Ryan Lawrence

Kalamazoo, MI, United States

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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Can we really identify if someone is crazy or not?
the most notable distinction that makes them labeled as a liability to themselves or others is the modern world and science and education, what we have learned as a society. 3000 years ago when no one could explain why it rained someone who could easily jump steps in logic and believe it was the result of an angry god in the sky throwing his spear into the ocean was likely to be revered because no one else had any other explanation. A true schizophrenic sees that this is true in spite of any evidence or logic placed in front of them and preach their conclusion with great conviction, if no one knows enough to fault their logic they would indeed be seen as visionary. In the modern world we have done research and we now know why it rains so when someone makes that same jump in logic to reach the same conclusion and will not accept any other answer that their logic is faulty we know they are incorrect. As far as perception of reality goes.. we know posiden is not making it rain with his trident, therefore what we really need to achieve is a way to help the schizophrenic understand reality and train them to reach more logical conclusions and reduce the noticeable symptoms of the disease.
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Tax Systems: Currently we have a mixture of paying tax as you earn and spend.... shouldn't we rather move to pay tax as you spend only?
Ok, let's talk about that debt. Lets say we never borrowed any money. That borrowed money built factories, roads, schools, products, patents, part of that debt led to research that built out the internet. We would not have any of those things, you wouldn't have a cell phone, because the telecoms wouldn't have had the cash or business model to envision running high speed internet lines across the entire world or monetizing frequency for cell use without the government loaning the money to them or giving them tax breaks to push that innovation. That kid that invented a pivotal part of your flat screen, or satelite, or even that MRI machine that might save your life one day would not have been able to go to school if the government had not provided the security for his bank to loan him that money by loaning it to them with a 100% guarantee. We wouldn't have most of the things that were developed in the last 20 years without the government either A. Raising taxes or B. borrowing money that was sitting around being "saved" by someone else. A savings account that doesn't invest in someone (like a government or business) is a savings account that actually loses value with inflation.. who wants to save their money in an account that becomes worth LESS as time goes on? So, our "debt" is someone else's "profit" and our advancements in technology and achievements are our "prizes", living in a better world that is being made better every day in many different ways
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Tax Systems: Currently we have a mixture of paying tax as you earn and spend.... shouldn't we rather move to pay tax as you spend only?
We are definitely not giving them the milk for free. Unless, of course, you actually mean milk. Yes we do have enough milk that we can provide that for free for people who can not afford it. We have gotten to a point where we can provide food and (usually in quite unsafe areas) shelter to just about everyone in the united states. We have enough technology and innovation that the things our prior generations spent their entire life working for (food and shelter.) This is great, look at the progress we have made as a species.. 200 years ago if there was no rain for a month in your area you would starve and people would die and get very ill, but then again 1 farmer might have been able to raise 3-5 cattle and half an acre of land at a time which would provide enough food for his family and maybe a little extra. Now 1 farmer can raise 30 cattle and farm 100 acres of land providing enough food for potentially thousands of people. Maybe in 100 more years we'll have 5 or 10 technicians supervising machines that raise 5,000 cattle and farm 10,000 acres of land, which while killing "jobs" really will just free up all those other would-be farmers to build something new, work less, provide more, who knows what we could achieve as less people get more efficient at providing the basics. Why should those in certain areas or born to the "wrong" parents not reap the benefits of that efficiency? Should they spend 10 hours a day growing their own food when 10 seconds of a big agriculture businesses resources could provide the same amount of food? I guess i got off on a rant there but my point is this, we don't breed and milk our own cows because we don't need to, we have technology driven farming to do that job for us so we can invent things like ipods and tvs and phones and cars and planes and everything else in society. I strongly disagree with your main premise that it would create jobs and "forcefully educate" i was wondering if you could illiterate how you think that is?
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Tax Systems: Currently we have a mixture of paying tax as you earn and spend.... shouldn't we rather move to pay tax as you spend only?
