TED Conversations

greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

TEDCRED 50+

This conversation is closed.

If you could hang out/talk for 30 or 60 minutes with anyone living, who and why? What about anyone who has ever lived?

My answer to both questions would be Bill Armstrong (usually called Billie Joe), leader of rock band Green Day, because he seems interesting and fun. What about you?

Share:
  • Mar 29 2013: Living: Warren Buffet. He seems real, intelligent and on the mark in much of what I have heard him say.

    Ever lived: My dad. I didn't take up golf until after he was sick and never had a chance to play 18 holes with him. I really would have liked to play 18 holes with him and my son at the same time at least once.
    • thumb
      Mar 30 2013: What would you do, if anything, with what you learned from Buffet?
  • Mar 29 2013: Of those still living, I would not want to take up the time of the people I most admire. They have far more productive things to do than talk with me.

    It would be great to spend an hour with Jesus. I suspect that much of his message has been mangled.
    • thumb
      Apr 7 2013: Well, I don't know, Barry, don't you have like a thousand comments on TED? That tells me you have something going on. What was your occupation, maybe you could relate what you did and know about to whoever you are talking to. In fact, if you reveal your choices, it will probably get all our wheels turning, yours included, as to what you could talk about that is valuable.

      If it's really true that what you would have to say isn't all that worthwhile, how could you change that? But again, if we work on it as a group we perhaps can up your value. It may just be looking at what you have differently.

      Why are you willing to take Jesus's time if you feel as you do?
      • Apr 7 2013: My voluminous comments on TED should tell you that I spend too much time in front of my computer screen.

        After further thought, I would like to spend an hour with Dick Cheney, provided he answered my questions, and spoke only the truth, and provided the whole truth. That might be more difficult than getting the dead to speak.

        To put it diplomatically, I would be willing to take Jesus' time because he no longer lives on Earth,

        "If it's really true that what you would have to say isn't all that worthwhile ..."

        I find this to be a strange conclusion based on my comment above. The people I most admire are actually accomplishing valuable objectives. Taking time to talk with me would distract them from their work. To say something useful, I would first have to ask them questions to understand their current problems and situation. That would require more than an hour. (At one time I performed as a systems analyst, so I am familiar with this process.) It is possible I could make a valuable contribution in just one hour, but very unlikely.
        • thumb
          Apr 7 2013: Lots of people spend too much time in front of their computer screen, but not all could participate in intellectual conversations such as we have on TED.

          Sounds like your conversation with Mr. Cheney would be somewhat antagonistic? For me, Barry, I always look for congeniality in a conversation even if it's someone I disagree with. Are you the same, or no?

          I'm sorry if I misconcluded. To me asking questions is not wasting time or distracting, in fact as they answer they have to articulate better their aims and means, or you might ask thought-provoking questions that would give them new ideas about activities to pursue. I believe even the most important people don't mind, and even value, good questions.

          I think of myself as someone who can generate good questions, and it has often gotten me on the air, calling in from home to talk radio shows. I have certainly gotten to talk to important people, probably not quite on the level of Mr. Cheney, but people like museum directors, police chiefs, the speaker of the California State Assembly. I've talked three or four times to Ron Reagan, Jr., because at one time he hosted a national radio show originating from Seattle. Not a President, but the son of one.

          What questions would you ask Mr. Cheney?
  • thumb
    Apr 7 2013: There is a history of fighting over who owns power grids and what is legal being restricted by a central government eltie . Originally peoples did have their own source of energy,from wind to water,to wood ,to coal. A union of the financial end of the industry formed a coalition to regulate the wealth of their clients...so by regulation laws,permits,and what was permitted to be our experience of industries design limited how our culture was formed. The domes themselves are mathematical structures,much like the interior of matter itself...and its principle of how matter if reduced to nothing has its strongest form prior to collapse. . Buck also has theories on history and politics that I was umaware of and appealed to my sense of logic. He is a generous philanthropetist and an inventor of efficient cars,homes,he also has theories for improving our belief systems to include a science based world perpective informed by a moral goal of de stressing a world under duress of misdirected systems
    • thumb
      Apr 7 2013: Well, but doesn't everyone have the right to invest in municipal bonds, in other words, acquire a stake in one's city, and one's city includes utilities such as electricity. So potentially we can all own a piece of the city electric company.

      If you don't know, carolyn, I think many utilities hold different meetings that the public can attend, state their point of view, complaints, etc. Can I recommend that you begin attending those, you would be an excellent person to do that and I'd love to hear back what you learn/say.
  • thumb
    Apr 3 2013: Buck Minister Fuller...inventor of the geodisic dome ...and a complete sense of design that extends off the grid homes and life styles that exclude the regulation by the poor unfortunate weak feeble uninspired selfish inhuman!% that need us to do all their work for them
    • thumb
      Apr 3 2013: Interesting choice. What do you mean, carolyn, "extends off the grid homes....etc."? Were the geodesic domes to be used as houses and retail stores? Are they somehow off the grid? Wouldn't you need water, etc. to be pumped to them? Are you saying there is something about them that makes them better for poor people, is there some reason a rich person wouldn't want to live in a geodesic dome?
      • thumb
        Apr 4 2013: Buck in his vision saw that electricity was a commodity that forced everyone to participate in a centralized system that did not extend benefits to all,but was full of smoke screens that limited the work enjoyment,stress experience,and generally benefited the managers of the system with a huge fallout of residual casualities that need not occur. His vision was to create a source of energy (a battery) for each home to not need a direct enslavement to a central government. Regarding plumbing...I am at a loss(good call) The domes for him were useful as structures because they required the least amount of material and provided maximum results(there i s one still in the artic)There is no reason why a person of affluence would not enjoy a dome...I was being bold and implying that a person of great wealth is in need of constant advantage and service,as is evidenced by the amount of individuals they deem nessesary to survive ,which is evidence of great dependence....Living in near isolation may be problematic for this dependent 1%...I could be wrong
        • thumb
          Apr 7 2013: So why haven't domes caught on, carolyn?

          What exactly would you talk about with Buck, because you have 60 minutes, it would take about two minutes to congratulate him on his idea, then what about the other 58?

          With the 1%, are you talking about servants and such? My parents worked like dogs and ended up in the 1%, but didn't have any servants or such. My father died young at sixty-five, now at 80 my mom has a cleaning woman who comes once every two weeks.

          You're saying rich people use other people's dependence on energy to hold them captive? I tend to disbelieve it, but I'd have to think about it. If it's really true, one wonders why poor people haven't found some way to provide their own energy, aren't there many alternatives besides domes? Maybe the way energy is currently provided is the cheapest and most convenient. I'm certainly for everyone becoming as self-sufficient as possible. Again one wonders why domes haven't caught on?

          People talk about rich exploiting poor. I often think the poor exploit the rich.
  • thumb
    Mar 30 2013: Got to be Jesus. He has the words of eternal life !

    :-)
    • thumb
      Mar 30 2013: I thought about Jesus, but I feel I already know a lot about him. I want to do it with somebody I don't know so much about.
    • thumb
      Apr 7 2013: What would you talk about with Jesus, you have an hour.
  • Mar 29 2013: President Carter - living Okay Barry - Jesus is good but I feel that might be presumptuous. Okay how could I talk to him or the next guy I would suggest as they didn't speak English. How about Winston Churchill?
    • thumb
      Mar 29 2013: well, for the sake of the conversation we'll say they can speak English, or you can have a translator.
    • thumb
      Mar 29 2013: sorry, george, who is living Okay Barry?
    • Mar 31 2013: George, I can see your point about the language, but wouldn't the bigger problem be the fact that they are dead? :)