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John Davis

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Rehabilitate the homeless in America by using simulated environments with guidance by volunteer professionals from a variety of fields.

"Why are we helping so many poor people all across the world when we have so many homeless people here at home?" This is a common question that seems to never be answered. Is it cognitive dissonance? Is it apathy? Is it the worry of more costly social programs?

I believe in the innate goodness of people, and I believe we see it in each other every day. So why is it still a problem?

What I propose is that we work together to alleviate the suffering of others in this country by creating simulated towns that volunteer homeless can come to. By training them to maintain a hygienic existence, obtain simulated work and pay, and allow them to shop in stores stocked with donated items, we can reintegrate them into the real world again. This process would be guided by volunteer counselors, psychologists, nutritionists, financial specialists, law enforcement, and anyone else who is willing to donate their skills for creating a better future for those we all know we deeply care about. This environment could also serve as a free means for students of all levels, globally, to see constructive altruism in action. We would also welcome them as volunteers, where they can obtain real experience that could help them in their respective career-or even life-choices.

There are many innovative products being used today in developing countries that could make this program very inexpensive. By establishing a non-profit or charitable trust organization, we can assure that all donations go straight to the program.

Besides just offering our time, I believe the homeless are the key to reaching unprecedented wisdom and innovation possibilities in this country. Their unique perspective on hardship could serve to help us eventually regain our country's status as a beacon of hope for the struggling all across the world, and we can take what we know elsewhere and help all who need it.

The hope is for a restoration of pride and meaning. Both in the homeless, and in ourselves.

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  • Nov 22 2012: "What I propose is that we work together to alleviate the suffering of others in this country by creating simulated towns that volunteer homeless can come to."

    This is neither innovative, nor new. And it does not work. What you wanna refresh with homeless people has been exercised to any extreme with handicaped people. They have been put in "simulated" environments to "make them a part of society". With only one result, they fully dissapeared from the societies, whilst before they were at least visible for anyone.

    This only changed in places were they were not forced to simulate being this or that, but instead the so called society was forced to react to the given needs of handicaped people, that can not be wiped away by hordes of "volunteers, psychologists, coaches" and whatever else the modern social care terrorism might spit out.

    And voila, the handicaped people had no big issues with being "rehabilitated", what quite frankly demands they would have choosen at a certain point to be excluded from the society-guess that never happened, but there must have been a mutual agreement by the society to exlude them "for their own good".

    By the way, being homeless is not a choice of the individuum, it is always forced by the society around that individuum. Simply because before "society" was ever invented, people build homes for themselves. So there must be something wrong with the society, if it produces such phenomenom that was unknown before society existed.

    So better put the society in custody of the "charity and social work mafia", instead of doubling the pressure on homeless by turning them into a kind of abnorm species. They might not be comfortable by looks and behavement, but they are nothing else than you and me. If you do not like me, do i need to be rehabilitated then? Or you? If theres one more of you than me, i need rehab. If i got one more than you, it will be you. Wrong is only the idea, but we do not touch it.
    • Nov 23 2012: Lars,

      As with everyone, I appreciate your response. Every idea that can be put here is another way we can find out if a plan will work, or if it will not.

      To address certain points in your response:

      First, without any prior knowledge, someone can take what you are saying and connect it with the reality. This would be as simple as saying, "Well there's still homeless people, so obviously we can't fix it."

      With that, after only glancing over your response, and although I will respond to some points, I am asking for you to provide sources of information that can substantiate your post. If you can do that, then you have a means to chip away at an idea. In the manner you present your response, unfortunately it cannot be taken as anything more than opinion. Also, your response is incredibly ambiguous, and I will help you out by pointing out some of them.

      Your comment:

      Innovation: You are correct. With billions of people alive today, and the billions who have long ceased to be with us, it is impossible that anyone can truly create an innovative idea. However, what can be innovative is someone's approach to a problem when combined with an unrelenting desire to find answers. Furthermore, I am a little confused by the comment. Are you misinterpreting my responses about innovation to others? If it is a case of confusion, I urge you to read over the posts again. What was spoken of was the process of innovation, and how innovation is developed. Innovation does not come from a light bulb over the head, but it does come from a basic idea of an unfulfilled need that is dwelled upon until something more substantial comes to be. Even then, the idea has a long way to travel until it can be considered a potentially successful endeavor.

      It does not work: This is an ambiguous statement. Can you provide specifics? Names? Places? Times? Focus group characteristics? What research have you conducted that has led you to this conclusion?
    • Nov 23 2012: Please remember, that the hope of many coming to these forums (I hope) is to engage in conversations with one another with all of the care that would lead to something. This site is the best I have ever found for this type of conversation. What I am striving for is to engage in discussion with those of the like-minded. Those who wish for the best, and are willing to exchange ideas to determine plausibility. Let's have a casual, intelligent exchange so we can promote creative process. Not hinder it by presenting the conclusion before offering your path that got you there.

      Refreshing: Unfortunately, deciphering the rest of your paragraph was complicated. What I believe you are essentially trying to say is that you believe that handicapped individuals were placed in simulated environments as a means to reintroduce them into society. Please correct me if I am wrong. Also, can you provide information on the studies, and expound on the disappearance of those handicapped people? Also, can you specify what handicap(s) the individuals suffered from? Any information to get us back on track would be helpful.
      As a response: If you are essentially speaking of segregation in a negative way, please refer to other comments below. Also, once you provide us with the information regarding the studies, I offer a question. Did the studies lead to the realization that the handicapped could not be integrated into society as "normal" individuals, thus leading to legislation that mandated special assistance to meet their needs? If so, was it a good or bad thing?

      Terrorism: Unfortunately, the paragraph does not flow well, and it is hard to decipher what you are saying. Furthermore, can you explain what you mean by "terrorism"? My judgment on its meaning may be clouded by my experience of going to war, where it really exists. Maybe even Mr. Long's as well; he's also a veteran.

      Voila: Please, I urge you to proofread your response. You obviously have a very strong
    • Nov 23 2012: opinion, and that matters. Can you express it a little more clearly?

      Phenomenom [sic]: That's great that you have insight on the processes that forced individuals into homelessness. Please identify those processes so we can brainstorm a way to make positive changes to them. If we can alter those, we may not need a program to help the homeless. If we can fix the process, then by default, we could possibly see the homeless problem fixing itself.

      Behavement [sic]: This program's intent does not double the pressure on the homeless like they are an abnormal species - it is the opposite. It is to remind the person that they have the same power to find success that everyone else does. Moreover, it is to remind them that there are those who believe that some people just need a little reinforcement to get them going again. Again, I would ask if you are assuming that by providing them with temporary living quarters, they are being segregated. Yes, they are being segregated. By the traditional definition of the word, not by the common negative usage of it. Please refer to my post on the word "segregation" below, and my comments on volunteering.

