TED Conversations

Debra Smith

TEDCRED 200+

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Who can make a worthwhile contribution on TED conversations?

It seems to me that it takes all kinds of people to make the sorts of exceptional conversations that we find here at TED conversations. Please tell me what kind of person you think makes a real contribution. Who sparks your thinking and why and how? Tell me anything you think is relevant.

I loved this TEDx talk and starting at about 3:30 it gets pretty profound to me.

http://youtu.be/7eEaELy1fq8

I often think it has something to do with the ying and yang around courage.

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    Aug 23 2012: In my humble perception, EVERYONE makes a "worthwhile contribution", sparks my thinking, feelings, and stimulates learning and growth. In my perception, that is what TED is all about, which is why I like it so much. None of us is any more or less "worthwhile" than anyone else:>)
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    Aug 23 2012: *continuing*

    Marc Rose is someone who comes across as obnoxious and sometimes demeaning in the way he talks to others and most people probably think he's being really pretentious in his own ideas and definitions and such. However, I think what he's been doing is great for the good of the community because all his posts seem to be questioning the very definition of fundamental things like human thought and opinions. He definitely makes me think about a lot of deep questions that are spread-worthy ideas...

    Debra Smith is one stubborn fighter and sometimes to a fault, but I think one of her best qualities is that she is incredibly good at recognizing the good qualities in everyone, and I feel like she's very motherly towards everyone here. She may not be as technical as Krisztion, but she's street smart and one of the best influences that a community like this needs and she's very understanding and accepting of others for their good qualities.

    Colleen Steen is like the definition of positivity but to a fault sometimes. Imo, you can't be too optimistic to the point of unrealistic. However, her excitement and positivity is super contagious and even when things look grim, she can see the bright side of things that a lot of people cannot, which can be reflected through a lot of experiences she's been through.

    Well anyways, I've shown my bias here and I hope it brought some interesting thoughts as to what kind of person I am, what kind of people the ones I mentioned are, and to what kind of people everyone else is on here, and I hoped this served as a way for more people to understand more about their peers in a deeper way.
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      Aug 24 2012: Hey little guy in the cute blue suit. You're saying I may be optimistic to the point of unrealistic!???
      LOL....too funny!

      Thank you for the compliments. I can perceive the reality of who and what you are, and I'm enjoying our conversations, which are both serious at times and humerous......thanks:>)
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    Aug 23 2012: For me, the type of person who makes a worthwhile contribution is a person who, while having a set opinion, is respectful enough to converse honestly with another of an opposing view. When emotions override rational discussion, it disintegrates into an argument.

    But I have some good examples: ObeyNo1 Kinobe and Colleen Steen are distinctly different personalities, yet they each have the quality that I described in the paragraph above. I hope that it is acceptable to mention names (if it is not, please accept my deepest apologies)

    Basically TED is a reflection of debates I've had over the course of a lifetime - I've had many debates, many arguments, and quite frankly the best ever are those with another who has an opposing belief system, but is confident enough to engage in polite debate. We may never agree, ever; but we walk away enriched, accepting the other as an equal, and understanding our views as well as the others' views.

    I hope this makes sense.
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      Aug 23 2012: It makes a lot of sense to me and I really appreciate that you took the time to share it here. Yes, they are a lifetime of debates, I have answered about 6000 questions now. WOW.
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        Aug 23 2012: Clarification:

        Debra,
        I have no where near 6000 comments, even though I've been involved with TED for about 3 years.
        Anyone can check my profile to varify the number if it is important...I don't find it to be so. It would have been good for you to check that before providing misleading information.

        Actually, I prefer to take my time, consider all the comments on a particular thread, sometimes check people's profiles, and/or other comments on other threads to understand more about how they communicate. I like to understand as much as I can about people and the topic before engaging in conversation, ESPECIALLY here on TED where we converse with people from many different countries, cultural backgrounds, languages, etc. It always helps me with communications.

        I do not consider my comments to be "answers" to anything. I am simply sharing information in discussions with many intelligent, insightful people here on TED.
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          Aug 23 2012: no offense intended.
          you have articulated and leveled such a criticism of me before. Mine ARE my own thoughts and I often respond first without bouncing off anyone's opinion. Different strokes, Colleen, please note- i removed the TERRIble reference.

