TED Conversations

David Hubbard

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Does anyone think that we can have an efficient, peaceful world?

I think it is possible for the population of the internet, which is over 38% of the population of planet Earth, to collectively design and demand a change in the manner that we are governed. We now have the ability to create a new system, by the people, for the people, worldwide.

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    Jul 26 2013: I am an optimist about it and think advancement of communication technology can act as catalyst for it but can't think of any time scale.
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      Jul 26 2013: I agree Salim that our advanced communication systems are facilitating the possibility of making more connections with each other globally. I am optimistic too:>)
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      Jul 26 2013: Now is s good time
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        Jul 27 2013: Yes "NOW" always the most important time one can have .... But is the world ready NOW to embrace peace ?
  • Jul 26 2013: One requirement I would want for one world rule that brings peace would be a visionary leader who could have forseen the technological and scientific advancements of the last 2,000 years. I believe that this prophecy demonstrates that Jesus is such a person.

    A second requirement I would have is that this person be a "good shepherd" willing to lay his life down for the sheep. Again, Jesus is such a person.

    There may be people who don't believe such a thing is possible. For those I would point them to a second very interesting prophecy Jesus made. "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Some people don't believe there was a Noah, logic would therefore dictate that the end of the age cannot be like the "days of Noah" if there never was a Noah. Yet, Time magazine made the Earth it's "Man of the Year" one year because of the extinctions taking place. Others are creating an "ark" to preserve all species alive. Once again, here is a man who could forsee this end 2,000 years ago. Others could argue that today is nothing like Noah's time. But Jesus didn't say it would be, He said it would be like the "days of Noah". i.e. the day Noah discovered we were heading for a mass extinction, the day Noah decided to build an ark, the day it began to rain, etc.
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      Jul 26 2013: Curious.................suggest you start building an ark to test the truth in your statement............Oh that's right your name ain't Noah, but are you hearing voices perchance?

      Cheers...............
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      Jul 26 2013: Interesting viewpoint.
  • Jul 26 2013: I think we can. I don't know if we will.
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    Jul 25 2013: sometimes when people put conversations like this I think it tells more about them than about the world. In other words, maybe it's your life that isn't efficient or peaceful, and to some degree it's on you to change it.

    What changes specifically do you want, where do you see yourself being "wrongly governed"?
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      Jul 26 2013: When we have a natural world that is dying, we have failure of the governing system. When we have an atmosphere that is poisoned and food that is poisoned, we have failure of the governing system. When we have corruption at the highest levels, we have failure of the governing system. War is failure of the governing system. The possibility of atomic destruction of the world as we know it is failure of the governing system. Need I go on?

      That is what the current political system has produced. Possibly the general intelligence of the people would work better. Yes, it's on me to dialogue about improvements. I love my grandchildren. What I specifically want is improved survival potential by making corrections in our management system.
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        Jul 26 2013: I don't know, David, perhaps the optimist sees the doughnut and the pessimist sees the hole. You could on the other hand emphasize the nature preserves being established. You could emphasize how emission controls have reduced air pollution. You could emphasize all the positive leaders with integrity. You could emphasize all the peaceful areas around the world. You could emphasize the end of the Cold War and reduction of nuclear arsenals.

        Nothing to say everything is solved. I somewhat think your conversation is too vast, personally I think you should focus in on a much more specific problem. But you know, if you're unhappy with government, you should get involved. Go to your city council meetings, vote, talk to your friends and neighbors about political issues, call in to talk radio programs. I don't know that you're going to think of any radical new way to do politics, it seems more promising to just get involved in the system as it is, and see what specific problems you can help. And as you do this, you may see ways to improve the system itself.
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          Aug 22 2013: The system needs an overhaul and we have the tools to do it. When the will of the voters is expressed in sufficient numbers, it will play a powerful role in all levels of management.
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        Aug 24 2013: what are you looking at, David, simply getting more people to vote? Sounds good to me. Although already large numbers vote in the biggest, most important elections. Any new ideas how to get more people to vote? I try to point out to people in conversation that it's really in their interest, I mean all kinds of people I talk to.
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    Aug 24 2013: David,
    Thank you so much for continuing this dialogue. And I hope that we are not here to convince one another of right and wrong, but to investigate and discover, and i would not claim any expertise in this area.
    Can we think as I, the god?
    Sir, anything put together by thought, is limited fragmented and conceptual. Concepts, create the illusion of the subjective and the objective dimensions, the subjective as self-identity, and the objective as the "other". In doing so, we attribute certain values, beliefs and the rest to the both loci, and because the attributes are different, inevitably, there is conflict. But what we (and I assume) do, is that we are ignorant of the fact that the inner and the outer are concepts, and they are produced by knowledge. Knowledge as memory, cultural ideological and so on.Knowledge also gives us the false impression that there is such thing as "ugly" and "beautiful", for the sake of the example. These are not realities but concepts. We attribute values and meaning to these concepts, and out of this, we are deriving emotions. Emotions add to the falseness of the realities of the concepts, because now we "feel" something, so there is some truth to the concept. We then, because of the emotions we derive from the meaning (negative and positive) choose one over the other, beautiful over the ugly, and divide perception on this basis. We try and "be" beautiful, and the fashion industry and cosmetics are seeing that we pay the price. And we take this charade in relationships, where we please or displease others, according to our "intent", sometimes on a conscious basis, most of the time unconsciously, as we have been socialized and conditioned. So we make friends and enemies, according again to our use of language and intent, intent based on reward, on gain or loss. This conceptual structure, identifying itself with country, culture, religion, profession, religion and so on, is divisive and conflictual in its' make up.
    • W T 100+

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      Aug 25 2013: Mr. Atman, you have made some very insightful remarks.

