Michael Huang

High School Student, St. John's High School

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Is it worth it to engage in discussions you are uniformed about?

Sometimes I feel like I can't talk about a subject because I can't do it justice. I'm not adequately informed, and I'm following my gut instincts. In an ideal society, should we encourage everyone to engage in a discussion or let the experts decide?

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    May 6 2013: People vary in how informed they are about the subjects they talk about. Ways of participating when you have little experience of a subject but are interested in learning about it include asking questions, sharing what you do know that seems to you that it may be pertinent, or putting forward a hypothesis that makes logical sense to you,

    It's useful also to remember that people differ in how readily they discuss a topic that is unfamiliar to them and also how confidently they express their understanding of a subject. Just because someone expresses a perspective with confidence doesn't mean the person is an expert.

    You shouldn't feel you have to enage in discussion of things you are not informed about. If you do participate and are upfront about not having great familiarity with the subject, in most environments, in my experience, only very few people will respond negatively to it.
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    May 6 2013: You mean like I'm doing right now? If you are curious and want to learn you will find your questions and observations are welcome here. If everything was left to the Experts it would not end well. Gut instincts are good. You speak Latin, Swedish, Chinese, and English. That alone should give you access to these free exchanges of ideas and opinions. TEDsters are friendly folks, Michael. No worries.
  • May 6 2013: Of course, people do it all the time.

    Now, if you want to engage in more than just a superficial level, that might take some doing. I don't mind people who are willing to engage in a discussion where they may not be well informed. If you are open and honest about it, you will most likely be well received. You will probably learn something in the process and who knows, you may provide insight that others may not have thought about.

    It is also all about attitude as well. If you are respectful about your input then others will respect you in turn.
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    R H

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    May 6 2013: Yup, it is. TED conversations is kinda like a poetry slam. An open mike for views. You're allowed to present your 'work' to the audience, no matter who you are or your credentials, but be prepared to be slammed! But guess what? You may experience growth in knowledge and skill.
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    May 6 2013: I am here primaritly to learn, and if I have a small idea, I am happy to share it. You will miss 100% of the possible engagements that you don't engage in. ;)
    Michael, does this answer your question?

  • May 6 2013: Don't others share with you? Some of these conversations have taught me a great deal.
  • May 7 2013: Learn form discussions! They're free :)
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    May 7 2013: The question is, who is an expert? Some of Sigmund Freud's views are being disputed with new information.
    Aristotle was a lead player in his time. His view that crystal spheres held up the stars and planets was viewed as the truth for nearly two millennia.

    Gut instinct is what allowed Einstein to see the world from a new perspective. People need to question things.

    It's not wrong to state your opinion so long as you say why you feel that way. It may be that your gut instinct is right. To not share it would be a loss to those who didn't get to hear it.
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    Gord G

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    May 6 2013: It's the only way to become informed.