John Gusty

About John

Bio

... Ongoing Spring Cleaning 2014

An idea worth spreading

...
Remove some of my older comments.
...

"TOMORROW'S GRATITUDE"

Of the many things that really matter
to the one who wants to be a leader,
must you worry how the voters scatter
or where priorities seem to gather?

What's true and good for a selfish pleader
may make no difference beyond chatter.

When kids grow to be critic and reader
or become tomorrow’s fertile breeder,
have you made a meritorious rank,
if you aren't someone any child could thank?
-John "Gusty" of Houston, TX., July 28, 2014.
...

I'm passionate about

... (Please read my "comments" for clues.)

People don't know I'm good at

the usual things that we might all be good at
but are usually ignored or unrecognized in all of us -probably...

My TED story

...This was good exercise (May 2013 - 2014), but there is difficulty resolving site problems.

... Unfortunately, the NEW TED website seems to have lost functionality:
No longer can I see all of my "Favorite Talks" because there is no option to extend the list beyond three.
Similarly, if I had more than ten comments, I no longer have the option to extend that list to view more of them either.
I'm disappointed with the lack of user control over content on the NEW TED.

Perhaps TED is working on these problems, and maybe someday they'll get it fixed. Meanwhile... I may be wondering - even with the new "improvements" - if TED is becoming another passé, has-been dot-com.

"Is TED relevant?" and "Does TED.com work?" are two questions that simmer in the background?
...

