Greig Oldford

Halifax, Canada

About Greig

Bio

Curator of TEDxHalifax

Languages

English, French

Areas of Expertise

GIS, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geomatics, comedy writing and performance, Film - Direction, Writing, & Editing

An idea worth spreading

online co-operative collaboration is the wave of the future . Human capital is creativity and innovation.

I'm passionate about

environmental economics, sustainable development, education, teaching creativity, ecology, new ways of thinking, collaborative group dynamics.

Talk to me about

whatever you like

People don't know I'm good at

juggling and 'Go' (Baduk)

My TED story

I love TED!

Comments & conversations

195856
Greig Oldford
Posted almost 2 years ago
Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
Thank you, chen zheng, I appreciate your comment and generally agree. I think life for the average American is generally more just and free. My view is what is happening in America is the rights and freedoms are steadily being removed whereas in China they largely have never existed.
195856
Greig Oldford
Posted almost 2 years ago
Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
The flaw in the argument is this: both countries are 'state capitalist'. US democracy is not 'democracy' in any meaningful sense. A full 70% of the population is disenfranchised, meaning their opinions don't measurably influence policy (see Martin Gillen's and Larry Bartels' work). The Chinese political system is essentially the same as the US, except it doesn't bother fabricating the illusion of more than one party (the US two party system is actually just one 'business' party). There's no actual 'democracy' versus 'communism' here - just state capitalism.
195856
Greig Oldford
Posted over 3 years ago
If you could make a wish on behalf of The City 2.0, what would it be?
City 2.0 should select infrastructure wisely. It's hard to turn back once you've gone down one road (or paved one). Transportation, communications, residential, and work infrastructure should be carefully selected. How much space could we save by minimizing space used for streets? What if we all drove golfcarts in the core, for example. My personal favorite is a system of slides and elevators, but that's just me.
195856
Greig Oldford
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is representative democracy chosen over direct democracy (i.e., referendum, plebiscite, straight vote)?
i disagree that in all circumstances you are worse off by including average people. If you asked an average group of people questions like: "how many jelly beans in that jar?" or "what are the odds that new england will win this game?" or "what will China's economic growth be four months from now" or "when will there be an uprising in Libya?" the average of their guesses is closer than the expert's. prediction markets are an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction_market James Surowiecki has written about the wisdom of crowds as well
195856
Greig Oldford
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is representative democracy chosen over direct democracy (i.e., referendum, plebiscite, straight vote)?
Yes, it's a question of chicken or the egg when talking about what makes the average citizen ignorant. I believe its the system that discourages critical thinking and productive discussion and debate about politics. We have no incentive to make sure our neighbor is educated and no incentive is like a disincentive. The Athenians had a direct democracy. Their society had flaws but it worked pretty well. In complex systems like our economy and environment 'experts' don't know any better than you or I what will happen. Tetlock's book documents this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0691128715?ie=UTF8&tag=greisinte-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0691128715
195856
Greig Oldford
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is representative democracy chosen over direct democracy (i.e., referendum, plebiscite, straight vote)?
I find the political party system, especially in the high-stakes political game in the U.S., pushes us towards a partisan, two team situation. Then, even though there are dozens of major issues that the public is interested in, it boils down to one choice between two parties. It doesn't make sense, especially give that if we can bank securely online surely we can vote online. I really don't see much discussion of the problem of a two (or few) party system being that you have to 'pool' a bunch of issues under one banner. Like why does someone who supports public funding of education automatically have to be pro-choice for example? Or why if you're for increasing military funding do you have to vote against public healthcare?
195856
Greig Oldford
Posted over 3 years ago
How do you feel about the responsibility of the government towards the young people (18-25) regarding the economic and financial crisis?
I am fed up with paying the debt and frankly I won't be doing it. I'd sooner live in a cabin by a lake, never have kids, and hunt and fish for food. Governments forgive debts of governments all the time. "Debt forgiveness" isn't such a bad phrase in a geo-political context but suddenly when we're talking about the average citizen who can't pay then NO WAY. Second, maybe this is an opportunity to have the average citizen engage in understanding what debt really is.
195856
Greig Oldford
Posted about 6 years ago
Alex Tabarrok: How ideas trump crises
TED is about innovations and new ideas. In my opinion, this talk introduces nothing new at all. Let's talk about natural limits to growth, about when growth is good but also when it is a destructive force, about the inverse relationship between GDP and self-reported happiness, or the positive relationship between GDP and natural disasters. Maybe we could discuss some of the externalities of globalization, like the subversion of local cultures with western monoculture, or the dangers of economic under-diversification. Start to address these weakness with innovative solutions and you might turn this 14 minute yawn into a real TED talk.