- potential problems
- problems based on "superstition"
- problems based on unsubstantiated beliefs (such as UFOs)
- dormant problems and problems of the past
- essentially ambiguous, intangible or "fuzzy" problems
- problems in the organized response to other problems
- low probability problems (such as geopagnetic reversal)
Encyclopedia of World Problems
The purpose of this project, one of the major dimensions of the Encyclopedia, is to identify the complete range of world problems perceived by international constituencies, whether as a focus for their programme activities, their research, their protest, their recommendations, or as part of their belief system. An entry has been established on each. This provides a context within which the network of specific relationships perceived between these problems may also be identified.
Development of Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1976-1995)
This table compares evolution of different sections of the Encyclopedia between the lst edition (1976) and the 4th edition (1994-95). The 4th edition was in three volumes, of which the third (Strategies) appeared in 1995. Statistics on subsequent development of the databases for the web are presented separately. The table also reconciles the different ordering systems used in the different editions. See explanatory notes.
This Encyclopedia may be used like any other reference book. Using any of the indexes, entries on particular topics may be located and consulted. This may be sufficient for many. The organization of the book, with its many cross-references between entries, also permits users to explore "around" any particular entry or "from" it as a point of entry into a network of associated entries.
This Encyclopedia has been deliberately organized so as to juxtapose kinds of information that are usually kept apart. This is the case within sections where, as with the "world problems", information from seemingly unrelated subject areas are held together and cross-referenced. The justification for doing so has been presented in the comments on the individual sections. But it is also the case with regard to the sections themselves, which for many could be more appropriately presented in separate publications.
Although the obvious purpose has been to produce a physical product, the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, any evaluation should also cover the computer software developed to that end and the working method it has made possible amongst a team of people whose activities are interwoven in relation to the data elements and their relationships. This is currently being extended to work via the World Wide Web.