Mark Hurych


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During the coming decades, in what ways do you anticipate that our humanity’s hopes will win out over our fears?

Please think of our audience as the 3rd millennium generation, plus future generations. What legitimate hopes for our humanity’s future can we offer children and pregnant women in 2013? How shall we act on our hope for the future?
Take the challenge to be positive, empathic, and good. Site references. Be your helpful best.

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    Jan 12 2013: One's man dream is another's nightmare...

    The best we can hope for is a future which will be better equipped to be informed and be able to filter through piles of useless information...
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      Jan 12 2013: Hmm. we can hope for... ...dream vs nightmare... ...filter...

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      Jan 12 2013: According to the anticipation model in Tali Sharot's theory on optimism bias, we maintain our best performance and happiness when we have an optimistic (one with hope) bias. We tend to make objective reality turn out well since we want so badly for it to fit the subjective positive outcome we are expecting.

      My dream for the future is that all humans reach a healthy, safe, and interesting lifestyle for themselves and their children in this century. Is that somehow your nightmare?

      I am not able to filter the increasing useless stuff very well even when I can tell the difference, but I consider this a software problem, not a personality problem. So my response is to ask software developers to tackle this issue head on. For example, if we had an algorithm that would search the meaningful context of web pages instead of just word proximity and word count, then we would be taking a huge step in the right direction.

      Finally, if you are a parent (i. e. human family mentor) like me, it might be a good idea for us to infect our offspring with the viral meme of objective optimism. Note the chocolate and rain boots in Sara Kay's poem "Point B."
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        Jan 13 2013: The optimism bias is vastly interesting...

        Roughly "anticipation of decisions/thoughts which are more pleasant in rationalization (of the future/moment)"

        No, your dream is not my nightmare... That's not what I meant. However, the details of your dream may be a nightmare to another.

        How do you picture religion? government? public education?

        Depending on your answers, we can begin to see where disputes can manifest. Let's say for example you are in favor of Ayn Rand's objectivism... Well, with the current practice of corporate capitalism.. No matter how you approach the topic at hand, those who hear capitalism will automatically be turned off.

        Your optimism of the future... in a sense. Can do more harm than good without careful attention to detail.. Consider donating to poor region of a third world country.. Give them clothes and food, nice right? Well, what about the farmers, markets and traders? They suffer, because their ability to compete in this capitalistic world is crippled. With good intentions, do not allows follow good results.

        My point of the original post is we need to practice the platinum rule to be worldly people. And establish education values which are able to filter through the infinite amounts of information that is created daily...

        Optimism education (teaching others to be positivist) is not innately bad, but if there is anything cognitive bias theory has taught me (like the one you noted), it is that humans are more often irrational naturally than not. It takes metacognition to a high degree of meditation and a desire to learn, in order to be better equipped to be objective.

        A phantom theme here is... If money doesn't get made, development doesn't get pushed as heavily. Where is the profit from creating an algorithm which dictates context of webpages? In fact, that would objectively make a lot of companies lose money.

        Reality... Is not a positive thing. We should not hope for the best, we should make the best.
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    Jan 7 2013: There is hope because one person can make a difference; and the impact of one good example would be beautiful and admirable.
    As parents we should lead by being examples of service, love, discipline and dedication; an exemplary life is a better sermon than nice speeches.
    We will not solve all the world's problem; but we can be that inspiring and exemplary leader.
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      Jan 8 2013: Agreed, Feyisayo. Hope is contagious. That's such a fortunate benefit that can be spread and multiplied so well. I think we all experience emotions at both ends of a spectrum that runs from shame to hope. It might be that hope is the super motivator and shame the anti-motivator. Maybe hope is an attitude of victory and shame is an attitude of defeat.
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    Jan 7 2013: So far I haven't met a child or a pregnant woman who seemed hopeless about the future. Have you? Who was it, and under what circumstances did you meet them? What did they say? What did you say back?
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      Jan 8 2013: Right. Greg. As far as pregnant women and babies being the most upbeat uplifting forces on the planet, I agree. Jonathan Haidt in his recent TED talk mentions that common ground can be found by having everyone focus on common threats. His metaphor is that there are asteroids heading toward us but each side, left and right, denies the other side's view about what is really a threat.

