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History tends to repeat itself. Empires rise and fall in a vicious circle of greed, tribal thinking, prejudice, misunderstandings and envy.

Empires, organisations and companies rise and fall, new are created, get competitors and fall or not, change and evolve, or fall again. People tend to be seduced by either organisations, ideas, tribes, values, often without questioning their source, wondering why they get seduced or what the intention, goal, purpose or competence of the seducer is.
But in the end, it's facts that are more important than fiction.
Or, as they say in NY, true facts.

Do the tedsters have any stories, thoughts or insights about this? Links can be provided.
Excuse my being young and colloquial but... Share or be square..

Share:
  • May 3 2013: For every move there is a counter, when greed laziness and self, end up destroying. If man ever does the right things for the right reasons in the correct manner, mankind will advance incredibly fast and war will not be necessary.
  • May 7 2013: Why are we so tired after being born?
    Is it because we have come from a very long distance away?
    Perhaps, but once here, and for the duration of our time on this planet,
    we seem to have not come very far.
    But, it isn't human nature as to how we behave. That is such a false and easy way out to avoid really looking at the reasons or causes for our behavior.

    Humans have many choices on how to respond to their environment. If it were solely human nature and that a limited one, namely to the types you, Anna, listed, then that is how we would always behave, me thinks.

    But we don't.
    I believe first of all, that what we believe is false. "It's human nature." Nope. It is a perversion of our nature because so many are not getting their needs met and this was also true many years ago. "If we forget history, we are condemned to repeating it." Well, when one cannot remember, then one cannot repeat. If one person or a people repeat what they cannot remember, then that is a sign they have been brainwashed. So, look at those who push the idea of not forgetting, and that is how and why we repeat our history. That kind of propaganda is generally done by those in power, going way, way, back because it is in that kind of unjust system whereby they keep their power through manipulating the masses.
    So, yes the fighting, rising, falling and so on go on and the changes never get started.
    The system, from the very beginning was unjust and still is.
    Thus, it can never be made just and a new and just system must be created and implemented.
    It cannot contain the reasons for corruption or greed, or crime.

    The only way to do this is to attack the causes and eliminate them.
    This is not what humans do. They are misled into all kinds & various forms of ills that all come from one or two single causes, but they are told again and again, it is human nature and can never be changed. So, most look no further and struggle to find a way to accept or go crazy. Going crazy is to remain sane in insanity.
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      May 8 2013: "The only way to do this is to attack the causes and eliminate them."

      ...remembering that "how" is also an important question.

      "Going crazy is to remain sane in insanity. "
      A really nice summary, thank you. It probably doesn't apply to all types of "crazy" but maybe...
      • May 8 2013: Anna.
        I meant, "So, most look no further and struggle to find a way to accept or go crazy. Going crazy is to remain sane in insanity. "
        In that respect, as a kind of response to the pressure to be and think like everyone else.
        Because most are insane, the pressure is become like them, insane.

        The definition I am going by for insanity is, "to not know the difference between right and wrong, good or bad, true or false."

        Most today, do not.
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    May 4 2013: Anna,

    It's a spiral - you already know this ;)

    You go around .. and next time is similar - not the same.
    At the point of similarity - everything can change, and the wheel is on another cart .. one time around? Two times?
    Up to you - .. the universe does not insist on rotations - it insists on change.
    You can go from 1 to 7 - there is no rule of sequence.

    Here is a riddle:

    In the absence of life there is only rotation.
    What have you done to be alive?
    Here you are.
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    May 3 2013: Whether it is 564BC or 1412AD or 1984, human nature is simply the same through the ages.
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      May 3 2013: depending what "human nature" means.

