TED Conversations

Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.


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Can we sustain the population AND the ecosystem without converting to vegetarianism?

Setting aside the ethical questions about humane treatment of animals and the ethics of killing them if we don't need to (important and interesting questions, mind you), let us consider it just from the standpoint of logistical feasibility.

If you don't think we have reached that level yet, at what point would we? That is, under what conditions would the answer tilt to the negative?


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  • Apr 27 2011: Only have a minute Jean but I have to agree with you. I too thought TED was an illuminated part of the population, much smarter than I. They probably are, but most of the time I feel like I am reading the same ole "jack-of-old-ideas-in-the-box" and believe in most cases, people don't really want to do what they say they do. And I don't think they really recognize it. Now, I am not saying my ideas are the best or anything like that, but since I have come to visit this site I sincerely believe the only thing I have to offer those younger than I and those who will be living in this new globalized world that is coming, is the idea of thinking very differently and most of what I read doesn't seem to be. One example I used was the desire to end human trafficking. All that people are doing avoids one important aspect and that is the cause of human trafficking. Unless they are willing to end that, then they really don't want to end human trafficking. Therein lies the willingness of the human to be given the key to their prison-box and to lock themselves in it every day and think they are free and doing something. I call what I mean, "letting go of old ideas absolutely" and believe me I talk to a lot of people about these issues and they not so much cannot let go as they refuse to let go. They want a new world but do not imagine it without all the old institutions they now have. Ha! All of them are broken and unfixable in IMHO and complete new ones need to be created. They still hold on to politics when it doesn't solve problems. The still hold on to government when it doesn't solve problems. They still hold on to blind, religious moralism that doesn't solve problems. Here's one you might react to. Most do. They still hold on to hope and hope by definition is not real. People worship lies. Nothing is done by hope but it is probably the most believed-in concept in the world and it isn't real. Things don't get done because of money. Things don't get done, because of money.
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      Apr 27 2011: Hi Yolanda,

      I'm only speaking for myself, but I feel you are ranting and complaining.

      My adagium is "Either do something about it or let it go"

      What I mean with that is:
      Everybody can see a whole lot of things going wrong in the world. And a whole lot of people see good solutions too.
      Informing each other of problems is a step towards solving a problem.

      BUT: we humans are as individuals limited to solve but a few problems, and we have to make choices...
      So I try and stop complaining and accusing the rest of the world of doing it all wrong. I pick my battles and things I find most important or towards which I want to contribute and further those goals and solutions.

      What you are doing here is demanding a community you are part of to take care of problems and get angry if they don't... My response would be: what are you doing about it?

      Are you voting for the person who has it highest on the agenda? have you started a lobby group? are you buying the land to grow crops for humans? Can't you think of anything to contribute to a solution while not spending money? Are you starting a revolution?
      You can develop an app or a website or a FB page, or join a community specifically focusing on solutions, change your behavior accordingly...

      Smart people are only slightly smarter than others... that doesn't make them perfect, nor does it mean you may be more demanding towards them...
      Just assume they are already busy curing cancer, creating work, capturing solar power, cleaning the oceans,... or whatever it is anybody is doing. And contribute in your own humble way.
      • Apr 28 2011: Well, if your house is on fire, do you wish for me to gently and politely try and rouse you rather than forgetting your feelings for a moment in order to get you into action? I am old and don't have long to live. I have a lot of health problems, money problems and what not. But none of this is going to affect me. Oh a little bit. But I write. Three books, two screen plays. Most all of these forums and sites are talk, not action. That is just a fact. I do in fact look for what I can do limited as I am and am doing it. I don't have to praise it, laud it up for, "oh, good for you!" comments but where I live (rather, where I can only afford to survive now), I try to raise the consciousness of others. And you know what? They don't care. Not at all. Oh, there is talk of similar things as on this site. There are people who form groups, take certain actions and all that. But almost all, including those of more prosperous Western cultures, don't care at all. My last screen play, about Flight 77, definitively proves it never hit the Pentagon. Now, 10 years later, who cares? You probably don't. An assumption of course, but I'm guessing you are more than willing to let such lies and atrocities be relegated to the past, as though they will have no repercussions on the future you will live in.
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      May 3 2011: you go Y Yolanda! Right behind you!!!

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