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.
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      Dec 8 2012: Thank you. Coming from a 16 yr old, the education system does need to change. I agree 100%.
  • 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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          Lejan .

          • +1
          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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          Lejan .

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          Dec 3 2012: Come on, Krisztián, don't be huffy, the Universe is relative anyway... :o)
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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.
          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...
          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.
  • Dec 8 2012: Wastage
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      Dec 9 2012: That is very true. All developed countries creates much more waste than otherwise healthy for the environment.
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    Dec 8 2012: Depends on which socio-cultural background we are talking about....... well intolerance to diversity can be the biggest single social issue which applies in all socio, cultural , economic , geo , political situation..
  • Dec 7 2012: Rampant consumerism. Growth comes only from increased consumption. At what cost? The real cost is time. When we measure our consumption in time rather than currency we will realize the real cost of the things we buy. Every purchase costs us time. Time that can`t be replaced. Do we really need a newer car, a bigger T.V? Or would the time taken to pay for that be better SPENT with family,friends etc. Our needs are small, our wants huge. The real price is the time we spend on enriching our masters rather than spending it on raising better kids. The most valuable thing we can give our kids is our time. Better we think in terms of do we really need it....or are there better things we can do with the time it will cost to pay for it?
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    Dec 7 2012: CAL, All issues. The problem, in my opinion, is that issues are discussed but never confronted. Go to a beauty shop or a barber shop and the issues are discussed loud and clear among members of the same neighborhood, ethnicity, etc ... The problem has always been that if you are not with me ... you are against me. A real discussion stopper. In the last election how many issues were there ... the election is over ... how many issues still exist. If the issue of economics becomes resolved then there would be few issues. All the rest are political platforms that still exist from the 2008 election.

    What I am saying is that much of what we see as issues really aren't issues at all. They are wants, desires, goals, dreams, etc ...

    Do wrongs exist. You bet. There are good people who are working to resolve them as best as possible. There are bad people who keep the pot stired up as much as possible. Each generation has made progress. Cultural change evolves over a long period of time.

    What is most important is really each persons call. What is important to me may come way down the list for you if it is even on your list.

    What IS important is that we do not sit on the sidlines and remain part of the problem. We need to become involved and become part of the solution.

    All the best. Bob.
  • Dec 4 2012: Hi, Curious ,
    maybe it will be useful to address questions that have been discussed a lot, but not yet answered. We still don't know who we are . A kind of Occam's razor approach :) There is no necessity to multiply different issues, the list can be endless, but as soon as we get to know ' I am ' what social issues will be left for discussion ?
  • Dec 3 2012: My former post on this topic should be viewed below as it is directly vindified by something I ran onto today. Quite satifsfy when (in the midst of my reading of Tocquville) I happened to find that a greatly more intelligent individual (and Harvard prof.) agreed with me.
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      Dec 4 2012: Great article and exactly. It is interesting to me that Harvey Mansfield started out as democrat and had an epiphany. Most do not have the epiphany.

      . But you state a Harvard professor as though that makes them an authority on this stuff which is the irony as they are more indoctrinated but not educated. E.G. Elizabeth Warren was a Harvard professor.
      • Dec 4 2012: I actually meant that it was interesting that a Harvard prof. agrees with a political operative for the GOP. haha
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          Dec 4 2012: For sure an irony, so how do we create more epiphanies like the one Professor Mansfield had ?
    • Dec 5 2012: Welfare and dependency etc are on both sides of the coin. Both the Republicans and Democrats tilt the table to favor "their base" If you looked at per capita dollars received from versus per capita dollars sent to Washington guess what - Republican/red states are at the top of the list and Democrat/blue states are at the bottom. Is this not "crony" capitalism. You talk about voter knowledge but to my mind money will always trump any kind of advances in voter knowledge you can muster. Our representative government in it's current form is inherently corrupted by money and lobbying by special interests.
  • Dec 3 2012: well i think der isn't any social issues that needs to be discussed and aren't a days almost everything thought topic is being discuused and taught thru various ways and channels.......u name any possible social issue u will definately find the topic being discussed now a dayz
    • Dec 4 2012: Is grown-up spelling discussed too? ;-)
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        Dec 4 2012: John,
        Do you suppose english may not be mona's first language?
        • Dec 4 2012: Her name suggests that she is Indian. It's quite likely she has studied English all her life.

          However, I'm curious, if you came across an American who is in high school or has graduated from it, who wrote like that, what impression would the person make on you? Or would you not form impressions based on the writing style, by itself?
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        Dec 4 2012: John,
        "Quite likely" doesn't necessarily make it so!

        I do not form impressions based on writing style.....especially here on TED, where we have international communications.

        I try to see beyond writing or different communication skills, no matter where a person is from, to understand the content of the comment. So no, the writing style by itself does not cause me to form an impression. That's kind of like judging a person based on how s/he is it not?

        Here on TED, I look at profiles, information that is provided, other comments made by that person, etc., to get as much information as I can, because I think that having some information, sometimes helps me understand the comment better....or not....

        Mostly, I try my best to understand:>)
        • Dec 4 2012: i dunno...... i thinkz dat not makin de effort 2 lern speling n grammer betrayz a certin lack of inteligenz......... I wunz notizd an indian colleag talkin lik dat wid a customer 2 !!! I wuz aghast! quiet apart frum dat, I never cud get her to stop using apostrophe's in her plural's e1 in biznes email's nd document's.

