TED Conversations

Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.


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Let's have mandatory military service in the U.S.

Our educational system is turning out citizens who don't understand the military well enough to make informed voting decisions, who don't have meaningful job skills, who have no sense of duty or service, and who have never been a part of something larger than themselves in a meaningful way. A required stint of military service could provide an immersion experience that would help to overcome all of those.


Closing Statement from Erik Richardson

I think this is an interesting debate, as far as it goes, but I also learned a valuable lesson about whether TED discussions have enough diversity of perspectives—both to figure out what ends are worth accomplishing and to map out a way to better accomplish those ends.

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    May 9 2011: In fairness, I should say that I am perfectly willing to change my mind on this. I can allow that the military may not create a sense of duty that wasn't there and that there are other ways for people to learn to be a part of the whole besides just military service. Those are probably secondary to the goal of creating a better world by finding a way to make sure that the people voting about military issues and making decisions about military actions have a better, more tangible understanding of what they're voting/deciding.
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      May 9 2011: I Have a plan that will work, and benefit everyone even the world itself... for the greater good and No One will even step up and send me a helicopter, Is Destruction of this world inevitable?

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