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Rachel Mander

Pupil, King Edward VI Camp Hill school for girls

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If you could choose one thing to ensure we achieve in the next 10 years what would it be?

I want to know what people think is the most important issue out there to focus on and why that and not other ideas.

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  • Aug 10 2011: But why those choices ahead of any others? For me I think that I would put in place more systems to ensure that the Earth was stable in the future- so probably a system to make governments work together so everyone got free healthcare, education and enough food to survive on. I would put this ahead of anything else because I feel that this would encourage more co-operation on tackling other issues.
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    Aug 14 2011: I believe we need an honest review of systems and structures that define education, economics, and politics. Starting with simple questions “How well is this working?” “What are the negative effects of this system on people it is supposed to serve?” “How could it be organized/structured more efficiently to take into account knowledge and resources now available?”

    If you look at how children and adults learn and the skills and understanding required to live effectively in these times, the structure of schools into classrooms, and grades makes little sense. It is very convenient for administrators and busy parents but it probably interferes with learning more than supports it.

    The function of economics is to insure fair and efficient exchange/distribution of goods and services. The fact that a significant portion of the population is hungry or destitute while most of the rest are destroying the ecosystem leads one to wonder if there might be a better way.

    Political systems that give power to those most adept at rasing money and manipulating public opinion seems like a way to screen for candidates who are least likely to become effective leaders. Current political structures undermine honest participation and debate and insure difficult issues are not dealt with until they erupt into near crisis.

    These structures evolved incrementally in response to conditions very different that those we now face. We take them for granted, never following through on the question “Is there a better way to do this?” It’s time to look at the whole picture, have a broad discussion of values and priorities and design systems that take into account the diversity and potential of the population. A number of models could be debated and tested. Then figure out how to make a transition from the mostly dysfunctional systems that currently structure our lives to something that makes more sense for the future of humanity and our planet.
    • Aug 14 2011: Thoughtful contribution, thank you.
    • Aug 14 2011: Bob, great response- I feel you on every level here

      We have broken systems and they function independently when the key is what happens in one happens in another and we need to build a system that works with each component. With every disciplines input, a great collaborative effort we would mark great strides. open hearts+ open minds= open doors
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        Aug 15 2011: Good point, Autumn. We need to evaluate and redesign these systems as part of an integrated whole. Open door leads to open hearts and open minds.
    • Aug 15 2011: Dear Bob, I more appreciate the economic paragraph of your comment. Thank you for that.
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    Aug 14 2011: Is it too much to ask for world peace? If yes, then I would say that I want all girls and boys in the worst parts of the world (like Afghanistan,Pakistan etc) to receive excellent quality education.It would be so much better though if we could achieve this in less than 10 years.
    • Aug 15 2011: I haven’t seen peace in my life, I will keep asking.

      Without peace, you can't go for education. But it is true to some extend that, education can also play important role in bringing peace.
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    Aug 13 2011: Increased transparency. As long as there are ways to keep things secret, then people, governments, and corporations will carry out dark deeds that they would not if they knew it would be widely known. Without this, no other attempt at substantive, meaningful change can be stable.
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    Aug 11 2011: Independence from extremism
  • Aug 10 2011: 95% of World's Population Get Access To Information Technology Like Internet
  • Aug 10 2011: Global Warming...
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    Aug 14 2011: PEACE
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    Aug 11 2011: One thing I would like to see SOONER than 10 years, is humans working together to accomplish all that we wish to do to make the world a better place to live. Working together provides more energy to pay attention to all the challenges we face in our world today. To first gather strength and good intention with numbers, to me is a very important part.
  • Aug 11 2011: Absolutely
  • Aug 11 2011: I am really shocked that nobody even mentioned "overpopulation" This is the core reason of all our problems today. It will be the number one reason of all our problems in the close future. UN says the world population will hit 10 billion 50 years later. If it is not dealt with soon, it will carry the "global warming" , "global affairs" and "poverty" to worse levels. It also has the potential to put a halt to funding "space exploration"

