REFLECTIONS AND PRINCIPLES ON THE TURKIC
ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (TAS)
TRASLATED BY AHMET FAHREDDIN UÇAR
1. On the morphology of the administrative staff of the board of trustees which will constitute the association for the foundation of TAS:
The prime minister of Turkey, the president of the board of trustees of the Ahmed Yesevi University, an academician as the head of TAS, and business men who are involved in international trade or can make large amounts of donations should be available as the board of trustees of this new association.
A president, assistants, and a general secretary will be appointed for TAS of course.
However, while observing the decisions of the president of TAS and its committee and providing the necessary conditions, the board of trustees should not interfere in the scientific vision of TAS, its orientation, its decisions, and applications, thus the academy should be independent.
The president and his assistants elect a council which constitute businessman of the Turkic world, and, when needed they consult this council and cooperate with the related committee.
According to me, every president of each Turkic republic, prime minister, and minister of foreign affairs and the president of the board of trustees of the university of Ahmed Yesevi should naturally also be present in this council. TAS may open doctorate and master programs for its own structure.
2.The objectives for the foundation of TAS:
TAS shall be founded in order to designate and realize the orientation, activities, and projection goals that ought to be done in the 21st century in order to improve any kind of enterprise and relationship among the Turkic world. Therefore, emphasis must be given to the sections of social and material sciences which are directed toward technologies that shall play an important strategical role in the 21st century.
3.General ideas on the method of organization and the required materials for TAS
(Some ideas on some details of this issue can be found in the second section of the project report.)
With what kind of structuralization should TAS be founded? What kind of materials does this structure require? What are its constituent departments of organization and what are its requirements?
I do not take into serious account a scientific endeavor in the western academical form which cannot respond to humanity’s need for orientation and which has no practical or spiritual benefit; therefore, the thought of establishing an Academy of Sciences which restricts itself solely to this kind of scientific research is not appealing to me.
Furthermore my conceptualization of science is quite different but I will not discuss that issue here; in brief, science should be effective and useful outside of the scientific world too, and for this purpose men of action and politicians should be able to work together with men of science.
Actually I must say that when I proposed TAS in the symposium in Turkestan I had envisioned something much more encompassing and quite outside the usual standards.
When it comes to the extra-ordinary aspects of my proposal which was promptly received as natural and easily comprehensible; first of all this ought not be a usual static organization — a university-like thing; quite to the contrary, it ought to be a very flexible organization which may inform itself to the ever changing needs of the age, so much so that it shall never have a rigid and static structure; it shall be a virtual academy established with the modern technological abilities in a kind of virtual reality.
This academy should be a “virtual academy” which should have a center compound on communication networks which is totally directed by automated computer hardware, totally on a network, on the Internet, or even, over the time, working on its own private communications network that even allows courses and meetings to take place as video-conferences through computers.The conditions of the age are compelling us into this.
A virtual academy that an contact people all around the world at the same time over its own network or for example over Internet and if necessary through radio, telephone, and satellite connection, that can research and reach information quickly, create new knowledge quickly, that can present the research and drawn in theoretical frames to the use of academicians throughout the Turkic world and receive feedback immediately, in conclusion an academy that realizes most of its activity not on a laboratory but on a network, thus a virtual academy in what we call a “virtual reality”.
Doubtlessly, an administrative center with a complete modern communications sub-structure, residential facilities for large meetings to be held from time to time, a library and a documentation center for the central computer hardware,
a database, and a department for virtual laboratory for the testing and discussion of theoretical research are among the list of essential necessities.
This academy must have a president with a vision, who can direct the activities with a wide authority.
However there will be activities not just about research but about orientation, projection and strategical planning which will concern all aspects of the future life of the Turkic world, which must therefore be held not on a public network but at meetings.
For this reason, it is necessary to build a center in Istanbul, Ankara or Kazakhstan which is suitable for the accommodation of the guests, and which possesses networks, transportation, and substructures.
For example, as of the first things that come to my mind, a few mainframe super-computers (each about hundred thousand dollars), a few servers and Internet equipment (modem, hub, router etc), and a tele-conference system along with its software to establish the electronic documentation and communication center is easily manageable with a few million dollars.
If we consider how modern computers perpetually increase in speed, instead of using communication lines with a limited speed, not fiber optics but even its own communication satellites and channels could possibly be used for communication through radio and phones.
