Rick Ryan

Henderson, NV, United States

About Rick

Bio

Current status fully retired. 25+ years United States Air Force career in Information Systems Technology operating and supervising classified and unclassified communications networks worldwide including National Command Authority and Intelligence organization systems. Instructor positions teaching subjects including Military Doctrine, Human Relations, World Affairs, Supervision and Leadership. Self educated (non-formal) in Psychology, Economics, U.S. Constitutional Law, International Law, World Affairs, Game Theory, and a variety of other disciplines that interest me including scientific and religion doctrines. Currently a volunteer Instructor and mentor to local civilian and military organizations when I'm not playing "road nomad" on extended motorcycle trips enjoying my retirement.

Languages

English

Areas of Expertise

CCAF Degree - Instructional Systems Development, CCAF Degree - Information Systems Technology, Leadership training and lecturing, Human Relations Trainer, military affairs and doctrine

An idea worth spreading

Everybody is ignorant. We are all lacking knowledge, information, or awareness of topics we have not been educated in or have personal experience. But the word "ignorant" can be a "trigger word" that upsets some people. It is not a derogatory word. It simply describes a person's level of expertise in any given subject or endeavor. Education, however it is achieved, can eliminate ignorance. The simple exchange of ideas with other people can expand a person's horizons and eliminate ignorance if they are willing to put forth the effort.

I'm passionate about

Education...a firm believer that ignorance is more damaging than lack of intelligence, understanding that "ignorance" is defined as, "Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something."

Talk to me about

Anything. If I am ignorant about it I will be willing to learn from you. If I can help you become knowledgable, informed, or more aware of a topic I have expertise in, I will gladly do so.

People don't know I'm good at

Playing live poker. At least the ones who haven't played against me yet.

My TED story

Just a retired guy who enjoys intellectual, thought-provoking, and stimulating discussions on just about any topic. So I joined TED to do that.

