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In your opinion, what are the most pressing issues right now, either local or global?

The world is diverse and is changing fast.
In your opinion - what are the most important issues to be dealt with right now? Is it national debt, war, child labour, healthcare? Which issues matter most to you in your local community and which do you think should be discussed first on a global scale?
All comments are welcome.

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    May 7 2013: i see the world turning into a second wave of nazism. of course, the situation is nowhere near as serious as it were in the 20's or 30's, but we can't be sure it won't be. the parallel is striking. just like back then, the narrative is crisis, enemy threat, and the call for union against the tides of evil. people trade their freedom for security, effectively empowering the evils we want to defeat.
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      May 7 2013: "the situation is nowhere near as serious as it were in the 20's or 30's"

      The situation is completely different and is more serious on some levels, zeitgeist more advanced and evolving/changing faster thanks to new technologies.
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        May 7 2013: but we don't have the SA marching on the street, so i prefer our era to the 30's. but i don't see the situation that much different, can you explain why is it different?

        here is a quick summary of one of the times, either ours or theirs, i don't tell which: in the middle of an elongated economic crisis, the reason of which is largely unclear, inflation fails deliver the hoped recovery. the masses falling into poverty or fearing falling into poverty turn to political organizations or movements that promises them the solution: take the country from the selected few, and give it back to the hard working people, where it belongs.
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          May 7 2013: Hi,

          I believe I have - it's a different era, the flow of information is much faster and global, much more diversed, edited and re-edited constantly by different groups using different platforms. That's one of the differences, there are others obviously...
          "take the country from the selected few, and give it back to the hard working people, where it belongs."
          Define "country", define "hard working", define "belong".
  • May 7 2013: 1. Our inability to design the built environment to function with in the greater ecology of the world without harming it. This has lead to habitat loss, species extinction, global warming, pollution, as well as health concerns for individuals living in these places.

    2. The in balance of food supply and food demand in the world. Places like US suffer from obesity and an excess of food supply and the inability to have matching demand, while other areas of the planet suffer from the exact opposite - a lack of food with a high demand.

    3. The cycle of extreme radicalism and hatred which is breeding violence, and the lack of ability to identify, prevent, or solve how such acts occur, whether they are by groups of people or individuals that are self-radicalized.
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      May 7 2013: Well said.
      2. The in balance of food supply and food demand in the world. Places like US suffer from obesity and an excess of food supply and the inability to have matching demand, while other areas of the planet suffer from the exact opposite - a lack of food with a high demand.

      The circle gets even more vicious when lack of awareness within the US about what is happening in other places of the world leads to misuse and misplacement of assets.
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    May 7 2013: In a word; Greed. We can cite climate, war, famine, disparity, or thousands of other pressing issues, but these will only be symptoms of the one true illness that currently afflicts humanity and is driving it towards it's end. It is only when we dispose of Greed that we will be able to address and dispose of the whole spectrum of human ills.
    • May 7 2013: Absolutely, it is also the cause of many if not all crimes committed.
      And all this craziness our governments are engaging in without the people's knowledge.
      We are constantly being fed images about how bigger, faster, more is better.
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      May 13 2013: Thanks, Mary.
      I just wish all smiles were honest.
      But yes, let's try :)
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    May 9 2013: Oh, I don't know. Locally I think the big topic is the closing of the Starbucks location. Everybody seems to be pretty upset. The fact that 3 bil. people would have to work 2 full days to earn enough to buy a latte never crosses our mind. Leash-laws for pet dogs is pretty big too. 2 million incarcerated fellow citizens (mostly minorities and no financial crisis leaders) are not part of that discussion. But the biggest issue is scratched car's vandalism. People get hot(!) about that. $1bil per day spent on the military plus I don't know how many hundreds of millions spent on 'homeland security' are not even referenced. So i guess I would say the answer to the question is one: Distraction.
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      May 12 2013: Isn't "Distraction" that you mention one of the greatest powers of governments, according to Noam Chomsky?
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        May 13 2013: Other than general knowledge, I'm not well-versed with the work of Chomsky, but I do know this: anyone who has worked in any leadership/management capacity in business or gov't knows that the 'customer' and the employees are managed as well. PR depts are the most obvious result. The 'good of the company' is of paramount importance. That means those in power and position will not relinquish it, whether that means throwing their employees to the wolves (fired) or ' selling out' the company to some other interest (gov't lies). The customers and the employees hear that as 'restructuring' or 'a different direction', and the citizens hear it as 'the 3rd building fell from fire even though it was not hit by a plane' (the first in history), or 'we invade because they have WMD's (like they're the only ones), oops, and can't leave because we now have to restructure the country (and this all cost how much, and who owns the companies supplying the restructure, and we get exactly what in return, and who authorized this, and by also bankrupting the world you and your friends have 'the right plan', and the 'terrorists' are who exactly?). How does 'leadership' manage 7 billion 'customers'? I think the 'distraction' hypothesis is a reasonably assumable tactic, whether it be intentional or just advantageous.
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          May 13 2013: I atually don't remember that much of Chomsky either, just some general points.