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

227318
John Gusty
Posted 1 day ago
Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity
Ken Robinson's timeless point that “…everybody has an interest in education…” might only be eclipsed by the grander notion that everybody has an interest in children. All children represent the future. It's also true “…kids have tremendous talents. And we squander them…” everywhere from Australia to Austria. The statement that “…creativity...is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status…” reminds one that "status" may be a problem. If a child is denied creativity, humanity or potential because of paperwork or status, it might be tragic for both the child and the greater society of humanity which transcends borders. I agree that “…kids will take a chance. If they don't know, they'll have a go…They're not frightened of being wrong…” One needs look no further than the children upon a journey, boldly going into an unknown, where they are not merely aliens in a new world, but the “wrong” and illegal aliens. Also, the idea of a “…medication…calm down...” may have much in common to a deportation ticket. We do not only fail to “…think of Shakespeare being a child…,” but we might also not recognize that his talent came from border regions between cultures and worlds: Rich-Poor, Royal-Common, Male-Female, England-France/Venice, Old world-New world (The Tempest), Catholic-Protestant (his own childhood), etc. While Shakespeare may not have traveled, even to Denmark, he certainly must have lent an ear to emigrants: “…Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear, Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come...” - Julius Caesar 2.2.32-7 Speaking of Englishmen, one might also do well to consider “The True-Born Englishman” by Daniel Defoe in 1701. Also, what of the migrant sources that made the Northern Renaissance possible? This TEDtalk seems relevant in more ways than one. Sincerely, John "Gusty" of Houston, TX.
227318
John Gusty
Posted 1 day ago
Daniel Goleman: Why aren't we more compassionate?
Have YOU (anyone) NOTICED the children of the world? Not everyone who notices them makes a compassionate effort to help them, but much worse may be those who do notice them yet choose to make a conscious effort to wall them out or send them back into minefields of danger. It is almost as if we as a society sometimes "turn off" that part of ourselves, that part of our humanity. While there may be a spectrum of compassion, from narcissism to empathy, there might also be a more sinister spectrum. I don't know if it involves turning off a part of our humanity for various reasons, but there are those who actively exploit or take advantage of the less fortunate. Such maliciousness does occur whatever the excuse might be (such as: we have our own children; they're not our's; they're not "legal citizens"; it's someplace else; there are not enough resources). This is an important test for not only compassion but also our consciousness, and children are also the epitome of our future regardless of them being our own children, someone else's children, or merely orphans. Perhaps we could be a little more "pizzled" on someone else's behalf. Thanks for another thought provoking and perhaps relevant TED talk. Sincerely, John "Gusty" of Houston, Texas.
227318
John Gusty
Posted 3 days ago
Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
A leader needs children more than votes, and the reply to “Why?” might be, “for the children’s sake.” Children offer leaders much more than mere purpose or even hope. Children really are our future, and what we invest in them today may save us (if not profit us) tomorrow. It does not matter if these are our very own children or someone else’s. I believe that every child may be more than just potential adults. While we may worry that they will steal our jobs and money, eat us out of house and home, make future wars, change our language, and replace us, they might also grow (with guidance) to make jobs, pay taxes, protect, provide, help, and maybe even take care of us. Also, they might someday share our better beliefs and ideas, to develop them beyond our ability. In a world of increasing populations, we should not expect our leaders to be Pied Pipers of fear. Children should not be demonized, nor should we shun them due to migration problems. We could expect more from our leaders than merely a partisan tune. While we may not be able to help directly, we should not stop those who try. While we do not want to be taken advantage of, we might seize an opportunity to cultivate something good. While our needs may not be adequately met, it may not be good to squelch generosity because of our own interests or worse, selfishness. There are things we could own-up-to regardless of having no obligations. To start with, we might avoid exaggerating our own concerns to the degree that we become destructive obstacles to others. Even though it might be difficult to help, our hearts should not be led by excuses nor fear. Whatever happened to, "...opportunity...may never come again... We choose...not because they are easy, but because they are hard..."? Sincerely, John "Gusty" of Houston, TX.
227318
John Gusty
Posted 7 days ago
Ze Frank: Are you human?
