TED Conversations

greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement


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What have you learned from animals?

I was thinking about squirrels and how they eat pine nuts and acorns, and this led me to watch YouTube videos how I could harvest pine nuts and acorns.

Hearing how animals emphasize smell led to me to read books and articles about perfume.

Sometimes I'll get down on all fours and walk like an animal to exercise my arms.

Hearing how jackals eat bones on the African plains helped me realize you can eat hard things. I used to think you couldn't eat a snail live because the shell was too hard. But now if I find a garden snail on my walk I'll eat it, shell and all. I discovered the shell really isn't all that hard.


Closing Statement from greg dahlen

I concluded that people do watch animals and think about what they do and learn from them but I wondered if they could go farther. For example, I wish there weren't "indecent exposure" laws, I wish we could go nude in public like when I want to go out and hang laundry on the line to dry.

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  • Jul 20 2013: No, the poor animal is caged or tied up so he cannot escape. Have you read the current AARP article on how elderly men were recently found caged in order for the "owner" to obtain their social security payments? Some people's innate cruelty knows no bounds!. I would suggest you gain a little more knowledge of what's really going on before entering conversations on subjects of which you know very little.
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      Jul 20 2013: Well, if he's caged or tied up, he's not staying out of love, which is what I was interested in. But yeah, that's sad.

      No, I haven't read the article, but have heard about it on the radio. Terrible.

      Well, I'm not sure which conversation you're referring to that I entered into without having knowledge of what's going on. I started a general conversation about animals knowing something about them, but also realizing that others would know things I don't know. That seems like the pleasure of TED, both sharing what you know and learning from others what they know. If you're talking about abused animals, no, I didn't know much about that, M-L, so you and others are teaching me about it. In my mind, that's all to the good, knowing more about it I might be able to intervene if I see an abused animal. If I hadn't entered into that segment of this conversation, it seems to me I wouldn't be as able to intervene. I don't follow your general principle here, we often enter into conversations where we don't know much about the subject with the idea we can learn something. Do you only enter into conversations where you know a lot about the topic?
      • Jul 20 2013: no but I have a lot of years of general learning and experience behind me...ha-ha! For me, learning is a lifetime challenge and one which I welcome; thus my interest in TED programs and conversations.
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          Jul 21 2013: Thanks, what are the subjects in which you have special expertise?

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