Uri Katz

Philadelphia, PA, United States

About Uri

Languages

English, Hebrew

Areas of Expertise

Philosophy, Writing

Comments & conversations

178974
Uri Katz
Posted about 1 year ago
Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
2 additional comments: At risk of strengthening another meta-narrative, I suggest looking more at empirical data, and adjusting our political and economic systems accordingly. I am well aware that social science is heavily influenced by narratives and values, but we should try as much as possible to be aware of their influence and try to imagine how a different narrative would fit in with the data we collected. At the very least we must not turn a blind eye to contradictory evidence. I also propose that not only is history not linear in the sense that different systems of government are better for different people, but that history, even for one culture and geographical region is cyclic. Much of the success that is so easily and thoughtlessly credited to capitalism alone, has to do just as much with many other factors (the US frontier, World War 2, abundance of natural resources). The problem is the world changes, and with it the factors that lead to success. Then we are left holding on to an idea, with nothing to support it. The same is true for China, many additional factors play into their success than their one party government. Failure to recognize this, means failure to see when an adjustment of our ideals is required to meet the new demands of reality. In short - change is the only constant. I agree that for the foreseeable future China is an unstoppable force, but change is an unmovable object...
178974
Uri Katz
Posted about 1 year ago
Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
I consider myself a freedom loving capitalist, but I liked this talk a lot. I think we can learn a lot from China, as well as from other cultures. It is becoming increasingly clear that our meta-narratives are little more than faith based nonsense. Most of all I wish China and the West can stop seeing each other as a threat. That is another narrative we can do away with and be better off for it. Won't we all benefit from focusing on trade and technological development rather than hate and war?
178974
Uri Katz
Posted over 1 year ago
We will NOT find an alternative to energy dense, easily transportable conventional oil in time to sustain indefinate economic growth.
1) You miss a vital point about downscaling our economy - developing nations. Every bit of downscaling we do will be offset by them. Simply to match the average quality of life of the 1st world with that of the 3rd world requires more energy than we currently use worldwide. The argument about sunshine and flowers being better than junk food and video games may be valid, but when hundreds of millions of people do not even have access to water, it is moot. 2) The best we can hope for by downscaling our economy is to buy a little time, but we don't need to do anything for that, the market will take care of that by raising the price of oil and with it the price of everything else. 3) The only real solution to provide a good quality of life for all is alternative energy. The best incentive to implementing an alternative energy plan is sustained growth. 4) There is no real need of major inventions, we have many alternative energy solutions, each with its ups and downs. A comprehensive solution that employs all of them might just work. Plus, the price of new tech goes down all the time!
178974
Uri Katz
Posted over 1 year ago
How do we make peace between Israel and Palestine?
How is this an answer to the question? Be creative: what would it take to create peace? See this link for example of Muslims who do not want to destroy Israel or Spain (admittedly Persians, but we can find some Arabs supporting this cause as well): http://www.ted.com/talks/israel_and_iran_a_love_story.html. Making the mistake of letting Al Qaedai speak for all Muslims is intolerant.
178974
Uri Katz
Posted over 1 year ago
How do we make peace between Israel and Palestine?
Sadly yes, but not a majority I believe. The recent elections gave 59 out of 120 mandates to parties who openly declare their willingness and desire to return to the negotiation table. Out the remaining 61, the biggest part, with 31 mandates, is not entirely opposed to the idea. There will always be those who hate, and who use self-righteous arguments to support their hate. We need to focus on the moderates, and make sure their voice and actions speak louder! Check this out: http://www.ted.com/talks/israel_and_iran_a_love_story.html
178974
Uri Katz
Posted over 1 year ago
How do we make peace between Israel and Palestine?
I am concerned with Israel because my family lives there. When rockets where fired at Jerusalem a few months ago, I had to take shelter. I thought my name would be a dead giveaway, but everybody keeps asking why I am meddling in other people's affairs. I know there are plenty of atrocities elsewhere, plenty of holocausts and wars that have nothing to do with Jews. I also know that a conflict is extremely hard to understand from the outside. Darfur, Tibet, Cyprus, etc. are all sensitive issues and if there were 3 or 4 of me I could make a small effort to promote peace there as well. To answer a few of your remarks: 1) Israel gave up more that its own size for peace with Egypt that up to this day has proven extremely beneficial to it (only time will tell what the new regime will do); 2) Not all Palestinians are evil terrorist, some of them (the majority I hope) just want to live full productive lives with their loving families. This is a fact so stop arguing about it! 3) Any route towards peace will have to eradicate terrorism, which has no excuse whatsoever, but its better to forgive and love than hate and fight. 4) Israel cannot put down its guns today, but wouldn't it be great if it could tomorrow. 5) My only shame is that it took me this long to start getting involved.
178974
Uri Katz
Posted over 1 year ago
How do we make peace between Israel and Palestine?
When the state of Israel was formed I guess. Forward your complaints to the British :-). For my part, I was born long after all that, and I hate to harp on the mistakes of my predecessors, I'd rather focus on leaving the world a better place for my children.