Mohammed Al Medfa

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What wrong(s) would you right?

Hi there everyone,

I'd like to ask, what wrongs you believe there are in the world, that you would make right, if you could.

I posted a related question, asking "What would you tell children about following their dreams?" over here:
https://www.ted.com/conversations/7268/what_would_you_tell_children_a.html
& another asking "How will you strive to change the world?"
https://www.ted.com/conversations/7567/how_will_you_strive_to_change.html


I'm asking these questions as part of a video project of mine related to inspiring people to follow their dreams, right wrongs, and strive to change the world. Its all part of a web and real world project dedicated to enabling and empowering people, which we're starting called Utopian.

I'd love to quote the answers that some of you provide to this question and the other questions, and use them in the video. We'll be constructing a kind of 'visual wall' featuring everyone's statements.

We'll credit each person by placing their name next to their statement on the wall, which we'll be filming as an important part of the video.

I think these are deeply important subjects, and I'd love to hear what everyone has to say.

Thanks a lot,
Medfa

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    Dec 6 2011: I would like to right the wrong of racism. I've never understood why someone is better/worse/higher/lower than I am because of their ethnicity, skin color, hair color, shoe size, whatever. A person should be judged by their actions and their abilities - not by their accident of birth. We cannot predetermine our ethnicity/skin color (OK, you can change your hair color), etc. There are those with great ideas at every level of being. They should all be celebrated.
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      Dec 6 2011: Thank you Deborah. I could not agree more. There's a quotation I bring up a lot that is kind of related:

      "Patriotism is the belief that your country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it."
      - George Bernard Shaw

      But yes I could not agree more. Dividing people by country and implying that that is somehow meaningful and allows for sweeping statements of people from one place or another is complete nonsense. One thing that really gets me is:
      Why do we judge people by where they came from, rather than where they wish to go?

      Thanks!
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        Dec 6 2011: Medfa:
        "Why do we judge people by where they came from, rather than where they wish to go?"PERFECT! I will be using that, and the GBS quote, with some of my more stubborn friends.Good luck with your project.
  • Dec 6 2011: I would right the wrong of education in Western consumerist cultures being so fixated on external development. Happiness is an inside job, but we're taught from an early age that performance, saying the right thing and piling up all those external markers of success (cash, branded items, good grades, sports/school prizes) are what matters. Parents may tell their kids, "Don't worry about grades, we love you anyway," but for the most part, they themselves are caught up in trying to perform for their bosses, being 'nice' (but not very authentic) and buying the right brands. Branding, grading and consumerism are consuming us. Where's the love in those Kodak moments? I would shift education priorities towards teaching kids how to be aware of the here and now, how to love themselves, how to be in touch with the needs of others ie how to feel compassion. This would help to make the world a far wiser, kinder and more ethical place. Happiness is about learning how to be. We need to start teaching our kids how to be, not how to perform.
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    Dec 1 2011: I would say it is wrong, that not every human being who works hard at a full time job, can support a family, that has a stable parent in the home. It's going to take a long time to fix that one, but I truly believe it is what we need. Everywhere in the world, if you're willing to work hard to contribute to society, you should be able to provide for a family of at least 4, own a small piece of land, or apartment, and drive a vehicle, preferably electric. I'd like to right that wrong if I could. International minimum wage...
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      Dec 2 2011: Thanks David. The things worth doing usually demand the best of us, and difficulty and resistance only implies something is truly worth doing. I believe we will inevitably get closer to the goal you've described over time, so long as we continue to put more tools of expression and production in the hands of common people. The Internet has provided the network upon which people can start to recognize their shared fate and see that others are in the same circumstances as they are. Its a long road ahead, but it's a road that is eternally worth taking. We need powerful symbols to inspire people towards taking action to take us closer to goals of positive changes. There's a lot we need, but people are the answer. We can be that answer.
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    Dec 1 2011: I would strive to make people stop thinking in terms of wrong or right.
    • Dec 1 2011: But their are things not right Frans. Things that demand collective will and action.
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        Dec 1 2011: If people mess things up they have to mess things down, they can make things better or worse, nothing wrong with that. If this is the only way to learn, it's allright.
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          Dec 1 2011: "There is one good, knowledge... And, one evil, ignorance." Socrates.

          There's a part of me that agree's with you, because concepts of right and wrong tend to lead to the division, that's creating the problem in the first place. I think in societies that are doing things collectively that are lazy, violent, or stupid however, there needs to be a discussion that brings knowledge to enough masses to correct the behavior.

          You would agree behavior can be correct, and incorrect right? Maybe that would be a better way of looking at it? We could be operating on false hypothesis, or true hypothesis, but to call them wrong paints us as evil rather than ignorant?
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      Dec 5 2011: But there are people around who seem to be psychologically predisposed towards doing evil acts (eg sociopathy and psychopathy).

      What is very wrong, is the power we confer upon such people in politics, corporate leadership, the media - and even religion. There is a paradoxical hero worship for people who have got to dizzying heights of success through behaviours normally considered as inhuman.

