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Curious AboutLife

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What are some big social issues that need to be discussed, but aren't?

There are a lot social issues, but which ones are the most un-talked about and important?

  • Dec 3 2012: what about teaching fiscal responsibility in schools????!

    seems that the government does not deem that subject worthy
    to be taught to the indentured servants that is the middle class.
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      Dec 3 2012: That's a great one. Because I sure don't know how to do taxes...
  • Dec 7 2012: What are the issues most UN-Talked about:
    1) Aging population and explosive, untenable health care costs and provision: We MUST MUST MUST, change the nature of the conversation from preserving life at All costs, to one of quality of life and conversations about the End-of-Life. We need to facilitate Advance Directives by tying them to applying for Medicare and/or having primary care doctors initiate this important conversation. Life and death is a "conversation" according to Frances Norwood who stuided euthansia in the Netherlands. There, the practice does NOT increase the incidence of physician assisted suicide, but it DOES promote these dificult conversations (see The Maintenance of Life: Preventing Social Death Through Euthanasia Talk and End-of-Life Care - Lessons from the Netherlands by Frances Norwood (Aug 15, 2009)

    2) What will the Jobs be for our Children in a HIGH Tech world?
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    Dec 5 2012: This could be an exhaustive list.

    I would say Quality Education.

    This is an "unbiased and fact based" education system. The education system can be flawed and it is so in many countires in terms of what is being fed into the growing and learning minds. Schooling is an essential part of personal development. Hence it is imparative that the quality of the lessons and the "educational expereince" is clear, without prejudice, fair and fact based. And most importantly a system that educated an individual about global development and cultures is essential in todays progressive world.

    Edcation shoudl not be about just passing grades or ranking systems. It needs to be a developmental expereince that encourages critical and analtical thinking at all levels. It should encourage sharing ideas and learning from others beyond the classroom or country.
  • Dec 5 2012: A big social issue not addressed is the inability for lower schools to adapt new learning methods to adapt to the strengths of the youth. Instead the school systems try to mold students to conform to social "norms" While this problem is often pointed out no one is willing to make the move to revolutionize the school system to create thinkers and doers instead of office workers.
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    Dec 4 2012: I think they are few issues that are debated but not yet practiced.They are:
    3.Child Labour.
    5.Human Trafficking.
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      Dec 4 2012: Hi again Chetan!
      I agree with you, that the issues you mention HAVE been debated quite a LOT! Do you suppose it takes us (humans) a very long time to change our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, ideas, opinions and paradigms, which all manifest into behaviors?
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        Dec 5 2012: Hello Colleen.
        According to me,It does take a long time for us to change our thoughts,feeling,perceptions since,we change,only,when we experience it by ourselves or when our close one's experience it.They are few people who do work against all these odds and they do show people the pros and cons of the subject and try to seek their support but hardly people bother since everyone does move forward with time.
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          Dec 5 2012: True Chetan,
          Generally, people change when we experience something ourselves, or when someone close to us experiences it, so we are impacted by it as well?

          I think and feel, that as a global society, we are becoming "closer" because of our communication systems. Do you think this increased "closeness" may facilitate humans changing faster? I believe it will....what do you think?
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        Dec 6 2012: Yes, i think we get impacted by feelings what we feel and by people who are close to us feel.
        For Ex: Recent terrorist attacks in india did kill thousands of people,people where concerned with the fall for few days later everyone forgot it.Only people who are close to the victims will feel the pain of losing rather people who know/dont know who actually the victims were.

        Communication systems do facilitate communication between people who are globally widespread but they dont facilitate feelings completely among people.I may provide you the solution for the problem,i may debate but what i feel and what i really want to do only i know it.

        We may keep forward the fact but it completely depends on the people how they want to deal with the fact.
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    Dec 2 2012: how about: suppression of individual traits and talents by peer pressure. forced social behavior in cases in which it should not count at all, like dressing "normally", eating "normally", celebrating the usual holidays, going out "normally", watching the movies, tv programs, listening to the music that others do. from early childhood to late adulthood, simply not doing what the majority does counts as weird, alienating, suspicious.

    the downsides are numerous. such suppression of personality is a partial murder. but in addition to that, it reduces diversity, flexibility and problem solving ability of society. it also creates anxiety and stress.
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      Dec 3 2012: Krisztián! Is that you? Or has your TED account just been hijacked?

      Just kidding. Although, no, it is you, and nothing but neo-liberalism applied to its very best, right? By the way, you don't choose what you are wearing? ;o)
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        Dec 3 2012: could you please try again to make sense?
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          Dec 3 2012: Krisztián! Is that you? Or has your TED account just been hijacked?