          It seems to be OK for everyone BUT me. It is me though.

          I have been here quite awhile too but since I was off for several months for those strokes I am unsure how to calculate that time. I do not know or care who was here first. We are both enjoying it in our own way.
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        Aug 23 2012: Like you say Debra...no offense intended. Just check information before posting....thanks:>)

        EDIT
        Re: Your comment below:
        When you provide information about another member of TED, it would be helpful to provide accurate information. I'm not criticizing you at all...simply asking you to be mindful......thanks for removing the inaccurate info....I appreciate that:>)
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          Aug 24 2012: Who do you think is really going to buy that? Even you?
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      Aug 24 2012: Dear Verble,
      I wholeheartedly enjoy the same qualities in you.... the ability to be confident enough to engage in polite debate and leave the interaction feeling enriched, accepting, understanding and respecting each of our views which are sometimes different.

      Thank you for being you and sharing the gift with me/us:>)
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    Aug 23 2012: I have not been on TED very long but so far it's been very thought provoking. I'm not the best writer or communicator in fact, I'll be the first to admit, I need alot of work there. As far as who makes these conversations worthwhile, I'll have to agree with Colleen. Everyone's views are important, otherwise we would just be "preaching to the choir". I've heard both sides on many issues but I really come to TED looking for a different view other than my own so that I may gain a better understanding of how things affect people differently. Thanks to everyone!
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    Aug 23 2012: I'm gonna be all pretentiously abstract and say that everyone sparks my thinking in many ways :P

    There have been so many thoughts and viewpoints on here that I have never been thinking so much in my life before. Getting to know everyone on here has been like character studies of people here, and I can really see the flaws and strengths of everyone once I had a decent conversation with them. And of course it is about spreading knowledge and ideas and learning something new.

    I'm gonna single a few people out, but I feel like it's worth mentioning, and no offense should be taken, I'm just being open about my thoughts, and showing the point that all viewpoints are valuable.

    David Hamilton is a guy on here that's somewhat of a pessimist and maybe a little distrustworthy in the good of mankind overall, but because of that, I found that all of his points were based on statistical analysis. David's not only knowledgeable and good at finding statistics of certain issues, his analyses has been very deep too.

    Jay Kumar Pradhan came off as a slightly annoying guy when he posted the same threads on different sections of the forum here, but he is a guy who cares about his country very much and cares very deeply about the new generation and the future of India.

    Krisztion Pintnr was one of the most interesting to talk with. His biggest weakness is his inflexible communication skills where expects people to understand him while at the same time he can miss a lot of key points what other people make, but his knowledge on specific subjects and concepts, mostly economics/science/technical related, are incredibly extensive and he's incredibly intelligent/intellectual overall. I guess he probably expects that same kind of excellence in everyone else. As a communication guy, he was one of the hardest to establish any sort of common ground of agreement for me.
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      Aug 23 2012: Thank you for joining me then in the abstract and pretentious James!

      I cannot think of a single person who has not enriched me and the discussions.
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        Aug 23 2012: It sure feels good to be abstract and pretentious :D
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      Aug 23 2012: "somewhat of a pessimist and maybe a little distrustworthy in the good of mankind overall, but because of that I found that all of his points were based on statistical analysis"

      I'm totally going to put that on the back cover of my first book. Thank you James, that's very high praise for an old school stoic. Honestly, I agree with almost everything else you mentioned about the community as well so you saved me my traditional 2k character response : )
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        Aug 23 2012: Humour is rampant here which oils the wheels a bit. You know what they say though about there being truth in that humour! I LOVE IT.
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      Aug 23 2012: The one guy I love to disagree with is David Hamilton, especially when I'm wrong.
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    Aug 25 2012: A very interesting question, Debra. I just registered yesterday to begin posting here.