      What to do about this? Perhaps a complete shake-up of the media, and a powerful reminder towards religious leaders that the nurturing of empathy (which I believe is the default position of the human condition) is where their sense of moral responsibility lies.
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        Dec 5 2011: Allan, you’re right all the way. Things are wrong.
        But instead of calling them right or wrong it’s more productive to understand the mechanisms why things turn out as they do.

        To say they’re psychologically predisposed confirms the status quo, to say they’re fearsome creatures that lacked the love our species depends on to kiss awake our human nature, points to the cause of the problem. Children that are emotional hurt and neglected are apt to shut down their feeling part. To survive they will develop strategies to compensate for it by securing might and power.

        We can’t blame the parents that were a product of the same mechanism that on large parts of the world has become the cultural norm. It is important to change this by bringing this in the light and show that children that are loved become strong adults and those that appear strong are often fearing the world. The notion that children become weak if they aren’t hardened is completely false.

        As David quoted it is: “There is one good, knowledge... And, one evil, ignorance." Socrates.
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          Dec 6 2011: I would tend to blame the mechanisms of the societies and systems that lead to 'negative' acts. I'd personally say its a matter of a badly designed system, where attributes or practices that lead to negative outcomes are empowered.

          E.g. By and large we currently measure people's 'success' and thus how much we should 'admire' or 'respect' them based on their financial success. We measure people more by what they have taken or kept as a result of their actions than what they have given and the positive impact of their actions. (This is totally an example and I am by now means saying this is true for everyone or anything like that. But I do mean that there is a systemic bias towards measuring people's self-worth by financial worth.)
          One could easily argue that, as such, we exist in a system which is designed (either consciously or unconsciously) to celebrate and empower self-serving acts (At least in a monetary sense) without taking into account the net benefit to society of those acts. Which, when one thinks about it, is rather strange, from a design perspective.

          ---> But in terms of the reason I put this question forward. I wasn't looking for some expression of absolute universal wrongs and rights, or some kind of definitive answer. I'm just looking for people's personal subjective answers :)

          Although of course its excellent that this discussion is taking place!
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          Dec 6 2011: Frans and Medfa - There's much wisdom in what you have said.

          It brings into question the existence, not only of empathy, but also true altruism, especially when confronted by behavours displayed by people who seem (on the face of it) irreparably evil.

          And who is it making the decisions as to what is evil and what isn't? The responsibility of 'moralistic opinion-forming' used to be in the hands of religion. Who now? The media? If so, it might go some way to explaining the skewed sense of moralistic regard many feel towards our fellows, based on what now seems to them acceptable behaviour, as ubiquitously and falsely portrayed in the trashy media rags on sale.

          The belief in and practice of selfless concern for the well-being of others, seems also to be distorted by how we read people almost entirely at face value and make our judgements of them based only on brief acquaintance. There is good in everybody - we just have to take the time and the trouble to find it.

          The main point I was trying to make upthread, is that the insidious, immoral nature of modern 'journalism' in the media is distorting what it is we now consider as good or evil.

          That is the wrong that I would right, as a matter of great urgency.
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    Dec 1 2011: Give education to all children who want it and strive for it and are just as curious as I was as a kid. :) I have knowledge that I don't wish to keep just to myself ... I wish to spread it around so that others can benefit from it.
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    Dec 13 2011: i would encourage everyone to be themselves and not pretend or want to be or to become someone else.Knowing once's self they get to know their abilities and their weaknesses.That achievement will give them the power and the will to follow their dreams.Therefore,people would definitely realize that we are all related to each other in many ways,that we are brothers.
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      Dec 14 2011: I completely agree Manos. Knowing oneself is integral to everything in life. Especially looking forward, rather than backward. I think its unfortunate that so much of 'identity' is defined by looking backward in life. We ask not where someone wishes to go, but rather where they come from. We have history sections in libraries, but not future sections.

      Your dreams define your identity and your identity defines your dreams. There can be little joy or honest success living someone else's idea of a good life.
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        Dec 14 2011: You made a good point about the emphasis we give in one's past and not in their dreams and wishes.Sometimes we do that i believe to find common characteristics with our past.It's like trying to connect the other person with us.However,sometimes we use other's past and we focus in some mistakes they made so as to feel better with ours.Good parable this you made about the libraries,i hadn't thought it that way!
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          Dec 15 2011: Of course you are right, and ones past can be a basis for connections. I think the real distinction is that usually the kind of information we use to define identity is stuff that a person has no control over (Age, gender, nationality) rather than the things we do have control over. And it is your choices that define you, so I think defining people by the choices they make and where they want to go, tells us so much more about them.

          Also in my opinion this focus on the past over the future shows up in many other places too. For example a museum displaying likely concept technologies and ways of living that people may take up would be just as valuable as simply seeing the items of the past.
        • Dec 27 2011: Great Mohammed. Exactly my thoughts. (I have been unable to particiapte the last few days.)
      • Dec 15 2011: Mohhamed
        Yes, we cannot live others lives, or the one's they want us to live. I am still struggling with that! Freeing people has to mean something about them actually having the opportunity to 1) have self-identity 2) an opportunity to dream.

