Literature familiarizes people with evil. It breaks down taboos by making people think the unthinkable. The danger is not limited to squalid late films, nor is it restricted to possible copy-cat actions. The problem is not precise. The danger is the general atmosphere created by the literature and drama of the current period. This takes violence for granted, notably in television. Whether the images are fact or fiction, the idea is the same, and by representation it becomes irresistible. Brutality and bloodshed become accepted as part of life. It is no more sensible to complain about their existence than it is to complain about the weather.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.