Comments & conversations

168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Why do we NOT invest effectively in the poor and marginalized so they can participate in the global economy?
Just an observation, but to me it seems like you are more concerned with where the money comes from for the improvement rather than the money itself. Bill Gates set up a foundation and contributed $30+ Billion of his own wealth to it to try and accomplish many of the things you say need to be done to achieve the same results you are aiming for. Would the $30+ Billion he donated to the foundation have been more effective if he paid it in income taxes to the government first, then they used it? Would it even have been used by the government in the same way? And $30+ Billion for Gates was over 50% of his total individual wealth. Would you expect every average middle class worker to donate over 50% of their individual wealth to help solve the problem(s)? People who end up establishing those foundations or funds became able to do so BECAUSE they used (your quote from above), "an investment opportunity for massive returns." That's how they got "rich" and had the opportunity to establish the foundations/funds in the first place. I'm confused by the sentence in your topic narrative that states, "The rich think they're rich now, just imagine the wealth created by having 3 billion more people buying their stuff?" Well, if that happens, aren't the rich just going to keep getting richer? Seems OK to me if they do as long as they keep establishing those foundations and funds to try to help the not-so-rich...err, I mean the poor. You also stated you view current efforts as a "repair" attempt, because the "system" is unbalanced. The system is always going to be unbalanced with 7 billion people on the planet. If you started off right now with everybody having an equal amount of everything, it would become unbalanced as soon as anyone traded something to somebody else, whether it be actual goods or money for goods or services. In a very short time you would be able to start categorizing people into different "wealth groups" again.
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
David Pizarro: The strange politics of disgust
Edward, I see what you are trying to say with your syllogism. But it seems to conclude (maybe I am just interpreting it incorrecly?) that if Person A is rarely disgusted, then Person A has few morals and few intellectual capabilities (they can't be "smart"). I hope that isn't what you are saying. Just because someone may not get as disgusted about as many things as others doesn't mean they may not have morals or be "smart". What if the syllogism included a couple other words in it? "Disgust is a manifestation of emotion caused by violation of one's RATIONAL and/or IRRATIONAL intellectual and moral convictions. Person A is very rarely disgusted. Person A MAY HAVE fewer IRRATIONAL moral and intellectual convictions than they have RATIONAL moral and intellectual convictions." I don't think just because someone doesn't get as disgusted at as many things as someone else does, that it indicates they are morally or intellectually deficient in the sense that they don't have convictions (or fewer convictions). What would be the sense in having any conviction based on an irrational pretext?
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Where do we stand on on WikiLeaks?
And you seem to be avoiding my questions I asked which are directly related to the topic of this conversation as presented by the originator of the topic. Your stance is that people can have secrets, but governments can't. My stance (along with many recognized scholars...go read the Stanford Law Review article again) is that governments ARE the people who make up the government entity itself. So I guess you are correct. There is no further need for you and I to discuss it.
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Where do we stand on on WikiLeaks?
OK, let me pose a question to you, because I am curious how you would answer it. The debate about something like Wikileaks is that if it is allowed...if there are "no secrets"...then there would be no corruption. That is the premise of the people who want something like Wikileaks to be allowed. I submit it is an invalid conclusion that corruption would be eliminated by Wikileaks posting all secrets, "just because" it created a "totally transparant" society or government. Why? Society...the people...can't even come to a consensus on what constitutes corruption already. As I said before, some people think all politicians are corrupt, or all people of wealth are corrupt. They think those of different faiths, or no faith at all, are corrupt. They aren't going to change their minds about corruption taking place just because they have unlimited information...no secrets. Corruption is determined one of two ways. It is either legally defined or morally defined, and sometimes both. With 350 million people in one country, or 7 billion people on the planet, who already have vast differences of opininions about what should be legal or moral, even with no secrets there will STILL be the arguments about whether corruption is taking place or not. So, why do you support any entity that would be allowed to publish ANYBODY'S secrets on the premise that it will stop corruption from taking place? Heck, it wouldn't even stop the DEBATE about whether corruption was taking place. The false premise in the reasoning of organizations (or individuals) who promote something like Wikileaks is that EVERYBODY needs to be involved...7 Billion people...in order to determine if corruption is happening. Heck, the more people you add to the decision-making process, the more likely you WON'T get a consensus on whether something is corrupt or not. How many people would it take monitoring something to satisfy you that corruption wasn't happening? What qualities should they posess?
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Where do we stand on on WikiLeaks?
Yes, there has to be oversight. And I'm all for that happening. But the question is who should be doing that oversight, and to what extent when it comes to secrets. Let me be clear again...I do not support corruption in any form. But not everybody can even agree on what corruption is. Some people think that just because an individual is "rich", that makes them a corrupt person. Or if someone is simply "a politician", then they must be corrupt. Not very valid assumptions, much less facts. Both conclusions reek of stereotyping, prejudice, and result in a willingness of some to conduct discrimination (your reference to "witch hunts"). There is oversight in government secrets now. It exists in the system. Is it perfect? Of course not...it is done by "people" who by definition are not perfect to begin with. But it is not imperfect either...not everyone doing the oversight is corrupt and untrustworthy. The concept of "total transparancy" by granting an organization like Wikileaks "free reign" to publish whatever secrets it wants to with no possibility of repercussion is very dangerous. Wikileaks seems to think it has a right to know and publish everything about everything. Heck, that right doesn't even exist for "government employees" (people) depending on the "secret". Do a GOOGLE search using the term "Special Compartmented Information" as it applies to "people" working for "the government". They don't have "total trasparancy" rights either. Lindsay Bowker made a great post which is currently at the top of this conversation as I type this. She said, "There being insufficient transparency and accountability I am ill at ease at the aggressive suppression of wikileaks and its creator." I would agree with her that "insufficient transparancy" can be as dangerous as "no transparancy". But somebody decide what "insufficient" means to begin with. Insisting on "total" transparancy is not the viable solution to "insufficient" transparancy.