      Thank you for responding. I hope you can continue to contribute to this conversation in a meaningful and substantial way. We are all here to learn, and the first step towards that is to understand that the senses we were born with serve only ourselves, in a way that helps us to understand why we exist and to keep us alive. What makes us human, and not necessarily special, is that we can understand that, then speak to each other to find the best common ground possible so our personal reality does not have too much change forced upon it.
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    Nov 20 2012: John, I can tell you really want to help. Have you had a chance yet to work with actual homeless people? I have worked with many, and none I have met, I think, would look to segregate themselves in towns for the homeless.

    You might be surprised at how little different most are from others in almost any town. You often wouldn't know they are homeless unless they tell you.

    There are, of course, homeless people with mental health problems, but these, I would think, would respond to different kinds of services than what you describe and likely benefit much more from receiving those while staying in the places where they live rather than being segregated into homeless towns.

    I encourage you to let experience working in shelters, for example, help give you insight into best ways to help.
    • Nov 21 2012: Fritzie,

      Thank you for engaging in this discussion. I hope once we all get deeper into it, we can find ways to improve on the idea, or find ways to shut it down. I hope you are able to continue contributing to it for as long as you feel necessary.

      To address your comment:

      I do not have extensive experience working with homeless in the United States. However, as a veteran, I have extensive experience in working with the poor in third world countries, with a unique approach to doing so. More specifically, my job required a different set of eyes- an understanding of core human motivation factors, how culture affects their actions, assessing intent, and many other aspects that surround perspective and how it plays into a bigger picture scenario. This knowledge has practical application as well, and it ranges from important to people down to the most struggling of the host nation's society.

      As for your question:

      If you do not know of any homeless who would segregate themselves, is this because you have never asked that question? If you have, what were the verbal, paralinguistic, or nonverbal cues that allowed you to arrive to that conclusion? What was the duration and frequency of your inquiry? Did you incorporate a litmus test that over time allowed you to achieve linearity? Were you aware of the way you were asking the question, or keenly aware of how your nonverbal (often body) language could have affected the outcome of the answers you heard? Have you interviewed every homeless person you have worked with? Asking questions or listening to them speak is never enough. You have to ask the right questions, in the right context, in the right way, and have the proper responses to each to bring out their deepest emotions with the most honest response. If they have more pressing concerns during your time with them, you will only hear about what is important to them at the time, not necessarily what is the most important to them overall.
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        Nov 21 2012: The homeless people with whom I have worked do not, I think, see themselves as fundamentally different from those around them, and I would not say they seem very different to me. They are interested in being integrated into the mainstream. I would not ask anyone I encounter whether they would rather be segregated from the "general population" who do not share some specific characteristic with them.

        Just as in school settings we provide supplementary services to those who need them, whether that is in the area of food and nutrition, health care, accomodation for disabilities, and so forth while still serving them first as the children they are before they are any of their specific challenges, the homeless people with whom I have worked can benefit from special services but also so many of the same experiences as anyone else.

        I have not worked with homeless people suffering from post-traumatic stress, other than those who have fled abusive relationships, if you would count that.

        I still think it would be useful for you to get some experience working with the homeless in the United States if you are interested in developing good judgment as to whether your segrated solution is the best you can do here.

        There are many service providers to the homeless in the Phoenix area. and yes I know the Maslow's hierarchy of needs material.
        • Nov 21 2012: Fritzie,

          I only know of a few programs that can help the homeless, and if you could provide information on all of the organizations you know, that would be great.

          Also, if you could expound on your idea that many homeless would not want to be segregated, I'm all ears. I would never want the help provided to them to be a restriction based on a selfish desire to follow-through with my own agenda.

          Maybe if we get a list together of all of the services available to the homeless in the Phoenix area, we can find a way to connect them more fluently to make transitions for the homeless easier.

          As for PTSD, beyond what some people may suffer in regular life, there really is a very large homeless veterans population who have many sufferers of it. The unfortunate part is that there have been several revisions and legislation passed that offers them free rehabilitation and assistance, often with no regard to their discharge status ( such as Honorable vs Dishonrable Discharge), and they have no idea of what they are entitled to, in anything. Finding a way to identify them and connect them with Veterans Administrations representatives who are specifically assigned to help homeless veterans would be a great step forward as well. If you know of any, please let me know, and if you do not have any literature, I can email you a packet I have put together. If you would like to introduce me to any of them, I am willing to do that as well.

          Thanks for the response, I hope you continue with this.
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        Nov 21 2012: I do not live in Arizona but found this link yesterday when I was looking for places one might volunteer in your vicinity: http://www.azcaa.org/pdf/English%20PIG/60-71.pdf

        I think you will need to investigate yourself whether people who face challenges in their lives would like to be removed from their communities to towns with other people facing the same challenges.

        You might ask yourself for a string of differences you might think of whether people with that difference, whether permanent or temporary, typically want to be segregated for the feature that makes them different.
        • Nov 23 2012: Fritzie,

          Thank you for your response, and thank you for the information.

          My response:

          I see your concern about segregation, and I agree with it. However, I only agree with it if you are speaking of the less desirable use of the word. I responded to Mikey Lee about segregation, and I ask you to read it to understand my intent. To help, the only segregation that would occur would be voluntary segregation. Also, understand the the segregation is not intended, nor can it be, permanent. That defeats the purpose of the entire program. The intent is to take those who wish to receive help getting back into society a means to do so, with more attention than previously offered. Moreover, I am getting the feeling that some people are seeing this idea as something bigger than it is intended. This would not be a national program. This would be a small organization supported by volunteers. Time management dictates that especially in its infancy, it would be impossible to find enough volunteers to cover all of the homeless people. But one person at a time is what counts, and that is still with the humbling realization that even those who themselves, or our organization, deem "rehabilitated", there is still a much higher risk of the person ending up homeless again than someone who has never been that way.

          But, your assessment that I should gain valuable insight from working with homeless is sound, and I agree to do so.

          Again, thank you for your response. Please continue to contribute.
    • Nov 21 2012: More importantly, if determinism has caused chronic dejection, you will likely see the response of someone who does not want to speak about it because they do not want to confront the (perceived) unattainable desire for relief, or angrily answer with conviction to chase away the same feeling. Either response usually leads to an unhealthy outcome.