That piece of wood has likely had between 3 and 7 owners before being purchased by the table maker, under our current tax system each one of those owners.. from the tree harvester to each and every middleman and warehouse and wholesale distributors can write their purchase cost and all other business operating costs off and in the end they only pay the 20% tax on their profit, which is calculated post buying and selling where it can be measured accurately either quarterly or annually in the taxes. This allows them the benefit of retrospectively taxing each business based on its profit margins. the sales tax would have to be paid at the time of each sale to and from each company involved, well if you took a narrow loss on a product that extra tax you had to pay may make that a huge loss to the point you can't keep your business liquid enough to stay open through the end of the quarter/year where you could in theory get a tax refund from the government. Also a thought that just occoured to me is that under such a system every single business and consumer would be required to turn over detailed records of every transaction they make to the government.. that seems like a very intrusive thing to have to give to the government, when currently that is only required on very rare circumstances and only if audited for itemized excemptions for a standard consumer. If i claim a standard deduction on my taxes the government has no right to ask where i spent all my money and i find that thought more pleasant than having to keep detailed records to give them.
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Can we really identify if someone is crazy or not?
My mother has schizophrenia and when you really break it down and do research on it what you find out is that the level of stimuli required to reach a conclusion is much lower than it would be in someone who is not afflicted with such disease causing them to react to things we would not react to. For example, if she were to walk into the living room and the couch was 2 inches to the left, she may think "the couch seems to be in a different place, i do not remember moving it, my doors were locked, maybe someone broke in and moved it, maybe god moved it to tell me something, or people are breaking into my house moving my furniture, i should be scared because if they can move my furniture maybe they want to hurt me, i am going to sleep with a gun under my pillow tonight just in case because i can't let them hurt me" if i were to walk into the same room with the couch moved i might think "the couch is in a different place, did i move it and forget? did someone else move it? i was here alone with the doors locked, it doesn't look like anyone else was in here, i wonder if i bumped into it and didn't notice, or maybe it was always there and i am just remembering it wrong, either way, it doesn't really matter because there does not appear any imminent danger from the couch being moved and i have other things to do so forget why and move on" Why this happens science still does not have an answer but all my research has told me this.. there is definitely a scale of what we will take as proof of a threat and how likely we are to react, and to paraphrase the wise Richard Dawkins "in terms of survival it was almost always better to get spooked and run from wind in the grass thinking you saw a snake than to always ignore rustling grass and get bitten by a real snake one day." I see a correlation here in those traits being dominant in both the very religious and the mentally ill.. and what made us better fit for survival historically is now an impairment to modern life.
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Why cant we create high quality music anymore just like we did in 70's 80's and 90's ?
I would argue that you may not be finding something that hits you, but that i personally have found quite a few albums that i could listen to for years in the last decade. just a short list of some of my favorites of recent years if anyone is interested in checking them out Recovery - Eminem Mer de Noms - A Perfect Circle Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace - The Offspring With Teeth - Nine Inch Nails Hot Fuss - The Killers Release Therapy - Ludacris Tim McGraw & The Dancehall Doctors Burn Burn - Our Lady Peace Those albums are all masterpieces released in the last decade - in my opinion. If you want to hear artists expressing some real emotion these are my top recommedations
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Is it acceptable for a government to block media that it deems inaccurate or damaging under any circumstances? (social or cable)
i personally feel that 99% of the time the answer is no, and in a widespread pandemic or rioting or anything of that sort it is completely unacceptable and will only make things worse and more escalated. I do believe that they should have the ability to block individuals and/or specific stations under very rare circumstances that would be considered for the protection of the masses, such as if someone were broadcasting something illegally or inciting a riot or inciting people to commit crimes, or threatening peoples lives, anything that would currently be illegal to say in public in the US.. which is a very short list of things. I also believe that they should have to make very public and well visible notices that they have taken this action and why they have taken this action. They should never be allowed to take anything down without making the fact that they did so well known public knowledge. Reporting on an empty storefront falls nowhere near the requirement i would say would be needed in order to shut down any form of media. They probably should not have the ability at all as trusting in such a system of power to only be used in those rare circumstances is likely to be abused. So my post is idealistic, but reality dictates it's probably for the best if they don't even have the ability to shut the internet or websites down under any circumstances
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Should the U.S. continue to employ Affirmative Action, or should private schools be allowed to discriminate?