          "How does 'leadership' manage 7 billion 'customers'?"

          It doesn't manage. It may be a source of inspiration. But it doesn't mean it cannot manage, I think.

          "I think the 'distraction' hypothesis is a reasonably assumable tactic, whether it be intentional or just advantageous."

          Can you elaborate/expand this?
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        May 14 2013: you recognized 'distraction' as a tactic by referring to Chomsky. I did not look up his definition, but I take it to mean that we (the rank and file citizen) are too busy to pay attention to the big picture. Whether it's intentional, ie the go'vt and/or powers that be manipulate our lives to keep us 'distracted', or we're distracted simply by living our lives and not having enough energy to give to such issues, the result is that we are 'distracted' from giving our attention to the big issues, and therefore there is little opposition to gov't and/or big business 'initiatives'.
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    May 7 2013: 1.) Man is largely adrift regarding knowledge of the origin, purpose, and fate of Existence. Attention must be focused upon Philosophy. To know Why is as, or more, important than knowing What. 2.) As a global community we must recognize threats to peace and individul freedom. When acts of tyranny meant to forcefuly subdue others are allowed to continue unchallenged the perpetrators will not stop short of world domination. We must be appropriately forceful against tyranny. 3.) We must restore the administration of swift punitive action against graft and corruption in leadership at every level of government, society, and business. 4.) We must make the best effort to educate ourselves regarding reading, writing, math, history, and Critical Thinking. The current plan to dumb-down some nations while smartening-up others to establish a homogenized world population must be abandoned. Dumbing-down is always wrong!
    • May 9 2013: Edward, all of your points really hit home with me.
      The very first, in particular: "To know Why is as, or more, important than knowing What."
      We can all memorize facts and deliver them on command, but if we don't know where those facts come from, we may as well be talking parrots.
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        May 9 2013: The higher education system reflects the aura of erudition attached to Philosophy. We must learn all all about the Who, the What, the When, the How and the Where, but not the Why. First graduate High School, then get your Bachelors Degree. Now get your Masters Degree. Finally, after nearly 20-years of formal learning you are qualified to study why all the information you have amassed is important. Then you get a PhD and everyone calls you "Doctor"! The first questions we ask as children is, "Why Mommy?" or "Why Daddy?"but it is the last question academia addresses.
        • May 9 2013: Exactly, Edward.
          My kids are in the asking phase as we speak. Although I am definitely no scholar, I am so grateful to them for this! In trying to formulate a way to explain something in a simplified yet clear way to them, I am secretly learning! I feel privileged that I still often get the chance to do something for the first time with my children. They engage me in finding out what's really important.
          Last night, I heard my daughter say to her little brother, "Mama knows just about everything, just ask her". I was flattered, not only because she acknowledged I knew a thing or two, but especially because she acknowledged that I didn't know everything!

          An 8-year-old autistic child once said to me, "I can do everything, I just have to learn how to first". Words to live by.
  • May 12 2013: There are too many people in the world living a life which is based on taking and not giving, a selfish life which cares only about oneself and all the world becomes the other. It is this alienation which creates the problems, this separate self which is afraid, which hates, which lives a life of habit.
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      May 13 2013: Thanks.
      I see your point. The desperate housewives and their self, the clinging to power, sentiments and fears.
      On the other hand, alienation is sometimes necessary to maintain sanity and there are different levels of it. Some groups or societies are alienated because of their own will, some do not have a choice but to live a life of habit.
      It was an interesting comment and a summary, I'm just trying to point out the fact that the diversity of the world and people living in it.
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    May 10 2013: the most pressing issue is people's passivity
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      May 12 2013: ...which can be having hands tied or not being aware that there is work to be done.
  • May 8 2013: What do humans need to survive in the most basic sense?

