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Glenn Barres

Co-Founder, Idea Sponge, Inc.

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What would Utopia look like?

What are some of the attributes required of a Utopian Society? Some say it cannot exist but I don't like that word, "can't", so please only answer with possibilities of achieving this, not the reasons why it can't.

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    Apr 3 2012: I think utopia would exist only in a place where time is not measured.
    • Apr 3 2012: In a place where time is not measured nothing ( no thing ) is measured :)
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        Apr 3 2012: Perhaps I should have said time does not exist... No waiting, no boredom, no hunger, pain...
        But then could we truly be happy if there was never anticipation or conflict to over come?....I don't know. It seems like we would also be missing out on things..But maybe that;s just me who has always existed with time as my enemy and friend. It's hard to comprehend.
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          Apr 3 2012: James, I think we can be truly happy without anticipation or conflict.

          Just look at children....they are, in many cases, oblivious to anticipations and conflicts that we adults are aware of, and they are happy go lucky.

          I think that having hard work to do into infinity.....and learning into infinity......with people who share common beliefs, lifeslyles, and an equal share in the community.......without an oppressive government, but one that readily provided what each citizen needed, would most certainly provide such a Utopia..

          What needs to happen is wars need to cease, diseases need to be eradicated, hunger needs to vanish, as well as a whole new generation of individuals who want to come together for the common good of mankind.......not for the common good of their pocket, needs to rise up.

          We have spoken many times on TED about all of this, but never using UTOPIA.

          I cannot speak for everyone here on TED. But I really do try to point the way to Utopia....a better world.....throughout my community, and attempt to follow it up with kind acts, and try to take a personal interest in those I come in contact with. We, personally can do alot to be the change we want to see in others.

          I think what holds the world from changing all together is....is.....well, it's like an invisible force that does not allow peace to reign.......everyone WANTS to have peace and happiness, but it just doesn't happen.......I don't know if you understand me.

          Anyways, thanks for reading through my ramblings.........I've enjoyed following this thread of conversation.
        • Apr 3 2012: James !
          Sir Thomas More coined the word 'Utopia' from two Greek words: 'ou' - not and 'topos' - place , ' Utopia ' means ' no place '.

          So, Utopian Society has no place to exist by definition.

          Nothing, that exists in time and occupies the place in space, is ideal / absolute/ perfect.
          James, I like your idea, that the ideal is possible ( at least in theory ), when it is not in Time. And I think, it is not a place but state.
        • Apr 3 2012: Mary !
          "....it's like an invisible force that does not allow peace to reign...."

          This invisible force has name : EGO.
          I believe is that simple :)
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        Apr 3 2012: In my humble opinion.............YOU ARE QUITE RIGHT!!!!!

        When people are EGOcentric they cannot put other's interests ahead of their own. The french call it the "maladie de moi".

        You are very insightful Natasha.
  • Mar 31 2012: I think it'd be a forever changing mystery to me. I'm not sure if there can really be a universal definition for a utopian society, as people have different ideas. However, as simple as I could get it, would be a place where everyone would be happy.

    So as for how to achieve a place in which everyone is happy, we'd need to look at some issues which cause unhappiness. As you're well aware, there's a lot. People can be quite needy in their demands to remain happy. Others, not so much. So how do we satisfy those needs without neglecting those of others. What if they can't be satisfied? Can they be changed? Could they be excluded from a utopian society?

    How can we ensure specific behaviours of people to ensure that no harm is caused to others? But here it seems to cross peoples freedoms. Can you be free if you're forced to be polite? Would this make you happy? Would this make it more of a dystopia that utopia. There's a very fine line here in which it is very important not to cross in my opinion. So again, more questions arise on how to create an atmosphere where people can not only live in happiness, but maintain it.

    I'm not sure if this is really an answer to your question. As I myself have no clue as to how a utopia could be made. But I would personally think that if we take small baby steps into solving the problems, we might not create such a society, but it'll most likely be better than it was.
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      Apr 1 2012: Great answer and you went in the direction I was hoping someone would go. Part of what makes life worth living is the whole process of overcoming an obstacle, i.e. winning. In our current culture the biggest winners are those with the most money and because of this, "bank roll" has become a predominate attribute of what it means to thrive. Unfortunately this is a castle made of sand since money has no real value in the big picture and it very seldom leads to happiness, which to me is a key element in a Utopian society.

