Jorgen Klaveness

No City, Norway

About Jorgen

Languages

English, German, Norwegian

Areas of Expertise

Lawyer, CEO of own import business

I'm passionate about

The borderland around human rationality. Autism treatment. Environmental toxins.

Comments & conversations

132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
What's one lesson you find super compelling?
Likewise! I'm concerned because the usual pattern in human interaction seems to be that the greater the need becomes for peaceful cooperation, the more that cooperation breaks down. Biologists have shown that inside a closed group, selfish individuals tend to outcompete cooperative individuals, and that in competition between groups, coooperative groups tend to outcompete groups dominated by selfishness. Afghanistan, Somalia and Haiti seem to be examples of how this translates to human societies when they come up against severe environmental constraints. These societies are dominated by intra-group rather than intergroup competition, which sort of explains why internal cohesion break down and the whole area descends into chaos. If the world is getting hotter (never mind the cause), we're going to have a LOT more people living in such environments 10 years from now, which will mean more strife, more hunger and more illegal immigrants. As for the US, I'm seeing development there from the outside, and my analysis could be quite similar to yours: Right now, the place is on the path towards a revolution. I hope it's going to be a peaceful one, and that the people it brings into power will be unlike Stalin or Robspierre. More likely, I believe that your amazing society will manage to absorb the strain in time and turn it into constructive change, rather than destructive explosion. But you HAVE to find a way to limit inherited privilege. :-J
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
What's one lesson you find super compelling?
Agreed ... but the revolution needs to take into accounts the constraints of the human mind. There are reasons why things are the way they are, and some of them are not about the pressure of historical events. They are about how we make sense of the world around us, and how we constantly keep messing it up. The evolution of human societies are a little like the development of weather systems. Once an idea takes hold, it can turn into a veritable storm. Human beings will belive in the most preposterous things, if enough people around them are (pretending to?) believe the same. This type of factor will limit our ability to "construct" ideal societies, and are one reason why revolutions go astray, why they bring the "wrong" kind of people into power, and why they tend to derail and have unintended consequences.
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
What's one lesson you find super compelling?
Interesting ideas you have there, but I think you would do better by skipping the whole "logic" idea. The behaviour your're writing about isn't logical because it isn't under rational control. It only becomes "logical" if you view it in a very long perspective, as results of evolutionary compromises to make the most out of our limited neural circuitry.
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
What's one lesson you find super compelling?
I love your idea about the "advantage" subject. History is ripe with lessons - what happens when advantages are allowed to accumulate. When done right, such a talk could even help explain why our bodies have been programmed to self-destruct ... in order that we don't outcompete our offspring, and to give them a chance to do better than we did.
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
What's one lesson you find super compelling?
I have four subjects that come immediately to mind. They are all worthy of those 5 minutes of people’s attention. * They all have the power to fire up the listeners’ minds and imagination. * The stories are both simple and compelling. * The insight they bring could lead to important changes in people’s lives. 1) The dangers of sitting (the need for movement as different from exercise), 2) The dangers of sugar (others have already covered this beautifully on TED, but it needs to be repeated over and over again) 3) The need to embrace our reliance on the irrational parts of our mind, and the implications that this has for education, politics, religion and conflict solving … and almost everything else. 4) The need for risk management around certain environmental toxins, the concept of synergistic toxicity, and the chilling possibility that these observations could explain the precipitous decline of male participation in tertiary education.
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
In addition to increasing income, what else should poverty eradication include?
I think motivation is a huge issue. Much of this debate is based on the idea that all human beings have a limitless drive to become richer and richer. I think this idea is flawed: A lot of people seem to start slacking off when the basics are covered, and the way forward (towards greater riches) seems difficult. If Americans didn't have mortgages, I guess that a lot of them would work considerably less hard. At least, that's how I seem to function. I work hard only when work is fun, or when I'm sufficiently scared about the future. I'm not sure that anyone "needs" to be poor. But if everybody had enough money for a while, not everybody would care to keep working hard in order to get more of it. Soon enough, we'd be back again where we are now - or almost there. Some of the would-otherwise-have-been losers would have invested their money in things tools and education, and made their way out of poverty. Others would have done the opposite, taken time off work, lost their skills, and started drinking, which would have made them worse off than before.