    Food
    Shelter/clothing
    Education

    Why do these things cost money? Who has the right, who is cruel enough to deny these basic necessities of life to anyone? We live in a world today with the resources and know how to meet this demand. Yet we do nothing because the economical system we live in would collapse. I say that right there is a redundant system. A system with a purpose, that is not in the best interests of humanity.

    Technology has advanced to the stage where it has and is going to continue to replace jobs because machines are more efficient and reliable. That’s a good thing, taking people away from mundane and repetitive tasks to give them the opportunity to live a more fulfilling life.

    Currently though this advancement in our civilization has had adverse affects because of how we regulate our resources through the trade of money. We all live and die, that is nature’s law. Why should there be a price on life, it was given so why aren’t the necessities to live given also?

    What gives people authority of possession over land? It was there a long time before we got here and is going to be there a lot longer when we aren’t. Shouldn’t it be used in a strategic and sustainable way to improve humanities quality of life and the life of the creatures we share it with?

    I believe the key to moving towards this way of life is awareness through education. Moving our focus away from the small things in today’s society which are most likely just symptoms of the cause: We will never fix the cause by just treating the symptoms. Use the symptoms to diagnose the cause.

    Imagine that tomorrow there was no money. We no longer need to fight to survive; we have advanced to the point where we can provide for everyone. Lets make history, you and I. We were the ones that ended poverty, pollution and inequality. That’s a legacy to pass on to the next generation to be proud of!
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    May 6 2013: Food poverty. Definitely.
  • Jun 6 2013: I believe mental illness to be one of the most pressing issues.
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    May 17 2013: First of all every 'issue' is 'most' pressing issue; be it violence, inability to understand feature of power, inability to understand in general, 'dirty' politics etc. It doesn't matter local or global. It doesn't matter because the 'ultimate solution' covers both.
    Secondly, partially the solution lies in understanding and giving importance to 'individual' and not that to 'collectiveness'.
    Suppose an individual wants and feel the need to do something about these 'issues'. He will need the 'ultimate tool' to deliver. Its very good and overwhelming that people all around the globe are now inspired and motivated to bring the so called 'change' which might serve as a cure to any of these issues be it local or global. But its of no use at all ...let me repeat that...no use at all, if the 'ultimate tool' is not discovered!
    So, in my opinion the most pressing issue right now is that of knowing what this 'ultimate tool' would be!
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      May 18 2013: Are you refering to the so-called Great Unified Theory?
      Best wishes,
      Anna
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        May 18 2013: i don't know what you mean by 'great unified theory'...
        people will keep on asking questions, keep on 'believing', will keep on fearing etc...unless one discovers the truth, which is the 'ultimate tool'. It is not collective but is indeed individual.
        The world is asleep! so many people post their views are too asleep...people do all sorts of things while they are asleep. In short... the 'ultimate solution' lies in waking up these people !
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          May 18 2013: Thanks, Samuel :)

          I am awake, I think, I'm not sure, and I feel that the great unified theory is at hand.
          Love-thee good and big thing- is the answer (either in eugenics, economy, para/uni/trans/eu/etc-interdisciplinary knowledge and wisdom, sociolinguistics, microbiology, astrophysics, you name it)

          Best wishes :)
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        May 18 2013: i can see that you're trying hard...but yes indeed you are too asleep!
        I can see that you 'wish' a lot...its simply reaction and not 'response'...as it is repetition,out of past and not that of present.
        But keeping your original question in mind...most pressing issue would be the problem related to understand the features of power in our society by individuals...(more inclined towards politics)...
        So if one is not awake then its going to be repetition and 1000 more anna will log in to ted to address the 'then' issues....
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    May 10 2013: All governments need to hand over the management of things (education, charity, health care) to the private secure, and focus on creating new national projects for the good of their country.
    Projects like a national and international online education system, emergency response force/army, a national canal system so water will flow from an area flooding to a drought area, a department of holistic management to stop and reverse desertification, and etc. and then after so many years hand their creation over to the private sector.
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    May 7 2013: "We've got big trouble coming within 50 years if we don't fix the family. "