      Unfortunately, much of the terminology you have used, and the deep thoughts you express, are not 'digestable' by everyone reading them.

      So, how do you speak to the everyday human, the one who works at menial jobs, and has little education?

      How do you make peace with those around you?

      Because after all is said and done, there is usually more said than done.

      Do you belong to some sort of organization that is promoting peace on a world-wide scale, and do you live in harmony with principles that are not "divisive and conflictual" in it's make-up?

      If time allows (because there are only 2 hours remaining in this talk), I would be interested in your answers to my inquiries.

      Thanking you in advance for your kind attention,
      Mary
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      Aug 25 2013: And, may I just add, because you might not come back in time, that I find that love......true love of other's is a wonderful way to create a peaceful world.

      LOVE.
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    Aug 23 2013: We still vote people in power, how come that the politicians still do what they want?
    And when we take to the streets we get beaten up and arrested.
    For as long as we have rulers, a ruling class, they will be ruled by one form of ideology, theirs or ours. Ideology is never all encompassing. Some people will fall between the cracks. I don't see it working.
    Ruling can have a functional place, but not one where it interferes with the individuals' freedom to live according to one's deeper conscious will, and that will take thousands of years to happen because we humans do not know what our will is, we are brainwashed to serve and follow orders, beliefs, ideologies, be it from state, church, or other sources. We are afraid to be free. We need security, security creates tribalism, and the rest is like you've said. A free human mind does not need psychological security, it is able to transcend security into the realm of creativity, sameness for change,. The US founders had good plans, implemented wrongly; Marxism is also good, until it comes to implementation.
    The problem as I see it is that we do not live for one another, we leave each for our own selves, in a mutually exclusive way, that is only bridged when it comes to safety and security, when we find something to belong to, a surrogate mother, usually in the form of ideology, and ideology itself leads to tribalism, There we are.
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      Aug 24 2013: I think that we will evolve as a civilisation. I think it will be sooner than we think.
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        Aug 24 2013: I sincerely hope so, for the sake of the future generations.
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          Aug 24 2013: We can all play a part, by thinking and talking globally. "I" can be I, the person, or I, the family, I, the species, or the planet, the life or even I, the god. When we think as I, the man, we think mainly about survival and we don't really give a damn about what happens after we die. When we think as family we worry about the kind of a world our grandchildren will inherit and wish them well.

          When we think as species, we mourn our seemingly inevitable demise. I, the planet is not a viewpoint we like to take. I, the planet has a bad rash and is covered with cancers all caused by people that think only as men. I, the life is a rarefied dimension, lonely in the mountains. I, the life thinks as this amazing, miraculous, consciousness that we are.