    I'm 58 years old, and compared to the credentials listed by many of the registered members of TED, am somewhat lacking in the "formal" education achieved by many of the members here. But when I discovered the TED site 2 weeks ago, I was thrilled to find a community that was devoted to the concepts of civilized debate and discussion...something I was very frustrated about in most Internet-based discussion groups.

    I do have two college degrees, but both of them are 2-year Applied Science degrees from the U.S Air Force (Information Systems Technology and Instructional Systems Development). But I have always been a firm believer in education, and consider myself fortunate to still love learning new things and different perspectives. The Internet has allowed me to "informally" do that, as their is a wealth of education resources available to anyone with a computer and Internet connection. I may not have the diplomas to hang on my walls, but to be able to use my computer to acquire the same level of education a Harvard graduate may have, or any other discipline, is one of the most charished things in my life.

    I have also been fortunate to travel worldwide during my military service, and communicate with people from many different cultures. That may have honestly been the most rewarding and educational experience of my life, as it taught me people are fundamentally the same wherever you go...they have hopes, dreams, and have to deal with the same kind of "human relations" and social problems wherever we may live.

    Initially I was hesitant to register and post in these discussions. But after "lurking" for a couple weeks, I realized this community will honor the fundamentals of civilized debate where you can "attack" a poster's point of view, but not the individual themself. I look forward to contributing, learning, and knowing that even my own beliefs may be challenged here.
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      Aug 25 2012: Rick, thank you for sharing this with us. I and I believe most people here, have no expectation of others to have academic degrees - what we seem to all hope for is clarity of thought, genuine intent and original thinking and to my mind, at least, that does not always come with alphabet soup. Respect is de rigeur but it is not like the respect that comes from being a cool kid or someone from an in crowd, it is earned through valid input and goodness. No matter what your political leaning, all are welcome and valued from a variety of points of view and we hope very much to hear their perspective. WELCOME!
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        Aug 25 2012: Thank you for the warm welcome, Debra.

        And I'd like to clarify some of my original post. I realize this is not just a community for "debate", but a community for the exchange of ideas that may facilitate better understanding and learning. My example of "debate" was possibly a very poor introduction. I look forward more to the exchange of ideas..."information" if you will...conducted in a community where all ideas are welcome in a civilized manner.

        I may be asking a lot of questions too! Many of the conversations I have read are very thought provoking, but sometimes I realize I may be behind the power curve on them and need to better understand the information provided.
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          Aug 25 2012: Questions are good. We love questions- but fair warning -there are some who object to the idea that anyone answers them.
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          Aug 25 2012: Welcome Rick!
          I do not have a formal education either, because I often felt stifled as a student in the classroom setting, and like you, have discovered some of the greatest learning while traveling around our world and interacting with so many people with many different perspectives and cultural backgrounds.

          I enjoy TED for the same reason you joined...a community in which to exchange ideas that may facilitate better understanding and learning for all of us. I believe we are all students AND teachers in the life experience so the exchange of information....sharing thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and beliefs can benefit all of us.

          When I was guest lecturing at the university, I ALWAYS encouraged the students to ask questions and explore the topics by opening up the session to discussion as early as possible, rather than listening to me talk for 2-3 hours!!! I LOVE being a facilitator who guides people toward their own answers. We all have the information in ourselves, and with a little guidence, we usually discover our own answers:>)

          I think the previous comment regarding questions may refer to me, because I wrote this comment on this thread...
          "I do not consider my comments to be "answers" to anything. I am simply sharing information in discussions with many intelligent, insightful people here on TED."

          I think/feel that Debra may have misinterpreted that comment:>)
          We are all "behind the power curve" at times, depending on what our experience and previous learning is, and everyone shines in his/her own way at times as well:>)
          Again....Welcome:>)
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          Aug 25 2012: "I think/feel that Debra may have misinterpreted that comment:>|

          After 3 years of passive agressive put downs and attempts to tell me how to express myself? Unlikiely. Pthththththththththth!
          You even chase me down to my own questions when I try to avoid you.
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        Aug 25 2012: Sorry you feel that way Debra. As I've told you many times, I respect you, care about you and continually try to express that to you. Why you choose to interpret things as you do, and continue to label me "passive agressive" is an answer only you have for yourself.
        I care about you.
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          Aug 25 2012: WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BUY THIS?