I don't want to sound hostile here but the simplest way to put this is this: the reason you don't understand the human element you are missing is because you just don't understand /that/ you don't understand it. That's fine, nobody is born with a profound understanding of the complexities of human nature or enough experience with other cultures or environments to truly understand until and/or if they find themselves in that environment so i don't expect that to change. But here's the deal.. this is TED, this is not some political blog site or youth group where you can argue about things you barely understand in an attempt to learn from others. The majority of the people here are well past that point in life and the purpose of TED is to improve the world in terms of safety, security, technology, education, and overall happiness. Denying anyone an education or arguing that education should be harder to obtain for anyone, for any reason.. is exactly what the entire TED community is here to stop in society. And for the record, the reason the government has the right to make these rules is they are the ones bankrolling almost every single "private" college out there. Almost every single student aid loan in the united states is guaranteed by the federal government that if you don't or can not pay for it, they will. Do you really think Chase or Bank of America would give you $80,000 in unsecured money when you have no source of income, no credit history? they wouldn't loan you $100 without a guarantee or a co signer. No more than 1-2% of students in any school could afford it without financing and neither could their parents if they parents are willing to pay for it. Do you really think colleges would stay in business if they lost 98% of their students? Oh, and here's the kicker. If you were to run a truly private university with absolutely no government backed student loans you aren't required to follow affirmative action anyway, thus your entire argument is invalid.
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Why do we revere people dead when we didn't care about them alive?
not on the general topic but only related to your Michael Jackson reference.. When he was alive he had the potential to be a threat to the safety and security of other potential victims (if he was in fact a pedophile, i don't know the details and it doesn't really interest me) Therefore the negative attention was for the perceived protection of the "herd" so that people would know not to allow their children into a situation where he may harm them Now that he is dead there is no way that he can hurt anyone, thus no warning and/or fear is needed as dead people do not commit crimes or hurt others. This negative attention is no longer necessary as it does not help us in any way or keep anyone safe anymore. However, none of the pedophilia had anything to do with his creations as an artist, and he was a very talented artist who's music and emotional journeys can inspire and motive. His words have the power to change the world into a better place just as they did before he was deemed a threat. So now the positive attention is being drawn to something that can help people. The personal character flaws mattered in life because they could happen again to more people They do not matter in death because he could never have another victim The art matters in the same way that it always has
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Ryan Lawrence
Posted almost 3 years ago
Tax Systems: Currently we have a mixture of paying tax as you earn and spend.... shouldn't we rather move to pay tax as you spend only?
The problem with pay only taxes are they weigh very disproportionally on the low to mid income classes and this would hurt society as a whole. Not to mention how much more complicated and unfair the exempted items that would be lobbied for would advantage some to the disadvantage of others. Spending money is what makes the economy better, this would also discourage spending which ends up hurting everyone's earnings and thus would lower the amount of Gross income everyone receives in the end.. thus you end up with a similar or smaller amount of net income even without earnings taxes and then you are also taxed when you spend that smaller amount of money. Lets say that i can build a table in 8 hours, and with the current tax system i have to charge $200 to make a profit and live a sustainable life and that is roughly what people are willing to pay for the table. 20% of that (or $40) goes to taxes leaving me with $160 for supplies, labor, and profit. Now lets say the purchaser has to pay all that tax to buy the table, my $200 table just became $240 and people don't want to pay $240 for a table so i can no longer sell them at this price, Now i have to change my price to $160 before the tax to make the total price paid more appealing and the table to be purchasable. The taxes required on the transaction to support the government are still $40, and in order to get that $40 the tax rate on spending must be 25% Now everyone's taxes just went up by 25% simply by changing when and how they are paid, instead of paying 20% of income they are paying 25% of purchases, i'd certainly spend less money and that would definitely hurt the people i usually spend my money with, making them much worse off than they currently are. In summary, my opinion is that the end result of paying taxes as you spend has almost entirely negative consequences and little to no positive effects. There are a lot of variables i didn't factor but i tried to simply my intent for ease of understanding