          Can we think as I, the god? But of course, it is the essential being that I am, and you are, along with all conscious beings. I, the god is timeless. from it's timeless position, it sees the universe unfold as it should, in time. It sees the unnecessary pain and cries for each hungry child. It is that in us that wants to rejoice and sing. It is that in us that loves. It is that in us that wants peace and contentment.
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        Aug 24 2013: Continued.
        But we need concepts and language to communicate in this world, so we are damned both ways, if we do and if we don't. Investigating the world of concepts, and studying semantics, we discover (not that I am an expert in semantics) that the word is not the object, the map is not the territory, words-concepts are merely descriptors and pointers, and not the thing in itself. Unfortunately, any form of identity, "I" as something, is taken by our "operating system" in the brain to be real. When it comes under attack (the conceptual structure), our immune system, the fight-flight mechanism, is deceptively triggered and we end up defending the conceptual structure as though "something real" is coming under attack. This, to my understanding, is the beginning of psychological fear. Physical fear is different, we protect a LIVING ORGANISM, where the psychological conceptual structure is not living, it is an impostor. Out of fear, we seek, like we have stated before, safety, in numbers, tribalism, nationalism, etc. And we fight, conceptually, ideologically, communism, Buddhism, any "ism" that appears to be a threat to the structure just because it is different. We like sameness, because it is like-minded, and we reject difference because the structure, being limited, cannot include and embrace difference, totality. I see what you are saying that by using the "I" as God and everything else, conceptually, we can embrace more, and my take on it, is that somehow, it has to be done without concepts; concepts can, in some way, point to it, but concepts cannot ever replace it. We have a concept called Awareness. Awareness, as a state of mind, rather than a concept, embraces everything because it is not divided, therefore non-conceptual. But we are conditioned to "grasp", to conceptualize and in doing so, create division. In Hinduism, they have two concepts or Sarvikalpa and Nirvikalpa, one is enlightenment with atributes and the second without atributes, or concepts.
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        Aug 24 2013: Continued 2. With atributes, meaning we do not differentiate between atributes, the second without atributes at all. One of the earliest awakening "signs" is to see that concepts are meaningless, without value. We attribute meaning to concept, by value adding. Suppose that "ugly" one day becomes valued and desired, what would that do to the world of fashion and cosmetics, including surgery? (adapt?) Because we attribute values to concepts, in a positive-desirable or negative-undesirable fashion, we are unconsciously invited to desire the positive and avoid the negative, conceptually. But because the concepts relate to physical realities, we end up desiring the objects-people to whom we attribute the positive values, and avoid-reject the ones we attribute the negative ones. And the merry-go-round begins. But this is not all; we now have competition within the realm of the positive values, the self-structure-concept desires more, better, bigger, and we have not only avoidance, we have GREED. Which is nicely disguised as COMPETITION, so that we are accepting of it in a more guilt-less fashion. Then we have the concepts of man, woman, child, with their various attributes and values, and through the concepts and meaning, we impose behaviors and expectations on them, which we call "social norms" and the means of controlling the masses. You break the social norm, you become a "social outcast" especially if you speak against the rulers of your tribe, at different levels. Lose your job, friends, security etc. So we are ruled by concepts, limited by concepts, deceived by concepts. have a look at the Law, that is based on the conceptual assumption of "right and wrong". In reality, there is no right and wrong, right and wrong is a matter of stance and point of view. There is physical suffering, but we cannot take Cancer to court because we have not devised a law against it yet. And right and wrong, as law, is based again, on division, conceptual assumptions elevated to the ran
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        Aug 24 2013: Continued 3. -rank of belief and institutionalized as Truth. And religion is based on the "believe and do not question" statement. So we have inherited an "operating system" that is faulty, and it rules our lives, and this is a fact, undeniably so. Our mind(s) are ruled, rather than being free, and without freedom, we have no chance in hell to do what you are proposing, and this is a statement, rather than something I want to impose, and it can be questioned and debated and I invite debate, this is what we are here for. If we look at the Bible, and I speculate because I am not an expert in it, it says:
        Exodus 20:4
        “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven (mind, my word) above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Image, as in self image or God image. Image, meaning conceptualize and take it for Gospel. And yet we do, and as we do, we drive through the red traffic lights. Our rulers make law without questioning us about them, without putting the laws to vote. Where is democracy and freedom in this? We tow the line else we are in prison and the prisons are full of people that protest against the law, in one way or another. And Psychiatry to label us crazy? Why is someone who is poor forced to steal? Why is someone rich tempted to steal? Why is there one law for the poor and another for the rich? The rich get away with murder, and please do not ask for examples, and why if you are a certain color you get shot for carrying a wallet in your pocket? How do you change the laws in the world, so that there is one law for all, not a law that favors one class and not the other?
        These, I think are the real questions we have to address, and no disrespect to anything aforesaid.
        So, what can we do to educate the people about these issues?
        If you could give me your email, I would like to send you an attachment with an inspired poem that came to me in a state of mind of openness.
  • Aug 23 2013: The only way it can happen is when human being start behaving like an robot . As no two minds think the same way, as there prioritise are different
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      Aug 23 2013: We do have many similarities.
      • Aug 23 2013: Thank you , my views are most of the times, are based on science than emotional & some times on the closely watched instance. This one is totally biological
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    Aug 23 2013: Hi David,

    I like dancing with you around brilliant ideas. Where should one begin this journey to direct democracy, and is it feasible or is it just another ideal?
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      Aug 23 2013: The only difference between a poll and a vote is the number of respondents. The larger it gets, the more power it has. What politician would ignore the wishes of a majority of their voters? None. What world ruler would not be affected by the express will of their populace? Very few.

      Therein lies the formula for change. Collect votes directly on all decisions, with easy access to information on all sides. Soon we will see that we do not need the political structures to rule ourselves, nation wide or worldwide. We will finally have government by the people, just like the US founders planned.
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    Aug 23 2013: That's great and all but it'll never happen.
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      Aug 23 2013: Just watch. (I have confidence in the sanity of people.)
  • Aug 23 2013: certainly. it merely requires people understanding unselfishness. no govt or power can exist without people yet people can easily exist without govt or power structures. self sufficiency will make the social structures built on dependency redundant.
  • Aug 22 2013: Since the "governs/government" are the ones with the power, why do you think they would give it up for some kind of collective petition. I see no good reason they would.

    You also seem to think that the 38% should "collectively design and demand a change in the manner that we are governed"...... What about the 62% Majority don't they get a say?
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      Aug 22 2013: If the numbers voting are large enough, they will be heard and changes will be made.
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    Aug 22 2013: Hi David,

    Can we have peace in this world? Interesting proposition. The question(s) could be: Does peace benefit anyone? Can anyone be in charge of it, control it, sell it, oversee it? Do we really, really know what peace is, not peace as the word, the ideal, but the state of mind that is at peace, at rest? If we did, there would be peace in the world and we would not be seeking it or wondering if it is possible. Someone at peace with themselves and the world would never raise this question. I am afraid but we do not know what peace is, if we seek it, this is obvious. And if we do, it would never becomes a subject, it IS a way of life, an everyday act. But the sad truth is that we do not know what peace is, because peace is not an ideal, not a destination, not an outcome of a method, no matter how many gurus and books you go through. So let's for a moment look at the obstacles to peace, maybe? What are the obstacles to peace, in your opinion, and the opinion of the readers? And what is the source of the obstacles, if we are to remove them and to be left with peace, tranquility, contentment?
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      Aug 22 2013: To respond to your first question, "Does peace benefit anyone?" I see you have not been in a war zone and experienced desolation and I congratulate you on it. No person should have to endure the death and damage. The lost sons fighting for a cause they don't understand, the beautiful neighbourhood a rubble. This is the reality of war. Peace as in absence from armed conflict, can't be sold but it can be exploited in savings.