      Of course, mental illness can make that far more difficult to contend with. However, mental illness has just as many faces as those without it. Not all mental illness alone is debilitating, but co-morbid conditions often associated with them can make it that way. When the homeless person has that to contend with that, and already feels detached and rejected from society, I think that it diminishes their desire to receive help for it. My point was that by offering an alternative location among other homeless peers that understand, they can feel welcome in a community that is striving to improve their situation, mental illness or not. Moreover, they would do it in a consolidated environment that they can feel safe around. If they need help, they can ask. If they have a question, we can get them an answer. Providing them with basic safety and predictability allows their minds to focus more on the task of learning and recovering.

      I think at this point something key to note, as I have read the other responses in this post, is that this program is for *volunteers*. Those homeless who do find value in the program, and wish to better themselves. But I'll touch more on that later..

      Another point:

      Basic human needs: Because of my life experiences, I presently believe that all human actions, regardless of culture, religion, socioeconomic factors or any of the practically infinite variables that exist within human drive, all come down to the basics of being alive. My process for determining this is my own, but I would like to direct you to such research as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, or Clark Hull's theory
    • Nov 21 2012: on equilibrium and homeostasis.
      Without being too long-winded, I'll leave what I've said open to questions or comments. I really do appreciate your response. I receive your recommendation to volunteer at homeless shelters well. I will do that.


      I hope you continue to contribute to this discussion. Whether we punch enough holes in this to cut the idea off, or even use the concepts presented here to create something entirely different, it is better we keep the gears turning and continue searching for solutions. All things we do in life is for life itself, and dialogue is our only means to turn nothing into something.
  • Nov 26 2012: Fun and creative with a purpose. Not just trying to throw facts and contradict. This is not the point.
  • Nov 26 2012: 6. Attach a device to your head (something that resembles a beer helmet) that will allow you to comfortably place your wrists for the duration of the movie. When a loud part happens, place your hands over your ears until the moment passes. Then relax your hands.
  • Nov 26 2012: "Some television shows have extremely quiet parts, so you turn up the volume. And then they have EXTREMELY LOUD PARTS AND THE VOLUME IS TOO LOUD and you go deaf and turn down the volume. Then as a consequence of being deaf and the quiet parts being too quiet, you can no longer hear. So you turn up the volume. A vicious cycle."

    I believe the potential sources for the problem are those television shows that incorporate sound effects for the purpose of incorporating suspense or excitement. Although not a problem in itself, many do struggle with the fluctuations and watch shows with the remote control in their hand.

    Solutions:

    1. Use Rock Stars brand ear plugs while watching television. A real product, it claims to dampen particular frequencies, but still delivers a clear sound of them. Very interesting.

    2. Use sound-leveling technologies currently present in many modern electronics.

    3. Create a company that uses the internet capabilities of your media player to monitor the movie timer, then remotely reduce or increase the volume at predetermined times based on the customer's preferences. This can be automatic, as the customer can set profiles or allow the company to preset ones that are adjusted according to the customer's viewing habits.

    4. Hire a person (or find a volunteer) who will awkwardly stand behind you with cymbals. Whenever you hear a part that you do not find favorable, the person will clash the cymbals, thus reducing the effects of the movie sounds by desensitizing you through trauma.

    5. Wear a conically shaped listening device (such as Bugles Original or Nacho Cheese) that will still allow sound to reach your ears, but deflect piercing sounds that are meant to be directed towards your face. Laughing can cause the product to fall from the ears, so make sure you have your game face on the whole time.
  • Nov 26 2012: Here is another example of how the brainstorming phase can work. This is posted from my class:

    ***From the Professor***
    ____________________________________
    C. Build a Prototype (Part 1) - 5 points, due Sun. by 11:59pm
    This activity is based on Ch. 6, Tips for Developing Experimenting Skills, Tip #5
    on pg. 152-153 of your text.
    1) Revisit the problem you selected in the ‘Enlightening Yourself’ activity from Week 4 as it will be the basis of this activity. Since we have ‘slept on it’ for a couple weeks, you may find new ideas/thoughts come to you more easily regarding the problem. I have commented on just about everyone’s posts- please use my feedback to guide your work for this activity.
    a) The end goal of this multi-part activity will be to design and construct (build, draw, visualize, diagram, etc.) a solution to this problem using the five skills of disruptive innovators
    i) The solution could be a product, system, tool, etc. and will be discussed more in next week’s Activity Set
    2) To begin, answer the following about the problem:
    a) Based on the information you obtained previously, explain what you believe is/are the potential source(s) of the problem
    b) Brainstorm potential solutions for this problem (list at least six)
    i) Don’t worry about cost or feasibility of the solutions in this stage (wild solutions are fun!)
    ii) As always, have fun with this! Get family and friends involved if you’d like.
  • Nov 24 2012: Providing many more ideas is very simple. I can make it comprehensive (as best I could), but as I said, that diminishes the purpose of the exercise. Please, if anyone wants to contribute to that list, we can narrow it down to the key ideas that we find are most promising, and move on from there. Moving on generally requires nothing more than acquiring information from case studies or any legitimate information that people can find, and done so without bias. For every piece of positive information we find, we should also find a negative one. This process can take a very long time, but I have found that in life, tenacity always pays off, whether it is from the valuable experience of refining your process after a failure, or because you have developed something that works.
  • Nov 24 2012: As the conversation becomes stagnant with questions and challenges, I will present a contribution to this that I hope will get everyone started up again. In this brainstorming process, we should not worry about conventional communication constraints, and just say things that come to mind, within reason:

    Here is my start:

    - make small houses outfitted for only a single person that can be easily maintained.
    - the houses must be durable, made of cheap material, and still offer appropriate shielding from the elements.
    - seek the use of cheap lighting, such as the solar powered light bulbs being used in poor rural areas across the world, especially Africa.
    - Possibly use the program as a means for green technology companies to prototype and test their products for free.
    - configure the homes to allow users privacy to help them retain or build on dignity.
    - create a scheduled environment that can be adjusted to their development speed, but impose a limit. The project is not meant to be a permanent residence. It has a purpose, and is intended to get them back to a mode of self-sufficiency.
    - Give them access to volunteer psychologists and psychiatrists who can determine if mental health is the reason for their situation, and attempt to teach the appropriate life skills necessary for their particular set of problems.
    - Allow them access to governmental entities that can find them housing in section 8 areas, or better.
    - Provide the volunteer homeless with education on local and national laws and regulations to improve their chances of not being involved in something that can lead to regression.
    - Provide social and etiquette training.
    - Provide access to free online education that will teach them basic knowledge (negating the need for onsite teachers)
    - Notify surrounding organizations of the program, and accept more volunteers (professional or otherwise) on a limited basis, with the requirement that they must contribute to the program.
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      Nov 26 2012: Usually questions and challenges are not the mark of stagnant conversations. I agree that once a thread is just one person posting to himself, that qualifies as stagnant.

