Alec Chapa

San Antonio, TX, United States

About Alec

Bio

My name is Alec Chapa. I'm a Senior in high school and spend my days thinking, writing, reading and generally learning. I'm a conceptual thinker and love to spread my ideas as well as hear other people ideas. I believe we can learn from each others differences, successes and failures as well as everyone else can learn from mine. I discovered TED through a book by the name of DRIVE by Daniel Pink. I joined because this is the type of place I want to be involved in and I look forward to learning and opening my mind with time spent on the site.

Languages

English, Sign language

Areas of Expertise

thinking, Open Mindedness, Conceptual thinking

An idea worth spreading

Perspective is an evolutionary adaptation allowing us to see the world not the way it is but rather the way it is useful specifically to us as individuals, thus our different perspectives. I believe these differences provide insight but only in one direction-we can help each other to light the world but first we must get past our differences. A phone, as I see it, is a manifestation of a persons, or groups, perspective. Yet in manifesting it, we don't all need to be this person or group to enjoy a product of his/her/their perspectives. We can help each other by virtue of our differences.... to keep it simple.

I'm passionate about

Reaching my highest potential which includes helping others to do the same.

Talk to me about

Your ideas. My ideas. Philosophy. Mathematics. Psychology. Sociology. Wisdom. Physics. Taoism (Daoism). Political philosophy. Anything!

