TED Conversations

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What makes TED truly international?

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    Sep 8 2013: The conversations I've had on TED have driven me to discover new truths and knowledge. It is, without reservation, the most delightful site I've ever joined. The great diversity of people and their ideas give a depth and scope to conversations I've not found elsewhere. Some questions that -appear meaningless to some people- take on a life of their own when discussed in a multicultural setting, revealing a relevance of connectivity we don't see at the beginning of conversation.
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    Sep 19 2013: TED welcomes everyone who values our shared desire for freedom, peace and a better world. Ideas here are local and hence global, and communities all over the world have the opportunity to let people in on what is happening around them and the vision for something better.
    Ideas are good, and good ideas are blessings.
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    Sep 5 2013: Because we all have a equal opportunity to be a part of it.
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    Sep 10 2013: Thousands of,-no, even much more than that.- willing translators from diverse countries. Also, those who are eager to share inspiring ideas and hopefully discuss about it. It is always good to be talkative when it comes to share "ideas worth spreading".
  • Sep 9 2013: Good question ! From a personal point of you TED helped me to get more knowledge about different things and changed my view of life . TED really helps people in the sense that they can regonize themselves on different conferences given by people who had tragidies but they never gave up , who wanted to make a change and have an impact on the society , who wanted to transmit a message of hope and love and so on.That's why TED stretched over the planet.Moreover, over my visions of different conferences of TED.I'm not the same person , I'm more optimistic and more energitic and all what i think is to never give up in this life and always try to be more and more creative and helpful towards the society.I think this is the goal of TED (Having a positive impact on the world) .Yet , that's why it is international .
  • Sep 9 2013: Participation is not restricted on the basis of nation, at least not by TED, and TED seems to do a good job policing users so there is no de-facto exclusion on the basis of nation.

    It really is that simple.
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    Sep 5 2013: As you have 30+ TED creds, meaning you are not new to the site, would you share your view candidly of whether TED members are sufficiently open to each others' ideas?

    I think it is clear that you are interested in other people's views on this. But those who have replied to you are surely just as interested in your sharing your views now that they have shared theirs!

    This is what makes TED potentially an exchange of ideas both ways- the willingness to share your ideas and points of view, particularly on subjects you bring up.
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      Sep 5 2013: Personally, I feel TED is not the best place to share new ideas that are related to sensitive issues.It is a good platform to do so yet the community might not be ready to face alien ideas.Partly because we are different and comfortable in our own way.But it's okay to be different just don't be hostile about it.

      I believe that if we are more open to new ideas that are related to sensitive issues, we might develop a more international mindset where nothing is alien after all.
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        Sep 5 2013: Thank you for sharing your perspective on this. I agree with you that, while many communities aspire to an open discussion of ideas without hostile styles of engagement, those who have spent little time in settings with those norms tend to bring to new settings the styles with which they are more accustomed.

        Maintaining vigorous and civil discourse is best accomplished, I think, if members committed to a community consistently model such fruitful behaviors, regardless of the subject at hand. I know some people prefer the strategy of meeting fire with fire, but in my experience that often fails.
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    Sep 5 2013: I think people make TED truly international. Because they have different countries' cultural backgrounds,languages and ways of thinking, which make TED globalized. The free ambience here also makes it possible for everyone to express their point of view. Everyone has some curiosity about the world outside their own. Even about our own familliar world, it's very interesting to hear other people's voices from their views because they could be very enlightening to you.Although some people don't show up in the comments, they still help TED to be spread everywhere. I was introduced to TED by an ABC teacher. And I'm very intereted in the world different from mine. I once read some interesting comments about what Chinese people most look like in foreigners' eyes.
    "Chinese people never kiss their parents","they like KTV/karaoke","they never use a eggbeater but chopsticks to whip eggs ". These really cracked me up when I saw them. We never thought these could be our traits! So at that time I began to think why and got a deeper understanding of the difference between our culture and foreign cultures.
    • Sep 15 2013: Indeed. It's quite interesting to know what others(foreigners)think of one's own country—like, what it represents, the country’s image, etc.