      Emily Levine talks a rule for a drama game where you aren't allowed to deny the other person's reality, only to build on it. Now even though she talks about games and humor I think there is value in applying this kind of perspective to our common problems. Maybe first thing we need to do is to recognize that they are common problems.

      Please understand, I want to avoid the excuse factory of relying on hoping instead of acting. Too often we can use hope as a verb that way and claim we are on the helpful side, but all we're really doing is "hoping."

      By hope, I mean the noun, the motivation, the inspiration, like that glow in a pregnant woman's face.
  • Jan 7 2013: What is optimism and what is pessimism. To me loss of the Polar bear is bad - I am sure that some will think suntans and bikinis on Northern Canadian and Siberian beaches could be a good thing. So I guess I'm pessimistic.
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      Jan 7 2013: I would define hope as the source of optimism and optimism as the view that things will turn out well. Pessimism would then be the view that things will not turn out well. My thesis statement is that actively seeking hope will fix our attitude on being good and doing good things for the betterment of this collection of individuals called humanity. While it is a large group I think that having a consensus and acting positively for the greater good together is the most effective means of ensuring better outcomes.
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    Jan 14 2013: "...seeing our children for the hope that they are..."
    A quote from Sir Ken lifts my expectation to the most hopeful possibilities.
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    Jan 13 2013: We are educating people out of their creative capacities. I'm quoting Sir Ken Robinson but I think we can generally agree that this is the case in our current education system. Unless. My contention here is that this does not offer the kind of hope for the future that we would wish to see instilled in future generations. Current kindergarteners will be retiring in 2072. A centuries old tradition does not seem to me to be the best way of offering an engaging culture of hope and empathy. Sorry. That's another annoying aspect of my view. Expanding empathy as well as creativity is absolutely essential for out collective future. Sure, technology and its advances offers hope. Also our new-found social circles that expand to do good globally. These things offer hope in brand new ways and I am grateful for them.

    Let's be organic gardeners of hope. Let's inspire future generations and humanity at large, not just tolerate them.
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    Jan 13 2013: Part of what I gain in these TED conversations is the sense of where paradigms are changing or need to change. I start conversations attempting to change others by changing their perspectives. While that does happen I also end up seeing my own perspective change as well.

    Now I'm thinking that the wording of this question is misleading since "win" or "win out" is associated with zero sum games.

    I mean to play a non-zero sum game here, to both advance my ideas as well as absorbing the ideas of others in an attempt to improve every participant's knowledge base, including my own. In general I attempt to turn "either/or" perspectives into "and/and" perspectives. I believe the aggregate of our attempts to improve the world are what matters, not who comes in first, second, or third.

    I am not looking to exclude resources or people or ideas. On the contrary, I'm looking for ways to be inclusive, to find collective intelligence in our efforts, to add to the next generation's bag of tricks for improving the human condition.

    There are several metaphorical asteroids of doom headed toward our collective thrivability this century. I want all of us to find and share ways of facing these threats and tipping points with hope and courage and empathy and non-zero-sumness.

    Before I add comments to conversations or reply to comments here I look at the profiles and past comments of the commentators and listen to the TED talks that they like. I invite you to do the same with my web pages, TED talks or even Google results of my name. Not in order to win points, but to better understand each other so we can understand how we can support and generate support for the common good of our future on this planet.

    In a spirit of the audacity of hope,
    and hoping for audacity,
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    Jan 13 2013: I am not sure how this might be done. Some art form or creativity in any realm might help us re-envision the familiar. This would allow us to associate hope and possibility where before it was lacking.
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    Jan 12 2013: 的聖人徘徊不知道, 看到不看, 完成而不動。Rather than be a sage on the stage I'd prefer to be a guide on the side. 在舞台上,而不是一個聖人就在身邊,我寧願是一個指導。
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    Jan 11 2013: From chapter 47:
    The sage wanders without knowing,
    Sees without looking,
    Accomplishes without acting.
    -I Ching

