TED Conversations

Graduate Student - Physics,

This conversation is closed.

Does war only push human beings backwards?

The highlighted quote from this TED talk by Hans Rosling is: "Avoid war, because that always pushes human beings backward."

Is this really so? In terms of average life expectancy this seems to be so. But what about in economy or technology? WW2 is what allowed America and Western Europe to become such an economic and technological powerhouse of the 20th century. Neil DeGrasse Tyson says that human beings were driven to land on the moon because of the Cold War.

War is clearly a horrific thing which sacrifices human lives for a slew of reasons, some good and some bad, but it may also be viewed as an accelerator of political, economic, and technological change.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 25 2012: yes, there might be advances in tech, but we can not measure the progress of what a fully funded peacful inclusive, sharing civilisation might create when all citizens are encouraged to think and act with compassion and respect.
    How much is spent every year on the paranoid self serving war machine?
    How much progress could be made if the spend was on love and liberty and not fear and hate.
    • thumb
      May 25 2012: If it was not for war we would not have spaceship, G.P.S, or the Internet.
      • thumb
        May 27 2012: maybe we would have sent people to another galaxy and cured old age and cancer by now if we had put all the money going to war into science and be teleporting from galaxy 2 galaxy, pointing out tech from the war machine misses the point i make, we could have had all that and more without funding the war machine. Peace
        • thumb
          May 27 2012: Man for someone how thanks that humanity would have gone so far with out war. I can see that you look only at the bad side of war and not the good side of it.
          For example to go to other galaxy you would need a spaceship and if you look at one very closely your see that it is just a missal that was modified to go into space.
          Oh and cancer is very complex that has had millions of dollars put into it now. But if you thank ok so I'm a guy that love war then you are sadly mistaken in fact I hate war. But I am a person that looks at the good and the bad side of things. Peace out

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.