TED Conversations

Adon Hsu

engineer in networks and telecoms , State Government

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How can we get the facts on what really makes humans tick?

The Venus project, Zeitgeist Movement, living in a cave all have one thing in common; they made the assumption that humans can change their minds through re-education, pain and suffering (from a crashing existing system). But can they? Seriously, is it biologically possible for the majority of the human race (average Joes) to embrace logic and reason over their baser instincts and emotions?

Genetic research (especially behavioural genetics and epigenetic) is in its infancy, we dont have enough facts to confirm or reject the hypothesis that humans act-react the way they do because of how genes structured their psyche. Human psyche development and research, due to nature and-or nurture, is the key to solving ALL of our problems.

I propose we go further than the human genome project, further than general anthropology, I propose we really look deep into the biological variables of our mind and body and confirm or reject once and for all this nature and/or nurture circus show and find out what we really want, need, desire as homo sapiens.

Once we do, we can proceed with the second phase of human development, change the way we think (through science and/or re-education) OR shape our future society around how we naturally are. There is no right or wrong, only facts and science to help us move along and cease the pseudo-science guessing game of what we want and what we should do for the future.

How can we plan for the future if we dont even know what we are-arent?


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  • May 21 2013: I agree with your approach, but suspect that you underestimate the time line involved in your project.

    If humanity has any hope for a long term future, it is through learning about humanity, using a methodical approach to the subject. Frankly, I think the scientific method will prove to be inadequate for studying human nature. So before this serious studying even gets started, two things have to happen. First, the people who are attempting this study (psychologists of many stripes) must become convinced that their attempts to use the scientific method are futile. Second, they must invent and adopt a method that is effective in producing consistent progress.

    After they start making serious progress, they will realize that this question is much more difficult than any other ever attempted. Developing a reliable child development program will likely take centuries.
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      May 22 2013: Our current biological and evolutionary imperative is to survive and thrive, as far as we know, all living things do this. So what is the best method to survive and thrive indefinitely?

      Learn. We learn more about ourselves and our universe, use this knowledge to progress, to become stronger, survive whatever the universe can throw at us and seek out more knowledge to better understand EVERYTHING that exist. This is not a divine purpose or man made ideal, it is simply what living things on earth do, we may even find out why living things do this through learning.

      What is the best way to learn? Through Scientific research, discovery and development. Science is but at way to learn about everything, it is not someone or some specie's made up construct, it exist when sentient intelligent (humans, as far as we know) exist. In definition, EVERYTHING we do is science, our very existence is science, for the lack of a better word.

      The Venus project and The Zeitgeist movement is a good start, because it is by far the most efficient way to survive, thrive and learn by a large margin, compared to any existing systems. But in order to adopt these progressive systems, we must first know whether we (the majority) are biologically (mental and physical) capable of it or not, if we are not, what should we do about it? For all we know, greed, murder, selfishness, need to control, etc are genetically natural for most humans and what we should do about them is up to majority votes, because humans are social animal, we need group consensus.

      This is why I propose we get the facts on what makes us tick, reveal the findings to the public and let them decide how they want to go on, after knowing.
      • May 22 2013: I agree that developing knowledge about human nature could be critical to our survival and prosperity.

        In my opinion, your statements describing science are wrong. Science refers to the use of the scientific method. The scientific method was developed by men, and is a major achievement. There are other ways to gain knowledge, other than scientifically.
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          May 22 2013: We can agree to disagree on the semantics and definition of science, because it is only a word to represent something, subject to interpretation. I use the word because its the closest in meaning to what I want to describe/explain.

          Moving on. How can we convince people that the study of human nature is the first and most critical step towards future survival and progress? What tools/resources and man power do we need to get this done? What existing field of human studies can be improved upon and do we require a new field of study?

          Up to now, humans simply do whatever they do whenever they want to or feel like it, mostly for personal, emotional or instinctual gains, without knowing why, how or where it will lead them. Progress is but a side effect to our everyday lives, instead of the primary driving force, which is absolutely absurd.

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