    Of concept, emotion, and perspective, I want creative collective change.
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    Jan 9 2013: Well, again, Mark, nothing you're saying is convincing me that there's a lack of hope out there. If you haven't done it already, I'd start asking the people around you if they have hope for the future, you know, your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. Ask why they have it, or why not. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm guessing most of them will say they have hope. Personally, I have hope. The human race has done pretty well so far. We've raised ourselves from animals sleeping naked under bushes to creatures who have houses, blankets, good food in our bellies. Every problem that has come along we have conquered or are working on. Remember the Cold War? I don't think people dread nuclear annihilation the way they used to. Remember air pollution, how when you'd run in Southern California your lungs would ache from the smog? Well, maybe you didn't get that down in El Centro, but we sure did up here in Glendale. It's not like that now, it's better. Those are big problems we've solved. So I'm pretty confident things will keep getting better.

    I think it's great if you keep working on specific problems, such as global warming. I've already suggested that one way to combat global warming would be to drink more milk, as milk is generally a food that is produced more locally to where people live. I tend to think hope is not such a big issue, that people still have hope.
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    Jan 9 2013: Mark, I really appreciate the way you get back to me. But I'm still confused. You say you want to generate hope for tomorrow's child, but then you say you don't see young people without hope. So it's like you're trying to solve a problem when there's no problem there.
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      Jan 9 2013: The kind of hope a glowing pregnant woman has is her personal confidence that her baby is wonderful. As an uncle and great-uncle and independent study teacher with teen moms I validate that personally and one-to-one.
      I want to inspire hope for the future. Activities that I participate in are not for me so much as for the future generations. The Internet offers ways to inspire hope and collaborate for the greater good. Hope to me is that emotion that gives me the sense that working for the future is worthwhile. I see it in (grandfather) James Hansen's confident optimism, when facing David Letterman saying, "We're screwed, right?"
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    Jan 9 2013: I hope we don't kill ourselves by harming our environment. A lot of people often say we need to "save the planet", in my eyes it is not the planet that needs saving. "save humanity" sounds better. If the human race became extinct I'm sure that our planet would be better off.

    I can imagine the human race ending by either war or climate change.

    But I still have hope! :)
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      Jan 9 2013: I hope so too. (-that we don't kill ourselves) With "save the planet" language I think we just needed a short way to say, "Let's save the planetary conditions in this century that allow our niche in the biosphere to remain viable." But you're right about war too. We are more than capable of committing species suicide with our own weapons technology.

      And you still have hope. Yes! I want some version of that hope to go viral among 7 billion while at the same time we face the responsibility of cooperating for the greater good of all.

      I'm like, hey Tesla, that's a cool gizmo there, that dynamo, that electricity generator thing. Now can we create something like that to charge up everyone so we all play an Olympic-like non-zero sum game where everyone wins big time? Can we? Why not?
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        Jan 11 2013: Yeah I think your right about "save the planet" :).

        I do still have hope. But a part of me believes something drastic may happen before more people "wake up" and start realizing that what we are doing to our planet is real. I don't think a lot of people take climate change seriously. I still have many changes myself that I need to make with "saving the planet".

        But hope starts with people like us who are aware of what's going on, and people here on Ted who have wonderful ideas. I plan on spreading hope and awareness, especially when I have children. I may even become a elementary teacher (I'm in the process of deciding) and right there is a great opportunity for me to take a bit responsibility for our mother earth and help the children appreciate our environment.
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          Jan 12 2013: Re "wake up"
          Haley Goranson 
          Hope may not have been the right word for this question. You're right, awareness has to come first. For some of us, perhaps the time is right to act collectively on the hope we have, validating each other's efforts. 

