TED Conversations

Sid Tafler

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Is war inevitable? Is it a natural state of human affairs or an aberration, absent from our distant past and perhaps, our future as well?

Human history is splattered with blood. 160 million people died in dozens of wars in the 20th century alone.
Although armed conflict still dominates the headlines, fewer people are fighting and dying in wars. Apparently, there were fewer war deaths in the last decade than any other in the last 100 years.
Go way back to prehistory, and you see little if any evidence of war. The living sites of Stone Age people are remarkably free of mass graves, fortified sites and depictions of war on cave art. Also missing are images of shields, which always rise as defensive weapons when people are attacked with spears. We can't say for sure there was no warfare 20,000 or 50,000 years ago, just that there is little or no sign that there was.
So can we abolish war, just as we seek to abolish slavery or smallpox? Or will we still keep fighting each other to settle our differences, with ever-more sophisticated weapons and techniques?


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  • Apr 22 2012: Hubert - if you think of obvious simplistic “extraction” to the end of what is there” – of non-renewable resources -and still call that - "production” - there is no hope. Most people is in direct denial of a world "after oil" - only 1 or 2 human generations away – and if anyone want to burn oil and coal just to massing materialistic status junk – again there is no hope.

    Everywhere human have lived – in a micro-world – Vikings on Greenland, people on Easter Island etc – the base for life is always over-used all to destruction mainly for stupid status symbols – like Moai, castles, cathedrals and Pyramids. 300 years ago – the same destruction was imminent in Europe because land for food production was all used to capacity at the state of agriculture society as of then.

    Then exploration begun – opening up Americas, Australia and New Zeeland where the European overpopulation could move to avoid starvation. Europe turned industrial making tools needed for the immigrants. Now that period is past and all bankrupt. Americas and the whole world are now over-using and adding pollution to nature toward destruction in the name of “economics” simply meaning more money – disregarding that “being economic” actually mean “to use wisely – to preserve”. The fact is that any politician standing for “preserving nature” would be thrown out of office next day! Land – water and air pollution are destructive worldwide with CO2 as extra bonus. We know that melting out glaciers - now on way - will drown whole island countries - by raising ocean level. One month of 50 C in populated US and Canada - would take out every electric grid that can be constructed – then add the utter stupidity of the re-occurring “bubble financing” - not for high quality life - but status junk - and there is no hope. I will discontinue my time on TED – there is no hope for wisdom – only want.

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