Gavin Smith

Fayetteville, AR, United States

About Gavin

Bio

Based in the Ozark Mountains. It has been a long road.

Areas of Expertise

carpentry, Botany, reading

An idea worth spreading

thinking big

I'm passionate about

My baby.

Talk to me about

anything except academic type philosophy

My TED story

I was having dinner with my brother and some of his friends. We started talking about the future and very quickly realized we had a lot to talk about. They told me about TED. I have watched several of the videos and am rarely disappointed. Several of the videos are the primary source for so many little trivia tidbits I have picked up from conversation and the radio. It is like reading the original after squinting at a tenth generation facsimile.

Comments & conversations

25093
Gavin Smith
Posted about 4 years ago
Where do you think consciousness comes from?
I am interested in this thread and would ask all those who say that consciousness is an emergent quality coming about through our complexity if they think that emergent consciousness should be found in all extremely complex connected systems. I would also ask any of the experts, in whatever fields, that might be here on the forum: what systems they know of that have a complexity of connections equal to the human brain? If conscience is an emergent quality of complex systems how would we detect it? Without asking could we observe one another and determine that we have consciousness?
25093
Gavin Smith
Posted over 4 years ago
Should anyone be able to upload their TEDTalk to TED.com?
I would say no. there are plenty of other avenues to be heard on. We are talking about superlative thinkers. They are nominated in a fair way and have to earn their chops. If that is not true of the TED selection process than by all means tear down the wall and lets have a system where the best of the best are found. I think the system is working though. If you have something amazing to say you might not be invited to TED, but if your organization finds them I believe you make their attendance possible, correct? In example scholarships for the poorer attendees? If that is true than it is a level playing field and an open system, and a good design. Maybe an external system for parsing out videos could be constructed within another site. How about a TED conversation to nominate unheard of geniuses and link to their videos on other sites.
25093
Gavin Smith
Posted over 4 years ago
Why do so many think that population growth is an important issue for the environment? Don't they know the facts of demographics?
I have five siblings. I have a child and another brother has two children. My four other siblings are all leaning toward not having children (all are now above thirty). Someone pointed out that the replacement rate would be 2.1 children per couple. In my family we have counting partners Nine adults and three children. So the "breeding" adults would actually need to have to have about 4.5 children just to break even per a couple. I realize this is probably below the global average. Does any one know any numbers by country about replacement rates. I am guessing that countries like the US and germany which I have heard have negative population growth before immigration have a much higher replacement rate per child bearing parents. I just point this out because I have heard several people in my life say either that they didn't have children because of over population or disparage others for having multiple children. One women I know had four children between the late sixties and early eighties. She was told that she was being selfish at one point. She laughed it off. If the replacement rate is this high here and now, and after 2050 the global situation is similar the question is what is the right population for the earth, or more correctly what is the right definition for good population size. No one can stop seven billion from happening. But after the global max at what point in the decrease will people panic and start talking about incentivizing childbirth. Will a world that has only known seven billion feel that 'only' six or four is a crisis. Never too early to hope that is their worry.
25093
Gavin Smith
Posted almost 5 years ago
Nicholas Christakis: How social networks predict epidemics
I can't help but assume that there is no chance anyone will be willing to just agree that this is interesting and then not develope these techniques further. I can see the positve aspects, but also the huge dangers. Nomination of friends would not be a scientific way to organize the networks and rank the nodes. It would be too easily hacked. Information would have to gathered passivly. Who wouldn't want to be a central node? I would like to hear what anyones ideas about where this data can be mined so I can immediatly start hiding all traces of my node degree. Also, wouldn't this be more a calculus kind of situation than an algebra one, with the nodes constantly forming and reforming at changing rates. Just think of the highschool debutant who ages into mediocrity and low node order, or the nobody breakout sensation like an american-idol star who suddenly has a more central role. While I dont want to be paranoid I would like to remain anonymous even if it means I have to get the flue.
25093
Gavin Smith
Posted almost 5 years ago
Stephen Palumbi: Hidden toxins in the fish we eat
I think all the replies to Shuwel's comment are reading his message wrong. I think he is saying that humans are part of the system and part of the problem. Could he be saying that propaganda is what other people use, but not here on TED. Read it carefully and it seems not to be cynical.
25093
Gavin Smith
Posted almost 5 years ago
Graham Hill: Why I'm a weekday vegetarian
There is also a methane cycle. Cows produce methane and then the soil takes up some and other chemical reactions in the atmosphere account for more. Not saying that there is not a surplus currently. As to your second point: rain-forest beef is not produced in an "responsible manner".
25093
Gavin Smith
Posted about 5 years ago
Graham Hill: Why I'm a weekday vegetarian
I agree about meat being an occasional food and if you do it right it has to be unless you are rich. The meat in the super market is corn fed junk from abused animals and cost almost nothing, but real pasture raised organic grass-fed beef is expensive. Buying enough to eat it the way typical meat eaters eat beef in the US is exorbitantly, prohibitively expensive, once a week tops fpr the student budget.
25093
Gavin Smith
Posted about 5 years ago
Richard Pyle: A dive into the reef's Twilight Zone
really incredible. I read all of Custou's books when I was a teenager and had the dream to be become a diver and ocean researcher. I did and what I learned was that it is very scary. The deepest dive I ever did was just sixty feet but I am an air hog and on the way up, luckily after my decompression stop, I ran out of air. I was only feet from the surface but that feeling of sucking at nothing while trying to breath has given me nightmares since it happened. I would gladly dive to thirty or so feet and deeper after I was better practiced but my experience puts me in awe of his willingness and enthusiasm to go down after getting the bends and having friends die. I am also very impressed with his looking in plain site and finding that kind of diversity.