      for example in 1500 europe, setting a cat on fire and watching die was considered a good joke. today, you can barely find people that would find that entertaining.
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        May 3 2013: Yes; but violence is still considered entertaining.
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          May 3 2013: violence has a degree. today, we only entertained by mild or obscure violence, like sports, movies, or "antiterrorist" attacks. i'm okay if in the future, people will enjoy the former two and just abandon the third.
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        May 3 2013: Similarly in 1500 Europe nobody could have entertained the idea of gawking, over a bowl of pop corn, at a screen with pictures showing a robotic airplane destroying property and life in real time.
        Sense and sensibility change. Human nature may not.
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          May 3 2013: are you sure about that? do you think that people in 1500, given the opportunity, would not watch the hell out of such a show?
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        May 3 2013: Human nature changes and shows change as the flow of information and knowledge change. Sometimes you just have to wake up and smell the difference, not only the coffee.
        Best wishes.
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        May 4 2013: @ Kris : Honestly, no. But that reinforces my statement that basic human nature either doesn't change or if it does, it does awfully slow - and our sense of 'change' or its pace is more imagination than fact. Actually, such hopeful optimism springs forth from a belief that 'humanity' is something independent of the environment where human beings evolve.
        And dear Anna, I woke up one day smelling the coffee. It smelt of blood, sweat and tear of people who just were used and dispensed like livestock for centuries to bring me the morning luxury.
        Have you seen a 'wish' for many of us to look at nature as something benevolent nurturing us? Like a mother? Nothing can be more wrong than that. Nature is cold, relentless, unforgiving. It permits no excess. Its multitudes and abundance are not a divine gift of eternal kindness, it is a result of life's proliferation to survive. We can at best learn to live with it intelligently. End of story.
        There is a limit after which we cannot pretend that the human drama with all its values, morality and ethics is primal - simply because we are animals, however advanced, in a huge biological reality where we are surviving. All those dark things that Anna mentioned in the OP are dark only because we shine a surreal light of human nature on life.
        History, IMO, will keep on repeating as long as we demand that the human nature has a supernatural decree of being kind, compassionate, altruistic and sacrificing sitting within an environment where violence is one primary tool of survival. Religions doped us for millenia in that direction.
        I agree with Anna in one point. Change will come when we are informed with knowledge. When we realize wars will not stop by kindness, wars will stop when we understand it is a zero sum game. Same for envy and greed.
        This is a moral question basically. We need to change morality to break the repetitive cycle.
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          May 4 2013: no it does not reinforce. we just established that out of two terrible activities 1500 self would happily do, we only would do one. that is progress.
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          May 4 2013: "We need to change morality to break the repetitive cycle."

          ...while not forgeting that those who lack the moral sense do not lack it because it's their choice. They were taught to lack it, had no other choice but to lack it or were seduced by concepts or ideas that didn't include moral sense.
          Australia is an interesting example - all troublemakers of England were sent there as a punishment, but their punishment was actually their freedom. Now see how they're doing. It was an accidental social experiment, but very educational.
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        May 4 2013: That's another ambiguous word, that 'progress' :) So you mean we are progressively repeating history! I thought it was not yet 70 years from the holocaust? Please don't mistake cosmetic dressing for health.
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        May 4 2013: No. I am the person that can tell the current state and rate of change both but not the direction you seem to be indicating. And I am sure you know how in a circle the state can change at a given rate and the implication of direction, don't you?
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          May 4 2013: you can tell it contrary to all evidence. nice job. but i'm not interested in oracles.
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          May 4 2013: "you can tell it contrary to all evidence. nice job. but i'm not interested in oracles."

          Neither do I because Neos are not out there... ;) What I'm interested in is a lot of other things.
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        May 4 2013: I hope you are not citing history as 'evidence' :) Oh you are being so predictable Kris!!
        Ok let's sing a song?
        how many ears must one man have
        Before he can hear people cry?
        Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
        That too many people have died?
        The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
        The answer is blowin' in the wind.

        Cheers!!
        • May 4 2013: Its too bad that all you can offer is supposition.
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      May 3 2013: ...and let's not forget that we are all Africans.
      • May 4 2013: I hope you're joking.
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          May 4 2013: She is not, at least to me. Or you and I have very different sense of humor.
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        May 4 2013: At some point .. but the evidence seems to say we are Basque.
        But before that we had low foreheads .. or were little elves.