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
Is is ethical to try to lengthen the human lifespan?
That was strange. I guess the system clipped my message at the point where I put in the END-QUOTE. The poisoning theory is more a concern than a full-blown belief, i.e. a question about what risks we can allow ourselves to take while we develop our understanding of the problem. I've lived with this problem in my family for 25 years, have read everything I've come across about the causes and gone to countless conferences, and believe we hae ample reason for concern. Very simply put, lead is over 50 times more poisonous in the presence of mercury and vice versa, and the toxicity of both increases in the presence of testosterone. If you want to read more, start with the work done by professor Boyd Haley. There's already some evidence. The lab results are clear, but we don't have enough of them yet. Amalgam fillings, for example, don't seem to give off enough mercury to harm most people, but we know that it's concentrated across the placenta, and the rise in autism happened to the first generation to be born after such fillings became widespread. The epidemiological evidence is ambiguous. The rise in violent crime, for example, mirrors our exposure to tetraethyllead with a 22-year time lag, but both of them also mirror other factors as well. It's a mess - but one we I think we can't afford to ignore. In haste, :-J Jørgen
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
Is is ethical to try to lengthen the human lifespan?
Kristian and Emma, Thank you for responding to my outburst about autism prevention, as an alternative way to keep health care costs down. I'm sorry to sidetrack the main conversastion, so I'll try to be very brief when I answer Kristian's question: >> "The most likely cause is cumulative low-grade poisoning, with things like mercury, lead, copper and aluminium" according to who?
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
Is is ethical to try to lengthen the human lifespan?
Zdenek, you wrote that "I think the real problem with the good use of resources are not necessarily individuals but rather governments that spend trillions of dollars on wars, false security measures and laws that aid big corporations rather than the public". You are right, of course - except that it's not the one or the other. Governments make their own mistakes, particularly when they don't have democratic feedback. When they do get that feedback, however, you very often see politicians get into power on the strength of their short-term promises. That is one of the main reasons why countries run up debt. The biggest US problem right now is not the wars, or the debt as such, but the way the debt is increasing mainly because health care spending is out of control. Health care is nice. Everyone loves it, and wants to spare no expense when they feel they "need" it (or their loved ones). The problem is that all those costs add up. To say it (over)simply: We are bankrupting our kids and grandkids, in order to keep ourselves and our parents alive. And in order to save money, we're not even giving our kids the kinds of education that might have enabled them to pay the debt off. Atul Gawande wrote a brilliant article about the mechanics and psychology of health care spending a couple of years back, called "The Cost Conundrum". It depicts a medical system that has gone half the way towards where Law is now (I'm a lawyer). The only way out of this mess is to spend more sparingly and wisely. Europe manages to run health care systems that are much cheaper, and not that much worse. We also need to start reconciling ourselves with death.
132480
Jorgen Klaveness
Posted over 3 years ago
Is is ethical to try to lengthen the human lifespan?
I think our Western Societies are spending too much on keeping old people alive. However, since our societies are built on a premise that people should have as much freedom as possible to allocate their resources wherever they want to, it's hard to do anything politically to scale back this effort. It may be "low utility" from the government's point of view, but it can have very high utility from the point of view of the individual elderly person or his/her family. That brings us straight back to the core of the matter: The way that private ownership of resources leads to outcomes that may be good for the individual, but less good for the group. How free should we be to spend our money on beef, which causes more grain to be fed to cows, which causes grain prices to go up, which causes people to starve to death? I'm all for political action, but see other problems as more pressing than to limit the number of octogenarians. Autism has increased by a factor of 20 over the last 25 years. Autism hits boys 4 times more often than girls, which means that whatever is causing autism to go up, is probably acting synergistically with testosterone. I'm afraid that it's not a coincidence that the ratio of boys to girls in our colleges has gone down to 40/60 over the same time span. The most likely cause is cumulative low-grade poisoning, with things like mercury, lead, copper and aluminium, that are relatively harmless in very small doses when acting alone, but which are dramatically more poisonous when allowed to act together. Testosterone is known to increase the toxicity. Estrogen protects. This ongoing problem is something we very definitely can't afford as a society, and yet NOBODY is doing a thing about it.