TED Conversations

Stefan H. Farr


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Debate: Our culture isn't adapting to our rapidly progressing technology.

There is a lot of talk about the current economic crises. Projections, promises or just plain old confusion, everybody seems to have an opinion on when and how it will get resolved or on the contrary how it will not resolve, but rather bring about the end of us.

Personally, I believe that it "can" resolve, but not by traditional economic measures, because the cause of it is not purely economic in nature. I believe, that this crises stems from a profound conflict brought about by the increasing incompatibility of our cultural, social and economic values with the ever more advanced technological progress that we are accumulating. Our inability to culturally adapt to this rapid technological progress is like a dead weight that impedes our metamorphosis as a species altogether.

Consequently, I believe that the next giant leap in our evolution must be a cultural / spiritual / intellectual / social one and not a technological one. Technologically we are way beyond what we can culturally accommodate and so any more progress in this domain will only deepen the conflict rather than resolve it.

Thank you!


Closing Statement from Stefan H. Farr

It's been a pleasure reading your comments. Thank you very much everybody for the excellent insight.

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  • Oct 13 2012: I happen to think that all the new gadgets of technology are nice but I only own a computer & a Life Link cell phone.
    My PC is a learning & commutations " tool" and my cell phone is not attached to my hip.
    We do have the tools & technology to make life better for all, including nature, but self interest bars our way. I believe "greed" is a good word for it.
    The key here is to adjust our tech. to better serve the planet as a whole without further damage to nature & those who share it.
    If more tech. folks took the time to learn from nature our world & all upon it would be better served.
    Yes! I am a tree hugger & animal lover, but I also like technology. As long as it doesn't damage or hurt the very planet we live on. We have the knowledge to do this now but that big "G" word keeps getting in the way.
    Living in harmony, with all around us, isn't such a silly idea after all.
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      Oct 13 2012: i think you have a good sense of tec.

      now many of us can not live without our computers and cellphones .when we walking we play our cellphones when we get up we play our computers.

      i think most of us spend more time on these things rather than spend on our parents .as for me i always consider my computer as my son .most of the time is spent on it .

      but i think i should have a more faster dealer.maybe one day i will take apart it and replacea much faster processor.and have a new son lol

      how do you like your computer ?i am curious
    • Oct 15 2012: gale : Living in Harmony is very much an Asian idea, not at all a Western one. Anyone who is soaked with western values, is much more likely to idealize "competition" , self improvement at all costs, etc. not to mention Imperialism , war , and "Evil".Fine for taking over the world, not so good for running it.
      • Oct 15 2012: With all due respect, shawn, I've noticed, overall, there's no such thing as an Asian idea and a Western one for that matter, at least in this new generation.
        For many many Asian people, living in harmony is no longer their ways. Some people get pessimistic about this ‘e generation’, but their opinion isn't that powerful especially in the place I live in.
        Asians are getting incredibly competitive, which can be both good and bad for themselves, while not trying to follow the way their ancestors lived.
        Now the idea of 'living in harmony' has become some kind of classy philosophy for some people who seek to find a different answer in this world.

        It's a beautiful idea, but as far as I'm concerned, most people wouldn't be able to 'live in harmony' for a long time....
        Instead, we will find a way to apply this notion flexibly in many fields, and further, our lives.
        Your last quote is pretty thought-provoking. I mean, include this problem. :)

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