Disguising the face in public has been the subject of attention in times past, from veils to ceremonial masks, and including the helmets worn for protection in hand-to-hand combat by warriors -- or the balaclava masks worn by special forces (and terrorists). In modern society it tends to be only those driving potentially dangerous vehicles that use such devices, as is the case with motor cycle riders. But high tech cops also make use of the silvered variety, partially to intimidate. In many cultures, veils are still worn -- usually by women (as in Islamic cultures) but in some cases by men (Touaregs).
For those exposed to the press as witnesses, or accused in a trial in which they may be proven innocent, the same challenge exists. And not to be forgotten are the shy, or those with facial disfigurements which attract unwelcome comment. In some contexts, this may simply be people of different ethnic groups. And with the increase in electronic surveillance in public places, many may want ways to move around in public with a sense of privacy. But aside from these examples, those who claim real need do not have access to any suitable device, other than chic dark glasses. Prisoners may have a blanket thrown over their head by the police, which is rather primitive and undignified for the 1990s.
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.
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