TED Conversations

Rafi Amin


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If you could jump in to the future and see one thing for yourself now, what would that be ?

It is impossible to see the future but I just want to know /learn what are the things that you are eager to know of future.

In my case,

I would have jumped in to the future and saw whether Peace comes to my country Afghanistan or not.

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    Dec 31 2012: I see little girls from rural Afghanistan, have gone to school, completed college and specialty degrees in education, built homes for themselves and built schools where they work everyday, teaching, they are self sufficient, they are mentors and role models, they have lovely and supportive husbands by their side, equally educated, with whom they raise their own boys and girls, respectfully care and provide for their elders, as well as help educate generation after generation of boys and girls in their schools. It is a peaceful, blessed Afghanistan, with abundant jobs, people working side by side, busy productivity, a wellspring of art and culture, tourists are coming from everywhere and enjoying the enriching inspirations of a beautiful people..........
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    Dec 22 2012: Peace
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      Dec 22 2012: thank you Colleen.
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      Dec 24 2012: You will have to wait until after mankind is gone for that. So I expect that to be far in the future.

      Unless we hold our leaders personally responsible for "collateral damage" (death of civilians). With a death sentence for collateral damage, war ends overnight.
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        Dec 24 2012: No David....I want it NOW!!!

        I don't think/feel we can "hold our leaders personally responsible". I truly believe peace begins with each and every one of us as individuals. How will peace grow as a global goal, if we do not start the seeds in ourselves?
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          Dec 25 2012: "I don't think/feel we can "hold our leaders personally responsible"."

          By that logic, if a Mafia boss orders someone to kill someone else, and they do, the mafia boss should not be held responsible. If you start a war you should be held accountable for your actions.

          From a purely logical perspective, if an opposing force targets just the leaders less people will die, the wars will have less of a chance of starting in the first place, and the war will end quickly, with less people dead.

          What is the death ration in the first Iraq war 3 or 4 civilians to every soldier? What is the ratio of civilians to terrorists in the drone strike campaigns?
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        Dec 25 2012: David,

        Yes, I agree....if a person starts a war, s/he should be held accountable. However, very few wars are started by only one person. A person needs support to enter full force into a war. WE elect those who have the capability to start wars, so ultimately, it is our responsibility as well......would you agree? Too many people have died in wars...it is time to stop fighting.
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          Dec 25 2012: Note the word "leaders" in my comments above. I do not mean one person. I mean all people voting for and starting a war that leads to civilian death.

          My question is simple, why do we not consider collateral damage murder, and why do we not hold those responsible accountable?

          War is a word that says, I am a leader and a thug, wishing to reallocate wealth through violence, or to pay those who support me in an indirect way.
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        Dec 25 2012: Noted.
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    Dec 20 2012: To a time when the human race has hope again. A hope equivalent to the hope in the early Industrial Age. When mankind got off the ground, looked around, and said, I want to go there. And they did. No excuses, just pure detrmination with a crazy sense of vision.

    If there is ever a time when man kind has that spirit again, it would be a wondrous thing to see.
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      Dec 21 2012: I hope that time comes in next few decades
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      Dec 23 2012: I hope that time starts Jan 1, 2013 :-)
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    Dec 16 2012: I would jump forwards to see a more concrete explanation on the existence of the universe.
    Be it a unified theory or an accurate explanation into the development of the singularity.
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    Jan 12 2013: I'd like to see if peace, war and racism were no longer an issue. I'd like to believe that the world would be a nicer place to live in in many years to come.
  • Jan 12 2013: I'd like to see whether we ever become a true space-faring species. I'd like to see the time when humans are spread around the galaxy.
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      Jan 14 2013: As would I, Mr. Penn. It is in my view that our only hope for long term existence depends on us moving out into the stars...and then beyond even that.
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    Jan 8 2013: I want to see how all my kids have turned out--my own personal ones and all the ones I've taught.
  • Jan 8 2013: I really want to know what will happen in my country,and what will be the result of these conflicts between Iran and USA.
  • Jan 4 2013: the ultimate fate of the universe
    • Jan 8 2013: Yep definitely.
      • Jan 8 2013: more : the 'technological singularity', 'first contact', and 'the ultimate product/pinnacle of cosmic evolution´
  • Jan 2 2013: For my personal wish.... To see if truly I will really be a good father, raising my kids back in our ancestral hometown in Central Java while successfully improving the life of the tobacco farmers in my village....
  • Jan 2 2013: Although it would be nice to see something about the future at large, I think that after thinking a little longer most of us would choose something where the knowledge of the future would change our present actions. Knowledge whether peace will come to Afghanistan or if humanity survives will probably not change your present actions or your future life too much. Knowing next weeks lottery numbers most certainly will. Knowing who you will fall in love with will not change your choice of partner, knowing whether you will be happy after 20 years of marriage will.
    As for the question of Afghanistan, the question is not 'if' but 'when'. Currently there are still too many powerful people that fear that they will lose power if there is peace (clan leaders etc.). To change that Afghanistan will a large number of people that believe that they will be better off if there is peace - the internet would help to connect the people to form a large group. But it is just as important to get people to believe that there is prosperity in peace. Afghanistan is surrounded by countries that have peace (at least on the surface) but have little prosperity, so that doesn't help. I'd say that in the wake of the economic upswing after the arab spring some surrounding countries should get significantly whelthier, providing a perspective and a trade opportunity for their neighbours. I'd say sometime after 2030, but I'm no expert.
    • Jan 2 2013: And the other question is not just 'when'....

