TED Conversations

Ray Edwards

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Are there any creative alternatives to the failing status quo?

If so, then where are all these groundbreaking alternatives when we need them the most? Do you have an ambitious alternative that would contribute to a brighter future for yourself and others?

I believe there are enough responsible and creative individuals out there to collectively design and implement magnificent alternatives and this is my ambitious experiment to find out how many other people share this vision.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

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    Jul 24 2012: First we have to understand the 'failing status quo' and the reasons for the failures; so that all the creative alternatives will not turn to another failed status quo sometimes in the future.
  • Jul 21 2012: Dear Ray,
    This might help "the failing status quo."
    Here's a way to generate a 'binocular' sense of time:
    Adopt the 4B+2012 calendar.
    It is the best idea I know to help save the world or, maximize the survival of humanity thru time. Because it's:
    1. simple
    2. costs nothing
    3. takes 5 minutes or less to learn
    A proposed change to the calendar I heard about fits these guidelines, and so could prove useful:
    A paleobiologist recommended adding 4B+ to our calendar, to reflect the age of the Earth.
    "B" stands for billion, and 4 billion years is aproximately the age of life on the world.
    Thus his calendar would read 4B+2012 this year.
    He mentioned this could help people reconcile geologic time and human historic time.
    It might also allow humanity to survive thru geologic time - by keeping the world's time scale next to ours.
    The theory of relativity states that spacetime needs at least two points - or in this case times - to measure anything. This calendar offers that crucial second measure, without making things too complicated.
    Using this system, people could think and plan for truly long term goals. Like the year 4B+10,000.
    So just add "4B+" to the calendar in your head, because it's
    1. simple
    2. costs nothing
    3. takes 5 minutes or less to learn
    If you find this idea useful, please propagate it. Thanks.
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    Jul 8 2012: The catalyst or face of the movement often becomes larger than the problem. Example at the end of the movie Lawrence of Arabia the King stated this. We all remember the kid standing in front of the Chinese tanks but what was he there for. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are immediately on the scene to call something racist and stir up the people but they are never part of the solution. Jackson has beconme a multi-millionaire without any means of employment, he is a reverand without a church. As you said above, this just perpetuates the growth of the desease. I never said that these are not good or necessary causes. My point was that most solutions are for other than nobel reasons. Power is the greatest aphrodisiac known. The quest, thirst, hunger for power often becomes the drive. The leader / top dog is as much of an ego trip as the desire to right a wrong. It gives a place in history.

    Sir Ken Robinson is a great advocate of educational change and is well known for his analysis of what the root problems were that contributed to the present state of education. He does not advocate riots, sit ins, or any measures to disrupt education for the sake of change. He makes the public aware of the problems and inspires change through grass root movements in small steps toward effective change. I doubt if many people could tell you who Ken is but the need for educational change is understood and supported. The wheels move slow but they do move. The US has a new passion for education after our "F" performance in the PISA exams. Thus national pride is the driving force.

    In the end I think we are in the same library and reading the same book, we are just on different pages.

    As I often say, You can become part of the solution or remain as part of the problem. This supports your stand.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Jul 8 2012: Bob, I totally agree that using an issue to elevate your status only adds to the negative effects of the problem. I also believe that we should be collaborating on the solutions that unite us instead of those that divide us, in order to accelerate the creation and implementation of sustainable and viable action. It is great to meet someone who prefers being part of the solution and your comments are appreciated.
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    Jul 3 2012: In your quest please recall that many alternatives to stop the falling status quo are the cause of the continued fall.

    Many of the bright ideas just cost the taxpayers more and more. Cures to problems must be approached slowly, be well thought out, and implemented in small steps. Radical change has historically failed. Throwing money at a problem just creats another problem .. a new debit. Just because it looks good on paper or sounds good in a speech does not mean that it has been modeled and tested.

    My solution is to stop the "free" mentality, the generational welfare society, and reinstate the work ethic and the dignity of man. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Stop the madness.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Jul 8 2012: Thanks Bob, but would you say that examples such as the Civil Rights movement, the Arab Spring or the Suffragettes were historically failed radical changes. A cure cannot be considered a cure if it perpetuates the growth of a disease and if the alternatives you are refering to above were causes to the continued fall, then these are not creative alternatives but merely a knee-jerk reaction to a painful problem .... two totally different animals. I do not see it as madness to choose to contribute something with no expectation of reward, maybe the madness is in our insistance on feeding the self interest of competing against one another.
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        Jul 8 2012: Ray, I chose the wrong reply. My answer is above my other answer. Thanks .... Bob.
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    Jun 24 2012: Ray, The status quo demands we all work harder and longer for less pay - so lets all pay off any debt we have ASAP and reduce our wants. Set up local credit unions to keep the loan sharks at bay. When we're out of debt we have options - quit our crap jobs or at least go part time.

    I know accommodation is a killer - but house sharing and co-operative living could be an option for many people - the young, families and the elderly living together. I'd don't mean inter-generational family living - that for most people would just increase the murder rate :-)

    I'm a fan of alternative housing - prefabs, container homes and strew bale homes - boring breeze block and brick render is expensive, environmentally damaging and difficult to expand as families grow.

    Old Cameron wants to stop housing benefit to the under 25's - claiming it's unfair on those who wish to leave mum and dad but can't afford to leave. What about the kids from the care system who get kicked out at 16, what about the kids with crap parents, what about the kids who get a job away from mum and dad's home, but earn the minimum wage? At the same time he is making squatting in disused properties a criminal offence.

    Just don’t have kids - it makes life so much easier.
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      Jun 25 2012: Heather, some good thoughts. I believe that any system such as credit unions, peer-to-peer lending, mutual exchanges etc. can only be good alternatives to the current control mechanism used by banking institutions.Sustainable housing makes perfect sense, but in my opinion needs careful thought and input by all stakeholders to achieve any meaningful impact. As to government policies, I think there is a time in the not too distant future, where there will be responsible governance and leadership through the empowerment of responsible and considerate people.
      Thanks for your views and I totally get the inter-generational reference.
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        Jun 25 2012: Ray, do people use the peer-to-peer lending a lot in your country? I think it is growing here, and I have used it and am now one who is part of the "lending" side as the interest cannot be beat. I think that people CAN come up with solutions to problems; it just takes someone to begin the process. ;-)
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          Jun 26 2012: Linda, as far as I know peer-to-peer lending is gaining good momentum here in the UK and I think the concept definitely is a step in the right direction. There are also some interesting changes happening within the banking arena at present, with alternative and ethical banks beginning to surface such as Triodos Bank and Bank to the Future. I wish you well in your lending endeavours and thanks for your contribution.