TED Conversations

Mark Hurych


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Imagine a scenario this century that is very bleak for agriculture. What do you think we should do to address humanity's thrivability?

Suppose two things:
Suppose that the food producing carrying capacity (the number of people that can be fed from arable land) of the Earth within this century becomes less than one billion due to climate change, what do you think we should do to address thrivability? Suppose that you had all the necessary resources to act. For full credit, apply empathy, logic, and self-integrating system properties. Yes, this might be on the final exam.

Jeremy Rifkin,

Paul Gilding,

Ray Kurzweil,

Michelle Holliday,


Closing Statement from Mark Hurych

Thanks to everyone that participated. I apologize to anyone who might have felt slighted.

The answer I got here is that people are on many different islands of being about humanity's current reality. We all have hopes and fears but our paradigms I've found are unexpectedly different. Our perspectives and priorities sometimes don't even seem to have common ground.

I very much want to find that common ground, across cultures, across the globe, across everything that separates and isolates us. One way I plan to address this yearning is by tuning my questions to be more inclusive and collective.

I feel that art does this, pulls us together and gives us common ground, even across language barriers and across time. I want to be good. This sounds so strange but I want to be a good ancestor. I don't see myself as an artist but I would very much like to do something for the greater good the way a composer or an artist might leave behind an inspiring artifact.


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    Dec 29 2012: Re: "we should collectively become architects of our future."
    Some of us will and some won't. You're suggesting the "we," meaning all, can gain a sufficient awareness about non linear matters. This remains to be seen. The alternative is a tipping point where a substantial influence can be applied by the some who can.

    Re: "Collective intelligence itself is a field of study"
    Without getting into a discussion of how we might gain a pre-frontal cortex for a "group mind", we are left with "collective unconsciousness." At best change of this type is generations away, and my best guess is that it would be achieve through a new social narrative, like "Avatar", and with video games along the lines that Jane McGonigal is suggesting.
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      Jan 2 2013: Clay Shirky in Cognitive Surplus
      "Humans are fundamentally individual, but we are also fundamentally social. Every one of us has a rational mind; we can make individual assessments and decisions. We also have an emotional mind; we can enter into deep bonds with other people that transcend our individual intellects."
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        Jan 3 2013: Shirky also says, ""Free cultures get what they celebrate." While "we can also celebrate and support and reward the people trying to use cognitive surplus to create civic value," we are, I fear, to distracted and self oriented to accomplish much of anything. i.e. Occupy World St. and the Arab Spring.

        ""My simple idea is that what's happened is, the real 21st century around us isn't so obvious to us, so instead we spend our time responding rationally to a world which we understand and recognize, but which no longer exists." Eddie Obeng

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