      One thing I have noticed since I have participated in TED is that people don't tend to engage heartily in "follow the leader" structured conversations. In particular, if you adopt a style of judging and conveying your judgment to participants of what you see as the quality or helpfulness of their posts, some people will not care to participate further.

      And then you will end up talking to yourself, like a blog no one reads.

      At least that has been my observation of threads on TED. The most energetic and, I think, productive are those I would characterize as having shared ownership rather than a leader and followers. Thanking people for participating does not compensate.
      • Nov 27 2012: Questions and challenges are not the mark of stagnant conversations, you are correct. But when the questions and challenges are not productive, it is the mark of a conversation that never really started on a path to becoming stagnant in the first place.

        Feel free to go over the posts. You will see that I am very supportive and enthusiastic about the responses. My posts always answered the questions posed, and always ended with a question meant to perpetuate interaction. To make it easier, I have left posts for people to look at that specifically addressed their points. If they had true interest and the motivation to follow through, I am certain that they would have come back with something very helpful.

        Unfortunately, what I have experienced are the responses of those who are posing the aforementioned challenges and questions, but none seem to offer any information that supports their idea. The disappointing factor is that it appears that it reduces their participation to that of someone who, like I mentioned in another post, is harassing in a Yahoo! chat room.

        Case in point: You were the first to respond. I offered an explanation of my idea, as well as the perspective that I was approaching it from. In my studies, this is a standard approach. By telling everyone that there are no good or bad ideas or suggestions is indeed true, but there were none offered. This unfortunately includes your case, where you only offered some personal experience in dealing with the homeless with which to base your assessment. I wholeheartedly agree with your advice that I should work with the homeless, and I will do so. I think it is a great idea. However, to get a clearer picture of how you came across the information that you base your assessment from, I asked very basic, simple questions. Your response to that indicated that you were caught off guard by it, and that is okay. I have extensive experience in dealing with people in all manner of scenarios,
      • Nov 27 2012: and I do not expect you to have done the same. But when I engage you as a person who does have that experience, and ask you questions based upon that, it is my hope that you will understand the productive outcome of what I am trying to do. If you are unable to immediately provide information to my questions, my assumption also is that you will take the time to formulate a response that can be helpful. This is the nature of what I have been doing for years, even previous to college. If you have a strong opinion, deliver it with tact, and deliver it with knowledge. With the right people, they will all understand that none of us know everything, but that we have the ability to find it out. That's confidence and productivity in some of its best forms. After all, we all know what they say about opinions and how everyone has one...

        I must admit - part of this exercise was not just to practice the innovation or development process, or even just to see if by reaching out, some of us may network for future endeavors. It was also to see how people would react in a situation where someone attempts a legitimate effort to help something that many feel is taboo, or even hopeless. As I said, this is what I have done for a very long time. My first internet interactions as a child was through AOL, speaking to people in Europe and asking them questions on how they perceive Americans. I was 12 or 13 at that time. Now I am 31, have taken those studies very seriously and very deeply, and have presented knowledge in this discussion that I will still openly admit to being limited.

        I am ignorant, just like everyone else. The best I can hope for is to someday go out knowing just a little bit more information than the average person, so I can do my best to teach upcoming generations on how to deal with hardship and resistance, much like what was seen here.
      • Nov 27 2012: The most important factor for me however is that by engaging this in the manner that I did, those who will approach someone else with the same strong opinions may strive to produce just a little more effort than what they may have ever done.

        This has nothing to do with me presenting myself as a teacher or someone who should be directing you. This has everything to do with acknowledging and exploiting the fact that we are all teachers; that we all have pieces of information that we can use for our benefit. By collectively pursuing something with that knowledge, that is how real change happens in the world.

        I appreciate your time with this conversation. If it has truly become stagnant, maybe it is fitting that the thread begins with you, and ends with you. I wish you all the best, and I hope your desire for helping your fellow man can develop into helping your fellow man no longer need your help.

        Thanks.
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    Nov 24 2012: john, what do you mean, there are many innovative products being used today in developing countries that could make this program very inexpensive? It sounds pretty expensive no matter how you look at it.
    • Nov 24 2012: Greg,

      Thank you for your reply. Looking at your profile, it shows that you have or are attending Stanford, and I hope your knowledge can be a great asset in the beginning phases of discussing this idea.

      My reply:

      As with a few others involved in the post, I would like to emphasize that scale of operations has not been discussed. It is easy to explore that aspect when someone thinks of the rather large homeless population that exists domestically and abroad, and I understand how that leads to a feeling of grandiosity. However, I propose that as the idea still sits in a stage of infancy, and in a brainstorming phase (which has not been constructive overall), we focus on helping a single person, and then work up from there. What I will say is that if you are familiar with Vijay Govindarajan's competition (http://www.economist.com/node/18618271), this is a start in a search for domestically innovative or internationally (reverse) innovative products that can help drive down cost. There are many more products available, which I have information on, but I am trying to give those who are interested enough in this conversation to reply the ability to present information that they are aware of. As I have said in other posts here, I am less concerned with whether the idea is a success or failure, and more concerned with the effort that we put forth to try and develop something. If we do so, we all stand a much higher chance of creating a new or revised idea that is feasible. So far, I appreciate the efforts of Fritzie Reisner, as we have received information that could be potentially helpful in taking this another step forward, sink or swim. I am also looking for more than just information. I am looking for those who will be less judgmental about the idea, and more productive in determining success or failure with meaningful discussion and questions. Those who will engage in a respectful and tactful exchange that can lead to more open-mindedness,
    • Nov 24 2012: which could also help those who gain a positive experience from this to possibly develop, or assist in developing, another idea that can help people.

      I believe that this is the perfect forum for this. My hope is that this site is seen for what it is meant to be, and not reduced to the level of a Yahoo! chat room. I often find in many people's responses a very negative tone that serves only to express their distaste without providing any substance. That is not helpful, and we should strive to be more than that. If you browse at another link I provided to a presentation by Steven Johnson that explains some of the process involved with innovative thinking, it may give you a clearer sense about what type of exchange I am striving to get here. I also urge you to watch some of his TED videos.

      I am a naturally patient person, so I am not concerned about people's desire for me to produce all information that they think I should produce. If I do so, I will diminish the value of what I am trying to do. Instead, I will wait for those who are willing to engage someone in something different, and not push aggression and contradiction on others that they may have received by others on these forums, to their disappointment.