          Just kidding. Although, no, it is you, and nothing but neo-liberalism applied to its very best, right? By the way, you don't choose what you are wearing? ;o)
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        Dec 3 2012: i choose to omit the obvious quote often attributed to albert einstein.
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        Dec 4 2012: well i guess you still do a lot of stuff just to avoid weird looks from those around you. but it is good if you can be free at least in important things.

        for me, it is an "either way you lose" situation. either i do what others want me to do, and not enjoy. or i stand outside of the world, get the strange looks, and not enjoy. it is a nuisance, really. nothing too serious. but certainly an unnecessary drag, which i hate.

        however, i feel that for many people, if not most people, the issue is much more serious. i see people doing nothing but following norms all the time. either they lack personality altogether, which i refuse to believe, or they are locked in this social maze. i especially worry about kids, who are just not developed yet to refuse the bullshit.
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    Dec 10 2012: I think many of the issues we are concerned about are being discussed. Many of the big think tanks are well informed about the issues we face as a society.

    One of the larger issues is k-12 education and our lack of resources in that regard. Many of the universities and secondary schools are well funded and do function very well. However, I think we can all agree that K-12 education has seriously failed.

    We haven't really chanced things in decades. Children are coming back with the same test scores we saw in the 60's. So we haven't been able to develop better teaching strategies.

    I think the biggest problem we face is education...and making sure people are able to realize their potential...not drown in life before that can happen.
  • Dec 10 2012: Type 2 diabetes is going to be the biggest health concern for the western world in the next 20 years. The cost of medical treatment and declining healt due to diabetes is going to be unlike anything we have ever seen. People are getting diagnosed younger and younger and our diet continues to get worse. I think that in 20 years, millions will be treated for the disease.
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    Dec 8 2012: I think another issue is the lack of innovation in America. it's like we only have/had one Steve jobs, and no one else is bothering to contest, to come up with something better and smarter. In any field. What happened to things such as the Manhattan Project? Building nukes? Nukes aren't good, but we got scientists from around the world to work on them. I like the history lessons that tell of people coming together and building great things. I feel like we're missing that now...
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      Dec 8 2012: how can you get every single thing wrong? steve jobs was not an innovator. he was a designer. he just put together parts that already existed in the industry.
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        Dec 9 2012: How can you be such a total anal orphus? He used the the things already there and put them together and made something that worked and did not really exist before hand. Can you build a rocketship with out parts that don't exist? Or, if you wanna get technical, and instead use something that doesn't exist, how about.. a 'portal'. Any kind that you have to build. Can you do it without metal that already exists? nuts and bolts that haven't been used before? Think on that, Mr. Sophist.
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          Dec 9 2012: Do you kiss your mother with that mouth young lady? Besides it is Mr Sphincter to you.

          America has raised the standard of living of the world more than any country in the history of the world through American inventions.

          If this wasn't true everyone would descend upon me as they hate acknowledging that this is true.
  • Dec 7 2012: the fact that there are more african americans in jail than it is in college. As a minority college student, we need to let this be know and we need to find ways to get other minority students on the right track and into college
    • Dec 11 2012: What is just beginning to seep into public consciousness are the jail terms for smoking crack cocaine a "black" problem and powdered cocaine a "white" problem. Until recently the former got 100X the jail time of the latter; now it is "only" 17 X.
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    • Dec 11 2012: Be afraid! Be afraid! That is the mantra of the media. Fear sells.
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    Dec 5 2012: You know what I think is a big social issue?
    The way people treat each other. Often times, an opinion about someone is formed without really knowing that person's story or background. This ends up forming bias and prejudice, which then leads to unnecessary in-productivity. I also think a big problem is the outlook people have on someone they first meet. Instead of thinking that other person is lesser than or greater that you, think they are exactly equal, and after knowing them, then form your opinion.
  • Dec 4 2012: My personal belief is that no issue can trump another in terms of importance. I think it's more about which issues can we actually hope to solve.
  • Dec 4 2012: Despite 2,000 years (recorded) of charity and aid, it is still mutual self interest (business and commerce) that makes the more significant impact in reducing poverty. Both at home and abroad.
  • Dec 3 2012: The ever-growing obesity issue that blights our society and can be rectified by thorough education and a more focused view towards health, most of these overweight beings are distracted from their dangerous conditions due to many factors. For some it is a disease and they are incredibly vulnerable to gaining weight but this is not the case for the majority. We need to stop beating around the bush when it comes to Obesity and start to work on this issue that kills more than 30,000 people a year. This can be changed by education and a serious effort by all that are affected by this plague whether it is yourself that is suffering or a family member or friend.
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    Dec 2 2012: Should individual liberty be subjugated to the nanny state? Should the culture of a free people be changed in this way? and replaced by one of entitlement?

