TED Conversations

Jason Pontin

Editor in Chief/Publisher, MIT's Technology Review


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"Why Can't We Solve Big Problems?"

I'll be giving a TED U Talk in Longbeach at the end of the month. I'll be asking "Why Can't We Solve Big Problems?" I think that blithe optimism about technology’s powers has evaporated as big problems that people had imagined technology would solve, such as hunger, poverty, malaria, climate change, cancer, and the diseases of old age, have come to seem intractably hard.

I'd love to know what the TED Community thinks our difficulties are - or, even if the idea is true at all.

Here's a URL to the story I wrote in MIT Technology Review on the subject: http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/429690/why-we-cant-solve-big-problems/


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    Feb 14 2013: What we forgott though is that said money has to be put to "good" use. To me it seems like a typical case of "who is mr. Longcock" whos got the highest economic growth the most influence on the global market.

    Look at the current crysis, what couldve happend? Economic growth declined some companys died, some people lost their jobs. Germany paid 170Billion € for our european bailout because some weird market went crazy, we werent on the verge of poverty we wouldnt have died due to lack of food or water there wouldnt have been significantly more cases of cannibalism because people wouldve been starving for food.
    No our states penis wasnt in a great mood and shrank by half an inch.

    At the same time haiti got hit by a tsunami a huge amount of people fell into poverty, lost everything from one day to another however our penis wasnt in danger ... guess how much money germany used on helping haiti? Less then 0.1% of what was spent on our Bailout...17 Million € WOW HUGE SUCESS!

    We just dont put enough effort into it, our state doesnt really care and yet we expect results its rididculous. Were setting a wrong focus thats about the whole point.

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