While I do not want to detract from this TED talk (its comic genius, heartfelt love or pathos), I would like to take a moment to seriously consider a tangent to one point upon which this talk seems to hinge. (at 1:53) "...Have you ever had a nagging feeling that one day you will be discovered as a fraud? Yes, it's safe here..." Some may believe that it should only be "safe here" if you're a legal citizen. Many illegal aliens probably struggle with being "...discovered as a fraud..." in a more literal sense. While we may consider our own “fraud” feelings, some are not bashful about bullying or reminding women and children that they are “fraudulent & illegal.” Although it may be true, perhaps the more humane action would be to first consider them as human, each with their own story. On one hand, illegal immigration is a serious concern; however, it may be too inhumane, narrow-minded, and even selfish to make excuses for not dealing with a humanitarian crisis (with more than just a border, fence or wall). In particular, I agree that we "have enough problems here at home," but maybe this opportunity to help others will also be an opportunity to illuminate and deal with our own failures. Ultimately, we could do a better job at recognizing others as human (especially women and children, who if deported, may face a certain death). Then maybe we won't have to worry about how human we ourselves are. Also, with a more clear conscience and our own hemisphere in order, then we can dream about our own journey to the moon, Mars, etc... Again, I don't want to detract from the light fun and joy of this TED talk, yet to consider such things might help us to pass "the human test" or at least score a little better. Sincerely, John "Gusty" of Houston, TX. P.S: Also, this does not have to be polarized into linear thinking, such as either/or: Either "legal status" or "border security." We might be careful of oversimplification by pollsters & politicians on this.
227318
John Gusty
Posted 10 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Thanks. You made good points that I had not considered in my rant, and I will try to keep them in mind -continuing to mull them over. I was trying to limit myself to the child-immigration-crisis because these kids may soon slip beyond our CONSCIOUSNESS for some of the following reasons: 1) It may be difficult for those reporting on them to follow-up, due to both the children's transient nature and to the nature of news-cycles of distracting issues (some of which are also important). 2) These kids and their parents will likely be stereotyped and marginalized for different reasons (-demonizing them and denying their humanity). 3) Simply the process of trying to grapple with the problems will ultimately involve turning them into numbers and statistics; thus, we will be one more step removed from their individual plights and their humanity. They will then seem less concrete, more abstract, and we will be less CONSCIOUS. 4) Politicians on both sides will probably fail to help the kids, but the politicians will instead spin both their own stories and the circumstances (even including drastic but meaningless action) to dance around the issue: either to escape blame, to place blame, or to stir up their own partisan bases. None of this will help anyone on any side -especially the kids. In the growing effort for each party to tell their own story, they will forget or ignore the many varied stories beyond our narrower self-interests. 5) Separate border issues will be conflated and confused by hysteria. I agree that it seems like "...we are trying to guarantee that society falls apart once these kids are grown"; but as far as many kids are concerned, society may not be there for them today. It is as if they are beyond CONSCIOUSNESS -so much that our society would rather ignore them as a group or a category, much less consider their circumstances. Even if the system is properly set up to do the right thing, resources may be inadequate, squandered or squelched.
227318
John Gusty
Posted 10 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Excuse me again, for I must replay a concern, still on my mind, and rant for a bit more. It may seem virtuous to explain consciousness, yet it may be somewhat hypocritical when we seem to fail at merely sharing or appreciating our own, simpler humanity. Never mind appreciating the "consciousness" of the food on our plates or altruism in the food-chain, when we cannot even appreciate or become conscious of suffering children. In addition to wars and nationalism, we turn our backs upon children both in our own countries and in other countries. Furthermore, while we are ready for tougher borders to keep kids out, we fail to educate and house our own children. Instead of designing more affordable housing with domestic tranquility in mind, more and more tenants cram into louder, tighter spaces because of the cost of housing; meanwhile, McMansions sprawl out across the land in a kind of oblivious unconsciousness. Additionally, we are even less conscious of how the elderly are forced to accommodate more, without regard to their own needs for domestic tranquility or security. We choose unconsciousness, and we fail to budget resources in so many ways, squandering and glossing over. We fail to cultivate the domestic tranquility necessary for growth in not only children but in adults as well. There may be many who just want to drop off their kids at a baby-sitter or grandparents in order to party-on "unconsciously." Then we act shocked and surprised when some crazy nut intentionally fries his own child to death in a hot car because he'd rather escape into "sexting," etc. If we fail to treat children properly, isn't theoretical panpsychism merely academics? I'm not knocking this TED talk, nor am I disparaging attempts to "explain consciousness." Still, we might also better explain, if not answer for, our lack of consciousness, our lack of conscientiousness, and our lack of compassion. Sincerely, John "Gusty" of Houston, Texas.
227318
John Gusty
Posted 12 days ago
Ze Frank: Are you human?
