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Jordan Reeves

TED-Ed Community Manager, TED Conferences

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What's one lesson you find super compelling?

If you could put a megaphone to the ears of the world for just 5 mintues, what's the one lesson you would teach. It doesn't have to be serious, but it can be. It doesn't have to be about math, science, literature, or history, but it can be. It just needs to capture the minds of your audience.

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  • Apr 21 2012: Here's the link to the article, "How Wealth Reduces Compassion."
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/17-1
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      Apr 23 2012: I'm not so sure about this study. Niceness of a car is really a show of wealth. Maybe it is better explained by narcissism, or the need to show you are 'better' than someone else.
      The second part, about watching the kids with cancer may be explained by a difference in dealing with conflict. Perhaps they are more pragmatic, instead of empathetic. That doesn't necessarily mean they care less.

      I'm not saying it isn't accurate, but I'm not totally convinced by this. It is interesting though :)
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      Apr 23 2012: HI Donna,

      I think one has to have a finer definition of the word "wealth".

      The way I see wealth is a measure of personal "potential agency".
      Humans naturally expand their personal potential agency via the expanded perceptive field granted by communication. It is all win/win.
      But when personal advantage is extorted or defrauded from others, you are then looking at unballanced wealth (personal potential agency).

      Money/usury is such a fraud, slavery is such an extortion.

      To indulge in fraud or extortion is to be devoid of empathy.

      Thre is good evidence that most of fraud and extortion is learned behaviour - i.e. the child is encouraged to sublimate empathetic responses. This produces the sociopath. There is another class that not only sublimates empathy, but inverts it - this is the psychopath .. the condition is traditionally ascribed to a genetic fault .. but there may be other causes.

      Either way, when the balance of win/win drifts into win/lose, the loser's capacity to generate advantage is damaged, this has a negative cumulative affect on the total potential agency of society. I suspect that process is logrithmic and will cause massive, sudden, systematic collapse of any society that does not correct the balance.

      My own personal studdy of this was conducted a few years ago in an online game called "tribal wars".
      I established a tribe, and systematically weeded out all the socio/psychopathic members and encouraged the empathetic individuals.
      We very quickly subsumed the game map to the limit of our tribal size. Neighboring tribes wanted to negotiate alliances and terms of peace as we were clearly a threat to them. SO I negotiated alliances and coalitions based on teh principles of "eating" the socio/psychopath. Within a few weeks our coalition dominated more than half of the game-space (100,000 players). Being a war game, it all got terribly peaceful and boring, so I broke-up the coalition and attacked everyone until the whole thing dissintegrated.

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