TED Conversations

Thomas Hawkins

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When does a conversation become worth while?

I want to know when a conversation is worth while? Is every conversation worth having? Are we just venting or gaining something? Perhaps a little of both, but are they both just as important?


Closing Statement from Thomas Hawkins

It seems for the most part that the majority of people determine the worth of a conversation by satisfying selfish and/or mutual group needs. A follow up question would be, do we think about satisfying these needs before entering a conversation? I don’t think that we do on a social playing field, gossip, etc; therefore, it is fair to say that for the majority not all conversations are worth having. Worth while conversations are those where we are able satisfy/solve our needs/questions. Therefore, this must require some premeditative thought, to an extent, depending on severity and consciousness of the individual’s needs and desires of the future conversation.

Although, I’d like to propose and entertain the idea that "all" conversations are worth while regardless of what novel you have written in your conversational speech. The answer lies in the opportunity. This latest conversational masterpiece and/or self-published disaster came into existence through an opportunity to have a conversation. Rather than looking at the end product, maybe we should think about the worth in the opportunity of invention and discovery. I am not denying that some conversations are more worth while than others, some are mundane and draining, good and bad, but I’d like to throw a stick in the spokes and stop the bike of “reward thinking”. It is worth while to debate, question and be curious toward even the most “unworthy” topics of choice. We may not even satisfy our own needs, but be there for another to talk with. A shoulder to cry on, if you will.

Is it possible to find reward without having won a race? Yes...

ps. Just a little note of thanks. Thank you for all your comments, really interesting points of view. I also must say sorry for being on the "down low" as of late. Busy days. All the best

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  • Jon Ho

    • +1
    Sep 16 2012: Depending on what you want to get out of the conversation.

    If you are trying to learn from someone, and the conversation imparts knowledge to you, then yeah.
    If you are trying to troll someone, and got a good laugh out of that conversation, then yeah.
    If you want to befriend someone, and engendered feelings of friendship with that person, then yeah.

    Basically it depends on your objective, what you want to get out of that conversation, and the result of that conversation, if it met your objectives.
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      Sep 17 2012: Dear Jon Ho,
      For an "alien", (according to your profile) you certainly have good insight about us humans! LOL:>)

      I agree that what we want to get out of the conversation, and what we are willing to contribute to the conversation are important factors. Some folks are searching for good conversation and conversationalists, and maybe forgetting that it takes two or more participants to "create" a pleasurable, informative conversation that is equally appealing to all participants?
      • Jon Ho

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        Sep 17 2012: Lady, when you hang around humans for 10,000 years trying to shape their technological future, you tend to pick up things here and there. Some of the things I picked up was that giving crystal technology to Atlantean scientists for their energy generation research was a big mistake; their bureaucrats and leaders wanted to create weapons to enslave the rest of the world. Fortunately, those scientists beautifully sacrificed their island, sinking it into the sea to prevent this from ever happening.

        Nowadays, crystal technology, especially quartz crystal is only used for generating electric signals with precise frequency to keep track of time, like wrist watches. If you humans ever knew the exothermic properties of crystal -producing more energy than it requires to start it and is therefore self-sustaining- well....

        Although, I find it very amusing that you humans harnessed the power of the stars -aka cold fusion- to create a device to keep track of time, mounted on your wrist. Why you humans regard mechanical watches like Rolex highly even though quartz crystal wristwatches are obviously superior is beyond me; I'm still trying to learn this very strange human concept.

        Well then, are we having a good, worthwhile conversation now or what? ;)
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          Sep 17 2012: Jon Ho....."are we having a good worthwhile conversation now or what?"

          Depends on what you want to get from it:>) I must tell you that I am technically challenged, so you are leaving me in the dust with your technical "stuff".

          This is what I can add....I haven't worn a watch for about 25 years, I think crystals are absolutely beautiful, and make lovely jewelery. How're we doing?
      • Jon Ho

        • 0
        Sep 17 2012: Well I'm unable to reply your post, silly TED programmers...

        but... indeed, crystals are absolutely gorgeous! Back home in the Arcturus system, in front of my childhood home stood a tree that I carved my real name, that look exactly like this http://www.illuminatedgarden.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/288-250.jpg

        When my mission is over, if you wish, I will take you on my ship, the Prometheus, and I'll show you that crystal tree when it glows beautifully in the red afternoon sun.

        I think we're doing fine, conversation wise. ;)
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          Sep 17 2012: Jon Ho, you replied perfectly, even in spite of those human programmers:>)

          I believe Arcturus is the one I used to say this to when I was a child...
          "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight". Arcturus is the brightest star in the northern sky....correct? Lovely place to live my friend:>)

          Lovely tree Jon Ho....thanks for sharing that:>)

          Perhaps I might join you on your ship when your mission is over....assuming MY mission is over as well. I would like to stop at the Pleiades...you are familier with the seven sisters star cluster? That was one of my more recent homes:>)

          It is interesting that your ship is named Prometheus (trickster)....is that relevant?
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          Sep 20 2012: Jon,
          think uve got room for one more onboard the Prometheus ??
      • Jon Ho

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        Sep 19 2012: I'm not sure, Earth's astronomy is not my strong point heh. From where I came from, the night the sky burns orange so there isn't any star to see.

        There's a whole forest of that tree, and sometimes in the morning the forest looks like its on fire.

        Oh yes, Pleiades! And the intergalactic wars, horrible business that... I believe that's why we're all here, to prevent another planet's destruction. Unfortunately we are running out of time, so free will and self discovery be damned, I will actively accelerate human development even if Zeus punishes me with the eagle eating regenerating heart all over again. Been there, done that, it don't scare me none. ;)

        My ship is named Prometheus as in "The Teacher"; you know, bringing fire to mankind, introducing agriculture and writing, kick-starting the wheels of human technological development. There used to be other ships out there like Athena and Ares that protected earth for quite some time, as well as Asclepius who tried his hardest to repair the damage the Atlantean's did to this planet.

        All of them went back home except me and Athena but don't worry, she single-handedly took out whole armada's of intergalactic invaders and will do it again and again to ensure the protection of planet earth. Only problem now is it seems that you humans are now hell-bent on self destruction. :(

        Tell me friend Colleen, how is your meditation going?
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      Sep 17 2012: "If you are trying to troll someone, and got a good laugh out of that conversation, then yeah."

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        Sep 17 2012: Oh my goodness James...Jon Ho is a troll? I was sure he was an alien....that's what his profile says!

        Anyway, it was a fun little exchange, and I learned something because I looked up Arcturus and Prometheus....interesting little exploration, and I wasn't doing anything else significant at that moment, so it was entertaining.....hopefully for both of us:>) In my humble perception, it was worth while:>)
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          Sep 17 2012: You'd be surprised (or not surprised) how many trolls exist on the internet ;)
        • Jon Ho

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          Sep 19 2012: Just because I have a green tint to my skin does not necessarily classify me as a troll; I could be an ogre like Shrek for example. You never know. ;)

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