Raphael Broek

Rotterdam, Netherlands

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Raphael Broek
Posted 12 months ago
Maintaining human civilization by focusing on the key challenges of our time: energy, food and resource depletion.
Reorganized political structures --> technocratic, science oriented global governance (locally managed, but operating from analytically deduced set of axioms minimizing room for dogma and subjectivity) = 1. Impose birth control (earn the right to reproduce) 2. Redistribution of resources 3. Reallocation of labour and specialism per area in the world (based on logical analysis of local potential) 4. Reinventing the meaning and purpose of homo sapiens anno 2013 (focus on longterm survival, not personal gain) 5. Adopt economic model based on actual value, not (blind) growth I agree this looks more like a bad proposal for a sci-fi film than it looks like a realistic possibility. Current dynamics are too strong and embedded in our psyche and through our psyche manifested in solid social, political and economic structures. The above could only be achieved by force (not likely since those with excessive wealth happen to control methods of force and largely want to keep things as they are) or resurrection after global catastrophe. Personally I think our (free market/individualized) civilisation will collapse (result of war both civil and international/economic stagnation/socio-cultural fragmentation) within let's say 100-200 years giving opportunity to the rise of new systems based on new principles (better or worse). Maybe for some I sound too radical and dramatic. But if my observations correspond with reality, windmills, electric cars, gay marriage and micro financing are just not going to improve the ever increasingly fragile position were in at the moment. But rest assured, history teaches we are not the first civilization to encounter serious issues regarding survival. Important note: I do not claim we should not take initiative and just lean back and watch the show. I think there are a lot of inspired people who could make great changes. However I am pessimistic about the timeframe vs. counterforces
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Raphael Broek
Posted over 1 year ago
Jennifer Granholm: A clean energy proposal -- race to the top!
You do not have to convince me of the structural flaws in consumption driven/growth oriented economics and the collective psychology fueling it. I understand its inherent destructiveness. What I was stating is that reality is a bit more complex than Michael proposes. Simply quitting the rat race and start living on the country side is a very liberating thing to do, and will work for individuals. But if the entire nation would do so, other nations will be on your door step before you know it (look what happened throughout history with isolated societs e.g. Africans/Indians/Native Americans etc.). --> You would lose the battle over critical resources. So in my previous comment I said, unless the entire world population undergoes such a change, the effects will be minimal and additionally, those who chose to change their behavior will loose from those who will not. You cannot simply turn back dynamics caused by 200 years of market economy with some positive thinking. Therefore I said, unless the world population decreases significantly, or you would have some kind of measure to impose global ethical laws (science fiction), it is more useful to embrace the current situation and innovate. World population grows--> demand for resources grows : sustainable energy is essential (to reduce impact on natural reserves). Investing in sustainable energy I therefore see as an essential attribute of a modern society. Apart from the governor’s sincerity, I think the underlining principles of what she proposes could be a good plan. And finally to Michael, collective human nature will change itself when it has to. Whether it happens on time is only a relative issue...on a cosmic scale it is of no meaning. I deeply respect your views and attitude, but a falling object will only stop when it hits the ground. If you want to preserve the object it is more useful to acknowledge its fall and ensure a soft landing than resenting that which caused the fall.
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Raphael Broek
Posted over 1 year ago
Jennifer Granholm: A clean energy proposal -- race to the top!
Great presentation. Although the proposed 'energy specialism’s' per state might be debatable in terms of technical efficiency etc., her idea about the governing politics necessary to kick start the bottom up change is very insightful. Below I have read some pseudo philosophic statements about the more humane world that we would need instead of our today world with current structures. That is not new, everyone agrees when being showed a picture of hungry kids, chopped down rain forests or oil spills in a coral reef. Truth is: 1. human beings tend to reproduce rather diligently. 2. 200 years of market economy created dependency on trade and consumption. 3. USA is not the only country in the world. A more human world cannot be created overnight. National clean energy economy is a required first step, based on the doing-more-with-less principal. That indeed would create jobs and boast scientific and economic innovation in USA, needed for avoiding degradation to second or third world country standards in the next 50 years --> China, India, Brazil, etc. etc. will not wait. Conclusion: I fail to see where her idea conflicts with that of a more humane world. This is the kind of politics required to make the necessary steps in adapting our economy and collective psychology to a society that is more in tune with its environment. For a more rapid solutions you could: 1. kill 3/4 of the world's population. 2. hypnotize the entire world population and impose the same ethical rules to each individual or 3. impose the previously mentioned ethics through global dictatorship. If one does not wish engage in the latter activities, than we need policies similar to those in the presentation. Then maybe....in 100-200 years the world will look more like a lot of us wish it would look like..
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Raphael Broek
Posted over 1 year ago
Matthieu Ricard: The habits of happiness
Do not try to be the Buddha, Jesus Christ or Krishna, nor strive for enlightenment in any way. True liberation for the modern day to day person lies in the realization that you ‘have’ a brain instead of 'being' your brain. The latter realization will bring radical, non-linear positivity into your life.
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Raphael Broek
Posted over 1 year ago
Brian Greene: Is our universe the only universe?
So the ancient Indians were right after all..,we are one with all that is. Everything in existence shares the same basis, just vibrating in a different way. It's funny that acient knowledge from the East often passes as superstition for a long time, and later on gets affirmed by modern science (frequently produced in the West). However, great talk..fascinating presentation.