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
Should medical ethics be taught in medical school?
"You don't have to find an average between short and tall (because you can't)" I agree that one cannot and this is my point. In order to put the absolute into the words as it *really* is, we would have to synthesize (and bear with me, as it's the best word i can think to use) all of the perspectives on it, as in this case, they are examples or manifestations of the concept, just as Socrates would combine examples (which is similar to the word perspective- an example is in a way a perspective of the concept) to find the concept of just.
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
Should medical ethics be taught in medical school?
"Forms don't have to manifest in a single being to validate their existence. In fact, you'd never find that, because they ARE abstractions." Yes, exactly. What I'm trying to say is that precisely because instances of these concepts are abstractions, "imperfect" and individuated models of the concept, we cannot and will not arrive at the moral axioms we speak of. "In other words, what is justice in the abstract sense?" yes, this is the idea/concept/form i speak of, which produces the examples. "Don't ideas exist? Ideas are, at the very least, brain energy and energy certainly exists." It's a tricky thing to say and im not quite sure i can put it into words, but I'll try. When you speak of the concept/idea/form that makes the examples just, can it be, itself, made into an example? Of course not! It is just an idea. And of course it is real, as it may not be tangible or visible but it definitely effects the world, which is in some way real, at least. My point is, when I say "absolute" I associate it with form/idea/concept and since the idea itself can never be modeled perfectly, so, too, can an absolute be modeled perfectly by language. Not to say that language is insufficient, but just that regardless of the means, any way of manifestation will only be an example of the idea, not the idea/form/concept or absolute we seek. I think that humans can only be inspired by this absolute, to put it poetically, and then put it into their own words, but never be able to put the absolute, without bias or perspective, into words, as everyone will describe it differently.
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
Should medical ethics be taught in medical school?
Speaking of Plato, you bring up my next point. It seems it doesn't matter, really, if there are moral absolutes or not, because they ( seem to be) unreachable. Much like the form of a human being can never be manifested into any one human being-there is mo synthesis for tall and short, black and white, black hair, blonde hair.. etc. All of which would have to coexist in a single human at the same time for it to truly represent all instances. In other words, a concept is a concept for a reason. It seems the idea of moral axioms, from this standpoint, is merely an idea. Whilst I'm not putting it down, I do think that it's more a "form" as Plato would call it that has many manifestations which we bring to the world, just as the form of a human being has many manifestations, some of which include you and I. On a side note- a part of me thinks that all axioms are simply supposed. Base 8 or 5, or 20, is just as good a base as 10, but we almost absolutely use base 10 today. Why? Just because that's what we've decided.
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
Is this Idea too Idealistic?
Nice try. Your have an excellent point and expressed it well. I suppose if were to agree it would be under the terms that it is and always will be voluntary- I may quit should I desire, which would be the exception to your rule.
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
Should medical ethics be taught in medical school?
I believe there is a solution. I think that people are all on different planes of thought, though we may be perceiving the same thing (glass half empty or half full.). I compare this to different denominators but the same idea. So, let's say I'm 1/2 and you are 2/4 . We have a different way to explain the same thing. The easily solution is to find a common denominator and work from there, thus allowing solutions to be in both yours and my terms. The same principle i illustrated here is apparent in Hegels philosophy: the synthesis is finding the common denominator of the thesis (your viewpoint) and the antithesis (my viewpoint). Yes, I think debates would work, as it is basically allowing a synthesis between the students, but then what happens when two people did not attend the same class or school? I think this is when ethics of a time period (bigger scale, no longer just in terms of an individual) comes into play. If we can get on common terms as a generation, we may teach ethics in that generation. Though, this would be very difficult...
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
Should medical ethics be taught in medical school?
I'm not sure if this is relevant to what is being asked, but I find myself questioning whether ethics can or should be taught anyways. It seems to me ethical values and such vary place to place, time to time and so the only way ethics really exist, much like norms, is by us acting as if they do and creating/empowering them. What if we were to get everyone on the same page and a problem in our way of thinking manifests itself? There will be no one to offer a different solution...
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
Is this Idea too Idealistic?
A part of me agrees with you, Chris, but then a part disagrees. the idea of human nature, as it seems to me, seems to be quite ambiguous. As a product of evolution, we come equipped with the same ability and urge to adapt to different situations. From the Genes that help define our nature, to the circumstances around us (whether created by us or not), all of this is an extension of adapting to our circumstances. People *act different and reflect their surroundings as they change. My point is that human nature is not so easily defined by us humans and also shaped by us, yes, but largely out of our control. A great example is Dow himself: he wants to implement a plan of action, but he is dictated by the world around him- it will have a chance if, and only if, those around him allow it. One other point is personal liberty. As much as i love the idea, at times i think it's an ideal stopping certain means of progress. Take a group of individuals, for example. They share information with each other as it is how they function. When there is miscommunication or secrecy, the whole group suffers. Like TED: we all have our individual accounts and secrecy in our passwords, but there IS interconnectedness such as "forgot your password" in which case you can be helped... so in a sense the secrecy is only partly alive, not fully. If we keep personal liberty as an ideal, it could keep up from finding a possible solution. I'm not fully convinced this is the case, but it's possible. I just think: if we keep trying to solve problems like these and run into the axiom of, say, personal liberty needing to be respected then we may need to reconsider our axiom, at least for the sake of reconsidering it. As in math, we go back and check what we "know" by initial work (axioms) to make sure answers that follow are correct.
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
Is this Idea too Idealistic?
yes, and what we deem to be too idealistic, feasible or whatever is also determined by standards today. 100 or 1000 years ago standards varied greatly. In other countries today standards vary greatly. We do have power, as much power as we allow ourselves it seems.
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
To what extent has everything become a popularity contest in the world?
I've been thinking a lot about this and wrote an essay on Tim O' Briens' book The Things They Carried. In the book he claims that A: the truths are contradictory and B: a true war story can never birth a moral axiom. I illustrated the essay with perspective: the glass is neither half empty nor half full, yet both at the same time. The truths are contradictory depending on your perspective. This even goes back to Hegel- the truth is a synthesis of the thesis and antithesis (the to opposing perspectives), The point I like best, though, was that a Vietnam soldier, for example, could burn down a village and feel terrible about this-he knows no truth beyond his anecdotal experience! A politician may see that act as completely necessary, saying "we are stopping communism, so it is justified." But really, how can we be sure it is either? This two opposing truths cannot coexist.. can they? Another example would be how a veteran may say "you don't know war until you've fought" and I feel they have a good idea, but aren't completely correct. I think it is more like: we, non-soldiers, don't know war from the perspective of a soldier, until we've fought, but we still know it as statistics and so forth. Yes, there is a difference here, but only in genuine but limited experience, and wide-ranged but dry knowledge and stats. The perspective of war we take on depends. Even the synthesis is a position, really. The reason why so many people believe the same thing, or think the same thing about subjects so popular like wars is because of the Media. There are only so many news channels reporting it how they wish and that is all the truth we, non-soldiers, receive. What can we know or think? TV can illustrate the war as intended in 30 minutes all across America. There is no default perspective (the war really IS this way, any other way is not the true way to see it) but we flock to common positions because we have common sources of information.
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Alec Chapa
Posted about 2 years ago
To what extent has everything become a popularity contest in the world?
Maybe it's not so much that subjects are just cases of popularity, and that popularity is what all things revolve around, but more so that popularity is a simple factor just like anything else. Popularity is like an extension of communication itself. First comes communication and then comes the degree of communication-how popular is it? the things people talk about have, of course, steered the world to a degree as we have moved to and from philosophies like Romanticism and even styles of thinking like Science. Popularity is powerful, but not the center of attention. It's like the saying "only as strong as the weakest link". If there were no subject to be spoken of, it wouldn't matter how much we wanted to talk about it, it wouldn't happen!