      Again, thank you for your response. Please feel free to contribute in any way, and please do so constructively. I would like to also say again that in a brainstorming phase, there are no wrong answers, comments, or questions. However, this freedom should not negate substantial thought. It should serve as a means to produce creative thinking.
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    Nov 23 2012: Here is a link about how communities have facilitated access for the homeless to the mainstream services for which they are eligible: http://www.huduser.org/publications/pdf/StrategiesAccessBenefitsServices.pdf
    • Nov 24 2012: Fritzie,

      Thanks a lot for the literature, I appreciate it. I'll look over it, and talk to you some more about it.

      Hope you had a good Black Friday (if you did it).
  • Nov 23 2012: This could go many ways, but the problem I see is the other people who care not about man. In fact, those who always have their hands out for big bucks and legal advantages No Welfare except for we porkers.
    • Nov 24 2012: George,

      Thank you for your response. As with everyone else, I hope you will continue to contribute to this conversation with solid information that we can all consolidate and use for this, or future, purposes.

      Although your perception holds that man does not care about man, my perception may be a little different. I believe that men do care about men, but over time, become accepting of the status quo. The status quo offers a blanket that provides a sense of comfort, but usually causes cognitive dissonance in many. I am not experienced in speaking with all children, but I can only offer my experience: when I was a child, myself and those I was associated with would often feel bad for the homeless. Being children, many do not want to look and feel weak, and our society places a heavy emphasis on that. Children do not know what those concepts really are, so it often leads into ridicule or avoidance of homeless people. However, as I said, deep down many children do not understand why another person is suffering, and has a longing to help. Obviously this only lasts as long as it takes until the next attention-grabbing event comes along, but I think you get my point.

      By adulthood, many have accepted that they are too busy with their own lives to care about the homeless. However, especially in the late 'teens, you will see many reconstitute their desire to be involved in social issues, and realities like homelessness, civil rights, politics, crime, music, and many others become important again. Unfortunately, once they have become that age, they are likely to repeat the same process many of us older are in - pay the bills and try not to get in arguments with the family.

      Given the chance however, many I have spoken to regarding their feeling on social issues (understanding people is something very important to me) clearly express that they would help if they had the time. There have only be a handful of people that expressed blatant
    • Nov 24 2012: selfishness, and not even all of those upheld their responses. I have seen some of them in situations to help another do so while appearing to have not thought twice about it.

      That brings me into another point:

      The rule of reciprocity. Dr. Robert Cialdini explores the concept of the rule of reciprocity by studying a group of Krishna Society members at an airport. His findings were surprising, as he discovered that by nature, human beings will feel obligated to return a nice gesture. Whether they follow through with that is another matter, but the study showed that once the Krishna Society changed their tactics on asking for donations by utilizing the rule of reciprocity, it was wildly successful.

      My point is that if man does not care about man, it may likely be because the two groups at odds have not done something for each other, and someone does not want to take the first meaningful steps. A past acquaintance of mine is a deacon at a church who focused primarily on struggling minorities. At one point she began to accept the homeless as well, and the effect was profound. The homeless began to congregate at her church, began to work together to make repairs, provided security for the church, and even developed a pecking order among them. They did what was natural - come together for a mutually beneficial cause, vie for power, then settle down and generate support and security. I will point out that this is on her word, because I never saw it personally. However, knowing who she was gave me respect of her opinion and I saw no reason to believe deception was involved.

      This case supports the rule of reciprocity. She provided them with something that she did not seek compensation for, they saw an opportunity, and then made the proper choices to attempt to retain their alleviation from discomfort for as long as they could.

      I believe that the rule of reciprocity can be applied to persuade men who previously did not "care" a way to change their
    • Nov 24 2012: perspective. I think that if we can restore the status of the homeless to those who have potential, many would have more interest.

      If need be, the point can be made that restoring the homeless as functional members of society can have a long-lasting financial benefit as well. If they are functioning members of society they can contribute more to the economy, which could potentially drive down healthcare costs, reduce requests for donations that many people hear so often enough that it drives them in the opposite direction, and, hopefully with this program, can also alleviate their concern about where their donation is going in case they have contributed. There are many other reasons and ways the rule of reciprocity can be a major factor in this, but we can leave that for open discussion.

      Your thoughts?

      Again, thank you for your response. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
  • Nov 21 2012: What a ridiculous waste of funding, tax-payer dollars, donations, etc.

    What's the use of a simulated town? What's wrong with the REAL WORLD?
    • Nov 21 2012: Mikey,

      There seems to be a lot of concern about segregation:

      Let's take a quick look at Merriam-Webster's definition of segregation:

      _____________________________________________________
      : the act or process of segregating : the state of being segregated
      2
      a : the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means
      b : the separation for special treatment or observation of individuals or items from a larger group
      3
      : the separation of allelic genes that occurs typically during meiosis
      ____________________________________________________

      The negative connotation that you seem to be applying is one that is commonly applied to other words in English, such as with "militia" or "gun". Segregation is something that you do on a daily basis. If you go to school, you go to a classroom. That's segregation. You are being removed from a larger group for a purpose. In the history of civil rights and war, the word is synonymous. Not in this case.

      Also, let me remind you of the concept being delivered in the idea I have presented:

      It is *volunteer*. If a person wishes to utilize housing as a means to achieve more stability and a better peace of mind, they are welcome to do so. There is no indicator that shows it is mandatory. Now, reminding you also of the text limitations that the TED website imposes on the posts, the full picture cannot be painted until we engage in dialogue. So, your question is very welcome and I appreciate the opportunity to get into it. For more explanation on why it is an important aspect of the program to have, please read over the posts. If something specific is not answered, please feel free to contribute to the discussion and lead this with a great question that we can all contribute to.
    • Nov 21 2012: Responding to your comment about how it is a waste of money, did you read the full idea? It would be run by a non-profit or charitable trust strategy. With that in mind, I cannot really respond to your assessment that it is a waste of money other than by saying that the dollar I earn is the dollar I choose what to do with.

      Now, I would like to keep you in this conversation, and listen to your ideas. Like I have said to other people in this post, the point here is to present a problem, then brainstorm it. To do so requires the perspectives of people from all different backgrounds. Please lend some helpful ideas to make this idea reach a point of "sink-or-swim". By providing useful insight on your opinions by expounding on them, we can find a way to work around it, or accept it as something that must be addressed.

      I look forward to your response.
      • Nov 23 2012: Yes i read the full post, and regardless of this idea being "non-profit" or run by "volunteers" doesn't negate the fact that there is a cost.
        There is always a cost. I didn't think i would have to break it down, but:
        - On what land will you build this town?
        - Who will build the houses, schools, etc?
        - Can the time spent doing this volunteer work be better spent somewhere more productive?

        And I do not understand the point you are trying to make regarding segregation. Are you saying that segregation is good? You want to create a separate town to segregate these homeless people? Why?