    Call me a fascist but I really believe, in most parts of the world, we must have laws that requires sterilization of all women after the birth of their first and only child. This law must be carried out until the world population is around 2 billion. If that happens, raising the awareness against "overprocreation" would be a lot easier due to increase in the quality of education.
    • Aug 11 2011: With you up to your second paragraph! If you solve the problem of those countries with the highest birth rate, you will find that the lower birth rate follows. The larger families all reside in poorer countries (mainly in Africa and other countries like India). If you look at the West and countries like the UK, family size is much lower. I think a low death rate is the bigger problem. I would be more happy to say yes to Euthanasia than sterilize women! (and believe I'm not happy about Euthanasia!)
      • Aug 11 2011: Overpopulated families are not just the problem of India or Africa. They are everywhere. Even in UK, the birth and death rates may look steady but the if you zoom in on the issue, you will see that poor people are doing mitosis, like bacteria. One makes 5 babies and 5 make 25...where other people have decreasing rates. Or if you look at the poor people of Middle East, it is worse...1-7-50...an so on..

        The solution to the problem is education on a hardcore level but overpopulation has already gone out of control. Most of the governments can't provide enough funds, teachers or schools to educate people properly. They are too busy; building more hospitals, more social housing projects, more highways, giving more welfare funds...etc because of overpopulation. It is a vicious cycle really. That's why reducing the population first and then educating them would be a lot easier. Also, in the future, with the developing robotics technologies, nobody will bother employing 10 billion people anyway...If it continues like this, more and more people will be unemployed, poor and uneducated. The vicious cycle will continue...
        • Aug 11 2011: Still- you propose killing unborn babies? WIth implication of genocide when someone gets a girl and the a boy?
      • Aug 11 2011: I didn't get the last part. I am assuming you are saying if someone gets a twin? a boy and a girl? Even the babies are quintuplets, that situation is rare and can be accepted.

        I guess it is better to call it "unreal babies".Unborn baby is a fetus... alive. Killing it, is wrong and a selfish act. What I am proposing is preventing more embryos from happening. The idea may sound evil today, but in the long run, it is humane. It can prevent; all the strangling, looting and killing that millions of poor people of the future (that are "real") will do to each other...
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          Aug 11 2011: Dear Harun,
          Do you honestly think what you suggest is "humane"???

          You say..."we must have laws that requires sterilization of all women after the birth of their first and only child...this law must be carried out..."

          Surely you jest!!!
          How about we sterilize all men after they father their first and only child?
        • Aug 11 2011: I meant if a woman delivers a girl, when she desperately wants/needs a boy it will lead to genocide such as in China. By unborn, I mean potential, as in a family situation where there is the capacity for another child which will be loved. I agree with Colleen also.
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          Aug 11 2011: Hi Iqbal,
          I suggest education.
          I believe mandated sterilization of masses of people would be a violation of human rights? That's why I asked Harun if he honestly thought his idea was "humane".
      • Aug 11 2011: Yes Ms. Steen, it sounds evil but the consequences of that action is humane in the long run. World would be a way better place for our grand grand children, if that happens...I wrote about the difficulties that the governments are having about education, in a previous post. It is a vicious cycle. Education may stop the overpopulation and even start decreasing, it but it will take ages. It may be too late 50 years later. Also, overpopulation has became a way of life in some cultures. I know that in most parts of Middle East, if a guy doesn't have at least 7-8 kids, people don't respect him and don't see him as a "man". It would take millions of extra dollars and more than a hundred years to educate them if you start today. What we need is a faster solution.
        I didn't mean to be sexist. If male sterilization is possible (not castration) then yes, they can do it to us as well...

        Rachel, you are not getting me. I am not against having kids. For me, there is nothing more adorable than a little baby girl in this world. I would want to have 4-5 daughters of my own. There is no guarantee though. They can be all boys or 2 girls - 3 boys...etc. So, that woman who desperately needs a boy, there would be %50 chance. I personally know a family with 6 daughters who wished for a boy and had a girl each time.
        Although I love kids and would want to have five of my own, I will never have that much. Even if I will be able to give them the best of everything. The world they live in will be worse than today and the biggest reason for it will be the damages of overpopulation. Under today's circumstances, people must never have the right to make as many kids as they want. Either we will be unfair and sterilize the poor people like most of Europe did, not that long ago, by castrating the peasants; or we will be fair to all humanity and make a sacrifice for a better future with having one kid until we are 2bn.
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          Aug 12 2011: Harun,
          I'm suggesting education and awareness for all of us. The "Middle East" is not the only place in our world where people may feel like a "real man" or a "real woman" when producing children.