TAS should not be directed to all areas of science but to those that have strategical importance.
It might be supposed that only theoretical research and discussions could be held in TAS, however, it is possible to use virtual laboratories, that is, those scientists engaged in the research or discussion of a theory might test it at the laboratories in their own country.
For the reasons above mentioned, a modern academy has no need of countless buildings and personnel, nor to develop a clumsy and clustered structure as did the old and renowned universities.
In fact, that type of rigid university model is an unfruitful institution from the middle ages which requires a lot of time and expenditure.
Should it be established as a Virtual Reality, that is, established on a network via tele-conference, it would be possible to consult the academicians all over the world, and its advantages are obvious compared to working at a local university with a limited amount of academicians available at that locality.
Of the direction of the TAS with regard to orientation towards strategically important knowledge and technologies:
It appears as a waste of time and energy for the TAS to endeavor on all the branches of science.
It should suffice to deal exclusively on strategical technologies that will effect the course of the world the most, and with the technologies that are necessary for the development of these.
Additionally to the most important technologies in the modern world and the theoretical research about these, the experiments and results in the virtual laboratories, and the progress of these must be followed with great attention.
Contemporary strategically important technologies are genetics, robotics, laser, super conductivity, and computers, or to put it in other words, data-processing/communication technologies.
While Turkey is quite backwards in some of these,
there are reasons to think that academicians in other Turkic republics possess a very advanced level of theory and practice.
On the other hand, social sciences have become even more important than before with the problems and large scale social change which is expected to occur in the 21st century.
However, as a social scientist who is engaged in philosophy of history, the issue in my perspective is that the theoretical frames that the social sciences have put forth so far are quite inadequate and it doesn’t have a capacity to understand and direct this change.
All the social sciences need a new orientation and a new methodology.
This was a fiercely felt need in the 20th century; in the 21st century the poverty and impotence of social sciences have become starkly apparent.
However erudite scholars of any scientific branch may be in their own fields, they do not understand issues of orientation and projection of this sort,
since orientation and projection is impossible without a philosophy of history.
Furthermore, the very terms themselves belong to my philosophy of history; that is, I have been the first one to pronounce the importance and place of these terms.
Philosophies of history to this day were disregarded as being theoretical speculations, and they were subject to the quite justified criticisms of historians.
I suppose that due to the concepts of orientation and projection which I have developed during my researches on philosophy of history that “it is impossible to have an adequate practice of history without engaging in philosophy of history and it is inextricably tied in to the very practice of the historian, and the inevitability of speculating with a philosophy of history”, and the like issues were tied up with arguments and logical conclusions almost with the rigor of an evidence.
In short, a vision can be described with words only to a certain extent:
no matter how long its expostulated, still some things will remain missing.
For this reason is that in Torah is said: “all the sayings are worn out phrases; man can not utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing”
To sum up, social sciences should be taken as a whole and with the guidance/direction of a philosophy of history.
SOME TECHNICAL DETAILS ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONAL
STRUCTURE AND THE
EQUIPMENT OF TAS
About the Idea of Virtual Academy and its Equipment:
In order to work via a communications network mostly through video-conferencing, this academy would need a few mainframe super-computers (I do not find it necessary to mention the various hardware equipments servers and PC terminals that will not hinge to a serious expenditure which is required to sustain several mainframe computers).
What used to be a million dollar equipment is today down to a 104 thousand dollars (such as the mainframe computer by Silicon Graphics).
These are computers capable of parallel processing.
For instance Azerbaijani computer expert Namaz Allahverdi have published a few articles on the types of parallel processing and central main frame computers.
As far as I know, old Soviet technology on computer systems was not behind in the theoretical field, however in the praxis of this science and in the technology of its production, they were far behind doubtlessly. Nevertheless, I presume that many academicians in the Turkic republics possess an important level of knowledge in issues such as mathematical modeling that depend on an accumulation of theoretical knowledge. Of course this potential can only emerge with an intense and fast exchange of knowledge, co-ordination, and directing.
I believe that even in Turkey experts and academicians that work, for instance, in “Aselsan” have a high degree of knowledge.
I think what Turkey missing is this:
An academical environment for capable people where they can improve their ideas, and adequate opportunities for these to facilitate their ideas are not established.