    I must say that there is a discernible difference in the people's attitude from the freer countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Switzerland and the countries like the U.K., France, Sweden, and now the U.S.
  • Dec 2 2012: Issues currently on my mind; the childfree choice, and it's need to be included in the sex-Ed curriculum, and, ways our lives are manipulated/controlled by corporations/industries through both dark money and marketing. Darketing?
  • Dec 2 2012: My pet peeve is this urge that most people have to conceive their own kids. Especially when parents can't afford to provide until the child is well-educated, or when the parents are very likely to pass on inheritable illnesses.
    • Dec 2 2012: I adopted as a single mom. Does this count? I took on another's inheritable issue
      • Dec 2 2012: You win on two counts :-) (The "single" bit is irrelevant for my point.)
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    Nov 30 2012: As far as the government is concerned:
    -The failed war on drugs
    -The failure of Republican financial policies (I.E/ The bush tax cuts, trickle down economics, deregulation)
    -The prison population
    -The absolute lack of rehabilitation of prisoners
    -Tax loopholes and tax havens used by the wealthy
    -Subsidies to companies and industries that dont need it.

    Don't remember the last time a politician talked about any of these issues..
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      Dec 1 2012: I remember the last time I heard a poltician talk about #2 on your list. It is printed and broadcast regularly by the current administration as the explanation for the chronic, worsening fiscal turmoil which began 4 years ago.
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        Dec 2 2012: The "fiscal tumoil", as you so eloquently refer to it, began 41 years ago with the end of the gold standard under Nixon and achieved further momentum 31 years ago under the reign of a B-movie actor and hollywood informant to the FBI by vilifying and ending social programs,changing tax codes, and increasing military budgets, increasing federal taxes to the highest levels in US history, creating the "trickle down" economics format which moved the poor and least among us farther from any ability to overcome their situation and ending his presidency with a 2.85 Trillion Dollar national debt…..

        sound familiar….
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          Dec 2 2012: Everything is connected eventually. If the Board of a corporation hires a new CEO to restore the company after firing the current one for gross mismangement they have a right to expect something better four years later than, "It's not my fault. My predecessor made such a mess I need four more years to fix it." No improvement after four years should require at least an explanation. I do not hold the current administration totally to blame for the way things are. Do you hold them blameless? Thank you.
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          Dec 3 2012: @Mr. Long
          Good point. But this the same problem that I had with what Romney was saying. You are talking about running a business. We are talking about running a country. A country is bigger, no? So shouldn't it take more time?
          Just a thought...
  • Nov 30 2012: The principals of accountability for our actions as individuals, be they detrimental or supplemental along with the concepts of honor, loyalty, respect, wisdom, & liberty (as it should be discussed). Society has somehow forgot about those baseline ideologies and I think it has a far reaching effect on the entire fabric of our society- all other social issues included in that spectrum.
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    Nov 30 2012: 1). Is the true cause, purpose, and meaning of life knowable?
    2). Is there a true, knowable source of faith, hope, and love?
    3). Should all humans resist the enslavement and/or mistreatment of all other humans?
    4). Do individual humans have the power to change society?
    5). Where does the power over human life and death rightly lie?
    6). Have we correctly and unanimously defined good and evil?
    7). Is there more to life than the natural realm?
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      Dec 2 2012: :) Mr. Long, I absolutely love this comment, because I just got done reading Dan Brown's book The lost symbol, where there talked about Noetic science. I looked into it, and as it turns out, Noetic science is on its way to answering most of these questions about life. Did you know, that when a person dies, the body lightens right after. About 30 secs, after, i think. And did you know, that we have the power to change our surroundings by our thoughts alone? You should look into it yourself. It's quite interesting...
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        Dec 2 2012: No, I did not know either of those theories. I certainly do not expect they would be shown to be true even it were possible to experiment on them. If you are curious about life I strongly suggest you budget your time in favor of less fantastic subjects. Best wishes!
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          Dec 3 2012: Mr. Long, these are not theories. These are tested and proven facts. And kind of life would I live if I did not inquire about its Source? Its Essence, being my Soul, and its meaning? What type of Curious person does not look for the Truth? Even the Bible tells me to inquire and ask, to desire Wisdom. What is life without it?
          I do not desire to be normal. to be just llike everyone else. That to me is boring. I know there is more. And my lifetime is short. But my Spirit's time is infinite. So should I budget time in favor of gaining material things for my lifetime? Or in favor of gaining spiritual Wisdom for Eternity?
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        Dec 2 2012: Dear Edward,
        Let me remind you of your words right here on this thread...

