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: Most people would rather be wrong that go through the effort of exchanging their opinion for BETTER one.

    In our intentionally adversarial societal systems people debate with the aim of winning, rather than getting to the TRUTH.

    Human nature is horrible to behold and morality is dying.

    I say, "Lux et Veritas" to though who walk a different path; most of us who truly seek TRUTH are AUTISTIC ... :) :) :)
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      Jun 8 2011: A good friend of mine enjoys proclaiming -- somewhat hyperbolically -- that his hope whenever he is in a conversation is that he will be proven wrong about his prior view... for if that is the case, then he knows he is leaving the conversation better off than when he started it!

      Few may wholeheartedly subscribe to that characterization today -- but it's worth noting that it is not so far from the motivating impulse of our favorite interlocutor, Socrates...
      • Jun 8 2011: Odd that you mention Socrates ... he was on my mind when I wrote my quick note, however, I never mentioned him by name or illuded to the concept of Philosopher Kings ... I am a huge fan of the man and perhaps he has infected me with his thinking ...

    • Jun 8 2011: I believe that most people just assume their right and I believe it is those that believe they are wrong would rather not go through the effort to try and show another why it is in all our best interest to move towards the truth.
    • Jun 8 2011: While there are experiences that are unfortunate I do think that there are many, many progresses in the world today. Here we are debating a very important subject. We need to see the ills of our society in order to fix them. So seeing them isn't necessarily a bad thing even if it hurts and is disappointing. Just be sure to look for the hope as well. It's out there.
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        Jun 8 2011: But before that have faith in yourself. You are a responsible for all consequences, not the crowd. :-)
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      Jun 8 2011: Does education play a big factor in people's general moral attitudes? I realize that once you begin to really contemplate ideas you begin to see that you easily can be wrong. Mainstream media, outside of academia doesn't encourage that kind of contemplation, so many uneducated people can foster ignorant attitudes about right and wrong.

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