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: We loss touch with the natural world and the processes taking place that are suppose to define our humanity. Science has given us some understanding of those processes but we are not using that understanding enough to rethink traditional values and remold our society to fit this evolving knowledge but instead we are using it to create toys to perpetuate this failed ideology of wanting more and better.
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      Jul 3 2013: Yep.

      I get the feeling that we cannot detect the diminished returns of any specific comfort.

      We presume that we are intelligent and that we should know better .. and our laws often reflect that assumption.

      Do you ever get that insight that common-sense is not common at all? That these things we call common-sense are only known in retrospect?

      More and more, I am perceiving the limits of humans .. maybe because I'm getting older, but a friend of mine once said:
      "my life is like a table-top .. after a while, if I push something onto it, something else drops off"

      Are humans making a mistake to think that we all have infinite "table-tops"?
    • Jul 3 2013: Prosthetic limbs, cochlear implants, artificial hearts, health information technologies, water purifiers, solar panels, geo thermal energy, vertical farming, ocular implants, medical/assentive robots, electromagnetic implants for pain management, and more.

      Do you just picture iPhones and xboxes when thinking about new technology?

      Developing toys gets people to invest in technology they don't see a use for otherwise. Then we use the interest to create a feedback loop of innovation.

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