TED Conversations

Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development

TEDCRED 30+

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IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?

Just fanasize if you can.. What would be the most important move you want to make? How can you lead our crazy, and very aggressive society towards peace and sustainable living?

How would you inspire people?

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    Jun 10 2014: Vera Nova: "I'd start with a New Golden Rule NEVER treat others as you would like to be treated yourself -- unless they agree to it first --because what is good for you may be damaging for others."

    Ahhh, but a true application of the [Old] Golden Rule - The Law of Reciprocity - really means to treat the other as you would like to be treated ... in the other's place. That means that you would know and understand exactly what is right and best for the other. It does not mean that what you would like, as yourself, should be applied to the other in some sort of one-size-fits-all manner - imposed upon the other - which would be entirely inconsiderate of the other.

    So, application of the Golden Rule requires complete empathy with the other. This, of course, is a very high ideal which we might strive to attain but would undoubtedly always fall far short of. Yet, perhaps it's not unreasonable to try our best to do this.
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      Jun 10 2014: It would be beautiful if we were so perfect and similar and would be able to treat one another in the same good way....but it's against the law of nature - everyone of us is different with different needs and abilities...

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply!
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        Jun 10 2014: We don't need to be "perfect" or "similar" in order to treat each other well - as we would wish to be treated. Unity of purpose does not at all require uniformity of being. And it is not "against the law of nature" to strive to treat each other well.

        Our differences, our diversity greatly enriches our lives when we learn to open, accept and embrace this richness that is available to us. And we can begin do this as we realize that what we share in common - this beautiful Mystery of Life - is far deeper, stronger and more significant than all of our differences.

        The [Old] Golden Rule arises from the wisdom of the heart in recognition of Unity of all beings. This is the real Law of Nature, the Law of Reciprocity, that is expressed in various ways in all spiritual, religious and humanistic philosophies.
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          Jun 10 2014: I will miss your always very deeply thoughtful posts and hope to see you active again when TED Conversations reopen
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          Jun 10 2014: Carl, Please explain - what do you mean by "the Unity of Purpose"?

          As far as I've learned the human-made term "Unity" can be explained as a Composition of some Interconnected fragments/elements/parts/ effecting the functions of one another. In order to create interactive "unity" All those "components" must have different functions. The very exactly same “Things" or Functions cannot interact. No interactions - no unity of anything, no life.


          “And we can begin do this as we realize that what we share in common - this beautiful Mystery of Life - is far deeper, stronger and more significant than all of our differences."

          The very Laws of Nature is Mystery for us, beyond our perceptions.
          "Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world."
          Arthur Schopenhauer

          Schopenhauer also means that we do not have the same vision of anything.

          The very crudeness of our perceptions create our illusions of sameness or wholeness. Our human differences, and differences of all sorts, are ultimately CRUCIAL in this world. The natural law we may somehow sense is about "Opposites", which is a fundamental condition within everything that exists (Heraclitus). The world continues through its transformations created by "conflicts" generating Unique powers creating new "conflicts". There is no possibility for the same conditions or environment, or the same perceptions or the same experience.

          My NEW Golden Rule is to prevent millennia old horrific fights and wars for the sake of one "good" Belief of idea for everyone. One Good for all? Do these bloody conflicts illustrate how the human idea of "Unity of Purpose" serve us in multiple realities of unique individuals?

          The world is never wholesome and never complete - it is never one, never the same. If we try to understand that the Unity is Not Oneness, but means Co-existence of many different and perhaps irreplaceable "components" of life
          my New Golden Rule would work beautifully.
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          Jun 10 2014: I see that your explanation has a controversial point. You suggest that we do not need to be the same while we can be applying the same Old Golden Rule to do what is Right for us - trusting that it must do good for everyone.

          You also suggest that our Differences are Not as important as the Mystery beyond our differences.

          Do you mean that the rest of the invisible to us existence has no differences? Are we totally separated from the rest of the world, along with our differences?

          In my modest opinion, we are extremely limited but not because we are purposely deprived of experiencing the world as it is (not to reveal its Mystery) but because our limitations are our Protective Boundaries, preventing us from melting down into the rest of the existence like lumps of sugar in a hot cup of tea. Only when Uniquely Limited we may exist as individual living beings.

          Just a question: How the Old Golden Rule might be useful in conducting doing "right" that works for one person or a group, but applying it to those who disagree with other's "right"?

          Here is an example.

          The New Age sorts of thinking is diving into mysteries of the universe which is perceived as ONE (the ideas are coming from millennia-old Hinduism).