      Btw, since you mentioned, I'm curious, lol
      Don’t Chinese people kiss their parents? That’s new to me.
      I assume maybe it’s because kissing their parents is so awkward or something…?
      Well, as for me, I don’t kiss my parents, so lol…
      But I do know that many young people in China serve their parents with devotion—I think I heard even there’s a law punishing sons and daughters who never visit their parents on holidays. Is it true?

      我感觉越来越多的中国年轻人重视孝道。你觉得怎么样?
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        Sep 15 2013: Yes, generally when we grow up to an adult we don't do that. And we don't do kiss- goodbye when parents leave home for work,too. It's our custom, not that we don't love our parents. The fact probably is some parents may also feel weird even if their children kiss them in the way foreigners do.Traditionally, Chinese people don't do much face contact except for the people in love relationships. And I think so do the Korean people, don't you?

        And I'm very surprised you're really well-informed about our laws. The law you mentioned has been put into effect only a few months before. It aims at preventing the elderly from being ignored by their children and appeals to them to pay more attention and care to their parents. But I think the law is only effective to a small portion of the young. Most of us still stick to our traditional family values and social moral values. And most of parents will have a good sympathy on their children's hard work in earning money to make family's life better because many of them have to go to bigger cities such like Shanghai,Beijing,Guangzhou to do their jobs. They're always busy with their work day and night without holidays and the transportations for returning may cost a lot,which also reduce the frequency for the young to go back that they can save more money for their family.
        • Sep 15 2013: Lol yes, Koreans as well. But it differs from individuals.

          Considering the situation, it’s no surprise that visiting parents on every holiday costs a lot of things. As you say, Chinese still stick to their traditional values. I saw a Chinese man helping his mother-in-law almost all day. When asked, he reacted as if it’s a natural thing to him.

          As to Chinese moving to bigger cities like Shanghai, I think it’s understandable that young people are to earn money while working hard and because of that they have problem visiting their parents on a regular basis.
          Btw, do people get irritated about this law by any chance?
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        Sep 15 2013: No typical bad case in Shanghai has been reported yet. I don't think people will get irritated about it.
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    Sep 4 2013: You state in one of your replies that you are concerned about bringing up religion ... why. On TED we discuss most of the taboos ... politics, religion, sex ...

    The key for me is responding and being responded to with respect.

    If you look at the bios of the TED community you will see the majority are super liberal and atheist.

    Remember even a bad answer can be learned from .... I promise not to force my opinion on you .... if you disagree say so and move on .... generally we are a cross section of the world.

    The minority on TED are Conservatives. Please have mercy on us as we are a few brave souls who journey into the land of a uninformed majority.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Sep 4 2013: Robert,
      Why do you need to say that the majority is "uninformed"?
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        Sep 4 2013: You could take that literally I guess ... I thought it a comment on the minority facing over whelming odds and made a joke of it.

        I read it again and thought it funny. Was this the only thing you got from my response?

        Always a pleasure to hear from you my friend. Bob.
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          Sep 4 2013: It might be funny if it wasn't used so often when someone disagrees. When a person does not agree with another person, it is often said that the other person is "uninformed".

          No, that is not the only thing I got from your response.

          I wholeheartedly agree with your statement...."The key for me is responding and being responded to with respect." That feels nice Robert, and it seems very important:>)