          You say..."it would be harder to keep a track of our actions when it comes to sex though..."
          How about if each individual keeps track of his/her sexual activities, is well aware of the ramifications, and takes responsibility for his/her actions. This awareness may cause fewer unwanted, unloved children in our world.
      • Aug 14 2011: Middle East is not the only place in the world but "feeling like a real man" issue is a good example of the problem. The reason of overpopulation is similar everywhere. A starving African family doesn't make 7 starving babies because they love kids so much. The reasons are mainly cultural / historical / religious beliefs, not just ignorance. And it will literally take ages to fix these beliefs with education...
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          Aug 14 2011: Harun,
          You're right..."feeling like a real man" is a good example of the problem from your perspective. It is not only in the Middle East and Africa where this challenge exists. It is everywhere, as you insightfully recognize. As I said, I'm suggesting education and awareness for all of us. It doesn't make sense to be judging and trying to change people in other countries, when our own houses are not in order. Sure it may take a long time, and we need to begin somewhere. I don't believe the situation is going to be resolved with the mass sterilization of people. That is not going to happen, so why put your energy into that idea? Change needs to start with ourselves...be the change you want to see.
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    Aug 11 2011: Hello Rachel, how about avoiding the devastating effects of climate change? Even Al Gore is getting frantic these days.

    http://www.globalissues.org/issue/178/climate-change-and-global-warming
  • Aug 10 2011: Renewable Clean Energy. Period.
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    Aug 10 2011: I'd love it if we had reached Mars by that time. :)
    • Aug 10 2011: But why? I personally think that money used for that could be used so much better on Earth where millions are starving...
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        Aug 10 2011: Simply because it means I may be able to go in outer space in this lifetime. :D Just saying! It may also help us realize how small and meaningless we, people, really are.
      • Aug 10 2011: There's enough to go around Rachel. Hell, not being in Iraq would alone pay for both. (Ok ok, I know there's a chance if they didn't go in the US Dollar would be worth the same as Monopoly money right now, but that's a different topic).

        But let's not forget that space exploration is necessary to solve a lot of our problems down here. Certain rare minerals are abundant on other planets and moons that we require. So we either completely re-invent everything, or we expand and explore, to seek out new life, and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has...ok wait a second, I just got caught up in the moment.

        If we prioritize our global issues and cooperate effectively, we can attain all these goals.
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    Aug 10 2011: I would like to see every citizen of the world with enough to eat and with clean drinking water. What can I say- my priorites are clear - i'm a mom and the idea of my own kids being hungry or thirsty and no one giving a darn is too painful to contemplate.
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    Aug 10 2011: In ten years I wish we could devise a method to talk to animals.
    • Aug 10 2011: The first word the animals will say would be: You r human, don't eat me please
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        Aug 10 2011: Yes they probably would.
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        Aug 10 2011: Shokrullah, I am out of thumbs up for you but you just made me laugh out loud!
        • Aug 11 2011: I did it in the right time. You are continuing Depression debate. You are my role model from the beginning, thank you very much.

          Regarding out of thumbs up, I am quite happy that I made you laugh. What worth numbers against happiness?
    • Aug 10 2011: Why that above everything else?
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        Aug 10 2011: I'd like to know which one of the neighbor dogs left a mess in my yard so I can bring swift justice!!!

        Imagine the implications to talking to animals.
        Do they have feelings?
        Do they love?
        How do they coincide with each other- Are animals more wise than man?
        Are animals greedy?
        What a new world it would open up to us.

        Plus

        Talking cows may force more people into being vegetarians, A vegetarian diet is far more greener it takes up less space and produces less CO2 (what a boost to the environment).
        • Aug 10 2011: People already talk though. Isn't that more of a priority- helping those who we definately know have needs- and needs that aren't being met. There is the argument (I am NOT condoning violence to animals in any way) that animals don't have souls etc. and aren't as important.
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    Aug 10 2011: There are more than one for me,

    1. To develop a system to keep a track on the growth of young minds, and mentoring them to ensure we have motivated manpower for future.
    2. Being a part of developing country, I would like to ensure that everyone in my country has at least some energy to eradicate dark hours during night.
    3. Spreading TED words in simpler form to masses.