        Also, the fact that I disagree with your idea doesn't mean I necessarily have one of my own, or have to have one. Yes, homelessness is a problem. I just think creating an artificial town would be a massive waste of resources, and any benefit that would be gained would be disproportionate to the amount of resrouces needed to go in.
        • Nov 24 2012: Mikey,

          I'm glad you're starting to ask appropriate questions. Hopefully you will maintain this, and we can bring this down to a constructive conversation.

          My response:

          - There is cost associated with absolutely everything in life. If you are asking how the program would be funded, I would ask that you research the structures of non-profits and charitable trusts. Once you have done so, I may be able to provide you with a better answer if you provide a more substantive response.

          - I do apologize if I am coming off as uninformed and require your explanation. Your tone indicates that you must be very experienced in this, and I am sure that anyone involved in this conversation would be glad to accept your wisdom. Try steering this conversation with questions and comments that are substantive so we all start thinking more productively. It would be a great learning experience.

          To respond to your questions:
          - As it has been posted, which I am sure you are aware of because you have read the entire post, is that there is a process concerning innovation and development. We are in the brainstorming phase. Regardless of whether I have a choice location or not is immaterial to the fact that this is the inappropriate stage to speak of it. It would only serve to throw the beginning phases out of line.

          - Who builds them is a matter of finding volunteers. A more appropriate question would be to ask about what we would build, for what purpose, in what configuration, and if what we have decided on has been researched to the point that we have been able to successfully develop a working prototype for testing and feedback. Beyond that, I will aim to point you in the right direction, in hopes you will begin to do some research that can really contribute greatly to this discussion: http://www.economist.com/node/18618271
        • Nov 24 2012: - "More productive" is subjective. Those who volunteer are the ones who determine what is important to them. Beyond just having the simple right to choose where they would like to devote their time, can you provide us all with a list, comprehensive or otherwise, that substantiates why this endeavor is "less important" than others?

          - "Massive waste": Can you provide me with a verbatim recitation that indicates the scale of operations? Also, your assessment that it is a waste of time indicates that you must have further wisdom or knowledge in how what I have proposed is in fact a waste, leading me to believe that you must be highly qualified in many areas such as in time management, quality control, resource management, and many others. Can you please present your work, or cite your sources so we can bring this past the level of opinion and into the realm of fact?

          As I have said, this is to engage in a brainstorming process, which means we must get as many perspectives into this as possible. However, they must be substantial, or we cannot maximize the value of this process.

          Thanks again for responding. I look forward to your next set of responses.
  • Nov 20 2012: I think that is a very interesting problem and your solution is interesting as well. I have a passion for helping others so I understand your need to figure this out. A simulated environment is a cool approach but I think our world right before us is wonderful enough. We should, instead, get companies and volunteer involved in a single problem focused on giving them jobs, having cheaper products, etc. This way, we utilize the environment we have around us and get more people involved. This could be an easier transition into living on their own.
    • Nov 21 2012: Nicole,

      Thank you for replying. As with everyone else, I hope to keep you in this conversation by making sure you know that this forum is for discussion, and we require ideas. This means that all communication is valid, but please make it something that we can use.

      To address some of your concerns:

      We do currently have many programs that help the homeless, but it does not seem to lead to a dramatic change. Often, it seems that the specialization among all of the organizations that help do not stay connected to maximize the transition potential. So how do we offer a comprehensive location that they can come to where they can be connected and stay connected?

      As for cheaper products, the unfortunate part of that is that we are a developed country, with citizenry who has developed country tastes. The focus on creating quality products that can help the poor does not generally happen in a substantial way that is beneficial to people like the homeless. If there are products that are currently in the market, many of us do not know about it.

      I will say this:

      Reverse innovation is the process in which a developing country takes a more expensive technology from a developed country, and creates something that is far more tailored for their average market. They do this while driving down the cost of the product, which often forces developed countries to match them to stay competitive. This is great, as it benefits the billions of the people worldwide who live in poverty conditions and provides them with a higher standard of living at prices they can be happy with.

      But I ask this: if a homeless person has no access to the cheaper products because they have no money to buy it any cost, what good does it do them?

      As for the world being wonderful, I agree. Unfortunately, there are many in low to no-income situations who do not. We have to tailor the program for their needs, not ours. The overall purpose is to bring them back into ours if they desire it.
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    Nov 20 2012: I count 11 assertions, each of which would make a vigorous debate on its own. Are you prepared to formally argue in an effective and persuasive manner for each of them?1) Homeless people need rehabilitation.2) We are helping poor people all across the world.3) We are not helping the homeless here at home.4) People demonstrate their innate goodness every day.5) Simulated towns will restore homeless people a to participative, productive life.6) Highly paid, in-demand professionals would design and operate these simulated towns pro bono.7) We all know and care deeply about the homeless.8) Students would volunteer to participate and support the system while seeing altuism in action.9) The entire program would be donor supported with 100% going to benefit the homeless.10) Unprecedented wisdom and innovation will result from this program.11) Pride and meaning will be restored in all who participate in this program.
    • Nov 21 2012: Edward,

      Thank you very much for your reply. Your TED badges show you are an involved member, and your profile shows you are involved person. I appreciate your time.

      I mean no disrespect when I say that I just typed up quite a bit to TED Lover and Fritzie Resiner, so I will reduce my response and be as concise as possible. From there, when I have more time tomorrow (and if you have responded), I will do my best to address your questions or comments. As with everyone else, I would like to emphasize that point that the TED forums do have text limits, and what was proposed is by no means a full presentation of the proposal. Instead, it is a idea that is in its infancy, and by using these beginning discussions to brainstorm, we should all feel free to provide constructive ideas to determine its plausibility. I am looking for help on developing a notion and not gearing up for an aimless debate. I am looking for this to be a fun, creative exchange of ideas that we can all be a part of.

      Also, if any of my responses to the other two involved in this discussion answer your questions, or bring upon more, please engage. I would appreciate it.

      To quickly address your response:

      1. The only people who need rehabilitation are the ones who want help getting it.

      2. We are the most giving nation today. If you could be more specific, I'll gladly answer that in more depth.

      3. We are helping homeless people here at home. But we do not seem to have an effective, connected process that makes it simple for them. More importantly, what I have seen is that many of the organizations offer assistance, but only assistance that seems to perpetuate reliance. My objective is to create self-reliance.

      4. Yes. Such as yourself, who spends time on this website. I see this site as the epitome of opportunity in terms of connectivity and innovation potential. That requires a desire. If that desire exists within a person, and they are aware, they would likely end up here.
    • Nov 21 2012: 5. This is not a matter of fact. This is a hope. Obviously, there are no absolutes when you are dealing with people. And when dealing with people, you cannot rely completely on prior knowledge, facts or figures, or whatever other measurement tools that conventional research may use to determine an outcome. When it comes to people, you need to get hands-on as quickly as possible and begin testing ideas to fine the gaps.