        "edward long
        1 day ago: "This bright young school girl ventures to ask an important question and you offer her that in response?""
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        Dec 3 2012: Regarding the soul/spirt having mass I suggest you channel some of your curiosity into reading Bergen Evan's book The Natural History of Nonsense (NY: Vintage Books, 1946 [pp.129-130]).
        Regarding Telekinesis I suggest you can best apply your curiosity by seeking information beyond what Dan Brown offers. Many have tried to gain fame and fortune by such feats as : Transmutation; Influencing Events; Energy Shields; Healing; Metamorphosis; Teleportation; Light Control; Phasing; and Control of Magnetism. I assure you, Miss Curious, these are not "tested and proven facts" as you insist.
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          Dec 3 2012: Trust, me Mr Long, if it is something I am interested in, then I won't take one person's word for it. And I will look at that book, the natural history of nonsense, but I will tell you how I feel about it as of right now. As of right now, i think that the book is written by someone who is very close minded, and things all things that seem "fantastic", is nonsense. Look up Dr. Korotkov. He studies the energy field, and has pictures. Did you know that when takeing a Kirlian picture of a leaf, you can see ts energy. And even if you cut off a tip, you can still see the outline of the part that has gone. http://korotkov.org/ http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/imagenes_ciencia/genoma19_50_small.jpg
          And I didn't mention all of those above that you have. You're right, those are not tested and proven facts. Again, I don't gt my things from Dan Brown. I've known about things like this for awhile. The only thing I didn't know was that science is asking the same questions I am. And experiments have been conducted about the mass of the human soul. It concluded that not only do we have a souls, it weighs 27 g. This is just what is said... http://www.scribd.com/doc/20281719/21-Grams-Hypothesis-Concerning-Soul-Substance-Together-with-Experimental-Evidence-of-The-Existence-of-Such-Substance
          Again, Dan Brown is not all of the fuel to my fire. He is actually very little.
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        Dec 3 2012: Dear Curious,
        I LOVE your exploration of life, and those who try to stifle your enthusiasm and interest in learning, growing and evolving, are simply so dependant on their own "comfort zone" they are afraid to step out of it. YOU GO GIRL!!! I'd give you more thumbs up, but I'm maxed out for the week, so I leave this little note:>)
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        Dec 3 2012: With 7 billion folks on Earth I expect there are at least a million different answers to my posted questions. Because of that I did not expect individual answers. I was simply answering Miss Curious' request for some suggested important subjects which do not ordinarily get much consideration or discussion. Each of your responses is debatable and would take us far beyond the scope of the post. But thanks for sharing. Be well!
  • Dec 14 2012: just another thought. i believe that learning from others and taking into account others opinions and their knowledge and interpretations of things is very good but at the same time, i would argue, to truly think and consider what is real to them ,one must look around and experience and feel and test and come up with their own unique understanding of the way things are and then conceive of how they might be. an idea derived from personal experience, observation and reflection, and the process of working it out in ones own mind and testing it is the truest manifestation of learning and thought. in addition, seeing a problem and doing something about it, either by trying to influence how others think or act or just by changing how you think and act is one way of evoking changes in things you see as perhaps out of whack or wrong but the process of discovering for yourself what you believe and think and feel about things, is, i believe, what really matters most--its a process which this world and the people in it are very much lacking these days. i read through some of the comments your question elicited and it seems as though there are quite a number of problems on people's minds that they would like to change or at the least complain about--dont forget to consider both sides of an argument and to step back from the trees to see the forest when considering what you or someone else may see as a problem, and then of course, make up your own mind and think or act upon it as you, after careful thought, think best and in the way you, with originality, come up with to do so. merry christmas to ypsilanti. j
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    Dec 14 2012: The consequences of subverting natural selection, and the implications of doing so for all inhabitants of Earth and the planet itself.
  • Dec 13 2012: The open robbing, lying, cheating!! Putting down people!! Bullying in school!!
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      Dec 13 2012: Hmm I would take that report with a grain of salt. Is it a good sign that now the people of the world can afford tobacco and alcohol? When the same report 20 years ago said the biggest health problem was starvation. Sound like an improvement?
  • Dec 12 2012: perhaps before asking the question--what are big social issues we should think about, we should consider how our society is organized in general and whether or not we agree with the basic tenants of this society and then if not, work our way backwards to how we can change the basic beliefs and suppositions our societiy is based on. for example, i find many flaws in the generally universally now accepted idea that every person should be considered equal to every other person-ie we're all human. pretty much our whole way of life now is based on this idea. i think it is a good one, and it suits me just fine as i am not a great contributor to socieity and thus maybe would be one of the unequal ones in another society that didnt believe it, but is it a scientific law of nature and thus can never be questioned. i guess what i am saying is, so often call words of the people who created the system in whatever generation are used to block true thought and exploration into alternative ideas about what life and living are about and how societies should or could be set up and run. until we consider whether our basic society is "right" , how can we really efficiently deal with the problems present in them? not trying to over complicate an answer to the question but just trying to shed light on the idea that any system , when analyzed by the parts of it for ways to improve it, may fall short of perfecting it purely because we are a part of it and cant think outside of it enough to consider what it might be without our desires or our preconceived beliefs. that being said, i would argue the biggest social problem our current system faces is its own parts inability to consider "messing" with the basic principles it is founded on. after all, what is society but likeminded people, at least to a degree? glad to see a young person such as yourself delving into thinking about big things and asking about things that are un-talked about. very inspiring!
  • Dec 9 2012: We westerners have had a pretty civilised life for over a hundred years, mainly because of cheap energy, from first coal and then oil. Now the rest of the world wants to share it, just as the cheap stuff runs out. But due mostly defects in our educational system, the main efforts to deal with this are misdirected. Most of the money spent on "Green energy " is either an outright scam, or else inadequate, such as windmills and solar power. By that I mean that even if the wildest dreams of "sustainables" are carried out, it will not enable a life on a level higher than the classical Amish have. (Speaking strictly about "stuff" of course, which corresponds to "civillised life", i.e. surpluses which enable leisure, "useless" activiites such as Art, Culture, Education, Travel, and Fun. We can survive on windmills and solar panels, but it won't be fun )Luckily, a solution is in the cards, if we choose to play them. A Cold War secret nuclear aircraft engine was invented and demonstrated 50 years ago, then forgotten for dubious reasons. This alternative type of nuclear fission does not have solid fuel rods, water, steam, high pressure, or unmanageable radioactive wastes. It is referred to as Thorium Liquid Fueled reactor (LFTR). The Manhattan Project geniuses who dreamed this up, and made it work, preferred it greatly to the Fukushima type Uranium reactors which are so troublesome. Alvin Weinberg, Edward Teller , and others explained what was wrong with Uranium reactors, but they were pretty much ignored, at the time. In 2012, we had better take up these questions again. Thorium has a million times the "Energy Density" of coal or oil. And this type of reactor is potentially cheaper than coal. So this needs to be "talked about". One pothole in the discussion : it is possible to use Thorium in a Fukushima type reactor, but it isn't very satisfactory , for the usual reasons. The elephant in the rooms is that with Uranium, you can make bombs.
  • Dec 9 2012: I almost forgot one of the biggest major issues of our time.

