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Sean Gourley

Co-Founder and CTO, Quid


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LIVE CHAT With Sean Gourley: What are some of the lessons from war we can apply to other human endeavors? June 17, 2PM EDT

Live TED Conversation: Join TED Fellow Sean Gourley

Sean is a physicist and military theorist who is using data, maths and visualizations to help us understand the nature of modern war. He asks," What are some of the lessons from war we can apply to other human endeavors?"

This conversation will open at 2:00PM EDT, June 17th, 2011


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  • Jun 17 2011: While common people are dying in wars, big entrepreneurs and politicians are getting richer. War is always, and I think it always be a huge opportunity to make profit. Guns and ammunition have to be bought to make a war, and this is a very interesting market. Do you want to stop a war, ou avoid someone to began one, just don't allow him to have access to gun.
    Let's find out who is selling guns and war artefacts to the nations who are in war and stop them to make these genocide business. This one way, practical way, to minimize these conflicts who are responsible for thousands of deaths around the world while at same time the "lords of wars", I am meaning the death traders become richer.
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      Jun 17 2011: This can be related to how everything in the US is being privatized. Since the Jails have become private entities more people have become incarcerated. They want to do it social security and medicare. How can we employ the insurgent strategy to benefit the lower and middle class in the US.
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        Jun 17 2011: Or to frame it another way - to what extent was the organizational structure behind Obama's victory in the 2008 election like an insurgency?

        Will this become the model for how all political movements are formed?
        • Jun 17 2011: um, it's kinda been the model of the "right" for years. Obama was just playing catchup.
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          Jun 17 2011: It got him elected, but he has "Spitzered" us by not delivering the change he sold us. He has done a lot of good, but not what was promised.

          We need the model for election plus the model for actual effective change for the lower and middle class.
        • Jun 17 2011: I wouldn't say that an insurgency necessarily has a particular organisational profile, not in its essential form. Are you talking about a Maoist-style insurgency, where political activism on the industrial and grassroots level builds the momentum for social change? You're surely not talking about Focoist or Marighellan variations on this. Social movement theorists like Tilly tend to view insurgents as engaging in contentious politics, where methods of activism transgress on established norms of activism and engage a regime or ruling class. Does this describe Obama's campaign? I say not.

          Are you only talking about networked organisations and virtual activism? These are not the same as insurgency.
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      Jun 17 2011: the AK-47 is one of the single biggest killers in war. It is the true WMD. It has an expected lifetime of about 80 years and will keep shooting even if it has been buried and dug up. These guns are so simple, and yet so capable that they make killing literally childs play.

      Figure out a way to get these guns out of the system and you could potentially have a massive impact on violent deaths in conflict.

      You can start by buying one yourself in Africa for just about $50 :)

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