          Njoy sum poetrey !!

          Of course, I'm lenient with those who have not been exposed to the language all that much.
      • Dec 4 2012: I try not to form impressions about people by their style, but the style is still important.

        I am concerned about the loose use of words. First, using any definition we choose, with no reference to dictionary or other authority. Secondly, the acceptance of almost any manner of spelling. Third, the creation of new words at a rate that is historic. If these trends persist, the people of 2050 will need an interpreter to understand the communications of 2012.

        I remember, in a high school Latin class, reading the original words of Julius Caesar. Those words persisted for two thousand years and were still understandable. That is the power of language, and we are tossing it aside as though it has no value.
        • Dec 4 2012: I sympathize with you on the value of language. However, I form impressions too. In almost all cases, my impressions were justified. More than anything else, this was a reflection on their professionalism.
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        Dec 4 2012: There is a difference between not knowing how to speak/write correctly, and choosing not to speak/write correctly. Also, it depends on who you are talking to. If I feel comfortable enough to rite like dis, then I will. If she feels comfortable enough to write like that, then you should be flattered. If she doesn't know how to write correctly, then don't give her a hard time about it.
        • Dec 4 2012: Yeah, get a job, work for a few years, deal with all kinds of people -- smart ones to imbeciles, and recall what you wrote just now. I have no objection to you feeling flattered, but please permit me to feel disgusted.
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        Dec 5 2012: The thing is John, we don't ever really know for sure who has been, or who has NOT been exposed to a language, and to what extent, so I just like to give people the benefit of the feels better to me. You are welcome to feel however you choose about it:>)

        I had over 50 years in the work force, in many different capacities, dealt with all kinds of people, and I still agree with Curious:>)
        • Dec 5 2012: I have quite a few Indians in my circle. I have traveled there a few times, and on occasion, stayed for a few months at a stretch too. Most people in my circle, Indians or not, are engineers. I have developed a sense for knowing which Indians grew up in cities, and which ones in smaller towns. I can tell the difference between and mona dogra. I have been quite accepting of people like Muruganantham -- they did not grow up with the language, but they are trying their best to communicate -- as am I, when I try to speak some of their languages or some European languages.

          Indians who write English badly have something in common with Americans and Brits who write badly -- you know, the kinds that write "should of". What is it? Their refusal to learn or do better. I hope that some of them will see what kind of an impression they make on some people (I'm just one of them), and that will give them a reason to improve.

          And then, there are many others who seem to tolerate such language, but come decision time, "well... we can't have Lizzie interacting with customers, let's assign Maggie for the job instead".
        • Dec 9 2012: John F. :Try more empathy: some of what you are complaining about is a natural result of someone who hears a foreign language without reading it, or vice versa. For instance, I would bet it is quite possible that the person who says "should of", had been listening to "should HAVE", but didn't see it written. President Reagan once mispronounced "Nigeria" in an amusing way; he probably had read it, but not heard it pronounced. That sort of thing should not be held seriously against anyone.
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        Dec 5 2012: Mr. Frum. I completely understand the frustration with ignorance, or lack of the use of knowledge. But like Ms. Steen said, we don't ever really know for sure who has and has not been exposed to language. So in this case, your impression is not justified. and you can be disgusted. Just keep that to yourself or to your friends. And if it really bothers you, find a way to say it politely, and if that doesn't work, then except the things that can't change. At least can't be changed by you. Or just don't say anything at all...
        • Dec 5 2012: "Just keep that to yourself or to your friends."
          Hey! I like communicating openly here! My anonymity grants me that privilege. Just before this comment, I explained the dangers of "keeping to oneself" too.

          By the way, there is no need for "Mr. Frum". It's a famous name that I borrowed: But, you're still welcome to call me Mr. Frum, if you prefer.

          And I do hope that people change because of my comment. ;-) I'm not their boss, but whether they like it or not, many in this world base their decisions on how people speak and write. It's not like it needs extensive plastic surgery or something like that.
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        Dec 5 2012: And john, I love poetry :) And I don't think you were trying to be mean up there, so I'm attacking you. I'm jus sayin ;)
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        Dec 5 2012: John,
        This is in response to your comment beginning with...
        " I have quite a few Indians in my circle."

        I have traveled extensively too, and I am ALWAYS grateful that people put up with, and in fact seem to appreciate my attempt at many languages. When I visit a country, I learn the basics....please, thank you, hello, good bye, etc. etc. to the best of my ability. I have appreciated people of many different nationalities reaching out to me with love and acceptance, even if I don't get the language "right", so that is what I like to do with others:>) It is simply my preference, and I accept and respect your preference.

        You write..."And I do hope that people change because of my comment ;-) "
        I will change and become even more compassionate regarding accepting people, whether or not they speak or write the language correctly, as I sincerely hope they will continue to accept me and my language mistakes:>)
  • Dec 3 2012: The lack of self awareness.
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    Dec 3 2012: The behaviors and dynamic between youths and adults in schools and outside of school settings.

    I want to give a personal example. I was walking in East Los Angeles one day, while waiting for public transit, when I saw a prepubescent boy smoking a cigarette. He walked around taking many puffs, and everyone around this kid appeared as though this was healthy or the norm, at least for that part of town. A much older man began to engage in conversation with the kid and gave him another cigarette, then proceeded to have a few laughs. I was shocked at the fact that not only was he smoking, but that the older man gave him another cigarette. They both seemed like they were from some gang, but I got on the bus as he asked the kid "what he was from".