    People should be less concerned about money and more concerned about value!

    Rather than becomming a rich person you should aim to become a person of value.

    A person of high value has a lot of virtues as well as knowledge. This will often lead to much prosparity for both him(/her) and the surroundings.
    While a person can become rich by showing an extreme lack of virtue crippling the surroundings by abusing his knowledge.
    We are confusing them way too often.
  • Dec 9 2012: One of the major things is how science works and what it's influences should be.
    For instance I wrote a topic on TED about how using the concequences (concepts) of the "law of preservation of energy" should affect our thinking but doesn't.
    (short version "energy non-efficient lightbulbs" are mainly light producing heaters so using them as lights in cold environments (inside homes which need to be heated) 'wastes no energy')

    There are many more scientific findings which are just being ignored.

    Also a LOT of effort is being made into deepening research on topics but never into combining research.
    For instance we've just now succeded in finding the 'higgs boson' which would radically change our views of physics in the next few years.
    But if you would ask a physics student how a chemical reaction works he'll be almost completely clueless compared to the chemics student being asked the same question. While if you ask a chemist student how the universe works it'll be the other way around. Even though the subjects are so closely related that they should actually almost merge (given all the data we have at this point in time there is no real use in seperating the 2 anymore imho).

    Another major issue is how we "do not discriminate being different". According to our education system and according to all other people... YOU MUST BE AVERAGE!
    If you're not good at math you have to study it more, if you're not good at sports you have to work out. When you're extremely good at math you don't get it taught as all efforts go into making those bad at it average.
    If you REALLY love cleaning... you are still required to have ambitions to become the next president. Because hey if doing what you love doesn't make you at least 6 figures it ain't worth doing.

    Being introverted is not acceptable to society.
    Being too extroverted is also a no go.
    The goal of society has become to create people that pass standarized tests. And fit into predefined boxes.