TED Conversations

Casey Kitchel

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The use of professions and disciplines, as a medium for discussing social, political, economic, and environmental issues.

Cameron Russell uses modeling as a medium to discuss and raise awareness about social issues that are important, sensitive, difficult, or uncomfortable to talk about. By placing the social issue of race and ethnicity within a certain context (the example being fashion/ beauty industry, and modeling), it appears to make the issue more comfortable/ less uncomfortable to talk about. With that said, what do other people think about this concept, and if this concept does help to discuss and raise awareness about social, political, economic, and environmental issues that are important, sensitive, difficult, or uncomfortable to discuss, what other professions and disciplines could be used as mediums to help discuss them?

I know I am technically “proposing an idea”. But, I feel like I'm really “proposing an idea” and “asking a question” in the hopes that it stimulates “debate”. TED Conversations, here is a case where I really could have used an “all of the above” option when “starting a TED Conversation”.

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    Feb 9 2013: Casey, I am not for sure if I understand your question ... But not knowing what I am talking about has always been my strong point.

    Experts are called as witnesses .. spokespersons .. etc ... in order to prove a point that is being presented. I often use Al Gore for this point. He has a giant carbon footprint and is only there as a "face" in the global warming cause. His past statements and actions do not lend him much credability and is considered a cocktail party joke.

    Most of these people fall into categories. 1) Take the money and run 2) have a ax to grind either for or against 3) for some reason want to be in the spotlight to promoted their book ,, movie ... or join the very profitable talk circle for thousands a talk. To be fair there are those who really believe in the cause but they are usually the volunteers at the lower level. The top spots are politicians who use the system and dupe the believers while using their time and money.

    Just as an example look at economists. Keynesians say keep spending and let the government grow. Austrians say no keep government small and pay the debit down. I am not a economist but I say if I spend more money that I have I am going to jail ... if the National debit is larger than the GDP we are screwed and about to experience some bad things. I wonder why the leaders do not have this same view ... or why they don't go to jail for bankrupting the country. Put a housewife in charge that ever month works to pay all the bills and tries to save a little ... duh she would serve us well.

    Brooke Shields once said I would love to be that skinny (as Ethopians) but all those flies and death would put me off. But we listen to her and other actors as "experts" in ads and as spokespersons.

    My solution is to do your own homework prove them right or wrong and support you efforts from a base of knowledge and never drink the koolade again.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Feb 11 2013: Hey Bob!

      Well that makes two of us, because i don't fully understand your answer! :)

      BUT,

      I do appreciate your response, and I wholeheartedly agree that "doing your own homework, proving them right or wrong and supporting your efforts from a base of knowledge" is essential to better understanding ourselves, other people, and the world we live in.
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        Feb 11 2013: Good, we are agreeing on something but I am still unsure of what you are lookiing for in your question. Help me out here so I can address the issue.

        Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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          Feb 12 2013: Fritzie put it the best way for what I am trying to ask in my question and that is

          "whether it is easier to discuss an issue in a specific context than in the abstract?"

          Hope this helps!
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        Feb 12 2013: Wow an opportunity for me to be both thought a fool and remove all doubt in one comment.

        First I would have to evaluate my target audience. To argue in the abstract with someone who is bound in the specific would be frustrating to say the least. Not everyone is capable of progressing to the next level in either subject mastery or mental abilities.

        You stated "easier" ... my goal would be "productive".
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          Feb 12 2013: Oooooo, "productive". I like that! "Easier" isn't guaranteed, like you mention. If the goal is to be more productive, even if you don't fully win over the audience, I think all the effort isn't completely lost. Just getting an audience to CONSIDER another idea or view point, I think is something of value. And being a little productive, is better than being not productive at all (assuming its going to a GOOD cause, because the role of INTENT is very important).
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          Feb 14 2013: Now if the goal is productivity, what role do you think a medium can play in that? Do you think that can make a discussion/ argument more or less productive?
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        Feb 14 2013: That would depend on specifics. If it were a think tank then there should be no constraints and the medium would only ask for examples or possiably to seek furrther details, etc ... In a corporate discussion he would attempt to refocus the discussion into corporate guidelines, fiscial constraints, manpower and equipment needs, etc ... At a school the medium would acknowledge the thought and advise of state, federal, and fiscial constraints ... In the school and corporate setting the outcome has already been decided and they are seeking input to the operatinonal constraints from lower management or stakeholders.

        As a consultant the intital interview is to advise me of what the CEOs and executive board wants and for me to tell them the best way to achieve it. The real heros of "productivity" evaluations are the time management studies. They save money and manpower ... big bosses love them.

        Whatchathink .... Bob.

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