        Manos great comment.
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          Dec 15 2011: Mohammed
          Right,a combination of someone's past,their future (their dreams) and also their choices define them.The only part i disagree is that someone's future is not ensured,i mean they might say they want to live in a particular way and achieve specific goals,however their past is already 'concrete'. Another parameter that plays role is their history as nationality.What i mean is that when i meet a foreigner and i ask him where he is from i do that to build a bridge with his nation's philosophy and history and tradition so as to approach him,to understand him better.

          Michael
          I totally agree with your point and in my opinion those two should be everyone's goals.
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          Dec 17 2011: Yes Michael I'm sure it stays an eternal struggle for all of us all our lives. I think it comes down to that moment where we're about to accept whatever default idea is in front of us, and instead take the moment to ask 'but is this truly what I agree with? And if this decision is going to shape my life, shouldn't my life stem from who I am and what I believe?'

          I don't think in the long run one will ever regret those choices. I think it's almost a form of integrity :)

          Manos, the thing is that for me it's their desire that defines them. Even if it is someone's wish to do something and they do not achieve it, it still tells me a very important part of who they are. To me it's where we wish to go, and what we wish the world to be like that really says the most about someone. That's also exactly it really I don't think identity should be concrete and immutable. It's true it is a combination of both I just think we currently put too much of a focus on what is immutable and has already taken place when deciding things about a persons identity.
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    Dec 11 2011: I would remove the concept of genocide from our human consciousness.
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    Dec 11 2011: I would make sure that no one is hungry.
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    Dec 11 2011: In the natural world nothing is or can be wrong. In our human response to the natural world we have done many wrong things.

    Among them, as a human race we have strayed from the natural world and have constructed an artificial world that is in many ways in conflict with the natural world and the evolution of it.

    One could argue that the human tendency to construct artificial worlds is in fact natural. But I disagree. Humans are capable of behaviors that other living things are not. When humans behave in ways that are in conflict with the natural world, that's where we go wrong.
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      Dec 11 2011: Thanks Jim. You summed it up a very important message elegantly.
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    Dec 8 2011: I think what is wrong in the world is that in most acts of people there aren't the respective consequences.
    Since we are children that is showned to us that rules are easy to broke and there aren´t consequences to what we do.
    We grow with this habit and all of us change the word lately when we're adults.
    Another thing wrong in the world is today's people spirit: most of people loses strength and give up when find an adversity to pursue their dreams; most of people don´t see the point of protesting against something they find unfair or they do not agree just because some people don´t care of what they say, and, in the end of it, they get resigned. This can´t be: we got to protest against injustice, corruption, pollution, poverty, etc, or the world will continue as it is or get's even worst. We can´t let the powerfull people (politics, owners of petroil companies, ...) to chose our destiny. We've got to STAND UP and fight for what we believe!

    I hope that I was usefull and I thank you for bringing up this subject.
    • Dec 12 2011: Great answer Joao
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        Dec 12 2011: Hi Michael,
        I can't reply to your other comment since I think TED's commenting system only allows 3 layers of 'replies to'.

        In my attempts not to steer the conversation too much I've avoided responding to a lot of the there are no right and wrongs comments. But I think I'll add my own view here since you said something very similar to what I was thinking with 'misplaced enlightenment views'.

        I personally feel that these kind of 'it is all a matter of perception' views are ideological cliches. Its all fine to have as many oft-uttered philosophical positions as one wishes, but if they equate to no action or construct a perception which facilitates no positive impact - they are neither wise nor beneficial to the bearer or the world.

        I think philosophy without a will for positive action, a will to discover that which will enable the best of us all, is intellectual miserliness.

        Of course, many things that are merely matters of perception, or equally flawed perspectives are fought over, but that doesn't mean nothing can ever be worth changing. And those aren't the kind of 'wrongs to be righted' I expected people on TED to be suggesting anyway :)
        • Dec 13 2011: Mohammed
          I really like the intellectual miserliness phrase. It is that. It is a great way that has been constructed on Western culture, to say "I am not responsible". It does come from the Enlightenment view more than what is termed post-modern although it is usually associated more with it. I thnk it is more of a vestige of the rationalist attempt except ending up nowhere.

          Your project looks to say to the world these things we can do! We can. There are things we cannot change immediately, or just wipe out with a stroke of a pen. There are things though that people in all cultures can DO to change what is now. I said on a another question, but it is true: We can't change everything, we can't sit back though, we can do something.
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        Dec 13 2011: Thank you Michael.

        (Don´t worry, I was the one that removed the post because I tought I've putted it in the wrong place)
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      Dec 12 2011: Thanks a lot Joao, I totally totally agree about how many of us react to adversity nowadays! Thats something I'd love to change.
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    Dec 8 2011: Wrong: The belief of many US citizens that people around the world speak English, so we need not bother to learn another language.