      We do know the state of mind that is at peace. It is free of anguish, it is happy, it is loving. Peace between people is vital for the realization of oneness to occur, which is peace. The broken bonds in families, the cold and separated neighbourhoods. The ignored and lost. The bonds that bring joy are missing in many peoples lives. Many of us are lonely and isolated people. That is not peace

      Our national personality's but a reflection. So we have separatism. The brotherhood of man is isolated in little pockets, all somewhat wary of the other, spending fortunes to defend themselves from some other group. The cost of our international separatism is war. This weakens a country's economy, inhibits trade and loses the support of the people.

      The obstacles to peace? Nationally, the war machine is in place and they are afraid to shut it down. Some political supporters like war. Fear is the answer. Individually it is also fear that keeps our war machines in place. It is reliance on our programmed mind, and disconnection from the one life that we are.

      Peace must be peace from something. When the honking horn stops there is peace. When the crying child sleeps there is peace. When people stop dying in political conflicts there is peace. When people stop dying of hunger, there will be much more peace in the world, in the nations, in the people.

      Peace, tranquility, contentment might be best viewed in reverse. Contentment breeds tranquility and tranquility breeds peace. It is not absence from something so much as it is presence
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        Aug 22 2013: Hi David,

        You have misread my answer, but that's ok. What I meant is that the people behind war mongering, the governments, the economy, idealism, religion, all those who profit from it. That is what I meant.
        My country of birth had known war for more than 2000 years, having been invaded by many war mongers, from the Huns, the Romans, Turks etc. I marvel at the rest of your insights. And "Peace must be peace from something.", I am also of the opinion that FEAR is behind all ills. Fear makes people behave in strange ways, neurotic, anxious, unsettled. And governments and the powerful exploit it, until the masses revolt. Then, the army and the police come on the streets, people from among the masses that are given a job and a position, a little taste of power, and the masses are back in fear, serving the Masters. How is peace ever possible where there is fear, exploitation, cruelty? That I would like to know. Not idealistically, but actually, realistically.
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          Aug 23 2013: Hi Johnny. We are dancing around the same ideas. We need a better way of managing our affairs. Direct democracy could very well be a solution. I think it is worth investigating.
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    Aug 4 2013: In the founding days of the US, our leaders changed "life liberty and the pursuit of property" to be "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

    The implication and vision in the rewrite should be crystal clear. 300 years after writing that, we are waking up. Green initiatives, increased regulation over pollutants and non-renewable resources, and a change in the mind of people (especially in wealthier nations where we buy and waste more "things") has shifted our values. These small but meaningful changes are evidence that we know there is room for improvement.

    We are aware that we are in a state of sub-optimality. We know that through change, we can start moving towards "optimal-ness" (perfection/optimal is not achievable in evolution).

    Those of us who have done a deeper dive know that on our current course, disaster is guaranteed.

    Indulge me this computer-network analogy as it has correlations that match David's challenge:

    A large computer network is extremely expensive. Hardware needs to be designed (process) to support software which is written (laws), system administrators need to be trained (lawmakers, officials), users need to be trained at their workstations (citizens) and an infrastructure needs to be implemented so that the individual terminals link up to the network.

    In this analogy, we are running Novell. And because we have not invested or migrated to newer platforms (implement ideas), we are now so out of date the the entire architecture needs to change (all of it, even the wires) before the network crashes.

    Right now it is still cheaper to use the out of date system.

    Creating change means evangelizing "the finance department" (taxpayers) that we should invest (spend) in a new system (david's ideal). While I am an optimist, odds are the system will have to breakdown so the only choice is the optimal one.

    "Once you change yourself, the world around you will change. I am sure of that." (Deepak above). Are we ready to pursue happiness?
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      Aug 22 2013: If we are on a course where disaster is guaranteed, then perhaps we should turn the ship. Direct democracy is where the people vote for themselves, rather than through representatives. It is not as complex as you would imagine. Secure online voting is already here. It is only a matter of converting more decision making power into the hands of the voters.

      Would it make a change? For the voters, absolutely, they'd be empowered. For the status quo? Not so good. They'd have to sell their ideas like everyone else.