        The trumpet of the future is not much wider than the trumpet of the past.
        But the tune gets played in the instant - it makes us dance.
        DO we dance in circles?
        Not often. There is rhythm, but it is the beat of questing/dancing feet, not the beat of machinery.

        We dance .. our feet touch the ground and we know what the ground is .. not what it was .. who cares what it will be?
        Just dance ;)
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          May 4 2013: Thanks, Mitch.

          I do hope you dance and know the ground, I hope others dance too, just not in circles ;)

          "who cares what it will be"... some people have to ;)

          Ride the helix while not forgetting that to ride the lightning is still kind of cool.
          Best wishes.
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        May 5 2013: Well .. lightening is a fractal helix if you are to believe the electric universe guys.

        For myself, I believe that everything is composed of inflections of time.

        We are necessarily vain. A self cannot be not-self.
        There is a Boolean truth that empowers the double negative above the simple positive.
        For instance, you will find that computers work mostly from "not-gates".

        The next step of the dance is dictated by the ground of the current step plus the persistence of the dancer - best to leap over the fire than into it ;)
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          May 7 2013: And my humble question in response to all this is - what next?
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        May 8 2013: What next?
        If you are not already - leap over the fire .. not around it. Use your intelligence to not land in it.

        How does this translate into specifics?

        well - what context did you have in mind?
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        May 9 2013: @ Anna,

        Specifics?
        One can cut up the universe to fine dust - and the dust into atoms and the atoms into strangelets with spin this way or that.
        But the important specific is the one between think and do. Between potential and actual.
        What you ask is the hardest question of all.
        SO .. I say jump over the flame.
        What is that? It is surrender to your passion - taking the risk that your passion will burn you up.
        Anna - what is your passion? What have you done to realise it?
        And then - when you go to realise, you suddenly know that you don't know how.
        And then a magic thing happens - the way to do starts to come into your life.
        The steps materialise beneath your feet, and people bring the skill to you.
        You gain the skill .. and you do a little, then as the skill grows .. you do a lot.
        And then you look around and you see that you .. in turn .. have provided the way for others.
        The fire grows high, and some leap and some burn.
        Just do it.

        (edit .. I am not the king of the world .. but I know what a king is. There is only one Anna Kazcorowska in the universe - no one else can do the job of being Anna Kazcorowska. Be the king of you - that is your work, and your work alone .. the better you do at it , the more kings you will meet - that is the only specific worth talking about)
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    May 3 2013: I don't see history as I used to see when I was younger. Historians traditionally report big events and important people. Events about cultures, societies, kingdoms, wars, revolutions - what we mean by 'turn of history' is something significant involving these big events and significant people. Also, historians write history colored by their time, perspective and cultures. There are many instances of historical accounts written differently by historians of different cultures and time.
    But, it seems to me, there is a life of small people, of small events and of small importance that flows on. To what extent history tells these small stories, I am not sure. But do these stories tell nothing significant?
    History repeats itself and some say it does so because we don't learn from it's lessons. Who are these 'we'? Important people in control of big events or the faceless multitudes of humanity of all time and place?
    I study rivers. Rivers change course. But when I zoom out temporally over spans of centuries, I see patterns and oscillations. Perhaps if we zoom out temporally for human civilizations we can see such patterns - patterns of starting from scratch, building up, reaching a pinnacle and falling down and again starting from scratch.
    I want to hope that the life of small people, of small events and small stories will slowly see this pattern and they will write a different kind of history one day which will not repeat in same folly time and again.
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      May 3 2013: "Everything will be allright in the end. And if it's not allright, it's just not yet the end" :)

      Regards,
      A.
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        May 4 2013: Oh I am sure it will be Anna. In the end, all I can ask is three and a half hands length on ground. Or may be just an urn if they insist I am Hindu. :)
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    R H 30+