          You even chase me down when i try to avoid you. I am not leaving until I am good and ready which might be NEVER

          ***More disingenous editing. Why not tell people what you had deleted?
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        Aug 25 2012: Hopefully You "will buy" it Debra, because it's true.....I care about you, and I have been consistant with that message.

        I didn't delete anything Debra.....I think TED deleted your comment that you may be refering to. If you continue calling me passive agressive, I suspect they will continue to remove those comments.
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          Aug 25 2012: You need to understand something you utterly reject about me, Colleen, I am NOT stupid. Now go back and email your clingons. Leave me alone, I have tried too long and will not waste any more time on you or your posts. I'm DONE- no 9th million chance.
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        Aug 25 2012: I'm well aware of your intelligence Debra, and I respect you for that.
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      Aug 25 2012: Welcome Rick. I too appreciate TED's being a community about exchange of ideas and discussion as a vehicle for learning. No one cares a bit about anyone's formal academic or professional credentials. I would go so far as to say that a great majority here likely have a passionate commitment to self education, as you do, regardless of how much formal schooling they have. You will find here thoughtful eighth graders as well as senior citizens commited to enlightening and civil discourse.
  • Aug 24 2012: Each TED conversation is so specific that most of them makes a worthwhile cotribution on every topic. I personally enjoy learning from all of them.
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    Gail . 50+

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    Aug 24 2012: Courage is something that those who fear must muster. But when one learns how to walk through fear, and how easy it is to do so, courage isn't necessary. (This comment inspired by your YouTube link)

    As to the rest - diversity is strength. Anyone who has developed at least basic cognitive thinking skills is valuable.
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      Aug 24 2012: It is good to have the 'awakenened' among us. Superior being which can enlighten us, Thank you Ted Lover.
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      Aug 24 2012: Perhaps fear itself is scarier than the real encounter
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        Aug 24 2012: There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.
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        Aug 25 2012: Dear Barney,
        Are you afraid of spiders? Or what they might do to you? They actually don't bother humans too much, although, as we know, some can. As mother nature planned, however, they are beneficial to the ecosystem, so I like them. They feed on unwanted insects, in the gardens, like aphids for example:>)
        • Aug 27 2012: Hi Colleen. Yes, it's completely irrational, I know!

          I like to see them in the garden doing their ecosystem thing - but crawling across my face when I'm trying to get to sleep? Nooooo...!
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      Aug 27 2012: I realize that because of the system sequence, this notification is going to TED Lover, who I believe may enjoy and understand the message as well:>)

      Hi Barney,
      Your fear is not irrational at all....lots of people are afraid of spiders! I totally agree with you....difficult to accept them crawling across the face.......although.......this reminds me........

      While hiking in the mountains of So. America years ago, we came into a little village, and the first person to greet us was a little boy (maybe 9-10yrs. old) with a HUGE black hairy tarantula perched on his shoulder.
      He obviously got a kick out of introducing his pet spider to people, and he was very enthusiasticly trying to get us to hold the tarantula, which was as big as my fist!!! Finally, I said....ok.....if this little kid is brave enough to have a tarantula for a pet, it might be kind of fun to be brave enough myself!!! So, I let the kid put the spider in my hand. The spider immediately, slowly walked up my bare arm, which felt really weird, but not bad, and it perched on my shoulder....just like it did with the kid! It was very cool actually:>)

      My life adventures include facing fear head on, so to speak....
      "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face...do the thing you think you cannot do..."
      (Eleanor Roosevelt)
      • Aug 27 2012: Well, I've gone from sucking the poor things up into a vacuum cleaner with the longest possible hose attachment, to humanely picking them up with my (gloved) hand and putting them gently back into the garden.

        I think that's progress! ;-)
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          Aug 27 2012: That is EXCELLENT progress. I am thrilled to know that at least some of them made it back into the garden:>) LOL!
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        Aug 27 2012: I love this story! It reminded me of my family:) My family comes from a tropical area and it is not unusual for a tarantula to get in the house or find them in the garden. My aunt taught me that you can get rid of a tarantula by singing to it. One got in a spare room and she said just watch. She closed the door and sang a little song about how the tarantula needed to go home and take care of her children. And when she opened the door, the tarantula was gone.