And the lack of guidance is a most important factor of inertia.
In the technology magazines it is pointed out that satellite, radio and phone data transfer rates should reach the volume of 2MB for second in order to make tele-conference.
We hear that Microsoft is presenting some new applications in this regard.
There are other similar technical details that must be researched and examined in the application-field.
These days, with the developments in “Internet”, some advancements are occurring which gives rise to capabilities that make it possible to realize these ideas present here.
A better construction project could be devised about the necessary equipment by consulting big firms such as Microsoft which are trying to build Internet systems commanded by voice.
Since we have mentioned, if a research about this issue be demanded of us, I would like to inform that we could do the necessary examinations along with a good computer expert.
As I am imagining such a sub-structure for a long time, it is quite appealing to me; Even when Internet was unknown in the world, in 1984, the age of databases, I had predicted these developments in my paper called “Historical Thought and Education in Modern Turkey” which was written in English and presented at the International History Congress which was held in 1986.
It was found weird and was gossiped about, that I had written in English then; however if I had written these in Turkish nobody would have understood; yet an American professor -and if my memory is not mistaking me, this person was Howard Reeds- told me: “We are working on these issues too” and didn’t neglect to take a copy of my paper immediately even before it was published:
i.e. the audience you are addressing should be receptive, if they are inept, they cannot understand it anyhow.
This was the main idea of my article called “Farewell to Schools” as well (this article can be found in the author’s book titled ‘Matters of Philosophy of History’).
As I have explained even in my article called “The Bomb in the Internet”, I had wanted to present this project in 1984 to Turgut Özal[President of the State at that tim] but I couldn’t reach him.
In all these years that passed, many of my predictions in terms of hardware, albeit not much of Artificial Intelligence, has been pretty much realized.
At this moment in the world of computers, important developments are taking place, be it hardware or software,
which will make it easier to establish the systems that we are talking about.
There are many developments at the stage of experimentation in American laboratories, and the expanse of ideas which are being tested range from organic computers(3), artificial neuron networks, and computers that work on the basis of quantum mechanics.
However, I am in the conviction that the much more strategical issue than all these great developments in the information technology is in the research of A.I. rather than the technology of hardware production.
There is very little advancement in this field; and the reason is the theoretical difficulty of it.
However, since it is a theoretical matter, our thinking minds could just as well compete with the west in this field.
For instance, though I am not a computer expert, I believe that I too can contribute with a few ideas I can tell due to my accumulations on logic, philosophy, and imagination.
We should know well the conditions in which we are in the modern world; the conditions of a society cannot obstruct people very much; as, in such cases people who believe they cannot achieve anything in Turkey can go to America, and then we are left talking about mind-migration.
Because our people’s minds are a bit closed; we have a kind of attitude such as “let every issue be spoken by its specialists, and the rest have no say in it.”
This is essentially true however, it is necessary to remember that sometimes narrow minded and myopic experts put unnecessary boundaries to their subject matters.
I think in the case of our academicians interested in this issue to discuss it lengthwise for a few years with a multidisciplinary orientation, perhaps we rather than the west, we may reach a significant accumulation and even compete with the west.
A significant advancement in the issue of A.I. is still not recorded;
albeit this is an issue so significant that it can change everything.
There is no need for the inferiority that has befallen on our people in the face of the technology and capabilities of the west.
For, the kind of academy as a virtual reality of which I am talking about can utilize all the laboratory capabilities of all the universities in the world via simulation and modeling.
It is possible, to exchange ideas and receive feedback through tele-conference, and to establish virtual laboratories in order to do the necessary tests through simulation.
I think these things are possible with an orientation and projection rather than great technologies and huge investments.
Of course, due to this reason, the vision and the width of the horizon of the academician and his colleagues who will direct TAS is very important.
I am stating these according to the magazine of ‘Frontiers in Science and Technology’ upon a report which has detailed explanations for the president to be able to understand the strategical fields, investment plans and the reasons of its significance.
According to the scientists who wrote this report the technologies which possess a vital significance include genetics, robotics, laser, super conductivity, and computer sciences.
I am not much hopeful about laser and superconductivity, however in genetics, robotics, and particularly A.I. in computer sciences, I am in the conviction that the scientists of the Turkic world, along with an intense exchange of information with their western colleagues, can achieve some things,
and if guided well that they can compete in many issues with the western world in the 10-15 years ahead of us.
