TED Conversations

Doc Hancock

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Is society as a whole in an infant, adolescent, or maturing adult stage? Explain and relate to history and current global issues.

As individuals we move through the various stages of life growing in physical, mental, social, and spiritual capacities. Infants, for example, are the centers of their own universe. Adolescents "try on" different lifestyles. Maturing adults move past self-centeredness to help others. Where are we as a society in 2013? Please related your answer to history and current global issues. Thank you.


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  • Aug 1 2013: There is only so much a human can learn during his/her lifetime, and much of it is through experience. If you dream of an evolving society that would eventually "understand" and stop acting stupidly, don't. Every generation needs to make its own mistakes. Every individual/society needs to make mistakes in order to learn from them. That's how we humans grow and why societies can't grow. I also find it fascinating how history repeats itself, America vs. Roman empire. We can only teach younger generations so much, and I believe we will continue to make the same mistakes. I dont consider it maturing if we (society) are forced to change our behavior due to eg global warming.

    In a nutshell -> society can't be compared to the psychological growth that a human beings experiences. Societies behavior repeats itself and the only thing that has changed (seen as evolution in history) is human gained knowledge and the nature of our mistakes.
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      Aug 1 2013: Thanks Mikael. Clear presentation with insightful thought. Let me ask you to comment further on why we are not learning from our mistakes. Thank you.

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