        Maybe it was the song or not, but the memory of the magic was welcome:)
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          Aug 27 2012: I love your story too Linda!

          I was curious, and I remember wondering, as the tarantula was walking up my arm, what a bite might be like. I never even thought about it again until just now, so I looked it up.

          "They do bite, and their bites are venomous. However, for most species, the toxicity of their venom is much like that of a bee or wasp. It is most likely to cause a nasty local reaction incluidng pain, redness, swelling. However, people can have a an allergic or anaphylactic reaction to spider bites in the same way that some people react to bee stings, and this reaction can be fatal. Also, there are few species which have a stronger venom that could potentially be fatal, or at least make the bite victim quite ill. So while tarantula bits are unlikely to be fatal, you still want to avoid being bitten, and the best way to do this is to learn about spider behavior and treat the spider accordingly. Tarantulas are wild animals, and need to be treated with respect. As a rule, however, most spiders would rather retreat than bite."
          http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/tarantulas/a/tarantulasaspet.htm

          Looks like spiders behave like humans at times.... I'm sure glad I was respectful of that tarantula.....LOL!!! Feel better Barney?
        • Aug 27 2012: Yeah! Love 'em now!
          :-)))
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          Aug 27 2012: Well look at that.....more progress!
          I LOVE that you LOVE spiders now...:>)
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    Aug 24 2012: I was personally moved by the two speeches by Damon Horowitz.... Nothing else I can say, I guess.
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      Aug 24 2012: Well, I would say that was a perfect thing to say and I do not think it gets better than that!
      Thanks, Hong-Min Yoon!
  • Aug 24 2012: I think everyone contributes something, some much more than others.

    I especially look for the contributions from the young. They can be so surprising.
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      Aug 24 2012: I delight in their responses too! Thanks, Barry!
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    Aug 24 2012: I will reverse engineer this question by stating who I listen to the most. Colleen, Bob, KrisztiƔn, Fritzie, Mark, Edward, Debra

    Not that I agree with one single thing you (Debra) have ever said. Which is what you would expect from a conservative.

    I will say that you all are quite amazing and quite accomplished, stating some real pearls to whoever would listen for free, you have my respect and admiration.
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      Aug 24 2012: Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Pat. I found this talk helpful in understanding the differences between Conservatives and Liberals and it even mentions Libertarians.

      http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html
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        Aug 24 2012: This is a perfect example of how I do not agree with one thing you say. This guy is the epitome of the first barrier to leaning is knowing that you don't know. Typically accompanying this viewpoint is hubris of which this yahoo has a world class case of it. I particularly liked how he demonstrated his ignorance and hubris at 3:40.

        While I'm at it since when are psychs qualified to talk about politics, he sure isn't qualified to talk about politics and my guess would be psychology either.

        Now you are going to say that this guy has infinite degrees. Which just indicates indoctrination rather than education.

        I do respect you but not on this subject. I might add the core disagreement that I have with and your "professor" is the compulsion to tell other people how to live their lives with you superior education. You and he are not even remotely qualified.
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          Aug 24 2012: Whoa Pat! I liked the way he demonstrated that there are moral foundations that it is important to pay attention to. I think I can learn from imperfect human beings just as I am learning from your response. Please don't guess what I might say or think as I reserve the right to surprise even you!
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          Aug 25 2012: OK Pat, you wanna dance?

          This is a problem for those like you so try to keep up, baby.

          You could not even see any meaning in that video and yet you have the audacity to viciously swipe at the meaning that I take from it?. I perceive that to be laziness plus hubris.

          2 moral foundations or 2 plus 3 more is 5. Do I perceive that inability to grasp this as conservatism? NO, just mental midgetism. This does not represent the liberal bias in me, it represents a keen intelligence = GASP
          = even though I AM A WOMAN. And I really resent the way certain folks are vicious and uncaring about = just as Jonathan made clear the Billions at the bottom.. If you are so noble why is it that this group is still just as disadvantged? Take note- I am talking and the talk was mostly discussing Conservatives like Bob and Edward and Barry NOT Randians who i bet are even without a stool. You will never get me to pretend to be STUPID to assuage your EGO> Hiding my light under a bushel does NOT make you smarter, buddy.



