TED Conversations

Thomas Hawkins

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Do we have an opinion about everything? If not, should we?

The ideas, questions and debates discussed here on the TED platform allow us to share opinions, answers and lots more.

What is it that makes us form an opinion? Is it something we do through choice? On what level of consciousness are opinions formed?

I chose the "Gotta Share" video as it was the last video I watched before I thought about this. Perhaps its the sharing with others that makes us opinionated? How we make our identity?



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    Apr 23 2013: "Really though, there are just too many issues out there to have opinions on everything. I only have so much brainspace!." On the contrary, I would say that your brain can store as much or as little as it chooses.

    When someone says anything you will have drawn an opinion from numerous things. What they said, how they said it, how they were standing when they said it, what their voice was like when they said it. Your opinion is yours, you have it, you draw it. Sometimes its just a case of picking the right time and moment to express it. Social etiquette dictates that more than anything. How you choose to act on that social etiquette defines you as a person I suppose but that might be a completely different question. I agree with Michael on this, more than anything. If more people were encouraged to speak their mind freely and not fear social downfall then I think people everywhere would be leading healthier, more stimulating lives. But then more social etiquette comes in to play. Apparent arrogance, the viability of sources, who said what and why...
    • Apr 24 2013: I get what you're saying. If I receive new information on a topic, I MUST make a decision about what to do with that info, and the metadata on context and situation. Even if I decide that it is not relevant to me, or I am not relevant to the topic, that is still my formulated opinion.
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        Apr 24 2013: Marvellous. However, unless I'm interpreting it wrong, I would have thought that MUST would not be the right word. Must leads me to think that there is a choice and that absorbing the information and processing it is a choice. I would have thought that it's just 'something' that happens. But yes, I would've thought that you're very right. Edit: Especially in the case of someone speaking to you. It would be like trying to 'unhear' music.
        • Apr 24 2013: Hi Henry and Kevin,
          I enjoyed reading your comments, and was especially struck by your comment, Henry, that not processing information while someone speaking to you is like 'unhearing' music. How right on that is! Music and speech evolved almost simultaneously, music is a form of communication that touches our intuition and emotion, where I like to think our opinions also originate.

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