    Another example I had is with one of my friends kids was being targeted and picked on in class by the teacher. My friends kid was in the 6th grade at the time. He was diagnosed with ADHD, and he was a lot to handle, but it is horrible to find out that even teachers can be bullies to his/her students. My friend went and reported the teachers behavior to the superintendent, but the teacher just got a warning.

    I think these examples are seemingly small, but are very big social issues. "What is this world coming to?!" is what I think of when I see or hear of these events.
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      Dec 3 2012: I was thinking of a related issue this morning, Derek. It is not that people do not talk about such issues, I think, but rather that those who do discuss youth or the relationships between youth and adults do not realize how little they truly know, or how inaccurate their images are, of the way others live and think- youth in particular.
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        Dec 3 2012: This question is for both of you.
        How do you think the interaction between youth and adult be?
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          Dec 3 2012: This depends greatly on the adults and youth involved. Almost all adults, I think, hold out great hope for young people. Generally speaking, adults tend not to have a good understanding of the challenges youth face (other than their own children and others with whom they have close association). Youth, in their turn, often believe they understand what adults value and the motivations for their actions, when in fact they do not.

          But this issue of misconceptions about other people's motivations and values applies just as much to adults and adults they know more distantly. People have images of police officers and coal miners and teachers and people of one or another faith, and so on that are only caricatures that may accurately describe only a small minority of them.
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          Dec 4 2012: Depends on the situation, but I always think that the adults who speak to children should usually be truthful and kind to youth if they want to learn more about something. Adults also need to listen to the youth to a certain extent. I am not as knowledgeable upon how everyone should act with every situation, but focus on the smaller situations. General manners and respect is important to bridging a connection between any interactions regardless of age difference.
        • Dec 4 2012: When I was a child, long time ago, the children of the neighborhood were raised by all of the adults in the neighborhood. The children were taught to respect adults. Now children are taught their own self worth, and are taught to be wary of adults. The new ways have advantages in cities that are not really communities. This is a response to the breakdown of our communities.

          I think it will always require a village to raise a child. Today, we try to institutionalize the village, in the form of school and day care centers. I very much doubt that this approach will be adequate, and I suspect that the formation of gangs is evidence of this.

          Interaction between youth and adult should be respectful, in both directions. It is the job of all adults to help guide youth to become ethical and productive adults. This may seem idealistic today, but I think we will eventually learn that this approach is a simple necessity. Unfortunately, we seem to be learning this (again) the hard way.
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    Dec 2 2012: Here's my list of social issues I wish were discussed more:

    * How do we inject morality into a corporate America that is amoral and driven by profits?
    * How do we remove the influence of money in American politics, which was recently granted by the Supreme Court (i.e. reverse that horrible Citizens United decision).
    * What do we do if a person is sick and dying and doesn't have insurance and can't pay for the medical care, regardless of any other factors? Do we always care for them as best we can, or do we just let them suffer and die? Who pays for that cost? What do we do about starving people - do we just let them starve and die or do we always give them food? Is there a safety net to catch people, not matter what, or do we say "tough luck, go ahead and die?"
    * How do we keep ourselves safe from so-called "terrorists" without giving up our privacy?
    * How do we resolve this remarkable divide that is growing between supporters of "intelligent design" and science?
    * Our country was founded on slave labor and then we (Europeans) nearly wiped out the native Americans that were living here first as we stole their land. Today, blacks and native Americans are still at a significant disadvantage with respect to other groups of people. Will this racial disparity ever fade?
    * How do we repair this huge republican vs. democratic war that is tearing our country apart and move forward together as a nation?
    * How do we support our elders after social security runs out?
    * How do we stop this horrendous war on drugs that has destroyed so many lives?
    * How do we stop spending trillions of dollars fighting wars killing so many people?
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      Dec 3 2012: OH my that all??? :>)
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        Dec 3 2012: Well, I could have added:

        * Should it be the goal of the all the people of this planet to eliminate all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction?

        * How do we redesign our cities, suburbs, business, transportation, power, water, manufacturing, and food distribution to be much more "local", leading to much greater resiliency and efficiency?

        * Let's address the abortion issue from a realistic perspective. Clearly a sperm cell is not life, nor is an ovum (although there are those who consider masterbation a sin, but I degress). But if the two touch, some would consider that sacred life and the intentional destruction of those two cells as one is now tantamount to first degree murder. I personally disagree with that viewpoint, but clearly, somewhere between that moment, and the moment that the baby is born, there is a life which is sacred, and the intentional destruction of which should be considered murder. How do we all resolve at what point that happens?

        And I could go on...
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          Dec 3 2012: I think we can ALL work toward some of these goals, and when we look at facing everything all at once, it sometimes seems overwhelming, and it tends to immobilize people.....don't you think?

          I believe the answers lie in each and every one of us knowing what our talents and skills are, what our time committments are, and what we may be able to contribute to some of the solutions.

          For example, at various times in my life I have volunteered with the dept. of corrections, women and children shelter, a terminal care facility, united way, etc. etc. These positions obviously helped support people.

          At other times, and at the present, I serve on local and regional development review boards, the state economic development commi, transportation advisory committee, etc. These boards and committees work to improve our development practices, design our communities, support businesses and encourage public transportation with consideration to our environment.

          At different times in our lives, we all have the opportunity to contribute to our world in various's do it!
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      Dec 3 2012: I'm writing a paper due tomorrow on intelligent design vs. evolution :) I would be happy to hear your thoughts on that matter/science. I'm arguing the fact that not only is Intel. Design real, science is beginning to prove it, and scientists like Einstien used/use their work specifically for that task of proving it. (no offense to anyone)
      Also, on terrorism and the war on drugs:
      They're both hoaxes. They say a plane crashed the Twin towers. But they fell straight down, and with suc order, that the plane, if it was the plane, couldn't have been able to do it. And the war on drugs is a stupid waste of time. And a lie. people are losing there lives for a lie. You these problems fixed? Tell the Gov. to stop lying to us. just my personal opinion tho....
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        Dec 3 2012: you seem to understand the lesson that not everything what others say is to be believed. alas, you picked many minority lies over majority truths. two out of the listed three. not a good ratio.
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          Dec 3 2012: Yes, I did pick minority issuse, mostly because I either agreed, or didn't feel like talking about it. lol, I was being lazy ^.^
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        Dec 3 2012: you have missed the point entirely. the problem is exactly that you agreed to those. for example intelligent design is crackpottery. if you believe anything they say, you either failed to check the opposing side in necessary depth, or you have a preconception that prevents you assimilating differing views.
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          Dec 3 2012: Preconception, personal experience... I deff. have checked the other side in depth. Trust me on that one. But if you could please not tell me that it's crazy, because I happen to have a very strong belief, and it kind'uv upsets me when people say things like that. Not saying you can't disagree, or say that you think it's crazy, just don't outright call it crazy. Please and thank you :)
          (honestly, we can talk about whatever. Just respect my views as I respect yours..)
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          Dec 4 2012: Krisztián,
          Based on what I observe on this thread, the facilitator of this discussion (Curious AboutLife), is not missing the points of the topics presented here. If you believe that intelligent design is crackpottery, write about your thoughts, feelings, perceptions and opinions about that with respect.....please and thank you:>)
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        Dec 3 2012: no you did not check the other side in depth. and no, i will never restrain myself from calling crackpot theories crackpot theories. it will help nobody. let me tell you, i don't care where you end up. i'm not that much of a social person. but in order to sleep well, i need to at least tell you: you are on the wrong track. i have told you. now nobody can blame me. i sleep well.
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          Dec 3 2012: Actually, I did. And you obviously aren't a very social person, because if you were, you would know how to be polite and have a controlled, civilized conversation like an adult. And you would have manners, like an adult. And would now how to respect people, like an adult would. So at least now, you have an excuse, because you are not social. -_- And in order for me to sleep well, I need to at least, with my soul-saving self, tell you: are on the wrong track. I have told you. Now God can't blame me. I sleep well.
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          Dec 4 2012: Krisztián,
          Curious AboutLife may be on the "wrong track" in YOUR perception. You don't need to keep telling her she is would be much more beneficial for you to offer some information regarding your different perception. I KNOW that you are a very intelligent and creative fellow and can do that try:>)
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        Dec 4 2012: no you did not. if you insist, let's check it. tell me any argument on the side of intelligent design that is not answered in detail. if i can find the answer, i win. if i can't, you win. let's the bet be a mere $50.
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          Dec 4 2012: Krisztian, I've noticed you never ask any questions on TED. Is that because you have all the answers to everything that everybody else questions about life?
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          Dec 4 2012: No. I will not. One, I don't have money, and two, there is not need to bet. I told you that I have looked at the other side in depth, and yet I still choose "the wrong track". Because I have looked at both sides. Maybe you don't believe because you don't allow yourself to. But how 'bout this. Tell me something that you think I don't know. And I'll bet you:
          I do.
      • Dec 4 2012: @Curious AboutLife:
        There is this website, that focuses on all kinds of controversial topics, BUT as long as they are supported by scientific data. So, they are big on references to scientific material.
        Now, many people ask questions on evolution. And many Americans don't believe in it. (Yes, it is largely an American and a Middle East Asian phenomenon.) Therefore, this website has many questions about evolution. The top-rated ones are here:
        In particular, I recommend:

        If you prefer to watch videos, I can help you with that too.
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          Dec 4 2012: Thank you. It's not that I don't believe in evolution. I do. I just think that there was a starting point, a specific starting point, that was even before the big bang. I just think that everything happened for a reason, a purpose. But I will look at those links when I get the chance :)
  • Dec 2 2012: Why it is necessary for someone to fail in order for someone else to win
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      Dec 2 2012: I don't think/feel it is necessary for someone to fail in order for someone else to win Debbie. It seems like sometimes people with big egos like to see another person fail so they can feel better about winning?

      I like win/win situations, and we could all strive to create that in our lives....what do you think?
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        Dec 2 2012: I think we may be confounding two different kinds of "winning":

        There is a simplistic kind of "winning" as in winning a contest or game where there can only be one winner (there can not be a win/win situation). If you preferred win/win situations with this definition of winning, then you would not like scrabble, volleyball, checkers, etc. (Hope that's not the case?)

        And there is a larger kind of winning where you have fun and learn no matter what. I certainly support that kind of win/win situation!

        p.s. I so much appreciate the kind nature you bring to your comments.
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          Dec 3 2012: It's really very simple AND larger for me Danger

          I believe winning a game or contest can indeed seem like a win/win situation. I've played competive sports, and even though I sometimes lost the match, it was a win/win situation in my humble opinion because it was an equally competitive and enjoyable event. Volleyball was one of the competive sports I played, and as long as the matches were equally enjoyable for both teams, it was a win/win, even though technically one team had the better score....see what I mean? I LOVE scrabble:>)
          So, I quess I combine what you are trying to seperate.

          Thank you for the feedback Danger....I appreciate you and your comments as well:>)
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      Dec 2 2012: It's interesting you used the word "fail" rather that the more traditional word "lose". By definition, in a contest, there is a winner and a loser, or else it is a tie. For there to be a winner, there must be a loser by definition. So it is necessary for someone to be a loser in order for someone else to be a winner - by definition.

      Losing is not at all the same thing as failing. I would say that a person has only failed if they did not try. If you tried and lost, then you succeeded in doing your best and hopefully improving. That is not failure.
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        Dec 3 2012: I'm sure Debbie will speak for herself, and I interpreted her win/fail question as having to do with the business world? It seems common, unfortunately, for people to "step" on others to climb to the top?
        In which case, there may be a perceived winner and one on the bottom who seems to be failing?
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      Dec 3 2012: If it is a zero sum game then yes someone wins someone loses that is the nature of a game.

      Many falsely refer to the economy as a zero sum game, it is not. In the U.S. today there are about 140 million jobs or so 100 years ago there was a tiny fraction of that with labor saving devices invented the entire time making many jobs unnecessary. If it were a zero sum game we would still have a few 10s of millions of jobs.
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    Dec 2 2012: The lack of participation by the majority of Americans in the election process resulting in leadership elected not by a majority but infact by small minorities leaving the most important aspect of our political system open to frauds, thieves, and ignorant theocrats.
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      Dec 3 2012: The country is already ruled by a tyranny of the majority. Would not make any difference, you would just be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
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        Dec 3 2012: A majority representative of a minority is still a minority. My point is that we are lead by people elected to office by small minorities because well over half the legally available voters in America don't vote. They are referred to as the "silent majority" and represent the largest portion of a centrist perspective from the electorate. It is from there a larger pool of candidates would be available as well. To your analogy, we are sinking under the weight of extremism and apathy, a highly volatile mix resulting in gridlock and inaction by our elected leadership and management core.
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          Dec 3 2012: I'm saying the socialist liberal vote has won the election if the turn out was greater more socialist liberal people would vote as they are the majority.

          We are sinking from debt.
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        Dec 3 2012: We are "sinking" from a deeper misunderstanding of the purpose of government and it's current inability to frame, build, and maintain the infrastructures necessary to support and encourage economic growth and stability. Socialism, Liberalism, Conservatism….these are terms used to pigeonhole the electorate and dumb down the conversation, and therefore carry no real value in a constructive debate on the advantages in having a true majority turnout of the voting public to break the gridlock our government body is currently experiencing. Too few choices in a world with endless potential.
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    Dec 1 2012: The inequitable funding and access to education.
    Economic disparities between working poor and welfare recipients.
    Internet access as a barrier to bridges out of poverty..
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    Nov 30 2012: The importance of love and truth; and even more importantly, what love is and what truth is.
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      Nov 30 2012: To me 'love and truth' are one of the most if not 'the' most and 'over' discussed issues in any Christian church on this planet. Especially on Sundays and as far as I remember even open for non-believer to participate.

      How much more repetition than that do you think is needed?

      Or are you pointing out of any religious context?
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        Dec 2 2012: The truth is for all times. It would have been terrible if we only seek and speak the truth on Sundays.
        We need to talk about intergrity and wisdom always. Truth is the only way to freedom.
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          Dec 3 2012: The question was '... to be discussed, but aren't?' and not ... to be applied, but aren't.

          Of cours it would be terrible if we would do good things only on Sundays, but how often do we have to discuss 'love and truth' to finally get the point of it?

          Failing in it's application is also another question and usualy confession copes with that, as repetitive by the way, as we all are nothing but human.

          But how many times did you really need to discuss 'love' and 'truth' for you to 'sink in', so that it became your moral compass in your daily life?

          When I was still a Christian, as a child, I simply wen't nuts on this repetitive pattern of 'what to do' and 'how to do it' and about my 'motivation' to do this. Well, it didn't took me long to get the message, so what's next, what more you got besides variations of the same?

          This is what I meant by ''over' discussed'. And to me it became even insulting to my intellect as a child, that I was told the 'same' over and over a again.

          Don't get me wrong I am not saying that a discussion is only held once and never again, as this would lead to stagnation as new arguments and experiences could not be incorporated into a certain issue for us to develop on it.

          But isn't the opposite what many religions have in common? Stagnation? Clumsiness? And if not them, who then is discussing social issues more over?

          So there seems to be some kind of mismatch in between the 'repetition' of an issue and it's final 'conclusions' for those institutions.

          To me, the energy which goes into each 'prayer wheel' or 'prayer mill' is, at the same time, not available for its final application. Just imagine how our world would look like today if the time spend in churches worldwide would have been devoted to those in need instead. Take even just 95% of this time, so they could meet any third month on Sunday to incorporate new knowledge and to keep each other updated on current status. And this over a timefram from, let's say, 1.960 years since .
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          Lejan .

          • +1
          Dec 3 2012: ...

          Wouldn't you agree, that repetition in lipservice is less in value than according deeds?
          That applied love can actally be felt, whereas defining it, again, only burns neural energy?
          That applied 'truth' shows results, whereas defining it, again, doesn't?

          This is one of the reasons why I personally don't trust those religious institutions as they force people into 'prayer mills' of lipservice, they do not manage nor monitor its 'net outcome' and change direction or motivatin when necessary and they burn precious time on self-adulation.

          Where are all the 'doers'? Even statistically I must have bumped into them by now, at least more often than I did. And not all of those I did bump into belong to a religious group. So what and who am I missing here?

          Is there really something we didn't have discussed by now, or are we just not doing what needs to be done?
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      Dec 2 2012: "One of the great difficulties in the new order of thought is that we are likely to indulge in too much theory and too little practice".
      (Ernest Holmes - The Science of Mind)

      We talk about love and truth a LOT.......time to put it into practice:>)
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        Dec 2 2012: You are right Colleen.
        Moliere said: 'Men are alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they differ.'
  • Comment deleted

  • Dec 13 2012: @Krisztian pinter

    "or me, it is an easy decision. any time a company does something evil, it does so with the help of government. "

    This is what you don't get, corporations _have no need_ of government they can still get away with even more if you reduce the size (and power) of government because they have the _resources_. You keep forgetting this. The problem is not an easy one because money is power in market society and markets _are not_ self correcting, people will _not_ vote with their dollars because the system simply doesn't work according to how you think it does.

    One only has to look at STEAM. Steam's success rides on the back of public ignorance of technology and general lack of intelligence in the gaming population, steam is DRM and it needed no government intervention it used propaganda techniques and a trojan horse strategy (take their popular games, forcibly embed steam within it, have ignorant unconcerned illiterate public buy/use it). Steam needed no help from government to get away with taking away your rights to own your own software because _they don't need government do this_ they can come up with all sorts of loopholes to get away with it with or without government because technology allows all sorts of shenanigans (like taking computer code hostage, see: Diablo 3 auctionhouse)

    The company can create and invent around any attempt by redefining rights removal in language.

    Another good example is pollution, modern multi-nationals and businesses are always looking to externalize and offload risk (cost) onto either 1) environment or 2) people and people simply will not react fast enough or with enough numbers because there are huge confounding factors like: awareness, intelligence, education, etc.

    This is why markets are not self correcting and trying to apply ideological principles to a reality that does not work according to them will always end in failure.
    • Dec 13 2012: Having resources is no guarantee of anything. Microsoft had all kinds of resources, and still they are taking a beating in the phones marketplace these days. Apple and Microsoft are acting like a** ****s now only because they get to enforce injunctions for their silly patents WITH government assistance.

      What Steam does is not propaganda. That's not what the word means. You don't have a right to software or games. Steam is not taking away your rights by enforcing some prerequisites for playing their games. Don't like it? Don't buy their games. As simple as that.

      Contrast this with the Apple tax that other phone companies have to pay. You, the customer, pay that tax even if you have sworn off Apple.

      Pollution: many companies abuse lax laws in other countries and pollute them. They are able to do so because the governments there don't do their only legitimate role: protecting the rights of their citizens. I have a right to clean air in my own house. And yet, if I were to stay in some polluted Asian country, the big industry next door spews chemicals into the air, and the government does nothing to protect my rights in my own house.

      Good ideology is the only way out. Make sure you understand capitalist ideology before you embark on debunking it. Otherwise, we sink deeper and deeper into the mess we are making all over the world these days. How did this mess happen?
      • Dec 13 2012: "Having resources is no guarantee of anything."

        You're wrong and an idiot, the fact that we already have these companies infringing on our rights is proof that you're wrong.

        Just because you want to allow people to sell themselves into slavery doesn't mean it's ok or a good idea.

        Just because something is entered into does not mean it is good.
        • Dec 13 2012: @Bob Stiglitz:
          Don't mistake your pathetic reading comprehension for a reflection on my intelligence.

          "the fact that we already have these companies infringing on our rights is proof that you're wrong."
          What the heck are you talking about now? Steams activities are not an infringement. Companies dumping chemicals into rivers IS an infringement. But first of all, do you understand what "private property" is? You can understand infringement only if you comprehend private property. The game company did not sell you a game. If it is really yours, don't you think you can make copies of it and sell that to other people. Do you understand what "license" means? All they ever sold you was a license to play a particular game. There were terms and conditions to the license which you could reject, and thus, not sign up for the license.

          "Just because you want to allow people to sell themselves into slavery doesn't mean it's ok or a good idea."
          Now THIS is a reflection on your intelligence. What next? I am a slave to my local cinema just because they have made restrictions on what I can bring with me to the cinema?

          "Just because something is entered into does not mean it is good."
          I asked you how this MESS happened, and you're telling me not to assume it is good. Is there such a thing as "good mess"?
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          Dec 13 2012: This is where that thumbs down icon would come in real handy.
  • Dec 13 2012: Debunking capitalist ideology and market economics as a sham. If there is one thing america needs, it's that the 'free market' has created huge amounts of un-freedom through abusive laws and monopoly privileges backed by the force of the state. Because money = power to buy the government and have it do your bidding.
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      Dec 13 2012: " 'free market' has created huge amounts of un-freedom through abusive laws"

      since when market creates laws? since when the market creates privileges? since when market creates the state? if the government is on sale, don't you think the government might have something to do with it? they bear, you know, some responsibility about it? just sayin
      • Dec 13 2012: The two things cannot be divorced from one another, governments and markets are not seperate entities since the government is rule by the most monied interests (historically) and hence there has never been a 'market' in which the rich did not abuse their power and create un-freedom by giving themselves special legal privileges in law

        Copyright law is one good example of monopoly rich members of society vote themselves, the problem is in historical practice, rich people always expand and abuse their power by buying up congressmen and spreading propaganda and leading astray the public to protect their interests.

        See more here:

        Copyrights and intellectual property are restrictions on freedom. We don't have a software repair industry for instance (even though we should) because copyright allows one to lock away source-code permanently when things like games should be going into public domain and libraries (as works of culture). Corporations are allowed to confiscate cultural works by fiat because they can simply buy lawmakers.

        DRM in video-games is a perfect example of this confiscating your right to own the stuff you buy. Works of culture and people are controlled by authoritarian rules enacted and influenced by corporations.

        People are not free to create or re-create works (that they built entirely themselves) and are not selling because of legal con-artists.

        Once monied interests buy and create laws you have anonymous dictatorship of corporations just as unfree as totalitarian regimes because no one can check their power effectively because they have all the money and incentive to defeat regulations.

        The below should be able to be done with every game we buy:
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          Dec 13 2012: you have correctly identified the situation, namely that as long as a strong government and rich companies coexist, rich companies will buy themselves power from the government. it is not self-evident, one could write books about why that is. but at the end, we seem to agree that this is the case. from that on, we seem to diverge.

          you conclude that we need to put an end to companies. i conclude that we need to get rid of government (anarchy), or at least not allow it to interfere with the economy (minarchy).

          for me, it is an easy decision. any time a company does something evil, it does so with the help of government. without such a help, companies don't engage in horrendous acts. on the other hand, governments commit most terrifying crimes all the time. who locks up millions of young black people in jail for possessing drugs? who bombs countries, killing innocent people day by day? who maintains a police force that routinely violates the rights of citizens? who disregards human rights on daily basis, detaining people without court order, claiming the right to look into any database, search any house without due process? who maintains an army capable of destroying all the armies on the earth combined? who uses the control of the money supply for its own advantage, essentially robbing every citizen in the country? who claims the right to confiscate any land as they see fit?

          if you get a letter from walmart, what do you feel before opening it? and if you receive a letter from a state department? who is to really fear?
      • Dec 13 2012: When you get the time watch the following, there's a good part where he mentions regulation and how industries are all interconnected and what actually happens in reality, rich have political power, so a reduction in their power is not an acceptable political outcome.
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    Dec 10 2012: Mexico’s lack of development:
    The most developed nation in the world should not ignore its next door neighbor’s economic hardships. It fact the US should feel ashamed of itself.

    Instead of only discouraging illegal immigration, we should also encourage Mexico’s development and thus giving a encouragement to stay. America needs to shut-up and listen, and give them the help they want. micro-loans, agricultural, police, military, trade improvements, economic-zones, or pink bunny rabbits, whatever they say will help.
  • Dec 7 2012: Substance Abuse Prevention talks are not found via key word search. In particular, prevention talks using evidence based practices and philosophies which are proven to inspire behavior change at the community, family, and individual level. This is NOT the "I'm an addict in recovery, don't make the same mistake I have." talk. These are inspiring to those overcoming adversity, but are not proven in research to prevent youth substance use. In fact, those types of talks have been shown to have either no effect or worse. They are often stories so out there that they only serve to show youth they can still drink or do drugs just a little and they don't have a problem. BUT THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Adolescent neurological development is tender and is adversely affected by drug use at this tender age. Adolescent judgement is an oxymoron and only gets worse with using inhibition lowering substances. I hope you consider seeking Talks on this subject. There are some good conversations going, actual talks would be a great next step. Thank you. Jo Morrissey, Program Manager, 21 Reasons.
    • Dec 11 2012: I wished I'd known of the dangers of alcohol at age 13, maybe I might not have tried it. It certainly had a long-term negative impact on my brother and me. Fortunately at a young age I tried smoking and detested it! Unless we can generate risk averse youth it is tough to get them to get "real" when it comes to drugs, alcohol and sex.
  • Dec 7 2012: race. especially in the ted community. the lack of antiracist white people and the lack of education in what antiracism is, is awful.

    white people of ted, start here immediately:
  • Dec 7 2012: The overpopulation of the planet by humans. Our species' reproductive success is destroying our environment. But everyone adores children - as they should. So our global population - over 7 billion today - will continue to grow franticly, and in an undiscussed manner.
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    Tao P

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    Dec 6 2012: That we are working for machines rather than the machines are working for us.
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      Dec 7 2012: you are using a machine right now, reading this. can you name a single machine you have ever worked for?
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        Tao P

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        Dec 7 2012: You've taken my statement too literally, though to answer your question, I worked quite hard to purchase the computer I am typing on.

        My original post was more in reference to the constantly increasing length of the work week. The promise of machines that make our lives easier is a the ever larger carrot being dangled in front of us. We work so hard to keep 'the machine' of the World economic system marching forward but to what end? More of the same it seems.