    Right: Language learning promotes literacy and peace and is increasingly important for success in today’s global world.

    I am advocating on behalf of early language learning in the United States. Most schools are wasting the most flexible years for a child's brain to learn languages. According to Patricia Kuhl: "babies are linguistic geniuses" (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies.html) and by the age of seven, the brain's aptitude for language learning starts to decline. The benefits to language learning (http://www.ncssfl.org/papers/BenefitsSecondLanguageStudyNEA.pdf) are immense and the need for multiliterate individuals continues to rise as the world becomes more interconnected.

    In order to aid parents and teachers in exposing their children and students to quality language learning resources which are both free and easily accessible, I'm creating a website called Sunny Earth Academy which I hope to launch before the New Year. Think Khan Academy (http://www.khanacademy.org/) only the teacher is not one person, but participants from around the world who share their creations for teaching French, Spanish and English. I’m hoping the website will encourage monolingual parents to expose their children to other languages starting as early as possible. The inspiration for the website is the desire to share how my own children are learning French with their baby cousins, whose parents are monolingual. I also dream that the site will spark a global interest in sharing free, easily accessible resources for language learning.

    I believe that through language learning, people gain multicultural awareness and in turn, language learners become more tolerant, peaceful citizens of our global world. World language education promotes multicultural awareness…multicultural awareness promotes peace.
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      Dec 8 2011: Thanks Audrey,
      The Sunny Earth Academy sounds great. As a person who attended an international school and grew up surrounded by people from all parts of the world, I've seen firsthand how immense a difference a multicultural environment makes to people's perceptions. Its something I'm personally very thankful for.

      I would love to be kept up to date.

      All the best,
      Medfa
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        Dec 11 2011: Thank you Medfa and Michael for your encouraging comments!!

        There are already a lot of amazing people online sharing awesome language learning resources. I've been incredibly lucky to connect with several of them on twitter. So, I guess where I said above that I hope Sunny Earth Academy sparks a global sharing of resources, I should correct...I hope it sparks the CREATION of new resources by language learners themselves. I have started a club at my school which is doing just that. We're off to a slow start, but the students and I are dedicated to creating and offering engaging, high-quality lessons for the world.

        I appreciate both of your comments immensely. Thank you again!

        Medfa, I'd love for you to keep up with the project! The site will be at sunnyearthacademy.org and I'm hoping to launch before the New Year (with any luck)! I have put TED in the "Our Inspiration" section of the site...so many great presentations and wonderful ways to connect globally with fine people such as you!
    • Dec 8 2011: Ah..the power of change! I definitely agree this creating bilingual, hopefully bicultural children would be a wonder. Even monolingual parents would greatly benefit. A great idea Audrey.
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        Dec 11 2011: Thank Michael, Please read my reply above (under Medfa's reply) as I'd like to share it with you as well!
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    Dec 6 2011: The wrong is increasing dependence on materialistic comforts & decreasing human touch among people, this thing shall be given little more priority.
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    Dec 4 2011: I would find a way to develop a universal morality code/system that does not depend on relative emotional values or the "supernatural". That way people could talk about the difference between right and wrong without recourse to violence over superstitions or hurt feelings.
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      Dec 6 2011: I certainly think we could all benefit from embracing our universal humanity as the basis of society and how we measure our actions. Thanks Emmanuel.
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    Dec 2 2011: "You can cancel an unkind thought in midstream and in an instant decide to be harmonious. You can stop yourself at the moment you're cursing somebody and elevate your thoughts to kindness."
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    Dec 31 2011: Thanks to everyone for all of the wonderful responses, as this question and this year will be ending very soon.

    I'll contact everyone who contributed once our video is ready, and I hope that we can all take steps to inspire and enable people to live better lives, and achieve greater goals together.

    A wonderful, and meaningful new year to everyone.
  • Dec 14 2011: My own. If I right my own wrongs, I would be an efficient member of the community. Needless to say, others from the community will most likely do the same once they find that they too can also be as efficient.

    Remember this?
    "...And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others..."
    -Marianne Williamson

    And I will never run out of wrongs to right. There's always something.
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      Dec 14 2011: Thanks Mohammad. Our own personal steps are always the beginning of all things.
      • Dec 14 2011: I'm glad to help. I am also looking forward to your project's success and I wish to hear about it in the future. God-willing.

        It's good that somebody is working on these deeply important subjects.
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    Dec 13 2011: When I was little, I wanted to earn 1 dollar. I found 10 sea shells and was going to sell them for 10 cents a piece. Then I realized that if I found 20 sea shells, I would only have to sell them for a nickel. I would still earn my dollar, and my customers would feel like they got a better deal.

    A wrong I would right, would be the first transaction of the person who cheated someone, or made too much profit.
  • Dec 13 2011: i would rather erase the word "cancer" from our life and consciousness
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      Dec 3 2011: Thanks Don! I make this point to people all the time. Legal systems are not in any way morale or right unto themselves, their claimed purpose is to enforce a common standard of morality and action that the people accept and aspire towards. When this is not what legal systems do, they lose all validity.
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      Dec 3 2011: Reading the wikiquote pages for both John & Robert Kennedy is something I tend to do every so often.

      What he said here has been true eternally, but in today's digital, connected world it is a more powerful sentiment than ever.
  • Dec 2 2011: I think we need to put an end to the use of cheap throwaway toxic materials, such as plastics. I work in construction and find that almost all building products are toxic. The products have warnings on the back such as, "long term exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage." Why in the world are we damaging the brains of our work force? They made much to do recently about the September 11 firefighters being exposed to all sorts of toxic dust from building products that were released during the explosion and fall of the buildings. All I could think was, so no one cares about the construction workers who breathe this stuff in every day on the job?!

    I haven't even got into the impact on the environment, but there are plenty of TED video's on the subject such as http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/capt_charles_moore_on_the_seas_of_plastic.html. I love going out in nature, but more and more I see trash accumulating in the woods and waterways that surround our cities. Unlike many major cities, In Kansas City, where I live, the city has turned it's back to the river, in part because the areas that surround the river are industrial, but also because the river is so polluted there are signs that say "avoid contact."

    Finally, after recently having a baby, and reading a few baby books, I find that nearly every baby product is toxic crap, from the plastic toys to the synthetic fibers and dyes used to make their clothes. Everyone recommends buying organic cotton or wool, but finding these items in a local store is hard enough, footing the bill for some of the stuff is even harder.

    Finally, entropy is catching up with us and in the future we're probably going to be sitting on a toxic pile of trash, bombing each other for the last sip of oil, and trying to figure our way out of a big mess.

    For my part I have started developing my own building products that do not employ plastics, such as drywall joint compound made of lime, plaster, and casein. Out of words...
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      Dec 3 2011: Thanks James. Entropy really is the word here. In the system that is every one on Earth, each of us know certain things that we know to be problems, that we know should be fixed, we may even have solutions or ideas about how to go about fixing them. And others are in a position to make that change affect more people. And then there are the people whose lives would be benefitted by the changes we hope to make true. (All of this rings true with the deeply important situation you've described above.)

      What if all these people could find each other, effortlessly as a natural part of society? What if the tools of organization were so democratized that groups of people could naturally form and coalesce around the ideas and initiatives that inspire them? Thats what I believe is what we need. Because I have no doubt that between us all, we have the will, the skill, the resources and the drive to make these 10,000s of changes and improvements. But if we cannot find those who share our goals, only the tiniest sliver of them can ever be realized.

      Static organizations can only empower the 'established solution', the status quo or solutions that already exist -> They are static after all. Its time for ordinary people to take part in dynamic, organic organizations.

      You asked if 'no one cares about the construction workers' and I think this really touches upon the crux of the matter. Many people have the capacity to care, some have the capacity to do something about it. But until people like you can find other people like you, and can effortlessly organize and integrate your individual efforts and belief in the importance of your goals into 'constructive' wholes, these efforts will seem relatively ineffectual. Because they will have no shared identity or shared organization. If you don't know about the other people on Earth who are just as concerned as you are, you can't work with them, you can't be inspired by them..
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      Dec 3 2011: And I'm sure there are millions of people who share the same feelings you do, and surely a few thousand who have tried taking similar steps. But imagine if you could easily share your efforts, trade best practices, share ideas about how to take better steps to avoid all these toxic materials, organize ways to raise awareness as a group etc.

      You see the way I see it, a group that does not know it exists is infinitely weak. Once a group gains a shared identity, it takes on a strength beyond any individual member. It isn't a coincidence, to me, that the rise of the internet seems to have arisen right before our impending climate crisis, and a number other crises at least nearly as dangerous, right before perhaps the greatest time of need for coordinated human action. The solution and the problem seem equally clear to me.

      So one of the most crucial focuses of the things we'll be building with Utopian, are ways to enhance the creation of dynamic organizations, and put the ability to self-organize in the hands of groups of ordinary people. I do hope that can help many more passionate individuals find other people like themselves and act in increasingly coordinated fashion.

      Thanks for your thoughts :)
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      Dec 2 2011: Great reply Don! As a person whose read the Hero with a Thousand Faces and a big believer in the power of symbols and storytelling to inspire and define what we aspire to and thus who we are, I absolutely could not agree more.
  • Dec 1 2011: Medfa
    This sounds like a great project. Putting things to right s a wonderful thing. For me, it is a part of who I am as a spiritual person. It is a deep part of my belief system. If I could choose one thing it would be food distribution around the globe. We live in a marvelous world where enough food is produced to feed everyone. It is not a question of overpopulation or bad economics. It is a question of having an open hand. I would put to right that everyone should have enough to eat.
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      Dec 2 2011: Thanks Michael! This is precisely the reason I wanted to ask this question and get different people's answers, because I knew that each of us would find different things that we feel matter the most. I don't think there can be any question about whether we can make vast changes in the world. As JFK said no problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. We make a change or lack of a change in every chance we take or opportuni we surrender.

      That's the reason I'm doing what I'm doing, because I do believe many people long for more meaning and fulfillment in their lives, through a life of action which resonates with who they are and the better future they believe in. I think right now more than anything it's a matter of inspiring people and providing them with the tools to do the things they want to do anyway, and the channels to access each other and find those who share their dreams for positive change. I believe that will make all the difference.
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    Dec 24 2011: Just a big thanks and a merry Christmas to everyone and their great contributions so far!
    • Dec 27 2011: Thanks to you Mohammed! It is a good discussion
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      Dec 17 2011: Thank you for all your contributions Don, I think we can all learn, be inspired and realize our capacity or make continuous positive contributions through each others will and passion. It's hard to change anything or believe in anything on your own. But fortunately, passion is contagious.
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    Dec 13 2011: One of the problems in the world is lack of reflexion and thinking.
    We all, at some age, know in theory what´s right and wrong: we know we are all the same no matter color and genders, we must respect other people, the right of...., human rights, we've got to protect our world,etc,etc,etc. Everyone know that, but in the "real world" those things don´t touch most of us.
    We all, at a certain age, should have the power to think on our owns.
    It should be taught to us how to "learn to learn".
  • Dec 11 2011: I Don't play with right and wrong, They always fight.
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        Dec 11 2011: "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so" - Though I would argue one must take into account the context of Hamlet saying that... ;)
        • Dec 12 2011: I would too Mohammed. There is right and there is wrong as much as people wish it not so. It does not come only from "my perception."

          In a world where there is no right or wrong, wrong seems somtimes ok, and right never gets its due.

          Misplaced Enlightenment views get us nowhere.
  • Dec 8 2011: The whole international, state borders, are wrong.

    The world should be one single place governed by the best possible single political ideology, education system etc.

    The whole idea of making a fence on a property is unnecessary until we humans learn to respect each others space.

    Lets not increase the world population further as it is there is too much competition for everything.
  • Dec 8 2011: EQUALITY of MALES and FEMALES must be acknowledged for our world to have peace, health and happiness for all.

    Also, RELIGIOUS BRAINWASHING OF CHILDREN SHOULD STOP. It shows disrespect for children. Adults need to merely act properly and children will emulate their role models. It is outrageous that children are taught by "religious" leaders to hate people of other religions. It makes religion the cause of negativity in the world.
  • Dec 8 2011: I would love to rid the world of wrongs - here's why

    A wrong is a detrimental view imposed on the beholder that causes a victim centric reaction.

    Please, think about that statement.

    Can we right a wrong? Will we be able to right all wrongs or any wrong? Wrongs involve people who may not have the capacity or capability to understand what a wrong is or why it is wrong - so how can a wrong be righted?

    In my opinion, wrongs are historical and usually the result of an incorrectly contextualised situation. That view is then escalated with a fanatical fervour using emotion and as a result, more wrongs take place because of it. I personally would classify "wrongs" on a scale of human-wide to personal (as language often gets in the way as does emotion).
    Then the only way I see of overcoming it is to live in the now.
    To be part of the moment, the present, could help stop the blame game that are started by those that have wrongs, provides my answer to your question
  • Dec 7 2011: We have totally screwed up our country, give power back to the people by doing away with the electoral college.
    Fund education better than the millitary.The welfare system is supposed to be a helping hand, not a way of life. A job is what you do to make a living for your family, it does not define who we are as human beings. Give moe than you take.
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    Dec 7 2011: Humankind should stop endorsing parents indoctrinating their children in the parent's errors--passing on cultural errors from generation to generation.
    • Dec 7 2011: I totally agree. Even if we have to take an area of a underdeveloped country or area to build in order to prove that there is a viable alternative power, on up to methods of teaching, governing, producing products, ect. would be a testing ground to prove a point.

      Perhaps in South America or in poor areas of the east.
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        Dec 7 2011: I appreciate your idea and would like to understand it better.

        I'm obsessed with the United States.

        After 236 years, most Americans are still focused on liberty, declared in 1776, which may have been enjoyed for 13 years. The 1787 Founders wrote "We the People" hereby govern the people. But the majority, beginning in 1789, resumed the religionization of America--holding God responsible and accountable and refusing to be We the People as defined in the Preamble. Abraham Lincoln's (Gettysburg Address) vision, "government of the people, by the people, and for the people," never happened. Later, Lincoln blamed God (I think as in the divided people's pursuits) for the Civil War.

        The Preamble has an interesting 1787 prioritization according to my 2011 interpretations: interdependence, justice, peace, defense, prosperity, liberty, and posterity. Liberty comes sixth among seven goals.

        It is not yet too late for the American voters to reform.
        • Dec 7 2011: Right again, several times I've tied and fail to get petitions signed so that petition places would be in the places the government supports now anyway. So that it would be easier to change any thing, and many things over time that outrage us that our government does. Since we the people can change laws with a majority of voters signature on a petition.

          But they are trying to stop that right to petition for change all together from what I understand. I've tried of course to get petition sights private but had problems there too (it was first) I'm no longer trying to do that.

          I recently, with the "big government" failing, am looking for ways to give out smaller government (state, county and city, more power and the federal less.)

          One idea was to have money collected not go "up" the ladder to the federal ladder (each "rung costs to run it" where once at the "top" it then makes its way back down once again costing money along the way. Instead a bank account for separate things where on the county level only for example 15% would go higher the rest remain there for that county and the state wiould pas 15% of what it collects from all the counties to the federal instead of the feds telling the states how to spend that money.

          Also because of jobs set out of the country, we need to assemble products her in order to get we the people working again, but have the parts and pieces still made over sea's. And to create small assembly plants instead of one huge plant so that competition between plants at the consumer level would or at least could prompt a status to which assembly plant the product was from.

          Import tax (which would go to support the federal government)would be less on parts but so high on the "whole assembled product" that is shipped in so that they are the same market price. Besides an assembled product might more likely be used to ship in contraband.

          I would also roll back the salaries to 1990 for elected offices.
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        Dec 7 2011: Re your message ending "1990 for elected offices."

        I appreciate your immediate concerns: especially the constitutional right to petition; layered taxation and federal coercion of local governments; high salaries in government jobs; levies against products priced on oppression of foreign laborers. I do not understand socially, reverse-engineering the economies of scale.

        However, I am not as dedicated to administering governance but in managing governance. What I would like to work on during my remaining years is motivating citizens to 1) promote and celebrate individual focus on achieving psychological maturity during each of our perhaps 80 year lifespan, 2) holding elected representatives to psychological maturity, and 3) ensuring that US governance does not have two constitutions: the written one and the one existing and immediately past regimes have executed.

        Last, and perhaps foremost, I want to convince the majority that “God bless America,” is our ruin. As long as we attempt to coerce (through worship and praise) God to be responsible and accountable for the seven goals in the Preamble to the US Constitution, our decline will continue.

        The Preamble’s 1787 goals according to PRB's 2011 terms: interdependence, justice, peace, defense, prosperity, liberty, and posterity. There’s nothing about furthering the religion of God or Jesus.

        Consider the desperation of the moral right, exemplified by Cal Thomas’s recent declaration that (false) political expectations justify respect for moral depravity: http://newsok.com/cal-thomas-whats-wrong-with-adultery/article/3629790 . Thomas wants us to vote for a chronological man with the morals of a pre-adolescent.

        Psychological maturity (H. A. Overstreet, The Mature Mind) within the citizenry is what nations need.

        The Libertarian Party seems to have the platform I support, but more important to me is motivating the people to become We the People as defined in the Preamble.
        • Dec 7 2011: Having smaller governments but with more power (since going against the federal government is much harder to do than it is to change things in a local government, federal laws blanket for to much that should be left to localities, in my opinion.

          As far as religion I don't think they should be tax exempt to many while on there pulpits bring issues into their church like how to vote. If you ask me they should not "back" any person or any political idea, they are separate after all.

          As far as morality giving the counties more power might cause people with the same morality to move within an area with like minded laws what ever they are, which would over time would allow whole communities to speak with one much stronger voice on many topics. Right now these few are scattered when they are within an area of others like them, perhaps they can see what they now turn a blind eye to.

          Following what has been the way for many past generation when its clearly not working is beyond crazy but the "don't rock the boat" attitude is why I suggested a "test area" in my previous writing. I think to have change real change agreed upon we will end up having to first prove that it will work before it would replace whats failing now.
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        Dec 7 2011: Our local newspaper's headline this morning is "Parish Presidents Fued." http://theadvocate.com/ .

        My focus remains with the people. I consder them resonsible and accountable for not being We the People.
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    Dec 6 2011: "You can cancel an unkind thought in midstream and in an instant decide to be harmonious. You can stop yourself at the moment you're cursing somebody and elevate your thoughts to kindness."
  • Dec 6 2011: (Also a victim, Aon...) I too believe there are alternate paths evil will take, (but why not try)?

    - I think I would like to change the perception that "direct 'evil' is automatically any worse than just neglecting (one's child)." In my life, neglect has been worse.
    - I would do away with this fiat dollar & The Fed before they do away with us.
    - Get more wise-&-weathered, poor, old, women into government.
    - Abolish movies, television & roadside advertising (sorry!)
    - Reinstate the sacred clown [sic] into society.
    - Reinstate family clans (at least 30 to each house)(elderly, uncles, cousins, etc.).
    - Honor our inherent human sexuality.
    - No Genetically-Modified crops.

    Frans, "There is one good, knowledge... And, one evil, ignorance." Saying that, don't you fall into your first hole while digging your second??

    I agree with you, Allan, but for some reason I can't give you a + (Consider this 2 of them!)

    Good luck on the video.

    One last thing: I hate it, but this quote keeps creeping back into mind every once in a while, "Abandon all hopes of utopia - there are people involved." ~Clayton Cramer
    :-)
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      Dec 6 2011: Thanks for all your points Steve! Though I can't agree with abolishing movies [I hope to make some!] ;) I can agree with the others.

      Hahaha I know you aren't agreeing with the quotation, but I welcome a quotation like that actually. I've chosen Utopian as the name for everything I want to pursue, as much for the reason of the idea that utopia is unattainable as anything else. The greatest goals are always unattainable, but I think that only makes it more clear that they are worth pursuing. If everyone believes something is impossible, its definitely worth doing ;)

      There was an interesting comment on one of my other conversation threads (Which I link to in the question. The one about children and dreams) where a person basically talked about how attainable perfection is a series of choices and is thus not a state, but a process of continually striving towards making the 'right choices'. Thats the way I view the idea of Utopia, to me it isn't about hoping to one day say "There we go the world is now perfect", but rather a continual process wherein we can say "We have the will to make the world better and we're making progress all the time." Its about unlocking more of our capacity to do good. And I figure being as bold about that as possible can only help inspire :)

      Also, the choice of Utopian, over Utopia isn't accidental, its about the people :)
  • Dec 5 2011: Absolutely NONE. As a victim of both child molestation, and severe bulllying, I understand that I cannot erase the evils of my past without impacting the strong man I have become as a result. I lament the suffering of the multitudes of victims who have not overcome the evils that were forced on them (and there are many). But, I would not elect the alternate path of unknown evils that are inevitable if we remove one obstacle in favor of another.
  • Dec 3 2011: Good question ! Let's take step back and look.....What is considered as "wrong"? It is once perspective...it is relative...what is right for one may be wrong for another. Similarly what is wrong for a group may be right for-another. If you extend it further what is good for one nation may be wrong for another. I would consider this question differently...."what is causing something to be wrong?"

    I would say that our foundations are not strong and equal in all parts of the world. We are not living as ONE WORLD. People compartmentalize themselves in the name of nations, states, languages, religion,color, sexual orientation, money, wealth, what you do, etc...so on. This list is so unlimted. We humans like to live within our comfort zone of the compartment we creat for ourself. If we can break this compartment mentality we would see an tsunami of change. A change for the good.

    The first step to that is the foundation of education. Make it available to everyone,anytime,anywhere. Stop competition, no discrimination, and promote creativity.

    Secondly, build values. These are key foundation for future generations. Tell your children not to do something that they cannot share with their family over a dinner table and follow it yourself.

    Thirdly, respect others as a person. Not based on what they are instead who they as person.

    Everyone should Always ask oneself "what am i contributing to build this strong foundation?" instead of blaming others for not doing it.
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    Dec 3 2011: As harsh as it may seem, i feel that if we want to see what is wrong with the world then we must look in the mirror. The heart of an individual possess all of the good in the world as well as all of the evil. The pivotal decision then is to what extent do we use both?

    If I were to right any wrong in the world, I would do the right things throughout each day till the day I die.
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      Dec 3 2011: I don't think its harsh at at all Dylan. Empathy is the source of all humanity. Empathy flows from being able to see how anyone became who they became. To understand what lead to it. My discussion of right and wrong isn't about painting people as evil or wrong in some way. I believe that in most cases, it is the failings of the systems that surround us, it is a failing of design, whether conscious or unconscious. Thanks for your answer!
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      Dec 3 2011: I'm a big fan of Einstein's quotes as well to be honest! There was another quote by someone else along very similar lines, though I can't remember the quotation itself, it was about how most of the great evils of the world are the result not of evil but of thoughtlessness.

      I do deeply feel that the idea that, 'normal people' have no responsibility to profess and strive for good things in their life is incredibly shortsighted. And I think many people have forgotten that they can and they are responsible to make a positive impact in their life. And that it is possible for them specifically, and infinitely more beautiful to do so.
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    Dec 2 2011: Congratulations on the initiative! I'm happy you're doing what you're doing and I'd love to help. Change is coming and I can't wait to meet it!
    I'd provide proper education about nutrition for everybody. I'd also make nutritious food readily available for everybody.
    I'd get the most optimistic, enthusiast and dedicated people who believe in humans and their amazing potential to build a world of happiness, peace and well-being, and I'd put them in contact with those who lack such a spirit and make it possible for more and more people to actively move towards a better world. Joy should be spread. Passion should persist. Love should be embraced and cultivated.
    Nowadays, lots of information is available for many of us. I'd like it to be available for everybody. Along with education.
    In short, I'd like to see our beautiful world healthy, happy, awake and on a path to greater and greater achievements.
    Oh... I didn't mention which "wrongs" I would "right". lol. Misinformation mainly. Also lack of information. Also disease (so much of it is avoidable). Also pessimism, limited beliefs, lack of education..
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