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Where do we stand on on WikiLeaks?
Krisztian, I'm just totally confused by yor response. On one hand you say, "...my point, from the beginning, is that just because we want to respect humans rights to secrets, a similar right for governments don't follow." But then you follow up by saying, "a complete misunderstanding of how the system works. governments can not have morals, as they are not people. only people can have morals." Followed by, "first things first. admit that humans' rights and governments' rights to privacy are totally unrelated issues." So, evaluting your total post, I have to conclude that: 1. When I worked for the government and was responsible to keep secrets, I was a "people" who had the moral right to keep those secrets. 2. But because I worked for the government who did NOT have a moral right to keep secrets, I should just disregard and throw out the window any belief I had that it would be morally wrong to disclose those secrets, at whatever cost to the citizens of the country I was obligated to defend and protect. Hmmm. That's puts me as a "people" in one heck of a moral dilemma. I'm not "moving goalposts" at all. I'm addressing a valid issue faced by many of the "people" who decide to serve their country by becoming part of "the government". When anybody releases "secrets", regardless of whether it is an individual or an organization like Wikileaks, who's secrets have they released? A governments? Or the secrets guarded by the "people" who make up that government?
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Should private citizens be allowed to set up public servers that allow anyone to securely hide any information from every government?
Technically, Barry is correct in his statement, John. Our Constitution was formulated to prevent the government from having undue control over it's citizens. It was a totally new concept compared to what the "revolutionists" left England for in the first place. What appears to have happened though in the course of our history is that the citizens have lost sight that it needs to be a two-way street if it is going to work. Many of our own citizens think many of their freedoms are unlimited (or should be). The Constitution never granted unlimited freedom to anybody. Doesn't matter if the restriction of somebody's freedoms comes from the government or an attempt by another citizen to do it. Unless you want each citizen to be "The Enforcer" for every other citizen, you need government support and their ability to prevent the citizen-to-citizen restrictions to freedoms from happening. And the ability to make sure no "outside the country" entity can destroy the country (which would include the citizens of that country) too. Simply stated...somebody has to be "in charge" of any organization tasked with preserving the country in the first place in the areas of security, defense, freedom, etc. The citizens should try to make sure the government isn't the one restricting the freedoms of course. But they can't expect the government to do that across the board if they also insist on tying the hands of the government so much that it can't be done. As long as the citizens think the ONLY part of the organization that has corrupt people in it is the government, there is a real problem. The citizens themselves are part of the organization, and there are corrupt ones in its own "group" too. For a variety of different reasons...not just "business". I don't believe in giving ANYBODY a "blank check" to do as they please. Government NOR the citizens. Or in the case of the topic question...The Public.
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Is love a rational process?
Noemi, I posted the below a while back in a similar topic, so it's a repeat here. But in case you didn't see the other topic and my post there, here's one way of deciphering "love". http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-without-limits/201111/what-is-love Quoted from the above linked article: "Love speaks out for justice and protests when harm is being done. Love points out the consequences of hurting oneself or others. Love allows room for anger, grief, or pain to be expressed and released. But love does not threaten to withhold itself if it doesn't get what it wants." To me, love can be both rational and irrational. Depends on the circumstances, even when considering the love you may have for the same person. It will be rational at times, and emotional (irrational?) at others. That's what makes it interesting and challenging, too. And hopefully, a rewarding experience for those involved. But the thing I like about the description of love quoted above is that it seems very applicable to all different types of love. It will work for "I love my fiance' and that is why we are getting married" just as easily as it will work for "I love my fellow Man, and that is why I will try to treat him with dignity and respect at all times".
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Is love a rational process?
Intersting analogies, David, and many may be accurate. I'll take exception to one of them though. You said... "Choosing the security of one long term sexual partner, over the excitement and drama of multiple." Love and lust are two different things. Nobody should be getting married for the sex. That's not love.
168342
Rick Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Where do we stand on on WikiLeaks?
"The real enemy of the USA seems to be primarily the people of the USA." There's a lot of truth to that Mitch, depending on how it is interpreted. And just to be sure, you and I are fine as far as I'm concerned too. One of the great things about the U.S. is that it allows debate, regardless of how controversial it may become. I base my beliefs on my life experiences, which as you mentioned concerning this topic are primarily "military oriented". So if I use an aircraft as an example as why we need to have some secrets, it's based on my experiences of why it is needed that way. My main "debate" in this whole topic is the OP's question about "leaks". Doesn't matter to me if it is Wikileaks or an individual citizen doing it. Or a "whistleblower". A leak is a leak. The OP asked questions, and I tried to answer them from my experience and perspective. And my main point has been that a totally transparant, secret-free society is not a viable nor rational expectation to solve perceived problems. My experience indicates it causes more problems not only for a government, but also for the citizens of that country. Obviously, there are people in the world who don't agree with that for whatever reasons they may believe. That's not unexpected by me with a country of 350 million people and a world with 7 billion people, all of whom can have different opinions. I'm fine with your position. I spent 25+ years of my life defending your right to state it.