        Perhaps if the aim of our society was something other than economic growth we could better improve the quality of life for the citizenry of the World.
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        Tao P

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        Dec 8 2012: Well 50 years ago a family generally only needed one working parent. Now most families have 2 working parents. I'm not sure if the work week is going up in the last few years as there is now widespread unemployment and underemployment. One of the problems with the current system is that most people are cogs in a Fordian machine. If machines were working for us we should see our required working hours dropping with the increased productivity we've attained from these machines.
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    Dec 5 2012: In the United States, to me, it's gun control. Mostly all of the Political leaders have not really directly addressed the issue, and still to this day we have problems with it. For instance, the young NFL football player who killed his girlfriend and himself, leaving their child behind. Also, the movie theater shooting, the Wisconsin mosque shooting, and the Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt. Our political leaders, local and federal address it, but do not really get into it and do anything about it.
    • Dec 9 2012: You really need to think this through. Suppose you have your every wish, and you were the Dictator, to boot. Can you imagine the depth and scale of the Police State you would have to build to actually carry this out?! It would have to be much more stringent than the Soviet Union. The program would certainly force you into police state activities, such as midnight "searches" and confiscations which would rapidly become not only Uncontitutional, but wildly unpopular. All the while, giving the worst kind of criminals free rein, since they, of course would have guns. This idea that guns have a malign influence on people's brains is a holdover from the primitive idea of "Sympathetic Magic", ie. if you do "Rain Dances", it will rain. Sorry if I seem harsh, but how would you explain the Swiss? They have a Militia Army (machine guns and ammo in every home, but they have so few shootings that they don't bother much to keep track.).
  • Dec 2 2012: By the way, very thoughtful issue Curious! :-)
  • Dec 1 2012: why do we require arms when universal brotherhood is taught in every society, nation and religion?

    How could we reduce the fear of tomorrow, even when there is no guarantee of its being there?
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    Dec 1 2012: Male circumcision. There's plenty of outrage worldwide about female circumcision, but male circumcision is still accepted as normal.
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      Dec 1 2012: Really Mr. Jones? This bright young school girl ventures to ask an important question and you offer her that in response? I disagree that that is an idea worth sharing.
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        Dec 1 2012: Spoken as one who accepts ritual genital mutilation as normal. I believe my post is perfectly in line with the question.

        As an aside, how were you able to identify the OP as female, young, or a schoolgirl?
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          Dec 1 2012: Click-on the OP's avavtar to read their profile.
        • Dec 2 2012: Some of us are talking. I refused to have my baby boy circumcised.
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          Dec 2 2012: Many of us are not afraid to talk about it.
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          Dec 2 2012: @coleen
          Yes, male circumcision is old and a key aspect in some religions. Them having got it from the bible, of course. But female circumcision, as far as I know, is not. So they're falsely circumcising young girls and women.
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          Dec 2 2012: It appears that you are correct about that Curious....

          According to information provided on this site, about bible references, circumcism is only meant for men.

          Taken from the site:
          Do Biblical passages offer us an guidance and insights about FGM?
          The answer is YES!
          John 10:10 Shows that we have been robed in His fullness. Assurance for who we are in God.
          John 8:33 We shall know the truth and it will set us free.
          Galatians 3:1 About the followers-we should not be foolish.
          Titus 1:15 Speaks about people denying God and doing things on their own ways.
          James 1:17 Every good gift comes from the he Word. Every organ on the body is a gift God designed.
          Hebrews 9:19-25 When people circumcise they think they are doing a sacrifice.
          Jesus was the sacrifice.
          Romans 12:1 We should render our bodies a living sacrifice before God and we should not be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of minds.
          1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing. The keeping of God's commandment is important. 1 Peter 4:1 For as much as Christ has suffered for us.
          1 Corinthians 3:16-17 God's law on our bodies.
          Colossians 2:3 Philosophies and traditions of men.
          1 Corinthians 7:8 Sexual passion.
          Luke 1:34 Compassion about virginity.
          Genesis 17 Circumcision was meant for men.
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        Dec 2 2012: It's ok. really. You're opinion is your opinion, it shouldn't matter how old I am. And I think female circumcision is a bigger issue, because they're are basing the belief that women to be circumcised from the Bible, where it says no such thing..
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          Dec 2 2012: I think male circumcision is based on the bible as it not?

          I just looked up the was practiced before biblical times, then adopted by the characters in the bible.
  • Nov 30 2012: Gluttony

    and its close correlation with creation of Stupidity
  • Nov 30 2012: I am not aware if this is brought up a lot but there is a large sex slave issue globally in which thousands are affected. I am from the United States and there is a large slavery problem of our own concerning how our prison utilizes inmates for cheap or near free labor. The prison item is up for debate, but I think sex slavery and human smuggling are unmentioned by a great many political and social outlets.
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      Dec 1 2012: Prison labor? Ok here's what I know. I know people who get arrested on purpose to have dental work done. I know people who get arrested every fall for minor infractions so they have a warm place to sleep during the winter and three meals a day. I know people who get arrested because they have a mental illness and nowhere else to go. I don't think the issue is free labor.

      But I agree 100% about slavery.
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        Dec 1 2012: So the only injustice here is a result of making them work while they enjoy food and shelter at taxpayer's expense?
      • Dec 2 2012: You seem to know lots of cool people! :-)