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Fonkou Djoendia

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What are 5 things you have learned that has completely changed your life?

I am still a kid, And I love asking questions, cause I believe that the best way to learn is through asking questions. And I love the TED community, its full of amazing individuals. So, What are 5 things you have learned that has completely changed your life?


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  • Jun 8 2012: 1. Charles Darwin - We are animals. We are related to all life on earth. Geological time is vast beyond one's wildest imagination. The ways in which life evolve over this great expanse of time is humbling, beautiful, and extraordinary.
    Naturalism - There is beauty in truth!

    2. Richard Dawkins - You, being alive right now, are the recipient of ~3.8 billion years of unbroken and successful genetic inheritance. This is a gift, but also a responsibility.

    3. Renés Decartes and Bertrand Russell - Question everything! Skepticism isn't cynicism, it's intelligent and critical thought. Don't accept popular opinion as truth.

    4. Edward O. Wilson - Sociobiology. We behave as we do due to evolutionary traits that conveyed advantage (adaptations), language, hands, large brains, and controlled use of fire among them, and in doing so have so vastly separated ourselves from all the other codependent living organisms on earth. Having advanced, technologically speaking, so rapidly, we have outpaced the corrective forces of evolution and unintentionally set a course of global instability that threatens all life on earth, including ourselves. Life will go on, in the sense that rats, cockroaches, vultures, crows, microorganisms, and fungi are life, but the oceans will forever be stained with plastics bags and bottles, the soil, water, and atmospheric chemistry/composition so dramatically altered that life as we know it will fail to keep pace. Our daily choices matter in how we choose to bequeath the earth to future generations of all macro fauna, so choose wisely friends.

    5. Henry David Thoreau - a simple life isn't necessarily a less fulfilling life.

    Oh, and my history professor in high school, Craig Schmidt, who taught me to be critical of sources of information: history is usually written by the victors of conflict. Also, Al Gore, who revealed an obvious fact: when my father was born there were 2 billion, and now 7 billion people on earth, this is not business as usual.
    • Jun 8 2012: Awesome response Ben!
      • Jun 8 2012: Thank you Brian!

        I tragically forgot Carl Sagan! -

        "Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group. Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations. We have broadened the circle of those we love. We have now organized what are modestly described as super-powers, which include groups of people from divergent ethnic and cultural backgrounds working in some sense together — surely a humanizing and character building experience. If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth. Many of those who run the nations will find this idea unpleasant. They will fear the loss of power. We will hear much about treason and disloyalty. Rich nation-states will have to share their wealth with poor ones."

        "A tiny blue dot set in a sunbeam. Here it is. That's where we live. That's home. We humans are one species and this is our world. It is our responsibility to cherish it. Of all the worlds in our solar system, the only one so far as we know, graced by life."

        "Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

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