      Even if you didn't have a solid answer you followed up with a string of questions, (and I assume you probably had many more you could put there), and that is also a key element to a Utopia; Keep Asking Questions. The Question is the key behind any form of advancement.
      • Apr 2 2012: Indeed, one of the good things about winning, or being a winner, is it doesn't have to be about money. I like to think that the competition, the race can be changed simply by moving the finish line. The key to winning could really be anything in my opinion.

        I did have a lot more questions that could be asked in that situation. No doubt even if people answered them, more questions would be raised on those answers as well. It seems like an infinitely complex idea to me, the more you think about it, the harder it gets to visualise.
  • Mar 31 2012: Males and Females would have equal power.
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    R H 20+

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    Mar 31 2012: Perfect harmony. Perfect collaberation. Perfect symbiosis and synergy with the all of life combined with wholesome regard for the infinite possibilities. ie, Perfect Love.
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    Apr 3 2012: Your Utopia would be considerably different than my Utopia. When Sir Thomas Moore first wrote about Utopia he declared it a impossibility to have a Utopian society. The closest I have personally view to be a ideal society is the Amish Mennonites. I contribute this to a society that shares common beliefs, lifestyles, and a bartering equal share community. I have read about lost tribes that have recently came to light that have no words for hate, war, etc .. and live in harmony with man and nature. The common factor in these societies is that the outside influence is small if not non-existant; and they all share common beliefs and lifestyles; they are interdependent; etc ... The Amish are the only true practicers of the Karl Marx Communism where all people share equally within their society. It would appear to be a "Utopian Society" isloation is a major factor. All the best. Bob
    • Apr 6 2012: With respect, the Amish community are the complete opposite of Marxists. They believe that each person is an individual with individual gifts. They believe in living in a FREE society and being charitable and looking out for one another because that is right and good. They do not believe in "forced" sharing. Marxism contracts. Freedom and love expands.
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      Apr 6 2012: This is taking someone else's definition or idea of what a Utopia is then trying to explain how we could have that or why we can't, which is the opposite of what I asked for.
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    Apr 1 2012: "Faultily faultless, icily regular,splendidly null, dead perfection; no more."-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
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      Apr 2 2012: Ed, please expound.....I have never run across this quote before. What is it's meaning?
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        Apr 2 2012: Take another look at the quote from a purely secular point-of-view. Do not think of Utopia as a synonymn for Heaven (where true perfection reigns). Think of Utopia as godless man's best imaginings of perfection.
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          Apr 2 2012: Well, in that case, yes of course, it describes people in the world today......I will quote the little mermaid......."gizmo's and gadgets galore....you want thing-a-ma-bobs, I've got twenty....."

          Some Utopia!!............materialism

          I find that to have Utopia in a society today, people themselves have to change.

          I know people in a material Utopia.
          I know people in a spiritual Utopia.
          I know people in an emotional Utopia.
          I know people in relationship Utopia.
          I know people in an intellectual Utopia.

          The right combination would be all of the above + no sickness or death....or any of the things that ail us and keep us from enjoying life.

          We are all waiting to see what will mankind do next with all the information he has at his fingertips.........because truely, the knowledge is abundant.

          We as the human family are able to do much good if we work together as one. But everyone's selfish desires and hidden agendas keep the majority from putting their trust in any single man or organization or for that matter any human government. We have learned from our past, to some extent.

          Be Well.....thanks for the quote, I will add it to my list.....
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    Apr 1 2012: Identifying ONE leader, and then, motivated by love work with a spirit of cooperation to make the earth a UTOPIA.

    How hard can that be?
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      Apr 1 2012: I think part of the problem with the single leader setup, aka a monarchy, is that while the founding member may be just and devote to the cause, those that follow often abuse that seat of power.
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        Apr 2 2012: I find that you are correct.

        In that case, the leader would have to be immortal.

        After all, it is Utopia......
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    Mar 31 2012: Absolutely but it is created by you. If you are looking for an outside source to do this for you, for some panacea I think you are going to be disappointed. But if you can APPLY the age old wisdom you might be in for a pleasant surprise.
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    Mar 31 2012: I just want to bring up the point that in my opinion utopia if exists is a concept that can only be defined according to one individual. a utopia for all the people may not be the utopia for each member of that society as there will be conflict of interests.