, i eat back my words & change my vote from (-) to (+).
vedarshi, Jun 22 2004

       "468, Oommmmm... I'll get back to you on that."
Zanzibar, Jun 22 2004

       "This plane is bound for glory, this plane ... "
dpsyplc, Jun 22 2004

       [robinism] I'm familiar with buddhism - - regardless, Thank you for your input. It was a joke. You can just nam myo ho renge kyo for all I care.
contracts, Jun 22 2004

       I'd be more worried about the prayer flags and wheels, that and the omm noise this may also legitimize the meandering Hare-chrishnas .
engineer1, Jun 22 2004

       [engineer1]come on ! obviously, while on duty they would only control air traffic. prayer flags etc. would be kept in separate sound proof room adjacent to control room. as far as omm sound is concerned that may be standardized as voice signal to the pilot for landing. this would help relieve monk's mental pressure built up due to strong desire for making omm sound while performing his job. now if you say what would happen when our controller says omm at the wrong moment,...... disaster (due to not following the standard).
vedarshi, Jun 22 2004

       still no response to the scarry idea of hare chrishnas having legitimate reason to be in an airport...
engineer1, Jun 22 2004

       [engineer1]well ! if hare krishnas also possess or acquire similar ability of handling multiple streams of information simultaneously, they would have equal right to claim for ATCs' jobs. the basic innovative idea [of robinism] is to use special abilities acquired by certain people through certain practices.
vedarshi, Jun 22 2004

       The Hare Krishna might be better suited to (enthusiastic) ground direction.
Detly, Jun 23 2004

       Or alternatively hire the monks to teach awareness meditation to exisiting trained ATCs.   

       [+] btw
BunsenHoneydew, Jun 28 2004

       [bunsenhoneydew] //the basic innovative idea [of robinism] is to use special abilities acquired by certain people through certain practices// very clever !! at least you have understood my hint above. probably [robinism] must have thought the same thing while posting the idea.
vedarshi, Jun 28 2004

       Have my +++ vote for this month. Well actually you can't because they don't exist, but you probably get the point. It made me smile and laugh a little, which is a lot of the reason why I come here, and then I read the article and it seems that it's actually kind of practical (with the exception of the stage where you obtain hundreds of monks, but thats just halfbakedness).
RobertKidney, Jun 28 2004

       Just don't hire any Japanese Buddihst monks named Miroku.***   

       ***If anyone watches InuYasha they'll get this.... I personally have nothing against Buddhists, Japanese, or monks, it's just an InuYasha joke....
DreamerSpiritt, Jun 29 2004

       You wouldn't nesscaraly have to use Buddhist Monks, most hamans, mediums, and channelers meditate a lot too, and therefore have strong mental ability.
DreamerSpiritt, Jun 29 2004

       yes but there are probably alot of stoners amongst them... 'hey dude look at all the pretty swirly lines.. oh wait.. where'd they all go?'
etherman, Jun 29 2004

       "This frequency is too busy. Switching to channeling the co-pilot."
RayfordSteele, Jan 08 2005

       "Attention pilots, let us ascend to an even higher jet stream of consciousness today."
mensmaximus, Jan 08 2005

       The pilot radioed the air-traffic controller and asked him which air corridor was clear for landing.
The air-traffic controller replied
"To live in nothingness is to ignore cause and effect;
This chaos leads only to disaster.
The one who clings to vacancy, rejecting the world of things,
Escapes from drowning but leaps into fire."
zen_tom, Jan 08 2005

       What do you pay them with, rice?
wagster, Jan 09 2005

       Buddist do not believe dying is a bad thing. You will jsut be reincarnated...   

       I want my air traffic controller to believe that crashing and burning is a bad thing. For this reason alone, Buddist would not make goor employees in any "mission critical" role.
seriousconsult, Jan 10 2005

       [seriousconsult], I understand your concern, but from what I've read, buddhists do believe that killing is a very bad thing indeed. A deed that would have a drastic impact on the monk's own karma. And buddhist monks make compassion and loving kindness toward all sentient beings one of their most important duties.
robinism, Jan 10 2005

       [DreamerSpiritt], heh, got it. I don't see the problem though. A proposal here, a flight redirected towards an evil castle there, just your average monk shenanigans.
Shadow Phoenix, May 17 2008

       //I want my air traffic controller to believe that crashing and burning is a bad thing. For this reason alone, Buddist would not make goor employees in any "mission critical" role.//   

       (1) Atheists don't want to die, they want to live as long as possible, so perhaps they're good candidates.   

       (2) Atheists have the whole "I don't believe in miracles" thing going for them, so they know that everything they do is in their own hands, so no letting go of the controls or closing eyes and crossing fingers like the superstitious religious theists do.   

       (3) Atheists don't want to fail, since they know they could possibly go to jail for failing, and going to jail is a waste of their precious time on this planet, which would be a very big incentive for them to get it absolutely right.   

       Note: Of course this is assuming the ideal atheist. There are, however, ideal and non-ideal ATC candidates that pretty much hold just about any belief, so discrimination should be about whether they're skilled and willing or not, instead of whether they believe something or not. [+] for the generalization that meditation would improve ATC concentration levels though.
quantum_flux, May 17 2008

       [robinism] some 4 years back I had given you a [+]. I tried again & am pleasantly surprised that my another [+] has been accepted. just like brain-storming, brain-writing (involving more than one persons) is an excellent tool to lead ideas to logical conclusion. whenever opportunity arises, i quote this idea as an excellent example of brain writing.
vedarshi, May 17 2008

       Sadly, [robinism] seems to have escaped the orbit of the bakery, which is a great shame. I'm tempted to try her email.
wagster, May 17 2008

       // seems to have escaped //   

       There is no escape. There is no way out. You are all trapped here ..... FOREVER ! MUHWHAHAHAHAH !   


       Sorry, just channeling the spirit of Ming the Merciless there for a moment.
8th of 7, May 17 2008

       Her email is dead. She must have been on that obscure body in the S-K system we took out today...
wagster, May 17 2008

       Oh, that one. Just put it with the others..... mind you, must be getting kind of full in there by now.
8th of 7, May 17 2008


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