      With deference to Mr. Chopra. It is avoiding the realisation of oneness to ignore the suffering of others, which, like you, are part of the one timeless life. So it is you that is suffering, it is you that is starving, it is you that is crying.
  • Aug 2 2013: Yes the internet is a changer like any new method of communication and another source of information - telephone, radio, tv all changed society. I have concerns

    1. the lack of source - so long as anonymous sources are sited by anonymous people - the noise factor and bad information abounds.
    2. loudest shouters will be heard too much
    3. are we going to be governed by polls? though sometimes i think we are there now
    4. the dictatorship of the majority especially when they are wrong
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      Aug 22 2013: The lack of source is a very valid concern. Secure communication is filtering out more and more of the lunatic fringe. IP addresses can now be seen at the receiving end. That alone will remove a good part. the schizophrenic input. It's getting better.

      The loudest shouters are always there, with their stories, trying to sell their wares. We're all wise to them, but we buy their stuff. All it takes is an ad budget and smart management can sell almost anything.

      Why not be governed by the polls? All we have to do is make them secure and able to control duplicate voting and we have government by the people for the people.

      The dictatorship of the majority changes presidents. By definition, a dictator is a person, an individual who makes the decisions and gives the orders. The majority is supposed to rule. The chances of better decisions from a majority of people is a lot greater than those of one single individual, with obligations to supporters.
      • Aug 22 2013: 1. you could always see the ip address on the receiving end. the problem is the validity of the ip - simple dhcp would allow someone to have a range of ips or simple spoofing can hide the ip without reasonable digging. If someone is good, a lot of digging is needed. How we control the sources is key, until then it is buyer beware.

        2. It seems clear after the last several elections the RNC, DNC, pac's and candidates assume they can tell lies, semi-lies, and even the truth loud enough people will believe them.

        3. most polls are done by sample groups - the unemployment rate is calculated on a sample of 60,000 for example. There was a SF short story where the elections, major decisions, etc was done every 4 years by selecting the common individual from the entire population and on his opinions base everything. the questions were not who to elect but on their leaning on topics. The final line of the story was the individual marching out proudly stating the People had done their civic duty of voting.

        4. Dictatorship of the Majority is another name for mob rule. One of the points of the Constitution is to protect the minority from the anger, stupidity, rape murder, etc of the majority. Just look at the US history and you will see examples of this - treatment of the American Indian, Spanish American War, Filipino concentration camps, Japanese Internment, etc. 5 presidents were elected without a plurality and 1 was not elected at all.
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          Aug 23 2013: The whole idea of democracy is rule by the majority and is based in the premise that the voters know best. The concept of "dictatorship of the majority" is anti democratic. The US history you refer to is all evidence that the representative system needs replacing. Would the voters including the minorities have agreed to the abuses you mention? I doubt it. Would they have agreed to attack Iraq? The allegations of weapons of mass destruction was doubted by many, yet was not refuted publicly. We need to find a better way rather than just naming potential solutions and discarding them
      • Aug 24 2013: Saying that the concept of "dictatorship of the majority" is anti-democratic is only true if you are part of the majority. Tyranny/dictatorship of the majority has been noted as a problem within the democratic process since the beginning of the concept of democracy. It is been written about by Plato,
        Tocqueville, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, etc. There have been recent thesis on the topic

        Am I for Democracy, yes but it has imperfections and this is one of them. James Madison is considered one of the Architects of the Constitution and the Senate (a compromise) and the Supreme Court were designed to fight the dictatorship of the majority.

        On the abuses, the genocide of the American Indian race and culture was the wish of the vast majority, including both liberals and conservatives in some form.

        If you want, we can discuss the Iraq invasion later. 8>))
  • Jul 30 2013: I agree that using the internet is a game changer for democracies. I also agree that this would be a very effective improvement to city government where every resident of the city could participate. However, for this to work globally you would have to eliminate "gunboat diplomacy". I think this can be done by redesigning the city in such a way that it does not need the protection of an overlord. As long as cities pay tax to a federal government I don't believe world peace is possible. A second flaw that is fatal to world peace is that our current design of cities is not sustainable. You cannot live in a way that devours the world's resources and think that this can somehow be ignored and we can all live in peace.
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    Jul 29 2013: Yes, I do believe we can one day, not necessarily in the near future, with the reservation that efficient and peaceful doesn't mean utterly violence and disaster-free, just without conscious escalation, perpetuation or starting of conflict and with any possible natural disaster discovered prior to its unravelling thanks to efficient merger between data-modelling, science and aid organizations.

    The above doesn't mean a perfect world. I can envisage a perfect world, but imperfect human beings are not a part of it, at least not in their present form.

    When it comes to the perfect system - any system that seems flawless can become corrupt due to imperfect human nature. Then it falls and there's need for a new one. I actually find reason to believe that we live in a new one now, just haven't found a proper name for it yet.
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      Jul 29 2013: Hello Anna. A very wise and insightful comment. I'm referring more to the political systems we have in place than the natural world. I would simply suggest that the people be empowered to make their own decisions regarding issues that effect them, and be able to direct the government with a voting system that utilizes current technology
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        Jul 30 2013: Education means empowerment.

        Current education systems do not always empower or build awareness. Current technology i.e. internet, among others, is quite efficient at giving people the tools and knowledge to make their own decisions, I agree with that. It is also efficient at distracting them.

        I believe TED is doing a great job at both education and building awareness with no so much distraction.

        When it comes to directing governments and having an efficient voting system - are you referring to E2D parties?

