TED Conversations

Cleo Abram

Student , Columbia University - Columbia College


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We can learn by exchanging and discussing our own lists of "10 Things I Know to be True."

After listening to Sarah Kay's beautiful speech and poetry, I tried to write my own list of "10 Things I know to be True." I learned one thing immediately: I don't know much. I learned a second thing more slowly: that's okay! I tried to distill my limited understanding of the world into this list, without being overly philosophical nor literal.

One thing I know to be true, but that is not on my list, was that Sarah Kay was right when she said that if you share your list with a group of people you will find that someone has one thing very similar, someone else has something totally contrary, another person has something you've never heard of, and still another has something that makes you think further about something you thought you knew.

So let's share ours, and find out! What do your lists have on them?

Here's mine:
1. Fiction can, at times, feel more real than fact.
2. One person, with a good idea, can change our world.
3. There are things about our universe that we will never understand.
4. #3 is not an excuse to stop trying.
5. Everyone has a story worth hearing.
6. There is always another side to the story they tell.
7. Questions can sometimes teach more than their answers.
8. Children can sometimes teach more than their parents.
9. Everyone should travel.
10. No one's truth is universal.


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    Nov 6 2011: There is nothing I know to be true. Not even this statement. Not even my own existence. Solipists believe there is an external universe, they are just not certain about it. Solipsists believe nothing is certain, every statement just has a certain probability of truth. Some statements may be have a high probability of truth, others a low probability of truth. Most men lie to women. Most women lie to themselves."No one's truth is universal"Is this statement a universal truth? Morality is not relative. Who here claims it is not immoral for mothers to routinely torture their infants by cutting off their limbs one at a time, skinning them alive, and setting them on fire till they die? I would say such an act is objectively speaking immoral. I would say the gratuitous inflction of agony for no benefit whatsoever is inheriently evil and immoral. Sometimes, the smartest thing you can do is give up. You need to pick your battles wisely. Good chess players know when to resign. Only ameteurs futily fight on till their king is check-mated. Sometimes the means justify the ends, sometimes they do not. It all depends on the means and the ends."Everyone should travel." Even a currently indigent, elderly, previously well-traveled, deaf, blind, parapalegic in a coma in a hospital ICU with a compromised immune system ,and a highly infectious disease capable of wiping-out all life on Earth?
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      Nov 6 2011: While I am sure no one would admit to the tortuous acts as being moral, you do realize that within the very framework of your question it necessitates a human validation, explicitly stating that without a human observer to testify to its existence, there is no immorality or morality.
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        Nov 7 2011: My question does not require human validation at all. I have traveled to millions of galaxies, and dozens of universes. There is more or less universal agreement on this issue among intelligent sentient beings.

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