          Addition: This entry is in response to Pat's second response below and the TED system placed it here. As to Linda's suggestion, you are free to do so. I do not plan to be your punching bag.
        • Aug 25 2012: @Pat:

          So only politicians and/or students of politics are qualified to speak about politics?

          Aren't those qualifications also 'infinite degrees' leading to indoctrination rather than education?

          Who actually would be qualified in your opinion to speak about the psychology of morality in politics?
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        Aug 24 2012: Jonathan makes a great point about balance near the end of the talk. I must admit I found it difficult to get through the first 4 mins of his talk. Jonathan does himself a great disservice by opening with strong liberal bias. I understand he was popular with the audience but he'd have more credibility as a speaker if he made his point from a more balanced viewpoint of which his closing argument suggests. I'd like to see a talk about similarites rather than the differences of the extremes. Only when we work together will we acheive great things. I am hoping that is what the TED forum is about. There is room for tradition and progression it does not have to be one or the other.
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          Aug 24 2012: I think we both have to acknowledge that it is not unususual when people know the demographics of an audience for them to pander to establish a rapport. It is part of what they normally teach speakers to do. I agree that the TED talk could have been edited for more balance and I am glad you persevered to find some value at least. I was not trying for anything but demonstrating that I learned something I felt was important in that location.
          I thought it pegged me pretty well and I learned that in order to reach across the chasm
          I have to see how highly conservatives value social order or loyalty, authority and purity.
          If I can monitor my own behaviour surrounding those issues, I hope to find greater common ground with conservatives who also value the things that I think are key to a better world.
          The talk made me realize that it is though I and other liberals walk on stilts based on the two moral strengths of justice and fairness. We sometimes see above the crowd but it is really easy to fall and hurt ourselves while conservatives who are on their five footed stool of moral values are never going to fall off that stool. They do not move very far or very fast but they do not wipe out either. That image works for me to teach and remind me of the advantages of seeing the world each way. Before that I think I just thought you guys were terminally stubborn to drag the world down into hell. As purity is not a problem for me, and loyalty is my nature I thought I have a good shot at understanding 'the other'.
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          Aug 25 2012: "he talk made me realize that it is though I and other liberals walk on stilts"

          "onservatives who are on their five footed stool do not move very far or very fast"

          No hubris there at all..,.

          What are the core values of the conservative and why?
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          Aug 25 2012: I think both liberals and conservatives both have justice and fairness as core values. It is interesting that from those core values arise completely different behaviors/actions, almost opposite.

          Pat that is a great question and maybe you should post it as a discussion?
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          Aug 25 2012: Debra

          I'm not apologizing, I'm not vicious.
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        Aug 25 2012: Debra

        Sorry I'm not a good dancer.

        What I do respect about you is that you raised 5 children, you got 2 degrees and at least one masters, you broke new ground for women's lib in an very hostile environment, and despite having had a stroke you are doing well and from what I can see are as mean as ever.

        Sincerely

        Pat
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          Aug 25 2012: Is this how a Randian says 'UNCLE" because I have yet to hear an apology for your viciousness. There are consequences.
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      Aug 24 2012: I will add your name in that list as well Pat,regardless of whether we disagree or agree,the total sum of that lists experience is daunting but great.No offense to anyone but Colleen is my first choice,i don't know why but it's like i want to reach out,palm up flat, arm extended and rest my hand on the sphere of her but not the core of her,please don't read too much into this as it is a tribute.
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        Aug 24 2012: Ken,
        I am absolutely flabbergasted and humbly honered. Your comment brings tears to my eyes, and I am touched very deeply. We have never even had much of a conversation....as I recall only some brief exchanges way back when. And yet, there is a connection....I LOVE it!!!