        Christophe mentioned pirate parties, I'm wondering if those could wash the "pirate" theme of their name (it can inspire negative associations which there may be little need for) and work towards a common goal:

        http://e2d-international.org/
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    Jul 29 2013: Our world is more peaceful and efficient than it was in the past...
    I do think we are improving and need to keep improving.
    Can we get a 100% peace and 100% efficiency? No. As we constantly need to adapt to new challenges and changes, we need to evolve with it.
    • Jul 29 2013: I think we have improved with regards to science and technology, but I don't see the basis to say we have improved in the way in which we govern ourselves.

      You could argue that the US experiment with democracy is a major advancement, or you could equally argue that this "experiment" is the result of a failed human government and that this will evolve into an oligarchy in a relatively short period of time (a few hundred years).

      Perhaps the real question is how to design an effective sustainable democracy
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        Jul 29 2013: I think we have improved, and I reffer to Steve Pinker's book 'the better angels of our nature'.
        It gives a lot of historical numbers and comparisons that seem compelling to the argument that cooperativity has gone up.

        democracy can certainly be inmproved... I think the models of the pirate parties worldwide are a good goal for example (a wikipedia model of democracy)
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        Jul 29 2013: Hello Stuart.
        How do we design an effective, sustainable democracy? I think that a government that is controlled by the people for the people would be a great improvement of the existing system of by the representative for their supporters. Democracy started out in Greece and Rome with direct citizen input and that was quite successful for it's day. By internet voting, It can once again be utilized.

        The American experiment is manipulated by huge corporate interference, via lobbying and campaign fund support. In true democracy the people rule. It is now technically possible.
        • Jul 29 2013: Greece was swallowed up by Rome, which was not a democracy.

          Greek form of democracy was operated by those with an ownership stake in the community and they governed their community.

          I think that having an ownership stake is a critical component that we ignore. For example I think all doctors, nurses, and everyone working in the health care profession has an ownership stake in health care. They should be the ones who make the decision on how to take care of health care. On the other hand every tax payer has an ownership stake on what percent of their taxes they want designated to pay for healthcare. So then, taxpayers vote on how much money to pay for healthcare, the providers come back with the plan on the best way to use that money.

          The same can be said of public school teachers and public schools, police, fire men, etc.

          As far as war is concerned I think the army should be divided up fairly among the 50 states (that is if you enlist in Virginia as a resident of that state you serve in Virginia). Without an act of war our capability should be strictly defensive. In the event that we are attacked and want to raise an army for a counter attack that would have to be approved state by state. Any state could vote to not go to war, however, when the war is over they would suffer the consequences (Perhaps when the Iraq war is over that state would have to pay a premium for oil).
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      Jul 29 2013: Hello Christophe. Do you think that the present American political system is improving or failing the people?
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        Jul 29 2013: As I am not an American, it is hard to judge.

        I think this talk : http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html
        Is probably better than an answer I can give.

        I think that a multiple or non-party democratic system is better. I am a member of the pirate party (in Belgium) so partisan for direct (liquid) democracy.... but I am also quite technocratic (as part of the checks and balances), as i think a good argument (scientificaly backed) should override fantasy, even if the fantasy is the majority opinion.
        As a European, I am probably more socialist (even though I feel more right-wing in my country)...
        and I think what Obama does is not bad (maybe not good enough).


        Change your voting system. It will help.
  • Jul 28 2013: Never David never.

    As long as the American empire, for example, and others before it, and others after it, continually decide to wage war in what they singularly decide is in their own selfish self interest, and either lie, or get the population to either be so apathetic to whats happening, or believe that "god is on their side".

    So that any killing done in the name of such man made empires, or by the men your told by who say they believe in god and on god's behalf that god will automatically forgive or approves of your killing. In short until people own up to the own guilt, their own complicity, their knowledge that they have been lied to, and they didn't care, that they "just followed orders" or that somehow the enemy was/is subhuman... On the other hand, maybe god will forgive, but maybe only if you can explain why - you believed the words of other men, and forgot the word of god - the commandment "thou shalt not kill".

    We'll never have a chance of a "peaceful world" ever existing, and unfortunately a few thousand years of history proves that to be the case... and an 'internet" based system, is still completely representative of the have's in this world, the ones that have oppressed, the ones that continue to oppress, so why I ask does anyone think that just because the internet exists, that it will change the mindset of those that govern.

    Nor realistically the fact, that with 38%, the minority still rules and forces it's dictates on the rest of us. As I said, and history shows, all you're doing is creating another empire to do the will of man.
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      Jul 29 2013: Yes, but an empire ruled by the people, not a select few. I agree, those who cannot afford the hardware to go online could be left out, but surely, sharing or community provided access could provide input for the poor. I'm sure that an empowered populace would take a great deal of interest in government management issues, and would participate enthusiastically.
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    Jul 27 2013: David, yes!!

    Soon we'll have earthly conditions so beautiful that we will all be wondering "what took so long?"

    But do you think humans alone can do it?
    • Jul 28 2013: No we cant Mary, history show that. We need that meteor and the sooner the better.
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        Jul 28 2013: I agree with you....no "we" can't.
        • Jul 29 2013: And that's where we diverge Mary, if "we" can't, then maybe "we" are unworthy and all that it implies. After all, just how many times does someone have to die?
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        Jul 29 2013: No, it simply implies that we do not know how to do it ourselves.

