Harrison Horst

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Harrison Horst
Posted about 2 months ago
Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?
Guys -- guys -- why are we all arguing? I have seen religion arguments, per-capita arguments, Nobel prize arguments, militaristic and peace-advocating arguments, and my personal favorite, arguments demonstrating patriotic arrogance. All stemming from this single talk. Take a second, set aside your prejudices, and listen to the genius behind Simon Anholt's words.
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Harrison Horst
Posted 10 months ago
How can a human being overcome selfishness, the idea that one is separate from the rest of humanity?
Yes, how do we collectively become an empathic civilization? That is the question. Here's a video for you, not from TED, but RSA; it's included in TED's Best of the Web section. http://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_rifkin_on_the_empathic_civilization.html I think we start by looking to the stars, and realizing just how fragile and beautiful the Earth we live on is. This is something that people from all nations, all religions, and all races can agree upon. There is actually a really interesting idea called "The Overview Effect" that claims astronauts view the world much differently after they come back from space; after seeing our world in all of its splendor (and its impending issues), it is much easier to connect with the rest of humanity. I think we all need a little bit of the overview effect in our lives.
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Harrison Horst
Posted 10 months ago
What is the difference between happiness and satisfaction?
Satisfaction is an attitude, a paradigm, a world view. You can choose whether to be satisfied or unsatisfied with how successful you are, how much you have, or how you live life. It is a question of "how much?" Some people are never satisfied, and some are satisfied with very little. Satisfaction is a frame of reference, and it can shift with experience. Happiness is a feeling, an emotion. To a degree, it is related to satisfaction; it is much easier to be happy when you're satisfied, than when you're unsatisfied. But it's only a part of the complex emotional networking in our brains, which can also be fired up over something as simple as food or laughter. Happiness can be influenced by attitude, but I think it is largely unconscious. Our happiness "level" is based on how we respond emotionally to everyday stimuli. That being said: "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." -Mohandas Gandhi
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Harrison Horst
Posted 12 months ago
What have been the major influences on the depiction of androids in science fiction over past 150 years?
I would say the single most important influence on androids and robotics in general is Isaac Asimov. His "positronic brain" hasn't been invented yet, but he essentially kicked off the robot science-fiction fascination by himself: he was the first writer to write about the morality issues of a human-form robot, rather than focusing on them taking over the world. Nearly all of his fictional writings have something in them related to robots, and I believe Data was modeled after his stories, although I don't know for sure.
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Harrison Horst
Posted about 1 year ago
Imagine a world with no geographical boundaries between countries. I think that if it happens then there would be more peace on Earth.
I love your attitude. If everyone in the world thought like you did, the world would change, for sure. A lot of people on here are very pessimistic, and I think that's an indication of the world attitude in general right now. I attempt to sway people to our side by participating in discussions like this one :) I spent some time on www.projectunify.net, and I really appreciate your work with that, it's one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. I'm a teenager from the U.S., and I hate being defined as an American, I would much sooner identify myself as a globalist. I don't understand why, when we have things as revolutionary as the internet, we can't come together person to person instead of through (biased) nation-state governments. I hope to see something like this happen within my lifetime.
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Harrison Horst
Posted about 1 year ago
Can a global government work?
Ok, mostly I hear that a world government, is not possible, and if it was, it would be ineffective and/or corrupt. I ask another question then: If the world faced a problem concerning the welfare of every single human on earth, such as an epidemic or alien invasion, would this be enough of a stimulant for the formation of such a government, however ineffective?
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Harrison Horst
Posted about 1 year ago
Imagine a world with no geographical boundaries between countries. I think that if it happens then there would be more peace on Earth.
Jehanzeb, this has been a long-time occupier of my thoughts too. I think the imaginary lines we draw on maps to distinguish countries are certainly outdated, and probably cause more problems than they solve. However, the merging of cultures that you discuss here is probably something many people are afraid of. I suppose it is comforting to live in a country that has the same values, the same language, and the same heritage as you do; in short, it is comforting to live in a country full of people like you. That is why the nation-state has had such success, but with the emergence of the internet and a global community, it is hard to say how much longer it will be relevant. It's a really great dream, but in light of the distrust currently spewing between nations, I don't know how feasible it is right now.