          Always a pleasure my friend:>)
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        Sep 9 2013: I agree with Robert. I see the majority as uninformed. Uninformed due to not taking the time to seek the truth. That is, accepting the status quo opinion without reservation. It's the hall mark of conservative thinking -that is, let the leader or priest give us the opinion and we just parrot it along.
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      Sep 4 2013: I spent a half-hour contemplating what a "uniformed majority" is and concluded you must be referring to either the US Postal Service or the combined Armed Forces of the United States. Then Ms. Steen points-out that the word contains a second letter "n". That can only be referring to that ever-growing group of people who disagree with me, after all, why would anyone disagree with me unless they are uninformed? I was really lost there for a second, but I'm OK now! Really, I am.
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    Sep 4 2013: Speakers, visitors, and contributors from more than one nation cause TED to be truly international.
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      Sep 4 2013: If put literally then I would agree to that.But are we truly international in spirit?
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        Sep 4 2013: I keep telling myself to stop making assumptions but here I have done it again. I assumed you considered TED to be an international undertaking and were asking what it is that makes it so. Now I see you are questioning if TED is international "in spirit". I apologize for responding to a question you did not ask. Perhaps you could edit your wording to include, and explain, the concept of "in spirit". Be well sir.
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        Sep 5 2013: RE: "Sorry for the misinterpretation. . . ". I surmise from reading your comments herein that you view TED as having an innate lack of diversity awareness particularly regarding Islam. Is that what you mean by the phrase, "in spirit"? If that is the question you wish to ask, again, I suggest you word it more precisely, i.e. "Is TED biased against Islam?". I have nothing to contribute to that specific topic.
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          Sep 5 2013: Ok now I don't understand what you're saying here.Why is Islam suddenly in the equation? Let me rephrase, do you find the TED members open to new ideas particularly when it comes to sensitive issues? :)
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        Sep 5 2013: I think Edward is trying to get you to articulate more clearly your position on whether participants in TED are actually open to each others ideas.

        To most or many respondents, you pose the question of whether people are open enough and in that do give the impression that you personally doubt that others are truly open to ideas, maybe to specific ones. Those who have replied seem pretty consistent in saying people here ARE open to each other's ideas, regardless of nationality.

        Edward is trying to figure out, since you mentioned religion, whether you personally are thinking TED members are not open to the ideas of specific religions- whether that is the particular area in which you would hope people here would reconsider their views.
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          Sep 5 2013: I did say religion but it was just an example to many other sensitive topics.I just want to know people's views of the degree of openness among TED members.
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        Sep 5 2013: RE: "Ok now I don't understand...". I concluded from your comments herein that you have a specific issue you hope to understand better. It is incumbent upon you to be candid, crisp, and relevant in your comments and questions. Please feel sufficiently secure to say what your issue is. My surmising and assuming is getting us nowhere. Thank you for your patience and for your concern for TED. Be well sir.
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          Sep 5 2013: I want to know if you feel the TED members are open to new ideas when it is related to sensitive issues or not.It is just a matter of opinions.Thank you. :)
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        Sep 9 2013: Basically all individuals need: food; water; air; comfort. After that comes confusion about why we are alive in the first place: why are we here; where did we come from; what is our goal in life.

        Comfort embraces a multitude of things like clothing, shelter, entertainment, perspective on why we continue to survive.

        Culture is a mixture of these things: why we eat certain foods and prefer the to taste a certain way, why we pray or practice a ritual(s). We breathe air the same, drink water the same and have the same need for food. How we go about seeking comfort is the defining element of culture.
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    Oct 4 2013: 1.No restriction on registration.
    2.High quality talks.
    3.Free download.
    4.Highly active users
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    Sep 29 2013: TED make union by souls and minds instead of borders and countries. TED turns people to growth in a good media instead of local customs. TED creates the people of future and the future itself instead of yesterday-thinking. It mkes TED international, may be a new kind of nation, using new principals of connection in space, mind structires and time.
    What could be more international?
  • Gord G 50+

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    Sep 27 2013: I think of TED as an inter-rational community. ;-)
  • Sep 15 2013: I think our movement to the maturity of all the sciences makes feeling of need to knowledge for all the people all over the world,and in this large global movement TED plays an important role,connecting and getting minds together,and it makes Ted truly international.
    M.R.Aghazadeh
  • Sep 5 2013: I feel there are 2 parts to your question:

    1. Yes TED is international but not totally until all people have access to the internet free of government control of the access.