        It is, as you say, not about whether we agree or disagree, it is how we communicate to each other. Thank you my friend...hope you don't mind if I call you that! Well heck, if you want to rest your hand on my head, I guess I can call you a friend??? Thank you
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          Aug 24 2012: Damn,i didn't realize you might read that Colleen but it's too late now and i'm totally embarrassed,you do realize that a lot of people do read what you say and actually think about it.

          I didn't actually mean your head,it's hard to explain and without actually delving into ethnic based explanations which i think i tend to get too mystical over as all cultures have their good points and negative points,amongst my people who are 100% modernized and certainly not exactly ethnic, every now and then you might see one of us go up to a tree and either lay their hand on it or just stare at it or even talk to it but it's not exactly about actually touching it,instead it's the sphere of it,sometimes you'll see one of us talk to the sea during a fierce storm as it whips up huge swells that crashes into the cliffs and beaches,it's not about stopping it by placating the gods,it's actually the opposite,joining with it.

          And if this is long winded it's because i'm still embarrassed and yes you're my first choice now get over it....lovingly.
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        Aug 24 2012: Ken,
        You are NOT embarrassed at all...if you were, you would not come back for more!!! I'm pleased to know that people read what I say and think about it...as I carefully read and listen to what others have to say as well....yes....to be honest....I get enough feedback to be aware of that.....thanks for the reminders:>)

        Who are "your people" my friend? I'm curious, and your profile is not available to us. When I'm hiking, or just walking in the woods, I often lay my hands on a lovely tree and speak to it. I LOVE trees that have moss, burls and lichen growths. When you speak of the sphere, are you talking about the aura? The energy feild? I understnd the concept of "joining with it". As you probably know, I believe everything and everyone is connected?

        I'm over it...or am I under it.....beyond it.......connected with it...joined..whatever......thanks...I appreciate you....lovingly:>)
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          Aug 25 2012: I'm a Maori from NZ which isn't as green as what the ministry of tourism would like the world to think,no,man is just as silly here as everywhere else on the planet,my own people included.

          Yes the aura,every now and then i'll come across a healer who can actually see things like shadows that move across people or shapes that i can't see but they can and i'll engage them in some serious talk on how it feels for them to how they came to be a healer and how much it can take out of them,amazing people once you learn to recognize them because our ones don't need the trappings of the shaman that some people do.I used to go visit an uncle that lived a pretty hard and cruel life but in his retired years i would pop in and out of pure ritual share a maori peacepipe with him and then he would talk of his walk-abouts in the bush,of swimming through the greening of the old mother.

          Is there much green where you hike?

          Colleen, would you ever try out for a TED session?
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        Aug 25 2012: Ken,
        I have met people who say they can see auras....actually....I have a blind friend who sees auras. There is no question that we have an energy field in and around us, and it's not surprising to me that it appears to be different colors. I agree that people who have these abilities are very interesting. We (humans) sometimes name it "supernatural", but I think it is very natural.

        I love nature and "walk-abouts" in the mountains and forests or kayaks on the rivers or lakes.....spending time in the gardens, etc. I think simply being IN nature is healing. It is an exchange of energy, which causes the body and mind to flow in a more balanced way.

        Yes, the place I live, Vermont, is very lush green in the summer, and covered with snow in the winter......I LOVE the changes of season:>) Do you have changes in the seasons in NZ?

        I haven't thought about a TED session.....I never say never to anything......well ALMOST anything:>)
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        Aug 26 2012: Hi Ken,
        NZ looks lovely....you are right...it is one of many countries in our world, and they all have characteristics and beauy of their own....it is indeed a beartiful world:>) I especially like the parks and gardens, which are a passion of mine! Several of my friends have been to NZ and love it. I like both winter and summer....and all the varities of weather in between:>)

        These are some photos a friend put together of my gardens.....the tiny space I occupy on this earth.
        http://smugdud.smugmug.com/Quintessential%20Vermont )
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      Aug 25 2012: Your misleading and disingenous editing is worthy of FOX news. Is that where you got that vicous technique? The most frightening thing in this whole exercise is that you are a teacher. OMG! I can only imagine how much damage you are doing to students like me. Why do you teach if you clearly HATE those who are not perfect and hate education?
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    Aug 24 2012: Everyone can make a worthwhile contribution to a TED conversation.

