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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    Jul 1 2013: I'll just throw in a tangent here:

    How about we look at the relationship between comfort and "benefits".

    For instance, most citizens in western "democracies" surrender their recourse to violence to the state in return for the benefit of having policemen available to protect them.
    Then the policemen start becoming violent without due cause.
    The benefit is eroded without the corresponding return of the right to commit violence.

    Don't let us kid ourselves - violence is a primary tool of survival. Surrendering it is a major concession.
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      Jul 1 2013: America is an advanced society, relatively speaking. As an American I have the right to use force (violence) in protecting myself from a perceived threat. I would (violently even) oppose any government effort to seek my surrender of my right to defend myself with "equal force". Now, about trade-offs, I offer one example. I willingly trade my right to privacy for the right to access the Internet and its immense benefits. I know "they" can, and probably do, record every keystroke I make. I choose not to make the same trade-off to participate in the social media where the benefit is far less influential for me. Anyway, I think the short answer to your question is "privacy".
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        Jul 3 2013: I agree.

        The object of my post was to demonstrate the manifold aspects of comfort.

        Here is the great power of TED. The participants in these talks and commentaries are united by one single strength - honesty. Even if we cannot agree with the divergent stances, we can acknowledge the earnest expression of them.

        That gives rise to a rare value - the ability to discern multiple aspects of a single subject. At best it can reveal dimensions of a problem that are not obvious, at worst it can reveal common misconceptions.

        Either way - it allows us to become wiser than we can each be alone. I find that enormously encouraging - and I thank you for your contribution.

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