    2. The other side of the question is can we discuss anything logically and politely without rancor and hostility? NO. There are too many with strong opinions who are unwilling to admit there could be different sides of a topic.
    • Sep 9 2013: Do you have examples of #2 that you could link me to? I am new to TED Conversations and doing a research project on the writing found here, so I am curious to see an interaction as you described. If you have an example readily available I would greatly appreciate you posting the link or sending me an email.
      Thank you very much!
      • Sep 10 2013: Forgot the conversation but someone could not accept the fact that not everyone is a conservative christian. The last comment was I should accept his god and go to church. He could not accept that there was a different point of view.
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    Sep 5 2013: First of all I'm from China! And to answer your question, the internet.
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      Sep 5 2013: First of all I love China! Beautiful country it is.I agree, the internet gives us a whole new possibility to interact with one another.But now that we meet each other, can we accept one another?
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        Sep 5 2013: Haha sure! IAnd are you from Malaysia? I have two friends from Malaysia. I've always wanted to go there!
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        Sep 5 2013: Omg this is so coo!! I can't speak any Malay though. Maybe I should learn before I go travel there. But I think a huge population in Malaysia is Chinese, so I guess Chinese would work just fine :p
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        Sep 9 2013: Hi Muhammad. In my opinion, there are no "aliens" on this planet. We are all humans, with different perspectives or outlooks towards life. We were taught these perspectives as young children. As we grow older, we learn to identify those elements of being human that we have in common. It is those elements that draw us together into one community. Culture (part of your young upbringing) is strong is those who were taught it is the very foundation of everything they believe. It is weaker in those with a free spirit and open mind, whose mental scope allows them to see the world as one culture, divided into many Geo-cultural segments.

        It's a puzzle that we must put together and find the human cultural, so we can no longer be divided by our imprinted minds. We need a one world government, governed by on human culture -just my opinion.
  • Oct 3 2013: intellectual asset
  • Sep 17 2013: TED inspires me. There are so many unique talkers and participants like most of us. Even though we are totally different from each other, when we talk about same topic and share ideas we could feel invsible connection between us. I think that kind of sense pushes us into participating in TED more eagarly.:)
  • Sep 15 2013: 페이스북이나 다른 소셜 노트워크보다 더 의미 있는 공간이랄까..
    여기서 많은 것을 배워가요.
    다양한 친구들 생각도 들어보고..indeed an international space..!

    Unexpected various answers and ideas(mostly polite and well-contemplated)
    And it’s a great place to make lots of friends in different parts of the world.
    是相逢的场所。
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    Sep 14 2013: In front of the knowledges,there is no limitation of culture and races.those who are bright will never refuse to learn more.since TED is so amazing and inspiring to watch, even a student in china like me who have learned english for no more than a decade would be passionate about it ,and i love to spend my spare time doing this.plus,with the transcription in almost 20 languages,people from all over the world can have easy access to the talks.
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      Sep 14 2013: Dear sister Chen, decade is a concept of long time for normal sense, better to count your study time by hours.:)
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        Sep 14 2013: i think that you need to have a language enviroment in order to let it become your second mother language ,while i am in china , although it 's very international nowadays , still can't compare to those learners in english speaking conturies.it's not that easy for me.yoka,you must be a language genius.
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          Sep 14 2013: Don't get me wrong, when I was at your age, my English wasn't as good as yours. I just wanted to help you to make it easier for others to understand your words. For most people ten years' learning is a long time. Of course you can come here as you like.
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        Sep 15 2013: yeah,definitely.
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    Sep 14 2013: That particular questions is subjected to the intricacies which involved within the fabric of our international community. The creation of internet was a blessed and stands as a powerful platform to bridge the gap. Since then, many had tried to invent the so called "intellectual platform" but did not avail.

    TED however began from a humble background and strive to improve their platform model by introducing an ingenious ways to spread the insights worldwide. The distinction of community's thoughts are anticipated as we are different although we are all just the same typical human beings. I already fall in love with TED as it really inspired me and I want others also to feel the same.