      6. Yes. Local professionals, especially in the medical fields, volunteer time to struggling people all over the world. In the Phoenix area, I will point out at least two organizations:
      - Project C.U.R.E. - They collect donated medical supplies from suppliers all over Arizona, then ship them to struggling developing nations across the world. While doing so, they setup makeshift hospitals that can sustain operations for around 30-45 days. Doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals volunteer time in those places on a rotating basis. There is no compensation they received for it.
      - Valley Orthotics: - An East Valley Metropolitan Phoenix (Mesa, AZ) company, they specialize in creating free prosthetic devices for people in developing nations that have lost limbs from the variety of reasons it occurs. Every year, they return to those places to outfit the patients with updated devices until they are completed with a final fitting. They receive no compensation for it.

      7. As human beings, we are born with the driven desire to connect and help others to assure that we can be helped. As children, many (of course not all) may be afraid for homeless people, but also have a tendency to feel bad for them. If later in life they no longer feel that, that is a product of desensitizing and acceptance, not a product of true indifference. In my opinion, cognitive dissonance is what keeps more meaningful help at bay, a position that is reinforced by the fear that their efforts are pointless, or because of a lack of financial reciprocity.
    • Nov 21 2012: 8. I have no way of knowing if they will. But the doors will be open, and we would notify surrounding businesses and educational institutions that the program exists. Visitation would be on an individual basis, and likely for research purposes only. It is obviously not a zoo, and I do not think I have to elaborate on that. Any who volunteer would be put to work doing something that promotes interaction with the program, and possibly with the volunteer homeless to assist them in social adjustments if that particular homeless person requests it.

      9. Can you elaborate please?

      10. As a veteran, I hold a firm belief that hardship perpetuates wisdom through introspection and self-realization. Homeless people have often found ways to stay alive through finding out what works for them. Also, as anyone in a survival situation would, they would observe and adopt ways of other homeless people that could make their quality of life better. My hope is that through finding comfort in the few things that they have, they could put us all into a more humble perspective as they show us how what many "normal" Americans consider to be struggling is nothing more than complaining. Furthermore, the creative ways they have developed could help design products, or refine processes that could be used to help even more homeless people domestically, but offer inexpensive solutions that other poor people in the world could benefit from.

      11. Can you be more specific? In any given situation, most people feel the best about themselves when they have helped others. It gives them the chance to reassess their own life, remember how lucky they are, and drives them to do it again. Normal fluctuations of disappointment and contentment aside, the overall feeling those are left with are positive.

      Please, offer any ideas and ask any questions. Especially the hardest ones. It will give us all the opportunity to gain knowledge about it once we find the answer. Thank you again.
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        Nov 21 2012: I have scanned your responses and I am impressed with your sincerity. I will read them later. Thank you. #9 is quote from your post: "By establishing a non-profit or charitable trust organization, we can assure that all donations go straight to the program." And #11 is also: "The hope is for a restoration of pride and meaning. Both in the homeless, and in ourselves." You seem bent on doing good to others so I do not want to discourage you, but I do want to encourage you to avoid sweeping generalizations that are impossible to defend. Be well sir.
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    Nov 20 2012: There are some homeless people who are homeless because of what you offer as a cure.

    You seem to be unaware of the fact that income inequality that is built into the fiscal system ($$$) we cling to is the core cause of poverty, homelessness, crime, lack of higher education, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

    you also have a very low opinion of homeless people. This isn't helpful.

    Why not fix the problem rather than give another indoctrination "fix".
    • Nov 21 2012: TED Lover,

      After poring over your response for a bit:

      Based on your name, your badge rating, acknowledging the beautiful spirit that TED has brought to the world, and looking at your blatantly contradictory response, I have come to this conclusion:

      You are brilliantly playing devil's advocate.

      As with all, I deeply appreciate your response and I hope you will continue to engage this conversation, as well as help us all contribute to the creative process to hopefully find solutions to any problems that we bring up here.

      Before I respond, I ask you to watch this video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU

      Also, to ponder this quote from John Emmerling:
      "Innovation is creativity with a job to do."

      As a current Arizona State University student (I'm in my 30s, and joined college after the military), my degree has a heavy focus on innovation. For innovation to work, there is a process. The first step in that process, as with any process in life, is to identify that problem and work to find solutions. The problem does not have to be completed. That defies the process. You cannot conclude anything until you have explored the avenues of success or failure. Going back to how I think this is a test based on my highest hopes of your character, I can only assume that you are catching us off guard and are engaging this process by hitting the ground running, or that you have already covered this subject many times with others and have meaningful insight on how this proposed solution can be concluded.

      If it is the latter, I ask that you practice patience with this, as your experience is not mine and depriving me of the process of finding out why this will fail is not beneficial. Instead, I ask you to use your wisdom to guide the conversation and ask questions that will instill a new perspective for me.
    • Nov 21 2012: To start, to identify the problem requires a following brainstorming process. To brainstorm, all ideas must be presented. In this phase, there are no wrong answers, no bad questions, no bad connections that are made. The purpose is to create an environment of creativity; to get the brain flowing with ideas, no matter how obscene or how great they seem. Following this process, everyone picks the best ideas that could carry the idea along, which they then explore to see what dead ends, or what new ideas, may occur from the selected group.


      To address your first point:

      If the system I propose is the same system that has caused homelessness in the first place, what do you propose? Help me find the holes in the proposal so we can close those gaps and move forward.

      If I approach your ambiguous statement from an economic perspective, I come up with this:

      There is no resource management system (aka government) that can prevent homelessness. Socialism, communism, capitalism, meritocracy, theocracy - any of the given systems that man has devised. The reason for this seems to be quite simple - we do not have infinite resources. Without infinite resources, there will always be need. With need comes desire. With desire, the potential for envy. With envy, or the simple need to survive, bellicism.