    • +1
    May 3 2013: I once heard that although history does repeat itself, it is more like an elongated spiral than a circle. It's directional, either up or down, forward or back. Our 'classic themes' repeat, but we're evolving. I prefer to see it as 'up'.
    • May 4 2013: Thanks RH, this is one of the research topics of great interest to me ... not as a preferred approach or perspective but as some historians and researchers are trying to demonstrate that perhaps the evolution of man and history of civilization do have cycles and waves but there does not seem to be a circle ot actual repetition as anna has posed in the root question to this conversation ... there seems to be more of a progression upwards ... though the same research shows we are about to hit the very peak of the progression upwards .... i wish i could attach a wave chart here but essentially over time and history starting only from 200,000 years ago, the development of civilization and mankind has progressed to where it is now in a exponential manner as opposed to a straight line progression, which is also similar to a parabolic curve phenomenon if the vertex is placed at dead south .... so homosapiens (technically homo sapiens sapiens) has started its growth in the earth only the past 200,000 years while other species for example the extinct homnids have had a longer (in the millions of years) history ... so technically history has not repeated itself but there is a level of repetition manifested though not of history itself but of particular elements and some elements grow or evolve and some fall away but again this appears to be a process rather than a cycle or circle ....
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        R H 30+

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        May 6 2013: Yet, 'classic themes', or underlying dynamics of intention or activity motivation do seem to ebb and flow throughout human history - and I believe the intention of this conversation is 'human history', not geological. For a while, we are enlightened, then another time, we are barbaric. Then it repeats. There does seem to be a cyclical-ish repetition on a societal scale. I would agree that the progression seems 'upwards'. I would also agree that it's now exponential, and I would relate that level of growth to our technological developments, which have only begun to impact our development as a species - in my opinion. Thanks for your response.
  • May 2 2013: Yes history has interesting stories about rise and fall of empires and organizations.

    I think there are two main reasons for this: illegitimate leadership or failure to adapt to change.

    Nowadays some of the new "empires" like USA, European Union and organizations like Google and Amazon are less likely to fall and might be with us for very long. For example, Google constantly adapts and even leads change.