    The missing link would be on how to ensure the flow of thoughts by reducing our differences from obscuring the whole picture. For me, the formation of TED was a bless and it does reach the global community. Although the participation rates are still low, we can spread the words and share it to our local community.
  • Sep 6 2013: Last year I joined TED , to seek raw,crude and rude answers to the rough & tough questions based on hard reality.But,my question was not posted on the pretext that it is not related to any TED talk . After that I have come across many conversation topics which were/are not related to any TED Talk. Even the above conversation is not related to any TED talk . So, my question is : Who can start the new conversation ? What is the criteria to a new conversation without any reference to any TED Talk.
    • W T 100+

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      Sep 12 2013: Santokh, many of us post all kinds of conversations on here.

      Some are spin-offs of other conversations. Some are directly related to a TED talk.

      Perhaps you need to just reword the title of your conversation?
      If you have been on here a year already, then you must certainly realize the spirit with which conversations are held............

      I hope I have helped you in some small way. :)
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      Sep 12 2013: Your question does not need to be related to a TED talk. It should be a topic people would find interesting to discuss.

      The TED staff will give you advice on how to reshape a question so it will capture other people's interest.

      You should also check the Terms of Use, because some topics are outside the terms. For example, you cannot use a thread to promote your religion or to sell a product.
  • Sep 5 2013: I think is because TED is no longer incarnated as a being but still around in spirit...
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      Sep 5 2013: I'm sorry I don't catch what you're saying.Perhaps a little elaboration might help? Thanks :)
      • Sep 5 2013: My TED Story - link : http://www.ted.com/profiles/1908181

        Met Ted when I was like 5yo and he described strings of particles to me like a do-nut that went round in a wave while light was straight like an ocean wave, and went on to tell the perimeter of a circle string is proportional to temperature.

        Unified String Theory of light and matter: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4AL6VvhUMetRXdIRkw5N2k1cG8/edit?usp=sharing

        I am pretty sure he didn't realise he died and wanted to finish his ideas before he crossed over as he was not confident that would remember them if he reincarnated. So he found me, a reincarnated monk to talk to.

        I seem to recall a bit of manipulation in trying to enter my body but forced him not to and to project his ideas through a no mind meditative state.

        Is this site not made by someone compelled too via TED?
      • Sep 5 2013: or to say TED alive in spirit and can travel the world freely at will.
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    Sep 5 2013: We are destined to meet each other here, Thanks to all the gods.
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    Sep 4 2013: Speakers, listeners, and discussants from across the globe investigating matters of universal, including international, importance or interest.
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      Sep 4 2013: But are we, the TED members truly international in spirit? Do we accept other ideas that might be alien to us and perhaps try to decipher it first before opposing them?
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        Sep 4 2013: Muhammad,
        Some of us do accept ideas that may be new to us, and some do not. It seems like TED is a pretty good cross section of our global community.

        Personally, I perceive us as all interconnected.....more the same than different. I am also aware that this idea is not shared by everyone.........yet........I have a dream:>)
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          Sep 4 2013: It is good to know that some of us are accepting of different ideas.However, it is the other half I'm afraid of.Personally, I feel that for a person hailing from a different culture and has different ideas, TED might not be a suitable place to fully express certain ideas.Perhaps TED is too Westernised? What do you think?
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        Sep 4 2013: "TED is too Westernized?"

        I did not think of that before Muhammad, and it is good that you bring it up. English is the primary language used here, and TED is based in the US. Those factors may make it seem more westernized.... do you think so?

        What in particular are you afraid of Muhammad? Are there certain ideas you feel you cannot discuss on TED?

        Personally, I am interested in ideas shared by those from different cultures.
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          Sep 4 2013: Perhaps so but I think it goes beyond geographical and linguistic barriers.It's how some of the TED members react towards certain ideas that might shun a few others with different ideas to express themselves fully.

