Daniel Vineberg

Kelowna B.c., Canada

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Comments & conversations

108248
Daniel Vineberg
Posted almost 3 years ago
Damon Horowitz: Philosophy in prison
Interesting topic. If it is to inspire, then I believe it will do so by making its viewers consider their own prisons - be they literal or figurative. Is not most of philosophy spent on the question of how best to live our lives given the inescapable prison that is our own mortality?
108248
Daniel Vineberg
Posted about 3 years ago
Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better
Karen, your response is appreciated and not altogether unexpected. I knew what I had written had something of a self-entitled air to it as I was posting. In reality I do appreciate the achievement that is TED's free content, and try to absorb as much of it as I can. It just so happened that on this occasion I was thwarted by an ad, and thought the irony of it proceeding a video describing the difficulties of listening in our modern age, was too great to pass up a comment.
108248
Daniel Vineberg
Posted about 3 years ago
Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better
As soon as the video had ended I wanted to try one of Julian's techniques, by contemplating the content I had just watched with a brief silence. Unfortunately my attempt was thwarted by an ad for a new Lincoln. TED, are you listening?
108248
Daniel Vineberg
Posted over 3 years ago
What's your short story in 6 words? Go!
I tend to think of Caesar's "Veni Vidi Vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered) as the best story in six or less words. It has more of a story arc than Hemingway's, that's for sure. ;) As for mine, hmmm. How about, Born, will die. Enjoying the ride.
108248
Daniel Vineberg
Posted over 3 years ago
Who thinks it's time for TED to get behind the marijuana legalization movement?
No drug should be illegal. The government should make the risks of substance abuse plainly apparent, but have no right to judge what an individual choses to do with their own body and/or mind. Those who want illegal substances can get them anyway -- in the case of underaged kids, even easier than alcohol. The argument that legalization promotes more users is flawed. The stats speak against it -- both Holland and Portugal have seen significant decreases in marijuana usage since decriminalization. Legalization would start investing income in your own government and stop supporting terrorists in Columbia or Afghanistan. Legalize it all and bankrupt the illegal drug trade.
108248
Daniel Vineberg
Posted over 3 years ago
Obama's birth certificate
This whole discourse is simply the most recent manifestation of the most frustrating sort of "identity" politics. Voters should judge Politicians by nothing but the decisions they make. Sadly we are far, far away from this being a reality.
108248
Daniel Vineberg
Posted over 3 years ago
"I don't try to be right, I choose to be happy" ... wait, what?
Thanks everyone for taking the time to give such thoughtful responses. Based on the direction of the conversation so far I'll just add a brief clarification my defense of "being right". "Rightness" is such a loaded term that it is easy to equivocate someone's saying that they are right to saying that everyone else is wrong. A few commenters have pointed to this as a flaw of trying to be right. But this isn't necessarily what I'm saying. Rather, it's the ability to hold onto your own sense of "rightness" while co-existing with others who have their own believes of what's right that should be strived for. If you're living under someone else's notion of what's right (legally, morally, spiritually, etc..) then I don't think you can truly choose to be happy, but only chose to conform. On the other hand, I believe there are certain issues where right and wrong can and must be determined. It *had* to be determined for example that women have the right to vote. In countries where they still do not, we cannot simply force this belief on them, but we are selling humanity short if we passively accept such forms of oppression in the name of tolerance. ( The first TED talk I ever watched was by Sam Harris, who does a great job of talking about the implications of judging right and wrong: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sam_harris_science_can_show_what_s_right.html ) In sum, I agree with the speaker on the importance of not sweating who's right in the small things. But in the larger sense, the often tiresome battle for rightness is well worth having.
108248
Daniel Vineberg
Posted over 3 years ago
Why do we engage in superstition?
Superstition comes from one of the most basic human desires -- the desire to control one's future. This could be an attempt to make something good happen, or an attempt to prevent something bad from happening. I think the prevalence of superstition is actually very natural, given that it's based on positive or negative reenforcement/ If a student studies at home and passes a quiz, studying has been positively reenforced, right? But what if next time this student studies at the library instead, and fails miserably? While the truth likely has something to do with level of focus or difficulty of material, or a hundred other influences, what is the most obvious difference to the student? Why the library, of course. So in this example blaming poor results on the library can be thought of as analyzing a complex situation and coming up with a lazy answer. But it is also based on conditioning, the most fundamental human motivator. Other times superstitions can arise because they are just so simple ... if a soccer player rubs his bald coaches head before entering a game and scores the winner, you could analysis the unlikeliness of the two events having any connection all you like, but doesn't it seem natural to do the same thing again? Even if the bald head doesn't do anything, the confidence the player gets from a superstition may very well make a difference. EDIT: I could feel myself rambling, so hopefully my ideas come across semi-coherently. I've never really thought about this before, and it's an interesting question. I'm glad you brought it up.