Mark Furst

Fort Atkinson, WI, United States

About Mark

I'm passionate about

Energy efficiency, Hang gliding, Music that light my fire, Keeping my marriage fresh

Comments & conversations

35233
Mark Furst
Posted about 2 years ago
What are some realistic and creative ways to reduce wealth inequality?
I think that most who are not very wealthy agree that inequality is not a benefit to society in the long run. The US was founded in part to get away from the arbitrary rules and enforcement of Royalty (including the collusion with the Church). What I see now are the super-wealthy becoming the new Royalty as they are in a postion to create the rules to their benefit. In fact, it's even better than being royalty in that they can, if they so choose, to remain anonymous: money allows one to build ever bigger walls and gates. It's a given that just about all of the "big" money made is amassed by corporations of some sort or another. The big problem as I see it is that the primary legal obligation of a modern corporation is to generate profits for it's shareholders. This allows the humans in charge (yes, they are mere humans) to justify cost savings in any way, which leads to the race to the bottom for, amongst everything else, wages for the workers. As long as this mindset is in place, the accumulating of vast wealth will continue to be morally justified. What I think we have to do is to have a system whereby it's more beneficial to the wealthy for the money to flow back into the system rather than to sit in a bank account somewhere. It's amazing to me that "sit on your ass" investment earnings are taxed (in the US) at a lower rate than earnings from actual work. Changing that would be a start.
35233
Mark Furst
Posted over 2 years ago
Cary Fowler: One seed at a time, protecting the future of food
Glad to see someone is taking this seriously although I do agree with the commenters that say we need more "living" seed banks. This is not the entire solution, but is a well designed reaction to the a problem that most of us probably never think about. Most of us never get to participate in such a fulfilling way in the solutions we know need to be done. The overall work is Impressive but kinda depressing too. Reminds me of the (cheesy) sci-fi movie Silent Running. Cheesy because of being made in the '70's but it takes the theme in this talk to it's logical conclusion: in order to survive, the remaining life on Earth has to be taken elsewhere. The ending was sublimely.... sad.
35233
Mark Furst
Posted over 3 years ago
What if the Cannabis plant was essential rather than illegal? Would prohibition of it be possible?
Nutrition, health and clothing benefits aside, ask an average news-consuming drone why one shouldn't smoke marijuana and they'll say "because it's illegal" and perhaps add some vague negative health effect study they heard about. But then ask them to discuss with you why it's illegal and the conversation often takes an interesting turn and actually can get folks to think more critically about how pointless and intrusive some laws can be into our daily lives and our ability to pursue our own happiness. Here's an interesting article that debunks one of my favorite myths about the outlawing of this plant but which brings up some other vey interesting points: http://moderate.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/debunking-the-hemp-conspiracy-theory/
35233
Mark Furst
Posted about 4 years ago
Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold
Fantastic talk. I love it when a speaker peels back layers of life and experience that we don't normally think twice about. It's also refreshing to see new definitions of what's considered "smart". Coincidentally, I had watched Exit Through the Gift Shop just before watching this. If you liked this talk and have not seen this movie about the Street Art movement I heartily recommend seeing it. Some of the same questions are posed and "answered".
35233
Mark Furst
Posted about 6 years ago
Ueli Gegenschatz: Extreme wingsuit flying
For those who were intrigued by this but would not consider doing it, I would recommend taking up paragliding or hang gliding. Although these are termed "extreme" sports, once you learn the basics and fly in mellow conditions, the experience is very relaxing. In fact, when I teach people to fly, I always tell them that the secret is in being able to relax. Once you do that, everything else will fall into place. Besides, a wingsuit flight is over in a matter of minutes (seconds??), whereas in hang gliding / paragliding, flights can potentially last for hours - plenty of time to take in the scenery and marvel at the time we live in.