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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  • Mar 4 2013: We infer to solve some problems but it may be that we add and build them to bigger unsolvable problems for the simple reason that despite we being the intellectual species are not toned nor work towards unconditional sharing of any excess we gather in form of food, knowledge & or tangible / intangible materialistic products/things. Further our entire education system also does not lean towards it. Healthcare / science and control over nature is manipulated to convey a wrong approach and understanding.

    The growth of intellect has neglected the fundamental attitude to harvest more to share & distribute freely, possibly evenly to attain personal & overall satisfaction and or moral spirituality.

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