        We need help.

        And we only die once Tify.......only once.
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      Jul 29 2013: Hello Mary; Do I think that humans alone can do It? Yes I do. We we made the world of people the way it is with all it's flaws, so why should we not be able to fix it?. Collectively, we aren't anywhere as vulnerable to corruption as the individuals that we select to represent us. The general intelligence of the voters has to be wiser than any single individual.
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        Jul 30 2013: Hello David; I don't know about that......from the looks of history, well, I just have not real faith in humans alone tackling this massive issue of peace.....more later.
  • Jul 27 2013: "an efficient peaceful world". To have an efficient world we need a design that supports efficiency. The internet certainly raises our capability in this regards as do most forms of computerization, telecommunication and high technology.

    Unfortunately all of these advancements in efficiency translate to war as well. Our killing machines are becoming much more efficient. We are literally turning the act of war into a 9-5 job. I think the expression here is "ride the tiger". Scientific and technological advancement is a tiger. Yes it makes us more efficient, but that gain in efficiency is true of all our endeavors, which includes war.

    Democracy in and of itself is not an effective governing strategy. Everyone knows that "too many cooks spoil the broth". Dictatorship is the most effective and efficient governing strategy but the problem is that half of our leaders have been psychopaths and/or incompetent.

    The idea of checks and balances in our constitution reflected our concern that ultimately governments become abusive and corrupt.

    So, yes, an efficient peaceful world is possible if you solve the problem of human government. Failing to do that there is no possibility for a peaceful world.
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      Jul 29 2013: Thanks for that Stuart. Do you think that the people would vote for war? I don't, they are directly connected to the pain and misery. It's rulership by those who would easily send fine young people to their deaths, that makes battle plans. They are the obstacles to peace and creators of the inevitable financial losses that result from war.
      I have faith in my fellow human beings. They want peace love and happiness. That can never be found with violence of any kind. It's my belief that this current civilisation has the ability to find world peace, before it allows the exploiters to destroy the only living planet there is. I'd like to know my grandchildren and their grandchildren will be OK.
      • Jul 29 2013: I think that if the world Trade center is attacked by terrorists that the US govt could see that as an opportunity to put their army on the ground in Iraq and seize control of the largest proven oil reserves in the world next to Saudi Arabia. I think the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with World Trade Center will be known by the US govt but ignored, and I think the press will also ignore that fact.

        I was in NYC when the world trade center was attacked. I was in the process of preparing for a rally at the UN for Sudan which was scheduled for the same week. Because of my involvement in the Sudan issue I was much more aware of the politics of the middle east and was well aware that Iraq had no political affiliation with the Taliban style extremists of Al Qaeda. Therefore if your goal was to weaken Al Qaeda the worst thing you could have done is to attack Iraq.

        However, at the Fortune 500 company that I was working at I tried to very lightly discuss that topic only to realize that any hint that Iraq was not guilty of the attack was equated with treason and clearly would result in being terminated. I felt the mentality of the entire population had gone off the deep end. They went from total indifference to Middle East politics the day before the attack to a rabid "hit back, and hit them hard" attitude regardless of whether or not they were actually guilty. Reminds me of Denzel Washington's line in "the Hurricane". The police stop his car and say they are looking for two black men who just robbed a store and he replies "any two will do?"

        It almost makes you feel like the whole attack on the Twin towers was orchestrated. Like the sinking of the Luisitania, or the Bismark, etc.
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    Jul 27 2013: Yes. World peace begins with inner peace.
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    Jul 27 2013: To have an efficient peaceful world the power systems have to be inverted. Right now the top positions of power become occupied with the absolute worst people on the planet, highly intelligent psychopaths. The higher you go up in any power system the more likely that person is going to be a psychopath. Read the books "Corporate Psychopaths" and "Snakes In Suits" to see the related science and get the picture. For world peace we need the least psychopathic making the decisions. It will never happen though as the good people are too trusting and too conditioned in thinking that psychopaths make the best leaders.
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      Jul 27 2013: Well Michael.........................suggest that if a study was done covering all demographics of social strata it would show per the usual 1000 population that there are more psychopaths per 1000 population in the lower social strata of society than in the higher social strata of society. But Hey I could be wrong.

      And then there is this to have a ponder......... :)

      http://boingboing.net/2012/12/31/which-professions-have-the-mos.html
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        Jul 27 2013: The current scientific evidence we have supports the idea that psychopaths are running things and does not support the general public's conditioned belief that the opposite is true. Read those books to understand. Here's just one example from the author of "Corporate Psychopaths":

        http://www.nowandfutures.com/large/ImplicationsOfCorporatePsychopaths(boddy).pdf
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          Jul 27 2013: Robert Hare, whose work is most often cited by those who write in this area, has taken issue with misinterpretations of his findings. His work is often somewhat misrepresented and then combined with speculation and what to an author seems a reasonable logical path to reach conclusions that cannot be defended empirically at this time.

          At one point in the linked article, the author makes a claim that there is no evidence that what he is putting forward is not true, and then he proceeds as if this suggests that the claim is likely sound, though there was no compelling evidence the claim was true either.