          Take for example, religion( I hate to bring this up), some of us might not feel comfortable when topics related to religion would be discussed.

          Are we truly open toward ideas that comes from the unlimited possibilities of the human brain? or are we just happy being comfortable with the way we are?
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        Sep 4 2013: People who speak, listen, and discuss on TED are varied in their specific interests. Some are interested in scientific topics and some not. Some are interested in religion and some not. Few have the time or information at hand to give careful consideration to every idea others in the community may express.

        People here, I believe, tend not simply to accept ideas but rather to consider ideas in the areas that interest them, attempting to evaluate new ideas on the basis of argument and evidence. Some people will follow links to educate themselves more in an area, and others do not have the time or inclination to do that. As it is a voluntary community, none of us can assign reading to others!

        In any discussion site there will be some people interested mainly in selling their particular ideas and not in considering new ideas. I don't think such people stay with TED Conversations very long, because the community does not, I think, offer fruitful ground for making such one-sided sales. The terms of use for the site limit this to some degree in that self-promotion and selling of merchandise or proselytizing about specific religions, for example, are outside the terms of use.

        I think most people who are not comfortable discussing religion will stay out of conversations about religion and that the community needs to respect that choice.
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          Sep 5 2013: "People who speak, listen, and discuss on TED are varied in their specific interests. Some are interested in scientific topics and some not. Some are interested in religion and some not. Few have the time or information at hand to give careful consideration to every idea others in the community may express. "

          It's very true for me. For example , I don't like big topics and topics on religions. Neither do I have time to read all the comments.
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        Sep 4 2013: I cannot speak for anyone else Muhammad....only for myself. I like exploring all topics and am open to all topics until/unless people try to convince me that they are "right", and this seems to happen quite a lot with religious and philosophical beliefs.

        It appears that some folks are truly open to explore various topics, and some folks are comfortable with the way they are and want to convince everyone that the way THEY ARE is the one and only belief and what EVERYONE SHOULD embrace.

        When someone tries to impose their own beliefs onto others, it is no longer "sharing" of ideas and generally may not feel comfortable to those who wish to have their own thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs and opinions.

        When religion (or any other topic) is clearly the topic of discussion as presented, we all have the choice to participate in the discussion or not. There are times, however, when the discussion thread is taken over by those who want to argue for their particular religion or philosophical belief. The TED moderators are usually pretty good about stopping that kind of discussion.

        Although you wrote "I hate to bring this up", you did indeed bring it up my friend, and I respond to your comment:>)
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          Sep 4 2013: You are right.Sensitive issues are always barred from discussion due to extremists of any form thinking that they're always right.But imagine if there are no extremists.Would we gain a more international outlook? If so, should we be satisfied being like this? ;)
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        Sep 4 2013: I believe we can discuss sensitive issues Muhammad. I believe we can discuss anything. HOW we do it is the important piece.....yes? Perhaps it is the extreme and intolerant reactions and dialogue which can be barred, and it seems like what the TED moderators are doing.

        I think/feel, it would be helpful to all of us to recognize our interconnectedness, AND recognize and accept our differences. We ARE from different cultures.....we HAVE different beliefs, and it is good when we can share our similarities AND differences in a safe environment.

        Yes Muhammad....imagine.............everything starts with a dream:>)
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        Sep 4 2013: Thank you Muhammad. Your participation is refreshing and appreciated as well:>)
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        Sep 9 2013: I think we do seek and define alien ideas Muhammad. The crux of that pursuit is that we don't always agree on those ideas or perhaps we don't accept them -make them part of our cultural environment.

        Religion is the biggest cultural barrier to most people. Science is pretty straight forward so we can accept most ideas relating to natural occurrences. However, how we came to be on this planet and what is our destiny in life is the major disagreement we flounder about. How much comfort does an individual need and how should the resources that provide that level of comfort be equally divided among individuals cause us a lot of problems.

        There is no one culture on this planet that has the absolute answer to the questions that plague our minds about our existence.