Ryan Alexander

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What is the biggest fault in today's society? What can we do to fix this fault?

I always ask myself, what is something that I can change today. As a young adult I feel like the I can do anything with the time I have left and I really want to commit my life to making a positive impact on the world. There is so much out there that we could change. What do you think is the most important change that we can start to accomplish today?

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    Jun 30 2012: Not open to diversity....that's the biggest fault....
    Even if in a pseudo way society accepts diversity.....it doesn't make diversity to be inclusive.
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      Jun 30 2012: So what can we do to open up society to diversity?

      In other words what programs or groups can one support or be a part of to try and bring the human race together as a society of diverse people?
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    Jul 29 2012: We buy into the illusion of separateness. Every thing you do and everyone you touch is connected to everything else. You don't have to go "there" or become "such and such" - and you don't have to spend time overcoming alienation because that is a faulty starting assumption. You CAN enjoy those journeys to "there" or to "such and such", but you send out ripples from here at the starting point and from every point along your journey. Let them be caring and constructive.
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    Jul 3 2012: Apathy. Relationships are designed around the ability to travel, party, looks, material things, etc ... Politics, only about half of the eligable people vote. Religion, many join as a status thing but few regularly attend. We go to our jobs in order to get a check that allows us to be materialistic.

    We have lost faith in the ability to individually influence anything. We are numbers ... not people. We show up at meetings and must listen to "leaders" tell us what is good for us. Even if we respond the "leaders" do what they want so Joe Citizen becomes apathathetic.

    The cure: Become involved. Become part of the solution instead of remaining part of the problem. Join, organize, stand-up and be counted. It is thought that 85% of Americans are Christians but the 15% who are not are very vocal and are driving religion to the background. If the "silent majority" cast votes in favor of any issue it would carry by a 85% margin. Break the silence.

    All the best. Bob
  • Jul 2 2012: Worrying so much about what you are going to eventually get, obtain, achieve, or earn that you fail to enjoy the journey through life.

    Balance the quality of your life today with the amount of time you spend preparing for or investing time for an improved life in the future.
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      Jul 2 2012: That's an interesting one. I think at this point in my life, I can appreciate that more than I ever could before. Thanks Robert that was really powerful!
  • Jul 1 2012: The assumption that my personal experience is sufficient to understand the big picture.

    Too few people go out of their way to understand the experience of other people that are not in their social circle. The media are a very poor substitute for conversation. As Pat pointed out, one definition of reality is what people agree it is. If your circle of people consists of people like yourself, your agreed reality will be very limited. I suspect this is especially true of successful people. Success is taken as a sure indicator that they have a good understanding of reality.

    Fixing this requires education in critical thinking. We must hunt for the assumptions that frame our thinking and the thinking of the people around us..

    This may not be the biggest fault, but it must be high on the list.
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      Jul 1 2012: Before critical thinking I vote for the ability to communicate.

      Often this is stopped by preconceived notions (memes), functional illiteracy, a poor understanding of grammar, and an inadequate vocabulary, inability to concentrate, which adds up to an inability to listen.

      In other words you should understand what you are disagreeing with before you disagree with it.
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      Jul 2 2012: So, maybe to answer a second question would be to establish a new form of education that challenges students current ideologies? A teacher that takes on the role of devil's advocate, possibly? How can we build this into society the need for critical thinking, communication and general understanding?

      I'm looking for ways that groups or organizations can try and reach people in this way. Do you guys have any suggestions?
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        Jul 2 2012: Teach the ability to listen and grammar and vocabulary. Nothing new other than they are mostly not being learned. Example: What is the definition of a preposition?
  • Jul 1 2012: Extremism in religion, money and power.
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    Jun 30 2012: the omnipresent desire to control other people's lives. many have this idea that things are either good or bad, and if good everyone has to do it, if bad, it should be banned or otherwise eliminated. i think it stems from a fear of failure. if everyone can do what they desire, it might turn out that my way is not optimal, and i will end up in an undesirable situation, while others might get ahead. so it is better not to make decisions, rather, stick together, demand everyone do the same stuff, and try to get as much influence on what this group behavior is. this way, personal failure is not a possibility.

    try to look at people's arguments through these glasses to get shocked. you will see how frequent this is.
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      Jun 30 2012: Hmmm...do you mind elaborating even further.

      So, your saying that we should all do the same things and stick together?

      I'm sorry your ending statement and your initial statement confused me.

      I do agree that our society has this idea that you mentioned

      "many have this idea that things are either good or bad, and if good everyone has to do it, if bad, it should be banned or otherwise eliminated."

      Life is about balance and I can definitely see this black and white ideology taking affect in society.

      Your saying that we should not make decisions? I'm very confused...not closed to the idea I just feel like I need more elaboration! I'm intrigued.
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        Jun 30 2012: no, i'm saying the opposite. i say this thinking is the fault many people commit.
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          Jun 30 2012: Okay, than I agree. So, what can we now do to make a change in this sort of thinking? Education? Challenging the status quo, through more critical thinking type of exercises...I suppose what do you think?
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        Jun 30 2012: i don't know. i try to tell people about it. i don't know what else i could do.
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        Jun 30 2012: actually hoped you have a better idea :)
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          Jun 30 2012: Ryan

          This is what I was trying to get you to do the other day on the money thread.

          In my experience most people have bench marks, true north's that they use to navigate through life. They hold onto these benchmarks very hard.

          One of the reasons for this is that when a person becomes confused he will look for something that is stable that can act as their true north. As a baby this is mama and papa, notice when a child get separated from his mother watch what his reaction is, it will be confusion. As one gets older this true north might be money or a house or a job.

          Reality is what people agree it is. If you don't agree with reality people tend to avoid you as they do with the crazy guy on the street who sees pink elephants. It is poor survival to be alienated by the group. Remember how much emphasis is put on this in high school? Do you notice how it has become good survival for younger people to join a gang? This intention or group morality is palpable have you sensed it? Here on TED the mores are to be nice and care about ecology and the poor and equality.

          So what can you do about this???

          I think the best thing you can do is to learn logic, not math but the scientific method from this you can see the root causes of situations.

          Secondly as I have said before read basic economics by Thomas Sowell (the epitome of applied logic) and the Fountain Head by Ayn Rand
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          Jun 30 2012: Well, the only thing that I can truly think of is to build a program for youth to whatever age that people could join and be challenged. Here, the start would be to build programs, discussions ect. Kind of like what Ted does. Allows you to learn, share and build your mind.

          The problem is the people that would join are already probably thinking so the audience are people that already are trying to look for new alternatives. It's like writing a book on current events. The people that your reaching are people that are already informed.

          I suppose Ted does a pretty decent job at challenging all of us. Maybe, the key is making TED the best it can be and sharing it with as many people possible! The more ideas the better. Maybe they could have live discussions with a devil's advocate or something. Even that has problems though. This is a great fault that I see in society too. I'll continue to meditate on it. It's hard to bring open minded thinking into a world about WINNING arguments more over than actually trying to understand.
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          Jul 1 2012: Thank you Pat! Once I pull some scratch together I'm on those books!

          I love the TED's environment, it seems to be so supportive. Which is a really great comfort to me!