      I'll point out the now defunct system called mercantilism. The mercantilist philosophy necessitates that a country must hoard precious metals to stay ahead of competitors and retain (if they have it) military dominance. To perpetuate this, the host government assumes total economic control, and if necessary, invests in domestic firms to produce goods that could otherwise be imported. The problem with that is because resources are finite, you must eventually release wealth back to your competitors to gather the raw materials needed to sustain production. Now, because the host nation puts heavy barriers to trade on imports, it creates the aforementioned
    • Nov 21 2012: bellicism because of the natural assumption that surrounding nations you are exporting to will be unwilling to give you a fair deal on those materials. This happens because as you amass wealth, there is less for their own people, requiring them to increase the costs of materials to compensate for what they are losing by paying the heavy costs of the trade barriers. Too much of that leads to war. Exacerbating the issue is the bullionism that was inherent among the elite, who even though told promises of a more prosperous nation because of the mercantilist system, only hoarded the wealth for themselves and maintained the status quo among the poor anyway.
      This led to the concept of Laissez-faire capitalism, which is essentially the opposite of mercantilism. Here's the problem with that: It just reverses the process on the most fundamental levels. By creating totally free trade with no governmental regulation on trade barriers, exploitation of the theory of comparative advantage comes into play. That leads to difficult domestic economic turbulence, disrupts the ratio of compensation and pay, and slows the economy. This, of course, as we can see with the current Arab Spring and the rioting across Europe, leads to revolt.

      War within, war without. What's the difference? It all revolves around resources.

      If you could propose a system that does not rely on tangible objects for wealth (money, metals/precious metals), I would engage you in that conversation for as long as I live. I would love our world to rely on each other to find value instead of relying on the exchange of currency, or something that just leads back to currency.
    • Nov 21 2012: A touch on capitalism:

      In my opinion, the problems that I have mentioned is what eventually created the modern capitalist system that we live under today. One thing that separates our system from the others from the past, and even the present, is choice. As a free market society, you have the freedom to decide what to purchase, what not to purchase, create business where you see fit as long as you adhere to state and local regulations, and MOST importantly, what to do with your money.

      To me, the last part is everything that provides substance and meaning to our system. Because of the tight central control over money and resources of our previous government overseas, our country broke free and through struggle and victory, obtained the right to be responsible for ourselves. What I am saying is that if there are homeless who are that way not because they have mental illness or because of a simple choice to be that way, they unfortunately indirectly chose to be that way.

      The good news however, is that there is balance. That as a nation of responsible people, we are supposed to understand that there are those who will make mistakes, or there will be those who cannot help what happened to them. We should not only have the means to help the people in our towns get back on their feet, but actively do so with all the care that someone would give to family, within reason. By doing so, we strengthen our bonds to each other and resign to the deeper need for connection, safety, and support. However, Americans today are known for being excessive, known for spending beyond our means, known for not saving for the future, and with that, the fear to know our neighbors because we could not sustain them asking for our help. In addition to that, we have chosen to remove the skill of farming as a necessary tool for retaining liberty and preventing ourselves from being a burden, have chosen to be persuaded too much by marketing tactics, and are solely responsible for
    • Nov 21 2012: what people perceive as government abuses. As a republic, we choose our representatives, and then set them free to uphold the values, under trust, to carry through with our wishes. Politicians playing games, however, is expected. That was why our country was founded on the principal that you must regulate government and prevent them from doing what every other central power has ever done. We do that by relying on each other for support so we may not be so affected if the federal government buckles under pressure.
      What have we really done to prevent it? What have we done to perpetuate it? What about yourself? I can honestly say that I am the same American that I portray in the previous paragraph. But I'm trying, TED Lover. I am trying to believe that our current system is the closest opportunity for people to create value and wealth from something other than tangible resources. I am trying to reconstitute the idea that we do not need government support to help those we are responsible for. This comes from the understanding that we can only help those who want to be helped, and by leading by example, maybe we can get the ones who are resistant to changes in the status quo to eventually jump on board.

      As for my opinion on homeless people, I can only urge you to read my idea again and reconsider. I will point out specifically paragraph 5.

      I'll end with this:

      What does revolt against the British government, going to the moon, and the pet rock all have in common?

      They were successful.

      I don't think that this idea is so far-fetched. It just needs to be worked on.

      Again, I appreciate your time and response. Please continue contributing to this post. I hope you will do so with a different set of eyes (if you're not just playing devil's advocate), and in a way that promotes the brainstorming phase. I hope anyone who still contributes will take this as effort, and not be overly critical of it.
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        Gail . 50+

        • +1
        Nov 22 2012: Those who know me on this site know that I am a proponent of a moneyless society and no private ownership of land. I am also a proponent of a very different kind of government - the kind that the ratifiers of our Constitution intended, but which was overthrown by the Supreme Court in a bloodless coup d'etat in 1819.

        Money is the root of all of our social ills, though it is helped along by the Abrahamic religions. If you study the history of money and our economic model (and religion) , you will see that our money system was intentionally established to create an aristocracy and a race of laborers, the latter of which, by reason of natural selection (& wars), will die in sufficient numbers to keep the system in place.

        Our fiscal model cannot work in a system where equality reigns because our fiscal model is intended to create homeless people. For this reason, your solution is unworkable.

        Your view
        • Nov 23 2012: TED Lover,

          First, please refer to my post to Fritzie Reisner about my career field. It is ambiguous, and for important reasons. However, you will get the idea.

          Now, a piece of advice: reconsider using an unsubstantiated support base to provide yourself with any desired degree of credibility. You will certainly get the opposite in almost every case. In general, it serves only the person using the tactic, and almost always to mask insecurity. Instead, I recommend giving yourself the time and care necessary to develop a strong case about any of your opinions, so you know which ones are worthy of commenting on, and which ones are worthy of conceding to ignorance. I do this often.

          Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you are referring to yourself as an anarchist. Furthermore, your response is more bold, which leads me to believe that you are becoming more emotional in this discussion. What I'll do at this point is exercise more brevity, as this can easily degrade into a debate that I will not participate in.

          My response:

          - At the core, what are the differences between bartering and coin, and what are the similarities - in terms of fundamental psychological change that promotes/prevents a person from making a choice to help someone?
          - Can either of them provide an absolute assurance of security or fulfillment of the basic human needs?
          - Also, barter or coin, how does it fundamentally change our abilities to help those in need?
          - Was the world more, less, or just as safe before the creation of the monetary system?
          - Do I have the choice to make the best with what I have available?

          - Can you address any of the points I made on the economic angle I used to approach your last post? I have provided you with a summary on why *some* problems may exist. I used information that you can research, and reach your own conclusions with. Can you please provide me with information that led you to your conclusion?
        • Nov 23 2012: - Do you propose that the books of the Abrahamic faiths promote abuse? Is it possible that it is not the faith, but the people who exist within the faith that promote abuse?

          - Can you tell me of any religion that has not been used as a tool for abuse?

          - How familiar are you with the documentary film Zeitgeist?

          Finally: Please keep the topic on point. The answers you provide to my questions can all be tied back into the idea that I have proposed. Unfortunately, I will not deviate from the post, and any efforts to do so will be ignored.

          I appreciate your response, and I hope you continue positively contributing to this discussion.