    cheers
  • May 16 2013: Humans arent Rational in the way we assume we are. In the Post-Aristotle era we tend to have this standard of logic by which we measure everything accordingly, but the truth is that isnt how nature wired us. Our psychic physical social emotional and sexual needs trump this concept of rationality which we ascribe to ourselves. Our emotions are proxys that have serious evolutionary benefits. I dont know if any of that makes sense in relation to your question but i guess im saying is that people are ultimately very similar and both the best and worst in us is at least indirectly tied to our adaptions. History repeats itself because people make the same errors over and over when they act on their instinct rather than reason.
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    May 8 2013: Nice to meet you Anna Kazcorowska!
    An excellent question.
    I guess one reason would be (just to say this is a pure hypothesis!) :
    People just can't seem to learn their lessons. In the way due to the "Optimism bias" we may view that we are more likely to succeed then the last generation (or anyone else). And then we end up making the same mistakes as them. Or we may just not be able to admit we "made a mistake" (due to our "social image" and "Cognitive Dissonance" theory!). And due to our many irrationalities.
    Another reason could be the gene pool doesn't change fast enough for any real "change" to happen. So we just go in endless circles, and that all "Memes" eventually die.
    The last possible reason I can think of is this :
    We like to conform of to belong to a social group. And as many experiments reveal that we often change our "perception" as to the "group perception" once conformity takes place. Once a rival group comes along with a different perception, then a battle of "ideologies" may ensure. One will probably win, or they will both just have to be tolerant of eachother.
    Thanks Bernard.
    Hope I helped (and didn't get too sidetracked!).
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      May 8 2013: Nice to meet you, Bernard, I also talk to myself at times. I agree.
      Fear, especially justified fear, is also an irrationality, or one of them, but it can be proved that also fear, which is there to protect us, can be used to do something positive.
      "Once a rival group comes along with a different perception, then a battle of "ideologies" may ensure. One will probably win, or they will both just have to be tolerant of eachother." - I'm not into battles anymore and I've never been into playing any apart from in digital games to help release some tension, but they are still interesting to be listened to/viewed. Thanks.
      It's good that cognition/perception of others change. Otherwise everybody would be in trouble and just repeating history.
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        May 8 2013: What's your opinion on this matter?
        When I was talking about ideologies, for instance there is a sort of battle (in the loosest terms of the word) between "Creationism vs Evolution". (Evolution being the factually correct one, as I think we both know!)
        So I'm not really sure whether the history of "Creationism" will repeat itself (unless we lose the knowledge of evolution!)
        Actually I'm interested :
        What do you mean when you say "History tends to repeat itself"?
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          May 8 2013: What do you mean when you say "History tends to repeat itself"? - I forgot to add "but it doesn't have to" ;)
          Cheers.
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    May 7 2013: Hi Anna,
    First, don't apologize for being young. I don't .
    Now, why do homo sapiens continue to repeat history. I have studied this problem for some time and I may have come upon a theory, I can't prove it yet, but hear me out.
    I think that each new generation looks upon the past generation(s) and see the errors of their ways. The new generations assume that since they are descendents of previous generations they must have a greater intelligence and can resolve problems better then their ancestors. Filled with a sense of superiority, the new generations undertake the same processes, operations and activities of their ancestors and make the same errors and having the same outcome. Now, they will tell the next generation about the mistakes they made, the errors of their ways and not to get over confident but the next generation will dismiss them because they are smarter.
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      May 7 2013: The next generation will dismiss the mistakes if they actually are smarter, and not just "Filled with a sense of superiority" - this is feeling, not thinking.
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        May 9 2013: The point is that the next generation is not. Smart as a measure of intelligence has not ever changed
        Man has more information now then before, but we are no smarter.
  • May 7 2013: First of all, Id like to start questioning the definition of 'facts.' Do you honestly believe that an ordinary human being has access to facts or is he/she being manipulated by the press, the media, the government most of the times? Things that we perceive as being facts might simple be mere fiction. Albeit the manipulation is not as loud as it had been in previous times but it continues to exist, which was clearly demonstrated by the Wikileaks scandal that had occurred. Furthermore, there isn't a direct empire anymore... there aren't direct colonies. However, there are nations in the world that dominate.. that have formed several alliances. And that the nations who do not join the alliances are considered as being direct threats. The falling of empires such as the European Union was clearly demonstrated during the recession where history did repeat itself. Several developing nations such as China now continue to rise. Thus, there definitely has been a shift in power over the former years
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      May 7 2013: I agree with what you're pointing out but I still wonder about the following: 1. an ordinary human being that wants to have access to facts will get them one way or another. We are influenced by the media, the press, the government, some are manipulated, but change is constant 2. Did EU fall? I need some new media 3. China has always been there, it is developing, but I wouldn't call it a rising nation, correct me if I'm wrong. There has been a shift of power - the shift of debt and influences, but is it between the nations and nations only? I'm not convinced.
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    May 6 2013: Hi Paul,

    "Facts more important that fiction? Perhaps not. It may be that belief is the most important of all. It seems to motivate most people, without much regard to whether it's factual or fictional - and the latter may be predominant and therefore most "important."
    It probably depends on situation and stage of your life. If fiction that other believe to be true influences or can influence your life, facts can be helpful/must be taken into account, for example in the legal system, medicare and many other areas. I do see your point though, beliefs can give hope and positive change, but can also lead to problems and tension.

    En hilsen fra Oslo
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    May 5 2013: Live locally, that's where happiness happens. In the end, it's your home life that matters. It's always fun to discuss Spenglerian notions of cyclic (evil) empires, but it's hardly worth stressing over. While it's true that we should learn from the past, imposing perceived past patterns of civilizations on the future would have the same success as predicting the stock market from past patterns - not much, in other words. We just don't know the future, and we don't know when, where and whether history repeats itself, even though we can always pick out such seeming patterns in history - after the fact. It's a little like finding fulfillment of past prophesies - a piece of cake.

