erica zhao

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Have you ever felt your thought is not very independent ? How you solve it ?

Do the western children think of this question earlier than the eastern children ?

Is the concept important to us or it' s just one of the troubles we so-called " Everybody has had it . "

How are you guys ' parents leading you ?

As a 17-year-old student ,I have thought of this question long before .
I don't think come up with your own viewpoint is a shame . I don't want to " Passive accepted " . I can accept your core after you convince me .

I think an independent character is the fundamental of a person . So i begin to cultivating my own value of the world .

After i have read books , watched the speech . I sill have puzzles . But i can't debate with my friends because ,in china , people who concerned the mental issue become more and more lessening.

People will think you are a freak, your friends also don't want to talk this topic with you because it seems like too heavy and it will show to us how ignorant we are .

Some people often think that Chinese youth don't have their own spirits or creeds .

But i believe there must be many sober people .

We also have a mind system of our own ,we just don not know how to arouse it .

  • Apr 21 2013: Yes,I am :)
  • Apr 19 2013: I think differences between Chinese parents and American parents:

    Chinese parents:all have high expections on their children.They all like their children to make their dreams to be true.Once they have children,Most of them spend ninty percent of their lives on their children.They all like to build a better life for their children.they always try to do as much as they can for their children.they think you are my children,you should listen to me mostly,they like their children to be together with them even children grown up...

    America parents:they always try to help their children to be independent,they think they have their dreams,children should have children's dreams.They don't have too much restrictions on children's personal lives when they are adults.hehehehe...all about their from some reading.I haven't been to america,didn't talk to any america parents about it yet:)
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      Apr 20 2013: So...Are you Chinese ?
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    Apr 11 2013: Let people 'think you are a freak' as it is those who can't accept the opinions and views of others who are missing out. Those who don't want to talk, they are the individuals who conform and can't escape the passiveness of life which I think you are referring to. You are young and have the rest of your life to find yourself and develop your opinions on anything and everything you desire - so do just that - explore, learn, be unique and don't be scared what others think when "cultivating your own value of the world"
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      Apr 15 2013: XOXO

      I will try to be a freak ~ It's soud pretty cool .
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    Apr 11 2013: As an independent thinker, what thoughts are you having?
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    Apr 11 2013: Parents everywhere try to influence children based on their personal opinions and code of values ; this includes religious views, political views, social and ethical issues, current topics.. Also schools, politicians and media can,and do influence opinions; there is manipulation of people even in the democratic free western societies but it's not imposed. The real difference lays with the individual ...what he chooses to listen to, and to what degree. It is ok to question things and to form your own opinion and view of the world, but pay close attention...sometimes things can be deceiving and it takes time to understand the real values. The more diverse things you read and listen to the broader your view of the world is going to be.
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    Apr 11 2013: No. I may be unaware of things but my first 'secret' is to completely ignore mass media (and the advertising that goes with it - eg use Ad-block on my web browser.)

    Then be cynical. Start asking questions. Keep asking questions. After a while you discover how to scratch at received wisdom, how to recognise the signs of weakness as others seek to defend an assumed position, and build your skills at debate.

    The next level is developing your own ideas and letting people scoff. OK you may be naive and need to do more research, but so long as you don't retreat into taking a position because of emotional reasons, you'll learn, be prompted to look deeper and so on. Often after a discussion you'll do research that confirms you point of view and demolishes somebody else's.

    At 17 you want to 'be different'. It's the very nature of youth. Get on and read, research, argue, write... ...then be amazed at 20 how simple your ideas were three years ago.

    Finally, a lot of people have had similar ideas in a thousand fields. If you find some appealing then dig deeper. You'll probably want to develop that with your own ideas. So metaphorically, 'making pizza' is not original but the way you make it with fancy toppings is a bit of experimentation... then you hack the shape... then you fold and double bake... and so on. Experiment based on older ideas is a productive way of being independent.
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      Apr 14 2013: Thank you ~

      Your analyses is very very professional, particularly about the process of growth !

      I think I am trapped in the " be cynical " to " show my own values " . I find I can't seize the wit or find the wit .

      And this afternoon I talk with my father about the " admit the defect " .My father use a theory from me want to defeat me . But I come up with a new reason rebut my old theory and my father .

      And he said I was resorted to sophistry .

      AM I ???
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    Apr 24 2013: My goodness life is a mystery. I think you have an interesting concept here. We go into deep conversations like this on my weekly podcast. You can check out this past weeks here. Thanks for the support and interest fellow ted watchers
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    Apr 15 2013: What do you mean by "independent", if you mean have I ever thought of things for myself?
    Yes I have, and I always decide whether things are "right" or "wrong" for myself, and always evalutate what people are told me!
    Yet if you mean "independent" by have I thought of anything completely new?
    Probably not, as Freud said : "Every new thought I think I have, has already been explored by poets before me" (Or something along those lines!).
    While sometimes it is necessary to have trust in people, like I trust physicists who talk about "String theory" know what they are talking about!
    I don't have independent thought (in both aspects) on things I don't know about! I just "trust" the opinions of the experts, or people I hold high in regard. Which can sometimes be a very harmful thing and can lead to unquestioning conformity + obedience
    So this is a two sided coin! :P
    While in the west indiviaulism is encouraged to such an extent that "cooperation" is sometimes looked down upon (Which leads to things like group - think!). (Just like how extroversion is held in high regard in the west, as well as not admitting to your mistakes!)
    EDIT : I mean imagine how inefficient the world would be if everybody was a leader!
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      Apr 16 2013: I neaten what your replied . And I find ——

      1.We must keep our distinct minds

      2.But, we should " trust " the theory which is eternally immutable or we cannot prove it whether true or fulse .【It remind me of the NG from IELTS ...】

      3.And we should respect others' concept because we are modestly .

      Do I organize comprehensively ?
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    Apr 15 2013: Hello freeair zhao.....I love your profile photo:>)

    I do not perceive my thoughts to be totally independent, because I perceive everything as interconnected, and my thoughts are influenced by all the information that I explore. I agree that parents certainly influence their children, and children often accept the information provided by parents. I do not understand why you refer to this as a problem that needs to be solved. I think/feel it is part of the human experience.

    I think it is GREAT that you come up with your own viewpoint after exploring, evaluating and considering information.

    I still have "puzzles" after 60+ years on this earth, so that is ok, in my perception. I will be exploring and learning until I take my last breath:>)

    If you cannot talk about your thoughts, feelings, ideas, concerns and opinions with your friends, I'm glad you came to TED where you can perhaps put some of the puzzles together. It appears that you are arousing and stimulating your mind very well:>)

    Nice to meet you.....welcome to TED:>)
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      Apr 15 2013: Thank you ~ :)

      When I read your reply I feel my heart is fill with warm .

      Actually I am kind of afraid to communicate with you , or the different people . Because the different regime , the prejudices about each other .

      But I still put foward this topic .I think I should face the objection .

      It's so hard that evey time I am prompted there is a new email , which make me too scare to browse the content . Frankly ,I feared to be criticised but meanwhile I want to be judged or, lightly , be teaching .

      In my subconscious , my heart want to find frustrations and want experience the bitter from the setback . I want to be stronger and tougher . I don' t want change my consciousness casually just because somebody's derision .

      PS : I didn't say that be affected by parent is a problem .I just as a case ,because I want to know the different between the Chineses parent and the Euramerican's .
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        Apr 15 2013: Hello again freeair zhao :>)

        Thank you for the feedback, which fills my heart with warmth as well:>)

        No need to be afraid to communicate my friend. You seem like a very insightfull yourself.....believe in yourself.....ok?

        If you discover prejudice, or comments that do not feel comfortable, you do not have to communicate with that person again. We are all teachers and students sharing information in our world.....believe in yourself.

        Sorry, I cannot offer any information regarding your question about the difference in Chinese parents and Euramericans......I don't know. I have friends in China.....I will ask and see if they have ideas about that:>)
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          Apr 23 2013: I 'm soooo sorry ,my email didn't remind me of your reply..

          Thank you I feel vigour back to my life . Thank you for the comfort .

          I try to ignore the teasing .

          Thank you again !
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        Apr 23 2013: My pleasure freeair zhao! Nice to see you communicating here on TED:>)
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    Apr 15 2013: It sounds like you have taken the red pill

    Don't let anyone tell you what is true as only you can or should do this.
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    Apr 13 2013: That is strange. For 4000 years China thought independently and most wonderfully for that the Chinese did not need so much of a religious spirituality. As a neighboring culture we believe you are wonderful people.
    I think the essence of life lies in the realization that we can seldom claim the position of originality. Every little aspect of your life bears contributions of so many before you. Don't bother if you are thinking independently - think to contribute independently. it is no use if you do not act. Actions are real agents of change.
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      Apr 14 2013: Thank you .

      I agree the sentence about contribute independently .It's to the point .

      About the religion ,I don't have the qualification to judge . I don't think without the religion is a shame because different peole have different way to support their inner . Maybe a god maybe a motto maybe a friend maybe a lover .

      I don't think my personal way of thinking all from my culture .The culture is just a background . I have rights to select the positve part of it to complete my mental world .
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      Apr 15 2013: UH.... Because I afraid you may can't understand my pionts , I use the software altered a bit .

      I have a little problem about your last sentence. Is that mean I should be liable for what I said ?
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          Apr 16 2013: NO...

          In China you will find , via the Sina Weibo RenRensite or any other else , there is a large of people followed the "Group think " and there is also a amount of people hold an entirely different perspective to debate with the so-called " Anti-party ".

          Sometime I feel they just for hold to hold ,you know ,as I need novel I created diverse , but the reason I raise to support my pionts is farfetched .
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    Apr 11 2013: As I understand your question, and do correct me if I don't understand, you are arguing that it is important to draw your own conclusions based on what you observe and are taught rather than believing everything you hear and read, accepting it without critical reflection.

    Yes, I would say that that is a value that is communicated to children in the West and that very much most people accept. People who have spent little time in classrooms in the last few decades often believe that kids are directed to accept passively what they are told, but that is not at all my observation of the values in classrooms in the last several decades.

    That said, there is a limit to what we can, practically speaking, test for ourselves. I read a book recently in which 150 or so of the top scientists and social scientists in the world replied to the question, "What do you believe but cannot prove?" One scientists replied that, technically speaking, he knows that in most areas unrelated to the areas in which he works, he does not have the time, knowledge, or skills to test everything for himself and reinvent every wheel. So he explores what people he considers conscientious, honest, and thoughtful have discovered through their careful work and draws conclusions based on those inputs.

    It is increasingly important to be able to recognize reliable sources of information and to distinguish those from unreliable sources.
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      Apr 13 2013: Thanks for your replying.

      Your explanation of my question is properly . I am not good at summarize my thinkings so I usually get a sceptical attitude to analyse the information I received .

      I am really intereted about the book you refered . What's the conclusion he covered at last ? As a rigorous scientist he can bear the uncertainty ? I think the answer is the key to unlock my lock .
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        Apr 13 2013: I think his perspective was that if he is confident of the rigor of the other person's process and the standards to which he holds himself, he is comfortable to accept the results at the level of confidence the scientist claims for them. This would seldom be certainty. If the results are published in a reputable journal, the work will also have been reviewed carefully by other specialists in the area the paper addresses, so other competent eyes will have reviewed the work as well. It is not whether the work is reviewed but whether it is reviewed by competent people in that area who themselves have scientific integrity.

        Even so, a result once presented would need to be replicated before the result can be considered robust.
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          Apr 14 2013: Thank you .

          You mean that we should accept some results even though without our own views in it ?

          PS:Could you tell me the name of the book ?
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        Apr 14 2013: I think that as a practical matter, you have to go with information you personally did not generate much of the time. You can and should seek multiple perspectives, like getting a second opinion on a major medical matter, but you will not have the expertise in every area to do your own research in it.

        The book to which I referred is called What We Believe but Cannot Prove, curated and edited by John Brockman. Scientists and leading thinkers in the compendium include: Richard Dawkins, Robert Sapolsky, Jonathan Haidt, Seth Lloyd, Keith Devlin, Freeman Dyson, Daniel Gilbert, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Howard Gardner, Simon Baron-Cohen, Anton Zeilinger, Martin Seligman, Neil Gershenfeld, and over one hundred other thinkers of prominence.
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          Apr 14 2013: Thank you veeeeeeeery much !

          I think I will not feel guilty if I find I don't have a unique perspective .Or may be I wil but the feeling will not be strong .I will learn to accept others' view frankly .

          Wish I won't to be inactive .

          PS: I just have bought the book on the internet minutes ago, luckily ,it has the Chinese edition.

          Thanks again .
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        Apr 14 2013: Just remember that no one is saying you should not think for yourself with the information you have. Perhaps the most important thing an education can do for you is to give you the background and tools to explore and think for yourself It is only that you typically need to use information and findings gathered from others as part of forming your own conclusions.