          In this century, we are more sensitized... 
          "...more able to think, feel, and respond together..." -Richard Tarnas
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    Jan 8 2013: Mark, I'm still missing your response. You say you want to offer hope to the younger generation. But I haven't heard the younger generation express a lack of hope. So why do you feel you need to offer them hope if they haven't expressed a lack of hope?
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      Jan 9 2013: I'm sorry you missed my response. I'm not trying to be confusing. Perhaps I should have said I want us to generate hope for tomorrow's child by saving the future. Depending on who you listen to, we are facing many challenges to our continued existence and comfort this century. Economical challenges, peace-keeping challenges, environmental challenges, resource challenges, they all are there to ponder. As we think seriously about addressing these issues, especially planetary dangerous ones, we need some kind of guts, some kind of heart strength, some kind of espirit de corps for our human family and its success. I'm not worried about some specific individuals. That may be the confusing part. I am concerned with everybody everywhere. I don't mean to say that I want this because I see young people without hope. That's not it. I see a looming need for greater and greater cooperation and hope and empathy. Maybe there are a hundred different words that are synonyms for this concept. I might have used "heart," for example. I am trying to find ways to bring people with different ways of looking at the world together into a collective supportive cause. Us. Humanity. The future of the inhabitants of this planet.
  • Jan 8 2013: When they give up hope.

    I don't think they will but hope is false. It is a false concept.
    If one is hopeless then the only thing that will work is action.
    If one has hope, nothing gets done unless one lets go of hope and takes action.

    Nothing is done or accomplished by hope or hoping.

    Don't' worry, something good will happen.
    If it doesn't, don't worry,
    something bad will happen.
    Will you be all right? Are you all right?

    Knowing is not the same as hope. Hope is not knowing, and I believe one should come to know what it is they "believe in".
    Once they come to know it, do they trust it? There is no sense in believing or supposedly "knowing something" and not trusting in it.
    If one does trust it, then does one worry about it?
    Well, no, they shouldn't if they trust it.
    People become free when they let go of hope. Disillusionment is only the last allusion.
    However, nothing being perfect,
    he said, "I don't believe in hope.'
    "Well, I guess there's hope in that!"
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      Jan 9 2013: I know exactly what you mean. Maybe I need a different word. I know that hope can be a crutch or an excuse. A state of hopelessness doesn't seem particularly useful either. Does it? Hope. I guess I was thinking of it as the opposite of apathy. Can hope be the belief that improvement is possible and therefore worth trying? If I say I will do what I can and hope for the best, it seems that the doing is more important than the hoping. Yet I feel that without that hope I would soon stop trying. Maybe what I mean is more accurately called uplifting motivation or something like that. Maybe the word heart fits in that sense. Take heart. Have hope. They both sound like "Let's go for it" to me.

      There's another problem. It's not the "go for it" part I'm interested in. I'm interested in the "Let's" part. "Let's" seems to have the brand of hope that I am considering. Every time I hear or say "Let's" or "we" in the context of doing something positive together with others, the collective term seems to have a quality of hope about it. Maybe that's just me.
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    Jan 8 2013: Mark, your reply below didn't seem to reply to my question. You posed a question as to what hope there is for children and pregnant women. To me, the implication is that children and pregnant women feel hopeless. Otherwise, why would you pose the question? But as I said below, I've never met any child or pregnant woman who said they feel hopeless. But it seems as though you have the perception they feel hopeless, so I wonder what you base it on. Have you met children, or pregnant women, who say they feel hopeless? Where did you meet them? What did they say, and what did you say back?

    I wonder if you feel hopeless, and you're just projecting that onto children and pregnant women? Am I right, do you feel hopeless?
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      Jan 8 2013: Who am I talking about? Humanity at large, especially the very young. I'm 55 so I'm talking about younger people in general. Hope was offered to my generation in the form of individual prosperity and the promise of the good life. We are 7 billion now and there are very real existential threats to the future of humanity. I would like to find and offer ideas and inspiration toward a more cooperative and empathic world. We cannot prosper as individuals without prospering as a self-integrated whole. That is the kind of hope I wish for us, collectively, to offer to the youngest generation, collectively. Bucky Fuller used to say either war is outmoded or humanity is. I think war is outmoded and for the sake of hopeful happy babies and new mothers everywhere, 21st century must offer something different than the 20th.
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    Jan 8 2013: Obviously,
    The most easy, economical way is to eliminate INVALID happiness.
    Then, there will be no greed, no crimes, no economic crises, no wars, .... no humankind self-extinction.

    (For INVALID happiness, see the 1st article, points 1-3, at
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      Jan 8 2013: I get confused easily by negatives. I want to be clear. Please talk about your definition of VALID happiness. I appreciate references but I want to read your words first.