Because at one time in Russia there was a lot of accumulation on the issue of mathematical simulation.
Then we see Japan.
Not long, but 30-40 years ago westerners didn’t consider Japan important, and were ridiculing them that “they are imitative and successful in technology like monkeys, but they do not have creative intelligence”.
Today, in some of the strategical technologies above, even America find it difficult to compete with Japan.
Turkic academicians are not stupid; modern technologies are not like the industrial technologies which require heavily mechanized equipment.
Creative ideas and theoretical thought, in brief, accumulation of knowledge is more important than investment.
It should be noticed that the idea of creating a virtual academy and using virtual laboratories bring a very novel and encompassing vision to the world we live in.
In this way, a comprehensible structure is thus brought on the chaos of Internet.
From this point onwards, the idea of an academy which can utilize all the academicians of the world, research capabilities and knowledge accumulation of all the universities, i.e. the idea of a world academy that can utilize all the human heritage and even a world administration can be conceived of.
To propose such a project to American government and mentality, and to obtain a large financial resource could have been much easier as they are receptive to these kinds of novel ideas.
It is possible that in time such a project may be proposed in the western world and to be established by the west in a few years time.
This kind of a project is not just applicable in the Turkic world, but also for the Islamic world and even the whole world.
For this reason, I think that it would be prudent for such an encompassing projection to be discussed with the accompaniment of the president and the national security council.
I have thought this so much over 15 years that I have even figured out an encryption technique that even hackers whose sole business is to breach communication passwords would never be able to break.
For now, it is sufficient to say that there are mathematical mysteries, that even the best hackers, no matter how long they try would not be able to uncover due to its mathematical formulation.
I am speaking of things that can be done with a few million dollars of investment for the beginning which I suppose is not hard to procure.
Just a few months ago, Sakıp Sabancı simply donated 2 million dollars for the roof of a conference hall.
On the research facilities of TAS:
A sort of Virtual Research Institute would be gathered by contacting Turkic academicians of each related issue and forming them into R&D groups.
Of course, with the condition that, instead of picking large commissions of fruitless academicians who pick on straws, men of accomplishment and renown from each field should be chosen.
Although there is in this respect a famine of man in Turkey, all Turkic republics and foreign counselors should also be regarded for their potential.
Of course, these research units are not salaried personnel but rather volunteers to be counseled,
or perhaps a flexible method of payments based on copyrights for ideas, reports, and research.
Thus, the research units necessary to be established are;
International Relationships and Strategical Research Unit
Eminent politicians, economists and big businessmen will predominate in these units.
The types of academicians who should be present at this unit are philosophers of history, historians, political scientists, lawyers, cultural anthropologists, and economists.
International Relations for Turkic Republics Unit
Middle east and Islamic countries Relationships Unit
Relations with the Western World
Russia, Black sea and Caucasus Unit
Far East Relations Unit
Balkan Countries Unit
World Archive (Database)
Turkic World Database
Archiving and Documentation Unit
Language, Culture, Literature, History, Anthropology, Economy
Positive Sciences; Physics, Astronomy, Cosmogony, Old and New Medicine, Herbiology, The Flora and Fauna of the Turkic World
Strategic Technologies Unit; Genetics, Robotics, Laser, Superconductivity, Computer Sciences, Artificial Intelligence.
The World of Philosophy
As Praxis and Theoria
The issues of orientation and methodology of social sciences, philosophy of history, philosophy, mysticism, religion.
The World of Art Unit
Fine Arts (Application, discussion along with its own archive)
Doubtlessly, the details mentioned in the second chapter may be subject to change and, when necessary, should be separately discussed in meetings during the stage of realization.
Of course if, in a project of this scale which was put forth to shape the orientation and projection goals of the Turkic world in the 21st century, a duty should be conferred upon me I would be honored.
Otherwise, this duty must not be bestowed to an academician or a bureaucrat with a narrow horizon and without a vision.
If it is absolutely necessary, then an intermediary solution could be devised by the undertaking of the leadership and administration aspects of TAS by the president of the republic, or someone at the level of ministry, who is a man with a vision and ideals.
With my reverence I put this forth to your consideration: