Lucas Burns

Harleysville, PA, United States

About Lucas

An idea worth spreading

Understanding is powerful.

I'm passionate about

Open source. Social change. Understanding. Guitar and music.

Talk to me about

Please don't hesitate to message me about: changing the world, something revolutionary, technology and its potential impact on society, evolutionary science, politics, religion, ideas.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Lucas Burns
Posted almost 2 years ago
Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, the world isn't flat
I'm wondering why 90-95% is the percentage that implies a flat world. In his Facebook example, the percentage he gave represents the average percentage of friends people have across borders. Wouldn't 40-50% suggest a flat world, where one's local relationships are about equal in number to cross-border relationships? His telephone example represents the average percentage of calls the are cross-border. Shouldn't this imply 40-50% means a flat world where local relationships receive about equal attention to cross-border relationships? Also, I'd expect a local bias, because distance implies relevance. Even in a flat world, someone on the opposite edge of the plain can be so distant that they are irrelevant. Otherwise, I like the direction he is taking. Anybody have any thoughts?
161034
Lucas Burns
Posted almost 3 years ago
If everyone in the world did one altruistic thing or helped one person everyday, that would be over 7 billion good acts done in a day.
How about a day every few months dedicated to altruism to "shape" the year with some altruism? Form a group of people who dedicate themselves to this, hold events, write about altruism and "selfish-altruism", have every member tweet the one altruistic thing they did each altruism day, and spread the word. Spread it virally and we may be one step closer to a more altruistic world. :)
161034
Lucas Burns
Posted almost 3 years ago
How to make apps.
Here's a tutorial on how to make an app: http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2009/08/11/how-to-create-your-first-iphone-application/ Here's a site that allows you to build iPhone Apps without coding knowledge: http://www.buzztouch.com/ If you search google you'll find many, many more. Good luck!
161034
Lucas Burns
Posted almost 3 years ago
How can a common man participate in "revolutionizing" education?
Get involved with students locally. Create opportunities for students. There is an architect in my area that has gotten involved with our school club SAVE (Students Against Violating the Earth) and created opportunities for students to really get excited about impacting the world. They've built a passive cooling system out of cheap and accessible materials for third world countries. Previous students involved with the project have helped design and install the same system at a local bank and this year's have the opportunity to help build another system for a local fire station. Basically, get involved. That is organic education. Share lectures from iTunes U: - MIT: http://web.mit.edu/itunesu/ - Stanford: http://itunes.stanford.edu/ - Berkeley: http://itunes.berkeley.edu/ Form local meetups with other "common" men and women to discuss what can be changed in your school district for your children and the children in your area. Attend your local board meetings. Then share everything you've done and inspire people to do the same.
161034
Lucas Burns
Posted almost 3 years ago
"Franchise" cooperatives
While I agree that creating more organizations is overwhelming, the problem with that is just that many organizations pursuing the same cause don't work together. This should not become a call to inaction to "stop creating new organizations," as Brian Reich says. More than anything, this should become inspiration for cooperation between organizations to pursue common causes collaboratively. At the core this cooperative model supports the idea we need to stop creating more and more disparate organizations. We should not wait for big names to bring us to action. We must create our impact together, as well as reach out to big names.
161034
Lucas Burns
Posted almost 3 years ago
What is the best way to get our kids thinking green?
Be green. As parents and adults, it's your responsibility to behave as you'd hope your children would. We kids act like our parents and the people around us. Be green, and we will make our future green. Give us the opportunity to be green. Make a garden and buy local foods, then teach us about how much energy is wasted in transporting foods. Invite us to help you install a solar panel or a wind turbine.
161034
Lucas Burns
Posted almost 3 years ago
I have an ethical question. Is it wrong to use placebos?
The power of a placebo isn't necessarily in its deception. Placebos work because of belief. Belief in the placebo effect has been shown to still be effective. I'm not sure if it is as effective, as it is dependent on the strength of belief in the subject. However, it may be beneficial to know. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015591 http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128271.600-heal-thyself-the-power-of-mind-over-body.html The fact that you're questioning this suggests that you genuinely care. I see a few options for you: (1) Be non-transparent; hide the placebo in a contract. (2) Be semi-transparent; reveal the possible use of a placebo. (3) Be entirely transparent; reveal the use and the value of placebos. Success would be much more dependent on an individual's situation and how compelling you are.
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Lucas Burns
Posted almost 3 years ago
What role does satire play in today's society?
I think several prime examples of satire today are Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and The Onion New Network, which have profound political effects; I went to the Rally to Restore Sanity, hosted by Jon and Colbert. There were thousands and thousands of people from all over the country gathered on the mall. Literature such as Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonegut and Hitchhikers Guide are often read in school or for pleasure by kids. I know I was affected by both. I've found satire has a significant, yet under-appreciated role in shaping our society. It is a powerful means of persuasion. I find it often leads to a more sophisticated approach to understanding the world.