      I remembered just a week ago, in the wake of 8 years remembrance of the Aceh Tsunami that devastated the Aceh province and the Western coast of Sumatra in my country Indonesia, lots of interviews and analysis have been broadcasted over the TV channels, radios and YouTube about this particularly great disaster that brought many change to Indonesian life.... from how it triggers the Aceh Peace Agreement, how Indonesians manage their local wisdom and the modern technology to be preventive against a natural disaster situation....

      One of the most important things that puts me in great conscience of the essence in your country Afghanistan, as well as mine Indonesia, as well as other developing countries with conflict.... is not just how to get to peace.

      But how to give a peace solution that can LAST FOR A LONG TIME. A sustainable peace for generations. That is the key.
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    Dec 30 2012: I know its kind of selfish but i would see who i will fall in love with
  • Dec 30 2012: I'd like to see a world;
    Where caring about the other is the primary lifestyle in every individuals life.
    Where people do not see each other as competitors, but as collaborators.
    Where empathy exists before judging.
    Where the idea of sharing is common to us. Sharing our joy to everyone, and also sharing our sadness's to someone. And also where the "someones" are honest.

    In short, probably I'd like to see the perfect human being.
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    Dec 25 2012: One thing? CO2 levels in 2025. Just a peek.
  • Ced Wat

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    Dec 25 2012: Next weeks lottery numbers.
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    Dec 24 2012: Whether we have reduced our carbon foot prints and reduced global warming
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    Dec 22 2012: A crime free World......
  • Dec 22 2012: I'd like to see what people in the future thought of us.
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      Dec 22 2012: Interesting . thanks for sharing
  • Dec 22 2012: The only paramount thing that I would want to see is my only son and child happy and emotionally healthy and successful making a difference in order to make the world a better place and displaying the compassion and tenacitu that I have struggled so hard to teach him
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      Dec 23 2012: Your kids are lucky to have you as parent.
  • Dec 21 2012: I would love to see what my girls are doing? What their lives are like.
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      Dec 23 2012: Your kids are lucky to have you as parent.
  • Dec 19 2012: I'd like to hop to about 50-60 years after the fall and wander around the ruins of mankind's dead civilization to see how nature is reclaiming the Earth.
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    Dec 18 2012: I would like to see if any species from Earth ever become capable of interstellar/intergalactic travel.
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      Dec 20 2012: Yep, same here.
      I am sure 500 hundred years ago idea that you can watch someone across the globe and talk to them would've been seen as unimaginable (witchcraft, many would've called it).
      So I give it 150~250 years until a commoner can do such travels (Insha'Allah of course!)
  • Dec 17 2012: I would like to see how society functions after machines with super human intelligence become common.

    Will we leave all the thinking to the machines, and stop solving our own problems?
    Will the machines provide us with customized medicines, perhaps eliminating many diseases?
    Will the machines be able to solve political problems, perhaps bringing world peace?
    Will a machine's invention provide us with cheap energy, available to all?
    Will humans stop playing chess?

    Even if none of these come true, I suspect it will be a very different society.
  • Dec 16 2012: Tomorrow's lottery numbers.
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      Dec 24 2012: Damn ... I wish I would have seen this last week. They will be 1, 18, 35, 39, 44, (11) ;)
  • Jan 15 2013: I wouldd like to see the next dominating species after humans. How they will look like and how they act. How are they different from us. Probly i'll have to go some million yrs forward
  • Jan 15 2013: I'd love to see the effects of human activities on the world and the environment. A good place to start would be the 'Earth song' by Michael Jackson. We shall have brought about more war, diseases, terrorism... and we shall at some point wonder what was the purpose of all of this? Prayers of peace, followed by action... is urgently needed. Will a great spiritual evolution take place, shall the world have transformed itself in to one where peace, love and unity are the order of the day.
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    Jan 14 2013: I think I would choose to find out whether anything we do now truly matters; there will be a point in time in the future where humanity is either dead and gone, or has succeeded beyond the ability of any war or ecological disaster to destroy it. I would like to know what those humans are like, and if what we do to day matters in that struggle.
  • Jan 12 2013: If children are still smiling to eachother in the future...

    it's the only way you can know there is any hope.
  • Jan 12 2013: Well, frankly speaking, it would be a buzz kill, so I'd rather not lol

    But if I should, then personally, I just want to see how I’d be doing in the future—whether it's 20 years after or 30 years after.

    And if there's anyone who died or something changed drastically in my country, then I shall keep this in mind that I should treat the person who will die in 20 years wholeheartedly so that I wouldn't regret while saying, "I should have been better to him/her." in the future.

    If what future shows me is something bad, something we wouldn't really want to face, I would keep cheering myself up to do something right to see if I can give it a shot to change the flow of future generation's 'drastic change' beforehand.

    …And even if I have a chance to see what would really happen in the future, I wouldn’t want to convince people as some sort of prophet.

    Even if I see what future holds for us, I shall not talk about it a lot.
    I know how small I am. I may be passionate, but I don’t want to force people to listen to me as if I am the only one who knows the truth. They might not listen to me at all.

    So many burdens to take.

    Nonetheless, interesting question, indeed! :)
  • Jan 12 2013: I do not know which career path to chase in my life and that is why I would like to see myself . Just to be assured that I can make the ''impossible'' possible and not to be scared of what I really want.
    • Jan 15 2013: Are you limited to only one career in your lifetime? Start down one path and then figure out how to navigate towards the other. keep your options open.