          On the contrary, our contemporary sciences are stumbling around concept of "Proof"
          that can be only based on artificially conditioned repetitive experience perceived by corporeal perception of sight (ironically, the most illusive sense perception of all we may possess).

          Would you tell all of them that they shall agree upon one "right" ? Or.. that our differences are Less Important than the Mystery of Life?

          P.S. Since I was a young teen I've collected thousands of my notes, these were uncommon thoughts never borrowed from any literature. Please have some little respect to my heavy life-long work..and try not to explain/interpret established ideas - I'd very much appreciate your own original thoughts!! I understand first hand, It's not easy
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        Jun 10 2014: Thank you, Fritzie. I've been enjoying and appreciating your thoughtful posts, too. I definitely plan to resume our conversations here as soon as "they" let us back into the newly remodeled space.
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          Jun 10 2014: Aja replied to me elsewhere that she is hoping we are talking about something more like 6 months than like a year. I will see you then.

          Communities gain from those like you who urge people to look beyond their most strongly held assumptions and over-simple generalizations and who urge living with a collaborative mindset, recognizing the value in each rather than looking down ones nose. I have not read all your posts but I read between the lines in each what might be called a love-based mindset.

          Thank you.
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        Jun 10 2014: Yes, I saw that exchange between you and Aja. Whatever the wait time, it will seem like a long time. I've been very much appreciating the exchanges we've all been having here and am looking forward to continuing whenever it becomes possible again. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

        And yes, I do keep advocating for a love-based "mindset" although perhaps it might be better called a heartset.

        I've written a few things in my profile that pretty much reveal where I'm coming from ... and heading towards ... Most of what I write in comments is some rephrasing of my profile comments, as well as an extension and expansion of them.

        By the way, your profile seems to be non-existent?
  • Jun 2 2014: If I would become the President of the World then I would first off all demolish all the concrete jungles and grow trees everywhere , and make everyone to live without cloths in the natural habitat . When thee will be forest everywhere and all will start living in the forest then no one will say he/she/it is poor and he/she/it is rich.

    Everyone will have enough food to eat and make merry..When everyone will live without cloths then no one will feel shame of each other and everyone will get accustomed of each other. There will be stress of work and everyone will live on the trees like monkey and apes ans will eat bananas,mangoes,apples .
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      Jun 2 2014: I would first off all demolish all the concrete jungles and grow trees everywhere - super idea, I think, it will make tons of garbage, though.. Trees everywhere - it's a beautiful dream but very doable. Naked humans? not a pretty picture, besides for mating humans. Our bodies are extremelly undeveloped, vulnerable and need some protection - unlike animals we have no beautiful furs, cannot run, clime or swim well enough for to survive. People get lost very easily without their gadgets.

      Besides our minds are so artificially poluted with false ideas about the world, nature and themselves that it would take some time for us to get adjusted to wilderness and learn how to communicate and deal with it directly...

      I very much love the idea of joining natural environment not as "conquerers" but as a part of it. We shall stop fixing it and terribly abusing it, and begin to comprehend its mighty laws. Is it too late? Nature is our ultimate school we never graduate, its about time to at least attend it.
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    Jun 2 2014: One of the lesson I learned in the military was to never go into a new position with set thoughts and agendas. I always waited to see if the unit was doing what it was designed to do ... if not analyze the problem and set a course for correction.

    As "World President" the first thought is to go slow. To make radical change would create issues. I would suggest something similar to the Marshall Plan of 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-devastated regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and make Europe prosperous again. These are broad based and "doable" goals. Thus devising a economic base for each region and country.

    A study would have to be made to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each area and a plan to make the weaknesses into strengths. It would be an error to disband all military ... however, the mission of the military could be redefined.

    There would have to be a standing tribunal for each continent that would try any abuse of power by the leaders and officials placed in a position of trust.

    Most countries have a Constitution the trick is how to enforce the Constitutional provisions and laws. The leadership, including ME, would be subject to all laws and restrictions. There is no elite ... penalties would be harsh and swift.

    The immediate issues would involve religion, cultures, monarchies, and century old "wars". I could not change hatreds and prejudice .. so why try ... educate the young and let it dissipate thru generations.

    It would be really hard to not micro-manage. Each areas leader must manage within the "Plan" and have authority to deal with local issues as seen fit ... within good management and leadership principles.

    The immediate concern would be to define MY duties and responsibilities .... that much power vested in one person is dangerous ... and the job description must have checks and balances.