I have completely changed my opinion about this TED talk. Originally, I was very annoyed by this. I thought it was too short, vapid, vacuous and certainly not what I expected or wanted from TED. Then I watched it many more times because it was short, and I spent the entire day pondering it. While I did think that I was wasting time, and maybe I was a little, I am very glad to state that I have come to a different opinion. I was wrong. (I may even have been guilty of that knee-jerk reaction ...that I was complaining about elsewhere...) I made a mistake, and this process of change has left me feeling maybe a little more human because of it. I now realize that this TED talk was dressed in a superficial humor, but if you look past the humor-story, and maybe even past the familiar, what is left is heartfelt, human pain. While this TED talk also may be partially disguised as another tech-forward, 21st century experience of wiz-bang gadgets and things (iphones, passwords, and plane tickets), it was really a classically arranged masterpiece, with the right ratio of humor to sincerity and pathos. It now reminds me of, and it may be the epitome of, the good Charlie Chaplin flicks of a hundred years ago. It is dressed up in a bit of clown comedy, and there is a bit of nose-picking, wardrobe malfunctioning farce. As the plot thickens, one realizes that this clown-like, everyman not only has a heart and is not really a pick-pocket, but has done something amazing (in four minutes). In the end, the hero/everyman fails to get the girl, but gets up and walks down the road anyway -inspiring us to "...endure and prevail..." (as W.Faulkner suggested in his Nobel acceptance speech, 1950). The End. It was brilliant, short and worth reconsidering and watching more than once. Thanks TED. Sincerely, John “Gusty” of Houston, Texas.
227318
John Gusty
Posted 13 days ago
Ze Frank: Are you human?
In slightly other, less humorous words: We (you) are not so special. (We pick our nose like everyone else.) In the end, we ultimately want to be loved, and no matter how hard we try and fail and loose we live with life as it unfolds. Meanwhile, we have difficulty understanding ourselves, much less each other. We may each have our moments of quirky obsessions and pointless worries (like loosing our tickets, etc.). We all tend to be curious. We all have insecurities (like "a nagging feeling...as a fraud"). We all make mistakes (and may be in need of an "undo button"). We've all failed to appreciate beauty. We encounter joy, but we don't always experience it fully or acknowledge it. We are tempted, such as by curiosity. We are often too hard on ourselves, yet sometimes our gadgets seem wiser and argue less. We expect things to come easily, and we give up too easily. "...very little, in the long run, just happens naturally." We are surprised to become more alone, yet we have unavoidable losses. Sometimes, we don't know how we'll be able to carry on, and yet we have..., do..., and will... We are funny, and we often laugh. We make mistakes, and we are often sorry. We are sad, and we sometimes cry. We are born; we mature; we die, and the experience makes us who we are. This is the human experience in a nutshell. By looking inside to consider these things in ourselves, we become more human and capable of recognizing them in others. Well...maybe...hopefully.
227318
John Gusty
Posted 16 days ago
Nicholas Negroponte: A 30-year history of the future
REPOST Edit from July 8: This may only be a slightly related tangent, but perhaps a challenge for "connecting the last billion" kids may be that many are a moving target as in a child immigration crisis. Immigration issues may bring light to our inadequacies at home: child resources, educational resources, parental mindfulness, domestic tranquility, housing, etc. It should not surprise people that there is a lack of interest in another country's children, when there are so many who just want to drop off their kids at a baby-sitter or grandparents in order to party-on. Computers are often just used as a pacifier of children and enabler for adult indulgences or instant gratification. Some children are victimized or are locked in quarantine and isolated to await deportation; meanwhile, politicians, protectionists, and hysterical xenophobes exacerbate problems with fear. The immigration / refugee problems seem to be about more than simply a border problem. Maybe we should ask some kids or at least delve a little deeper. We might consider opportunities in this crisis for the sake of the children (and society), not the politicians. Children have growth potential, and we may not want to wait until they come back again as adult aliens or worse, more set-in-their-ways. It may also cost more later on. MIT's Media Lab has been good at connecting us with technology and maybe even bridging the digital divide, yet we might better appreciate our context. We may already be choking and gagging on our own ethical dilemmas in the present time; whereas, the far flung future may be the wrong-end-of-the-stick. If our present compassion does not become more substantive, tangible and dynamic, perhaps we are not worth connecting to. Finally, "30 years" out might be too late for kids of today. There's nothing wrong with dreaming (or this inspiring TED talk), but sometimes adults need to somehow step-up. We might be in just such a time. Sincerely, John "Gusty" of Houston, TX
227318
John Gusty
Posted 17 days ago
David Kwong: Two nerdy obsessions meet -- and it's magic
Although there does seem to be a tangible "urge to solve," I'm not convinced that the urge to decode our world is always healthy. Sometimes it can become an obsession ("nerdy" or otherwise), like OCD, and result in excessive decoding of puzzles or problems which simply may not exist. To dwell entirely upon solutions (to the point of solving problems that may not exist, or to the point that fear of uncertainty becomes significant) may end up creating more chaos than practical order. Perhaps it is then that we begin to live an illusion, maybe even sometimes for escape. I'm not sure if this TED talk was substantive or a mere illusion of substance, but it was interesting. Thanks. Sincerely, John "Gusty" of Houston, Texas.