    Facts more important that fiction? Perhaps not. It may be that belief is the most important of all. It seems to motivate most people, without much regard to whether it's factual or fictional - and the latter may be predominant and therefore most "important."
  • May 4 2013: As replied to RH below about progressivity and comment to Mitch^s spiral theory ... just sharing that this is one of the research topics of great interest to me ... not as a preferred approach or perspective but as some historians and researchers are trying to demonstrate that perhaps the evolution of man and history of civilization do have cycles and waves but there does not seem to be a circle ot actual repetition as anna has posed in the root question to this conversation ... there seems to be more of a progression upwards ... though the same research shows we are about to hit the very peak of the progression upwards .... i wish i could attach a wave chart here but essentially over time and history starting only from 200,000 years ago, the development of civilization and mankind has progressed to where it is now in a exponential manner as opposed to a straight line progression, which is also similar to a parabolic curve phenomenon if the vertex is placed at dead south .... so homosapiens (technically homo sapiens sapiens) has started its growth in the earth only the past 200,000 years while other species for example the extinct homnids have had a longer (in the millions of years) history ... so technically history has not repeated itself but there is a level of repetition manifested though not of history itself but of particular elements and some elements grow or evolve and some fall away but again this appears to be a process rather than a cycle or circle ....
  • May 3 2013: always a msytery and the question of cycles or expanding reality which is einetein's thesis ... see also teilhard de chardin's phenomenon of man ... http://www.rosemike.net/religion/serm_ess/misc/phenom10.pdf ...

    a great topic of research and expansion of knowledge and progress seems constant despite some cycles within periods ... humans that is homo sapiens are recent and short in period inhabitants compared to other species already existing or have existed for millions of years ..
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      May 3 2013: Nice try.
      Regards.
    • May 4 2013: There are so many scientists using pure conjecture to support more conjecture, while blaming religion for the same. Its pure delusion to think science will get more than a few converts in the end. So many that claim to understand science, while they use religion to hide behind, because they have only cut and paste, you know.
      :-)
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    May 3 2013: Two of the most documented areas in history are politics and religion. Both are soaked in blood. Both are still with us. I could make a case for how religion and politics have used the others (culture, organizations, tribes, etc ... ) to gain favor and used as control measures.

    In the TED forum the majority of the community are atheist and super liberal .... the bulk of the comments to your conversation will probally be directed toward trashing religion. However, the most dangerous and influential of the two is politics .... not that religion isn't politics ... it is.

    " People tend to be seduced by either organisations, ideas, tribes, values, often without questioning their source, wondering why they get seduced or what the intention, goal, purpose or competence of the seducer is. " This single thought is the crux of the conversation.

    Constantins the great changed the world through the Council of Nicaea but it had little to do with religion but almost all to do with politics.

    People are followers ... and more importantly timing is everything. Could the lying, stealing, unfaithful, cheating and immoral politicians of the last decade have been elected in the mid 1900s or earlier? Probally not. Those earlier politicians were just as bad ... just not as public and unrepentative as todays politicians.

    So here is the question to you. Why do we, the people, allow this. Are we that poorly educated ... Do we not read and heed history .... what is the reason and what is the cure?

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      May 3 2013: So here is the question to you. Why do we, the people, allow this. Are we that poorly educated ... Do we not read and heed history .... what is the reason and what is the cure?

      Thanks for the comment, Bob.
      The answer is sheer, pure and plain - revisionism and appreciation of the people who had enough curiosity to start the trend, not more naivety and egoticism to bow to the adoration of propaganda.
      One of my diseases is "intolerance of glorified ignorance". And I wish more people would suffer from it.
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        May 4 2013: Anna, So that I may better understand .. what is "glorified ignorance"?

        Thanks Bob.
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          May 4 2013: On "Glorified ignorance":

          One of the most important questions to ask is, among others, what don't I see. Some people claim they see but do nothing. Others see but cannot do anything. Those who can forget that they can do something to stop the madness and bask in the glory of their black cards, suits and superficial beauty, sigh at the injustice, while pretending that they are doing something. Their "pretending" may be naivety, may be clinging to old ideas or egos, it may be a lot of things, but what is important is the truth, morality and a proper implementation of both.
          I don't do much nowadays which seems improper to some people, but it's the result of their own lack of awareness or knowledge.
          The Mother of All Depressions hath spoken.
          Thanks, Bob.
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        May 4 2013: I get the jest of it. In the USA it is easier to throw money at something that to get involved and solve it. Corporation, movie stars, rich and famous, etc .. lend their name / money to a project at the advice of image consultants and/or agents and both take a healthy write off on taxes. To these people image is everything.

