TED Conversations

Damon Horowitz

In-House Philosopher, Google


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LIVE CHAT With Damon Horowitz: When have you realized that you were wrong about what you once thought was right? June 8, 2011, 5-6PM EDT

Join us for a LIVE conversation with serial entrepreneur, philosophy professor, and Google Director of Engineering, Damon Horowitz.

This conversation will open at 5:00PM EDT, June 8th, 2011.

"I am curious to hear what prompts people to moral reflection and reconsideration: When have you realized that you were wrong about what you once thought was right?"


Closing Statement from Damon Horowitz

I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their thoughts and experiences here. My TEDxSV talk was intended as a provocation for the technology industry in particular to reflect further upon our ethical decision making – but I am delighted to see that it has encouraged much broader discussion.

The prominent themes I hear in this conversation reinforce the value of education, experience, and humility in our moral development. So long as we continually challenge ourselves to question our beliefs, there is some small possibility that we will not always be wrong about what is right.

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    Jun 8 2011: I personally believe that there is no way to change the habits of society today, we are all just too caught up in this mindset that everything people of authority do is just and right. We need to try and teach the next generation about what we are doing wrong so we can have a chance of setting this worlds moral compass in the right direction, because in my opinion the adults of today are mostly just a lost cause. This is coming from a 15 year old of course, so judge my opinion as much as you want
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      Jun 8 2011: Don't give up on the adults! But also, don't wait for them. The access to information, and tools for dissemination of information, that we have today makes it possible for us to all learn more about diverse approaches to issues at any age. Perhaps take it on as a personal project to try to interest your peer group in philosophy :)
    • Jun 8 2011: All of us over 18-ers aren't totally lame. Although I'll grant you, the ones running the show for the past 30 years have let us all down. Don't ever give up. I thought we'd "fixed" the world back in the 70s, but it's a chronic condition, requiring intense watchfulness and maintenance. We relaxed too soon.
    • Jun 8 2011: You're right. Time fixes everything.

      You might be interested in Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. It's about our society/economy today and the one fundamental aspect of our daily life which contributes to the most pain and suffering: money.

      This might just be the way of our future: a society without profit motivated corruption, where 'volunteer' and, believe it or not, "robots" will misplace the "work", or "slavery" of today.
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      Jun 8 2011: Good points. I have reflected on this problem myself. It is a two fold problem though. Adults feel they are in the right because they have a lifetime of experiences to back them up. This also causes many of them to look down on the younger generation because they feel they don't know enough yet. In turn the young generation ignores the adults because they feel they are not aware of the current trends.

      What we need though is balance. Adults must respect the young generation, their opinions and thoughts are important because they are the future. And the young generation must respect and learn from the old because in doing so, they can shortcut many of the hardships they might face in life.

      I speak from great experience. I was always smart and headstrong. I thought I knew more than anyone else. lol boy did I learn things the hard way. It may have made me a stronger and better person but it wasted so much time and caused too much pain. When we are open to the lessons we can learn from everyone, we leap-frog our progress. And that is what is is all about right, making progress.
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      Jun 8 2011: Responsibility and awareness are missing these days.

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