    ...while remembering that who and why starts a family differs from culture to culture and that in other cultures the core societaql unit may be a problem itself. "Dissolution of the family" may be the result of other pressing issues - war, class gap, others.
    Your comment doesn't resonate with me fully, I'm sorry.
  • May 7 2013: Money.
    Poverty is the reasoning for most broken homes, murders, stealing, cheating, health issues, lack of food quality and quantity, money and its domination of all civilizations prevents everyone on this planet from reaching their full potential, it is also making the gap from adolescence to adulthood longer.
    And all of these conspiracy theories coming to light about different things, lying has become to common among people who are supposed to be demonstrating integrity, honesty, and loyalty at all times.
    We need a worldwide change, so our entire way of doing things can change for the better, it starts with getting rid of big governments, lobbyists and the elites influence on the governments and then the eradication of all monetary systems. We will never grow with the two of these things.
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      May 7 2013: Money or lack of money or fear of lacking money.

      "eradication of all monetary systems"
      It's interesing that you should formulate this in this way, there's a new issue on news' stands in Nordic countires - making begging in the streets illegal which is some cases literally means - making homelessness illegal. You can meet beggars (to simplify the issue) with notes - "Help me not to become a criminal", sometimes a beggar with an expensive phone, texting, with a paper cup beside, or influx of beggars from around the globe. The latter get magazines to give away and toilets to use (that horses used by some police forces should be trained to use too, but that's a different issue,,,). Ex drug-addicts get magazines that they can sell in the streets... And cash that can be traded for either magazines or a good mood ("I helped somebody") is not used that often. From what I observe - it's used to hide one's actions, not to trade goods. Would making the flow of assets digital get rid of some of the issues we're facing today? Maybe, to a certain extent. Just an audacious idea, not well deliberated/thought-through.
      • May 8 2013: Digital money is an awesome idea in terms of tracking money trails and the environment, save the trees sort of way.
        But it doesn't stop the room for greed and corruption, it's not just issues of the economy and work, bills, taxes, debt that we're trying to solve. We also need to save the integrity of mankind, because greed can lead to death of our species... it's slowly leading to our extinction now. That is why I feel that ALL monetary systems need to be eradicated. We need to prevent greed, condition people to do and work for themselves and not other people. Teach people self responsibility, and giving to others without the mindset that something needs to be received. We need to learn moderation. The monetary systems prevent so much good from occurring in mankind, it has inhibited us from reaching our full potential. Which is why I do not understand why people still feel the need to hold onto this old way of life, as we evolve so should our way of doing things.
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          May 8 2013: Hmm. Ok. By the way - all of the situations I've described above are real though in some monetary systems, or for people living in monetary systems out of sentiment or disbelief, they might be too had to believe.
      • May 8 2013: this is true... But if minds can be manipulated , and people are skilled in doing the manipulation, why can't we all be conditioned to accepting a new reality? Our transitions we have made throughout the years have all been possible by us accepting new realities.
  • May 7 2013: The rapid dissolution of the family as the core societal unit. In the U.S. at least 40 percent of children are born outside of marriage. "Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems." That's 40 percent of the rising generation, or about a million and a half at-risk babies a year. Not all of these are single mothers, but a cohabiting household is more than twice as likely to dissolve as a marriage. "Reviewing the academic literature, Susan L. Brown of Bowling Green State University recently found that children born to married couples, on average, 'experience better education, social, cognitive and behavioral outcomes.'” I got all these figures and quotes from just this one article. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/us/for-women-under-30-most-births-occur-outside-marriage.html?pagewanted=all) There are mountains of research on this subject, and nobody's doing much about it.

    The main problem here is a rising class gap between the rich and poor. It puts lots of pressure on our society in a very quiet way. Other problems such as global warming, staggering national debt, and widespread corruption and dishonesty contribute to the pressure. We've got big trouble coming within 50 years if we don't fix the family.