        I listen to interviews of film people and athletes and shake my head. These are the super rich of today and don't have a clue. Politicians are even worse ... they make promises that there is no way to keep and set up more benefits for themselves. Put a honest hardworking housewife in that position for one term and the crap would stop.

        I think I too may suffer and share your aliment.

        Anna take it from a old guy ... your not the M O A D you are aware and involved .. I wish everone was.

        I wish you well. Bob.
    • May 4 2013: We are threatened with our jobs and without jobs, our children are threatened. Its not ignorance, its fear. With religion, there is some safety. With politics, there is safety, but both demand obedience or else.
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        May 4 2013: Depends what the obedience is - if you get safety and live in security because you abide by the law - good. If you are listened to, are able to pursue your interests while not being threatened by others - good. If the law doesn't threaten you - that's how it should be. I believe the laws should be international and standards of them should have morality, wisdom and reason at their core.

        I see your point though, fear is difficult to deal with.
        • May 4 2013: By your words, you have been sheltered. Of course that's nothing against you. Ya gotta live the opressions to know them, from the very many directions and the more you see, the more you recognize.
  • May 3 2013: yes tell this to every single person that believes in organized religion.
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    May 3 2013: I agree, R H, but before we can aspire 'up' it's good to have an unbiased analysis of what tends to bring us 'down' in the first place.
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    May 2 2013: to deal with this, i think we have two possible ways: get smart or get diverse. smartness would involve analyzing past mistakes, monitoring the situation, learn and understand all the underlying system dynamics. but that approach gets you only that far. sooner or later you make a mistake, you overlook something. the other solution is get diverse. if we do not have an empire at all, it can't fail, can it? and if we have millions of small-mid companies, failure becomes part of the solution. failure is just a way to learn what not to do. failure is an automatic stop to an strategy that does not work so good.

    ps, "Excuse my being young" - no way, there's no excuse for that.
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    May 2 2013: I think you will like this TED talk: Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
    http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html?utm_expid=166907-21&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ted.com%2Fsearch%3Fcat%3Dss_all%26q%3Dtivo

    Seeing that you’re from Norway and because I have been learning a lot about them recently during my ancestry search, I’ll use the Viking culture as an example. To me Vikings were a lot like TiVo in that they great technology (About 200years ahead of the rest of Europe) and a great code of ethics (The Nine Noble Virtues), but they failed to inspire. Unlike the more primitive but inspire Catholics, who seduced and thus won the culture competition.

    So sadly it is inspiration instead of facts, that wins.

    P.S. Where would America be if not for the inspiring idea of “Freedom for all”?
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      May 4 2013: P.S. Where would America be if not for the inspiring idea of “Freedom for all”?

      Where would Australia be if the troublemakers of England who were sent there as punishment got their freedom and built a society, using the skills that they learnt while having to react to biased system of government? Where would India be if they didn't have to react to British power? Where would Norway be if they weren't between a rock and a hard place for centuries? Where would Poland be if they weren't between the East, the West, the North and South, i.e. rock and hard places? "God's playground" is an interesting work of history about the latter. I'm not being egotistic while I'm typing this in, just trying to give a different perspective(s).

      All in all - I don't buy it, Don, sorry. It's a simplification, but I support "freedom for all" with all my heart, gut, frontal lobe and broken bones in my body.

      "So sadly it is inspiration instead of facts, that wins." - so let's take both, concentrate on facts and truth, science, cause and effect, combine them and add some drama so that the effect will be both awesome, interesting, cute and...add some more adjectives, please, but please avoid too many versions of "sad", I've had enough of that, trust me.

      Thank you, Logos and Mythos bless you, and best wishes.