          Robert Hare does have his own site, which is likely the most authoritative source on the subject.

          I do not personally know about psychopaths or their prevalence in any sub-population of society, but I think the evidence many people use who write in this area is wobbly.
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        Jul 27 2013: Fritzie, Hare co-wrote "Snakes In Suits" with Paul Babiak who issued the statement you falsely claim Boddy himself made. Anyone else hear glass breaking?
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          Jul 28 2013: Well Michael I suggest it still begs the question of who is best suited to perform certain functions as noted here:

          http://boingboing.net/2012/12/31/which-professions-have-the-mos.html

          Ala: Most of the professions on the right require human connection, dealing with feelings and most of them don’t offer much power. Psychopaths, by their very nature, would not be drawn to or very good at these things.

          On the other hand, most of the roles on the left do offer power and many require an ability to make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings. Psychopaths would be drawn to these roles and thrive there.

          Which in turn begs the question would you (as a shareholder in your country and a share portfolio holder) prefer it to be run/managed by an objective rationalist or an indecisive emotive bleeding heart that can't/won't make/take the hard decisions sometimes required?

          Just curious, just asking.
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          Jul 28 2013: I'd suggest anyone read your link, as well as visit Hare's site for his concerns about the misinterpretation of his work, and come to their own conclusions on the matter.
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        Jul 28 2013: Well Blade since I'm not morally or mentally retarded I prefer things like the Holocaust to not happen so I don't want psychopaths in power. Perhaps a happy compromise would be to let psychopaths lead but keep the populace properly educated about them and have something like the original US constitution (now in tatters) to prevent them from doing too much harm.
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        Jul 28 2013: I agree Fritzie people should read Hare's website about any misrepresentation, particularly about Jon Ronson's shameful but entertaining book. What I don't understand is why you're repeatedly bringing this issue up here. Are you claiming Boddy misrepresented Hare's work? If so that quite an unsupported claim since there is no mention of Boddy on Hare's site except one informational link to one of his papers.
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    Jul 27 2013: Well David ..........suggest Microsoft was a dream based/started on a 'self serving capitalistic gain' ideology!

    Btw. I do not have a problem with that ideology/concept! :)

    Further suggest that your 'by the people, for the people' concept has been tried and found guilty of Fail, ala the USSR and Mr Marx.

    cheers..................
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      Jul 29 2013: Hi "Blade" The by the people. for the people concept was never utilized by the USSR, except to entice the people into a dictatorship. The phrase was applied to early democracy, but only now is it actually possible. I say let's do it. .
  • Jul 26 2013: We can have that but its not that easy it needs a lot of effort,how many of them willing to take that effort. There is all new system has to come in place.. This world is completely corrupted human lives are taken for granted and the politicians make politics out of it.. So how this corrupted system came in to place it was a process and human greed and they achieved it eventually.. so we start everything new from the scratch rebuild the system it may take time but lets join hands lets start it there are millions of like minded people on this earth who would love to see the peaceful world lets join hands together through the web and lets take it forward any volunteers??
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      Jul 26 2013: To answer you question, I do not so much want a collective system as one that is ruled democratically.
      It's been called direct democracy and it is being used to a degree in Denmark and Switzerland with great success. By the people, for the people is a good concept and it is now possible.

      The UN is bandaging for a crippled system. I'm saying let's update our thinking with current technology. Should it grow into a one world government, I would expect that local identity would remain, but international conflict would finally be eliminated.

      Lets talk about it.
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    Jul 26 2013: Peace is a nice goal. But that is not realistic in a naturally violent world with 6 billion people and communications broadcasting everything and anything. Are you or anyone you know threatened by conflict. I would say that 99.9 are not. That is as peaceful as I believe it can get at this stage in our development.
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      Jul 26 2013: That's a comfortable viewpoint and it's easy to hold in an affluent nation. I would disagree that we are naturally violent. I suggest that we are naturally peaceful, loving and joyful. Sadly many people (more like 40% of the population of Earth) are in need of help. Making our management system more efficient would improve the world economy and greatly eliminate poverty. It's a responsibility to our kids.
  • Jul 26 2013: It is already being done. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98919&page=1

    Why is it that you cannot discuss these issues without mocking?
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      Jul 26 2013: Hi Stuart. There is no mockery, my friend. There is only a genuine desire to make the world a better place
      • Jul 26 2013: I think this is perhaps the most critical issue man has faced over the last 6,000 years. You defined the thread as being concerned with governing, but I think the structure of society is equally critical. The structure of society is a city. Currently our design for a city is fatally flawed and unsustainable. However the culmination of the Bible is to give you a design for a city that is sustainable.

        The second major problem we face which has only gotten worse is human government. Regardless of how much our technology has advanced along with our understanding of science this issue has not gone away, if anything it has gotten worse. Once again the Bible presents a single man as Lord. I cannot see another man in history that can measure up. I like Mahatma Ghandi, but think he comes far short of the standard set by Jesus.

        I do not see any way to arrive at this goal without recognizing that greed, avarice, lies and deceit will have to be dealt with.

        The second issue that has to be dealt with are those that profit from war.