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Jody Mak

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Questionaire on Power

I am researching about power. I would deeply appreciate it if you could take some time to fill this out. I have done some brainstorming about power: causes, effects, connections, subjectivity, objectivity. I would like to hear what the TED community thinks about power. I understand that these questions are extremely vague; Broad questions ask for broad answers. I am looking to hear from opinions to help me understand power better. I am looking to hear what your thoughts are and gain perspective from a variety of answers. I want to know what *you* think about power.

1. What is the definition of power in your own words?
2. Who, at the end of the day, has the most power?
3. What are some quantifiable measures of power?
4. How are emotions involved in power?
5. What things are more powerful than money?
6. How do ethics play a part in power?
7. From a business perspective, what is more important than power?
8. What is the evolutionary advantage of having power?
9. What is time's role in power?
10. What is the opposite of power?
****EDIT 14 April
11. What specific questions do you have about power?


Thank you so much.

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  • Apr 15 2012: I'll come with a elaborate answer tomorrow. I'm tired.

    My idea of power is exactly the same as Friedrich Nietzsche's will zur macht. The human hunger for power. Interesting concept to read about if you're researching this. Again, I'll edit this and elaborate tomorrow.
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    Apr 14 2012: 1.freedom to make choices gives one power
    2.you, yourself are the most powerful
    3. how satisfied you are in life tells you if you have given yourself power
    4. the emotion that comes to mind with power is passion....desire....
    5.love, hands down the most powerful thing...way more than money
    6. in world people with power sometimes lack ethics
    but if you see yourself as the most powerful individual in your life
    then if you are an ethical person.....you will have ethics
    7. money........reputation......quality control......profit margins?????
    8.from a worldly view....controlling others.....'
    from a personal view....not letting others control you
    9. time????don't see the connection
    10. weakness....acquiescing......vulnerability....
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    Apr 14 2012: Jody... Nice eye-opener of a question! Thank you.
    1) The will to make the choice to act, backed by action. Or the choice and action to create, regardless of whether it is popular.
    2) Those who are least impacted by folks who disagree. (ie: the "moral majority" affects me not at all, therefore they have no power in my life).
    3) Money can be an identifier, if only as our method of barter. I think a better identifier is displaying the will (and action) to do what you believe is right despite the opinions of those around you.
    4) Emotions are the driving force to seek or not seek power.
    5) Joy, Love, Community. "Never fail to believe that a small group of committed people can change the world, indeed it the only thing that ever has."
    6) The great failure of our Republic is the failure of the people of the Republic to demand that ethics and morals DO play a part in the use of power. Power should have ethics and morals as a limiting factor (a negative feedback loop, if you will). Too often in both business and politics, ethics play no role or a very limited one. Look up the French concept of "noblesse oblige" (or... The obligations of the nobility).
    7) Most large companies don't see this,yet, but in business your clients' good-will is far more important. On a personal level being able to look myself in the mirror and like the person I see is the most important.
    8) Evolutionary.... you get to eat and procreate. Consistently.
    9) I don't know that time has a role.
    10) The person who is following every change in prevailing opinion, or drives their life by prevailing opinion. (ie: many, possibly most, politicians).
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    Apr 13 2012: 1. A willingness to manipulate your environment (including people) to achieve an aim.
    2. The person with the fewest reservations about what to do to achieve an aim.
    3. Misery/Joy caused by the achievement of the aim.
    4. They are most likely set aside by the "powerful" in the course of single-mindedly pursuing a goal.
    5. Threat of violence/coercion/fear/ego are all probably on a par with money.
    6. Like emotion, ethics are probably utilised when they have value in relation to the goal and conveniently ignored when they don't.
    7. A business perspective is irrelevant (to me) but I guess an intuition for trends in your market.
    8. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" - that's the closest I can get to answering this question.
    9. Everything must pass.
    10. (For the sake of the question) submission is the opposite but that paints a very black and white picture of the concept of power and what that very short word attempts to encompass.
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    Apr 13 2012: 1. the ability to act. The ability to create. The ability to work.
    2. Me.
    3. Product.
    4. The emotions that lead to change. The ones that motivate.
    5. Damn near everything.
    6. they guide my actions.
    7. The ability to leverage the power of others.
    8. I don't care.
    9. Directly proportional to product.
    10. Stagnation.