    Lots more but its a start. Be well. Bob.
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      Jun 2 2014: Robert, in relation to your excellent point about the importance of not falling into the trap of assuming you-as-king singularly know what is best for everyone, there are two thought-provoking TED talks that come quickly to mind. Both are about the importance of listening to others who may perhaps know more than one assumes. One is a funny one by Ernesto Sirolli. Another is by Stanley McChrystal.
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        Jun 3 2014: Excellent. I enjoyed both.

        Thank you .. as ever, I wish you well. Bob.
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    R H 30+

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    Jun 1 2014: If I were Pres of the world, that would mean I was 'elected' by the world (Presidents are elected). Then it would follow that each nation's leader would be my subordinate. That means I could fire them for non-performance. That would be the first thing I would do. Fire some of the world's nation leaders for non-performance in the care of their own nation and the poor relationships developed with the other nations of the world.
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    May 31 2014: Encourage people to see the best in themselves. Cut funds from war and instead let the projects of the troops be to go out and rebuild nations they have destroyed. Put more emphasis on education. Do something about discrimination so that people never feel the need to protest.
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      Jun 1 2014: Ashley, I so like how you put this -Encourage people to see the best in themselves.

      In my mind this means if one is discovering and practicing unique sound abilities within him/herself, it would make no sense to compete and push one another around for the same position/recognition/respect.. Nature takes care of every living creature, makes it unique and special. But when we categorize "things" and people into artificial "convinient" categories along with all good and bad we create hate, brainless fights and war.

      I'm afraid of groups of any sort - but I can deal with any one, if this person sees oneself as an individual.

      War unify individuals as if they were identical units - "good" units and "bad" units. It's against the fundamental law of nature: everyone and everything may exist only if it is unique. Following the same patterns and driven by the same emotions/power or pushed into blindly moving crowds - all that creates major disasters, in our society and in wilderness.

      First and foremost I think our education shall begin from explaining what every little student needs to know - natural uniqueness within every individual is unavoidable, wheather it is a human or an animal or a tree.

      Personal responsibilities for oneself make us independent and special in every way. Everyone of us has different nature's gifts and talents which are commonly supressed in our societies, one might even never know her/his talent really exists.
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    Jun 10 2014: As President of the World, I would probably first invoke the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the United Nations in 1948:

    https://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    Although it has been in existence for essentially my whole lifetime, it has unfortunately been largely ignored and never really been applied to help improve life for the citizens of the World.

    It's not a perfect document, and perhaps I might tweak it a bit and possibly add to it, it's really pretty good. If we could get everyone to abide by it, our World would be a much nicer place for all beings - and I don't only mean human beings.

    And I would most certainly do all in my power to encourage everyone to apply the Golden Rule, the Law of Reciprocity, in all we do. We are all in this together, intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent. We all need to realize this essential truth and we all need to learn how to behave accordingly. That is the only way we will be able to ultimately survive ourselves, sustain ourselves.

    Please vote for me. We can do this ... together ... only together.
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    Jun 8 2014: As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.

    Marcel Proust
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    Jun 7 2014: “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”
    ― Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms
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    Jun 4 2014: Justin Case
    Shared publicly - 1:05 PM Google

    To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family tradition, national patriotism, and religious dogmas....We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers, our politicians, our priests....The reinterpretation and eventual eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of old people, these are the belated objectives...for charting the changes in human behavior.

    Brock Chislholm, 1959 Humanist of the Year and former head of World Health Organization, in the February 1946 issue of Psychiatry
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    May 28 2014: usually the first thing one does is draft a constitution?
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      May 29 2014: What would your priority in that draft? Is there any emergency for instance: wars, climate change, education, international business ethics, environment) that you would wish to take care immediately?
      Thak you for thinking along, Greg.
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        May 30 2014: Well, if this was reality, Vera, I would draft a bunch of top people as advisors, and I am sure my positions would be much stronger than they will be with me writing here alone to you now. No, I can't think of any emergency. One issue that comes to mind is I might establish Western-style welfare benefits for the world's poor. But you know, truthfully, I might make a bad world president because I haven't traveled much, Vera. Does it seem like the president of the world should have traveled a lot?

        Another issue I would like to look into is the cleanliness of the oceans. For whatever reason it seems important to me not to be dumping waste into the ocean. But it's just a gut feeling that we shouldn't do it.