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Raphael Broek
Posted almost 2 years ago
Barry Schwartz: Our loss of wisdom
Static rules discourage moral courage. Static rules direct people towards one dimensional thinking and decision-making (thinking and decision-making only taking the self in account) because a ‘morally justified’ alternative to multi dimensional decision-making (to involve others and their feelings, well-being and/or interest in a decision) is being provided. Rules give a person a kind of self projected sense of ‘doing the right thing’ which is then again confirmed by the system built up by these rules. It is not realistic to expect that people will take an, one the first sight, more complicated decision (thinking outside yourself) when the easy alternative of simply following the rules is available and even praised. In this sense, static rules function as an illusion that prevents us from doing what really makes us happy (neurologically) and instead creates a focus on what is thought (projectedpsychologically) to make us happy. Incentives can be seen as a form of regulation and therefore the same principles apply. It is naïve to think that rules are irrelevant or can that there can be done without them. However, rules that do not allow dept (wisdom) at the individual level are bound to unsatisfactory outcomes. Static rules very often cannot successfully govern the dynamics they are exposed to. But, I don’t think that changes in current rules and systems based upon the latter insight is something that we will experience out of the blue.. This should be developed at the individual level, so maybe we could educate new generations with more advanced/modern ethics and moral will, providing an alternative to static rules (as Mr. Schwartz already indicated).
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Raphael Broek
Posted almost 2 years ago
Richard Dawkins: Why the universe seems so strange
I believe this (really refreshing) talk of prof. Dawkins proves the one inevitable truth about science and reality, which is that there is always more to find out. An open mind towards concepts that would have sound absolutely absurd 20 years ago is an absolute necessity for any person engaging in the act of science. Prof. Dawkins proofs to embody this. I think the TED community is the right platform to pose the following question. Especially after prof. Dawkins' talk. Having read on several attempts to 'describe' reality in theoretic fashion, varying from those of physicists to buddhists, I found one similarity in the theories that I found most convincing (in my humble opinion). These theories strongly emphasized the subjective nature of perception through which observations are made. E.g., this would mean that a purely physical/objective 'theory of reality', is incomplete as it does not encompass the subjective, while reality is obviously both objective and subjective in nature. Question: I came along an article written by Christopher Langan, an uneducated man whose IQ is said to be 195-210. I am not impressed by this number as I do not know him nor can I tell whether it is true. What did impress me was his proposal for a reality theory. In short, he describes nature/reality as a self processing 'meta language', containing all that constitutes reality within itself (no external cause or influence). All systems produced by this language are written in their own sub-language in a way that corresponds with the original omni language. Information would be the prime 'substance', where matter and energy are just logically modeled ‘forms’. I urge you to not get lost in words or terms, please focus on the bigger picture of his theory and its implications. I do not ask to believe what is in there, but to discover the possibility whether the concept, or sub-concepts can lead to new insights. My final request is to do so with an open mind. Thanks.. Titel:CTMU
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Raphael Broek
Posted almost 2 years ago
Richard Dawkins: Why the universe seems so strange
I believe this (really refreshing) talk of prof. Dawkins proves the one inevitable truth about science and reality, which is that there is always more to find out. An open mind towards concepts that would have sound absolutely absurd 20 years ago is an absolute necessity for any person engaging in the act of science. Prof. Dawkins proofs to embody this. I think the TED community is the right platform to pose the following question. Especially after prof. Dawkins' talk. Having read on several attempts to 'describe' reality in theoretic fashion, varying from those of physicists to buddhists, I found one similarity in the theories that I found most convincing (in my humble opinion). These theories strongly emphasized the subjective nature of perception through which observations are made. For example, this would mean that a purely physical/objective 'theory of reality', is incomplete as it does not encompass the subjective, while reality is obviously both objective and subjective in nature. Question: I came along an article written by Christopher Langan, an uneducated man whose IQ is said to be 195-210. I am not impressed by this number as I do not know him nor can I tell whether it is true. What did impress me was his proposal for a reality theory. In short, he describes nature/reality as a self processing 'meta language', containing all that constitutes reality within itself (no external cause or influence). All systems produced by this language are written in their own sub-language in a way that corresponds with the original omni language. Information would be the prime 'substance', where matter and energy are just logically modeled ‘forms’. I urge you to not get lost in words or terms, please focus on the bigger picture of his theory and its implications. I do not ask to believe what is in there, but to discover the possibility whether the concept, or sub-concepts can lead to new insights. My final request is to do so with an open mind. Thanks.. Titel:CTMU
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Raphael Broek
Posted almost 2 years ago
Do we really want free/cheap energy?
Nice food for thought, but partly reductio ad absurdum. A society in which the price of energy has reached zero, fundamental scientific breakthroughs have occurred in several fundamental fields including materials science. Steel, plastic and other current fossil energy based derivatives would be far less attractive as newer, better, cleaner and cheaper options would be available. The innovations and social adoption that are needed to reach 'zero energy price', change the energy related infrastructures in such a way that the methods of today would be considered uneconomic and inefficient. You're statement would obviously be true if it happened tomorrow/overnight, leaving all other factors unchanged. But that is science fiction. I do believe that within the process of reaching the ‘zero price point’ we would see some negative and positive fluctuation in the usage of fossil energy and its derivate products/services, but that is already the case. Eventually they would disappear, at least in the way as we use them today. (it’s not sure whether we reach that point, but that is not part of the hypothesis) The essential factor in exploitation of the earth’s resources (faster than nature can keep up with) is caused by human nature, and not by the price of energy. As long as the world’s population keeps increasing at the same pace or faster and modern societies maintain the same consumption patterns, the problem remains intact. Conclusion; The way towards zero energy price is what’s most important. Furthermore, I think that free energy/almost free energy is equivalent to significantly lower carbon footprint (they cannot be free/cheap for a large population for a long period if they are not highly efficient and cradle to cradle). Finally, low carbon footprint only solves our climate problems (huge as it they are). Problems with water, food and land need similar attention, and as you pointed out, they might be negatively affected by the availability of free energy.(continued)