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william clegg

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how do you think we can better utilize our intellectual capabilities in this modern age?

Science classifies our species as homo sapien or wise man honouring our minds, our intelligence as a species. But do we effective or even efficiently employ those 6 billion minds our species is now blessed with? No.

The principle forms of employment today simply involve the exchange of labour for wages and the vast majority of those jobs are service, assembly line and office work. Most of which simply involve a body performing repetitive and boring tasks that utilize only a fraction of our intellectual potential. Meanwhile hundreds of millions of equally 'wise men' and 'wise women' are abandoned to subsistence existences simply because their bodies are unemployable.

This "jobs" agenda that our politicians so often champion has only been with us for a few hundred years and was a direct result of the Industrial Revolution which required huge numbers of workers in order to run the machines and maintain the records of commerce.

However, scientific and technological advancements have already replaced human beings in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of labour based employment activities. And online shopping, automation and robotics are poised to take over more and more of our labour based tasks as we move ever forward. .

In other words, there are far more valuable and self-enriching activities human beings, today, can engage their incredible intellectual potential in than simply exchanging their labour for wages. In this Information and Communication Age it seems timely that we look at ways of finally employing all that intellectual capacity that the 6 billion human minds on this planet represent.

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Closing Statement from william clegg

We seem to still be split between those who cannot see beyond the status quo of a person's value being derived from their bodies exchanging labour for wages and those who welcome a future where our minds matter more. "know thy self" was a popular theme for the later group with a strong emphasis on a student focused educational system as being most desirable and leading to lives that are mindful and thereby meaningful.

It was most gratifying to see that empowerment, motivation and opportunity came up often as both consequences and purpose in a population that was fully engaging its mental capacities as priorities over simple employment and consumption. Personally I am all for empowerment, personal empowerment, and the premise that all else will benefit thereafter.

However, there was also strong support for the premise that first the political system must change before anything else will and few would disagree that such a change is long overdue. .

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  • Dec 21 2013: Our human brains, and intellectual capabilities, reside in the network of some 100 billion neurons housed in our cranium.
    We are now entering a new era of intellectual development where we are no longer limited by the size of our cranium. Intellectual development has a new network to go to - the Internet, where at a higher level we network human brains rather than neurons. The networked Internet is becoming the world brain. Any one can participate if they have the inclination and have an internet connection. As you read this on TED you are part of the world brain.
    Whether this translates into widespread employment is another question. Thus far most people use the Internet to satisfy their intellectual needs, and work as you state at jobs that don't even come close to doing this.
    • Dec 22 2013: It is still limited by our senses - the internet is a knowledge store, it doesn't think on its own. It cannot draw conclusions.

      If you say otherwise, the onus of evidence is on you. I'd be hard pressed to find a decision made by "the Internet" which cannot be actually attributed to a group of people.

      Maybe later, who knows, a more direct interface will be found - or an improved brain that allows better use of all those resources.
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      Dec 23 2013: Tom, to "use" something is to "employ" that thing and there are far greater activities our minds can be engaged in and far greater benefits to be derived than the mere exchange of labour can ever accomplish.

      I do agree the internet has become a wonderful source of information but as Radoslaw points out there is as yet no direct interface between that information and knowledge for the masses since educational systems around the world are still stuck in creating workers rather than informed and knowledgeable citizens.

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