    Remember that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    Cheers. Bob.
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      Aug 24 2012: It is this element of humour that makes it all work, I think. Thank you for being here, Bob.
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    Aug 24 2012: I guess worthwhile contribution can range from anyone with a little bit above average sanity and goes up in importance to people with borderline insanity and a hint before sheer delusion.
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      Aug 24 2012: That good huh?
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        Aug 24 2012: which is directly correlated to the number of borderline insane people I find here.
        PS: ingenuity is a thread away from insanity.
        • Aug 25 2012: That's interesting Imad.

          The links that so-called 'insanity' has with 'genius' or 'ingenuity' is something I'd love to know more about.

          Does a person have to be insane to think outside the box? Who is it labelling that person 'insane'?
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          Aug 25 2012: Barney, this is a GREAT question, that I have pondered, and it might make a good discussion topic? We know that there are many creative people throughout history, who were thought to have some "mental disorder" and challenged behaviors.

          I did my own exploration/research/study years ago after a near fatal head/brain injury. I was told I would never function "normally" again. What the heck does THAT mean for me for the rest of my life? I was ALWAYS "outside the box" with beliefs, so why should it be different after the injury and emergency craniotomy?

          I was often told (before the injury) that I was living in a fantasy world....not facing reality....because I believe in unconditional love... acceptance.....compassion......empathy..etc.....for EVERYONE with whom I share this earth school. I believe in joy and contentment, even in the face of challenges. That was one of my "faults" according to my wasband (was my husband)....he was convinced that "nobody can be that joyful", so it must be abnormal....I can laugh about it now:>)

          What I discovered with my research, is that there are many, many levels of emotions/behaviors, which are considered "normal" or "abnormal"! I believe we can learn a lot by opening our mind and heart to EVERYTHING a person has to offer.

          For example: I coached kids competing in special olympics, who were labeled "mentally disabled". Those kids.....hundreds of them.....are the most enthusiastic, open, honest, trusting, genuinely unconditionally loving humans I have ever interacted with. They posess qualities that many people spend their lives searching for. We can learn a LOT from these kids!!!

          GREAT question....who labels a person, why do people feel they need to label, and how beneficial is that to all of us?
        • Aug 25 2012: Thanks Colleen! :-)

          I'll do just that - make it a discussion topic. Appreciate your encouraging words!
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        Aug 25 2012: For some reason, my "thumbs up" works only sporadically. I wanted to applaud your post in which you discuss working with special olympics. My applause extends to the entire post.
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          Aug 25 2012: Thank you Fritzie, I appreciate your applause:>)

          The experience coaching special olympians was one highlight of my life,
          and talk about "a worthwhile contribution"!!!! Those kids brought joy and love to all of us in every single moment. I get teary eyed just remembering their enthusiasm, and the almost constant smiles on their faces, even when pushing themselves physically. And you know what most of them did at the end of the races.....ESPECIALLY those who DID NOT win??? They all hugged and congratulated each other without fail. Now that, is a worthwhile contribution and a GREAT lesson! They were/are great teachers......in my humble perception:>)
  • Aug 24 2012: Very nice question Debra! Just curious----are you inviting higher quality conversation topics? I agree with most of the general responses, but don't have a judgement on persons; this site certainly is a learning "house"!

    We all do well to think of possibilities!
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      Aug 24 2012: Mark, please feel free to comment as you choose. I would be happy to learn your opinion or any input.
      • Aug 24 2012: Thank you, Debra. There is a hurricane coming, so therefore I will pay more attention to that for now. Thanks for your kind generosity!
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    Aug 23 2012: Fabulous TEDx talk on feedback and how to cope with it:

    http://youtu.be/Q8bshvQmums
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    Aug 23 2012: Budimir Zdravkovic! Great guy!
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      Aug 23 2012: I'd have to agree! Welcome!
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        Aug 23 2012: Haha, no one has ever praised me for my delusional narcissism before, I think I will fit in well!