TED Conversations

Mitch SMith


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What do we trade-off for the comfort of technology?

We all go for it - the quick-fix.

But later, we often find that our ignorance has been exploited for the advantage of someone else .. who's only virtue was to get there first.
Evolution has nothing to say about getting there first .. there's nothing there to code in genes.

So .. what I'm asking is - what are we giving up for comfort?

How much comfort is constructive, and at what point is it exploitive at the benefit of comfort for a few, but at the detriment to our species?


Closing Statement from Mitch SMith

The conversation went quite wide.

I am disappointed that few actually got the point of what advantage is traded off for comfort - and who gets it.

There are even those so vein to think that they are in total control of their lives.

Hey ho - at least we explored it a bit.

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    Jun 30 2013: You may find interesting this year's research in New York, Berlin, and Mumbai of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a traveling urban think tank.

    Their theme for this first year has been "Confronting Comfort." http://www.bmwguggenheimlab.org/what-is-the-lab/theme

    Their work in New York most clearly focused on this theme, while the work in Mumbai revisited in a slightly different way by focusing on privacy as a dimension of comfort. The lab's work in Berlin strayed a bit from this theme, focusing mostly on the lack of communication between the government and urban population in determining uses of urban public spaces but more centrally private dwellings, as gentrification takes hold there.
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        Jun 30 2013: Did you follow the DIY projects, particularly in Berlin?
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        Jun 30 2013: The Lab is specifically urban, so no, I have not seen anything from them with a rural focus. The same is true of the Sustainable Cities Collective.

        The Berlin Lab had a little featured design of a sort of box shelter that could go anywhere and that lots of people made side by side as part of the lab's DIY stuff, but it is only a shelter- without any sort of facilities.

        At this point every home show displays little houses built within shed-like structures. Even IKEA shows an interior.

        But I fear we are getting somewhat away from Mitch's question.
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        Jul 1 2013: Are you familiar with an organization called Architecture for Humanity? They are specialists in very low cost shelter, primarily of the type that can be erected pretty quickly and at low cost in emergency situations.
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      Jul 1 2013: It's not that far off topic .. given that the topic is incredibly broad - navigation from the periphery to the core could reveal some important factors.

      With the accelerated urbanisation of humanity .. I get reminded of the invention of agriculture, and how it precipitated sedentary lifestyles.

      My personal policy about cities is "They are a great place to make money - but have an escape strategy."

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