        What would you do as president?
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          May 30 2014: 1. I would establish a new Golden Rule :
          NEVER treat others as you would like to be treated yourself -- unless they agree to it first --because what is good for you may be damaging for others.

          2. I'd encourage people living in all different climates to start building their own sustainable communities within their environment. There are fantastic methods already known, old and new, amazing technology, and varieties of practical innovative ideas - these when intelligently selected may work with different climates and natural resources.

          People must Learn how to feed themselves producing on premises not only some basic food and energy, but also learn the best traditions and skills, craftsmanship, develop their cultural inheritance and support unique talents.

          I'd start building small schools where ethics and philosophy would be primary subjects. Practical skills would be learned on premises while students will be taking care of their own gardens and learn to colaborate with one another within their small peaceful communities.

          Young students need to know that human society is not at all perfect, and constantly involved in bloody war and fights for their own truth or some questionable ideas... The new Golden Rule will advise all of us to remember that we all have different truths and imagination - we cannot jump out of our own minds to see the world as it is or other minds as they are. Therefore, we have no slightest right to rule others, force them to think and act as we are, unless they agree with us.


          3. Unique sound ideas shall be promoted and encouraged. I see that our scientific mentality still partually stands in the middle-ages - it needs major changes. I'd entirely stop any research including lab experiements on animals and children. If some scientists want to try new medications let them try it on themselves.

          4. Healthcare needs a revolution - old holistic and new info shall be wisely combined..

          I'd have more suggestions..
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        May 31 2014: you have many good ideas, Vera. To some degree your ideas might already be coming to fruition. I think a lot of elementary schools now in the United States have gardens where the children grow food. And more communities have community gardens where the adults can control a plot and grow food. Now how about you, are you growing some of your own food?

        Speaking for myself I would encourage the keeping of cattle and the drinking of milk and eating of beef.

        You seem interested in the idea of not pushing something onto people. Although in a way you are pushing your ideas too? What would you do if a child didn't want to go to school?
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          May 31 2014: I was that child who was sooo desappointed in school that never wanted to come back finding many excuses.. Some children and adults can get wonderful education at home -- with help of knowledgeable adults, and especially when they have a special drive to learn. Nowadays we have all kinds of good sources available through the internet, libraries (they order books you need). Our education needs a crucial reform. .. will get back to you a little later. Thank You!
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      Jun 1 2014: I'd start with a New Golden Rule NEVER treat others as you would like to be treated yourself -- unless they agree to it first --because what is good for you may be damaging for others. This will imporve our international interactions and behavior significantly. I hope your constitutional draft will include - personal responsibilities.
      But as you've mentioned - my ideas cannot be inforced onto others. I believe that some groups of people would love to be voilent and controling - then let them have their small groups, violate and control each other...
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        Jun 2 2014: can you give me specific examples how what is good for you may be damaging for others?

        Unfortunately violent and controlling people love to attack nonviolent and noncontrolling people.
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          Jun 2 2014: Greg, when one needs a special diet, like you, feeling great because you're drinking milk, some other people would get very sick of drinking the same old-good-milk.

          When someone (political or religious) is convincing and even forcing a homosexual person to change his/ner sexual preference, and be intimate with only someone of an oposite sex, because it's normal, good and works for the majority, it means - violence against an individual. It is also a terrible violence to force anyone to become homosexual. What is good for one does not mean it's good for everybody.

          Only some of us do understand this. I believe it's the Nature Law - what is great for you, personally, may be damaging for others. However, our society uses forceful ideas for millennia to make everyone follow the the same rules and beliefs, punishing everyone who does not wish to obey.

          Political or religious dogmatic ideas shall not be forced upon these who do not wish to accept them. But the same Nature law is working for everyone - do not force your practicing on others, unless they are interested.

          When we witness how bloody harmful any sort of regime or cult, or system may become towards many people, animals and the whole environment, we wonder how come that people could not define good from bad?

          Some people accept and even enjoy terrible things (violence, drugs, force, deception, tricks, robbery..) and believe that those things are good for them, forcing others to get involved.
          Let them live together then, practice with each other, and enjoy their way of life.
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        Jun 4 2014: to me your position sounds reasonable, not to force beliefs on people. What do you think about an African nation recently outlawing homosexuality, as the nation says it is a choice and a person does not have to be homosexual.

        How do you envision having criminals live together, do you mean in a walled city? You would allow them to commit violence on each other, such as murder? But would you force minor criminals to live with major criminals?
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          Jun 4 2014: Great question - needs more contemplating... Will get back to you tonight.
          Thank you,Greg.