Kevin Turnbull

Ottawa, Canada

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Kevin Turnbull
Posted over 2 years ago
Elizabeth Murchison: Fighting a contagious cancer
One argument I could see for allowing the tazmanian devil to go extinct is the risk that the contagious cancer could jump species and begin to infect other species. I feel this is probably fairly unlikely since we don't have the natural habit of biting each other as a form of greeting. Anyone with more experience willing to comment?
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Kevin Turnbull
Posted over 2 years ago
Elizabeth Murchison: Fighting a contagious cancer
I'm going to start off with your last question. The reason they know the cancer isn't pre-existing would be through genetic profiling of the cancer cells similar to how they can track the progression of the tazmanian devil cancer back to an individual in the north east. It's known the cancer evolves because it consists of a large number of cells which divide rapidly. With rapidly dividing cells come rapidly developing mutations (Errors on copy: Think photocopy of a photocopy). With a definition of evolution being the change in genotype frequency over time it's evolving because individual cells multiply and mutate. I'm going to skip over your disbelief of her anecdote since I can't verify or deny it. I feel for the challenges of a childhood cancer diagnosis. I do agree that we're releasing many chemicals into the environment -- and that many of them are mutagenic (read cancer causing) but there's no 'stages' of evolution (excepting the theory of Punctuated equilibrium). Evolution is the stacking up of mutations which get selected for or against by natural selection. I hope I was clear enough here. Feel free to ask further.
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Kevin Turnbull
Posted over 2 years ago
What's your TED habit?
For each of my courses at Carleton University I post a relevant lecture to the class discussion boards. I find it has helped me connect with the other students striving for excellence.
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Kevin Turnbull
Posted over 2 years ago
Could you be the key to solving the energy crisis?
Another option is to take a look into the community and and government programs and initiatives which exist in your area and find ways to get involved either financially (if time is your most scarce asset) or hands on (if money is more scarce). Many of the problems which have found their way into our modern life are solveable if the microeconomic climate is right. Watch TED talks like 'The Shareable City' or 'How food shapes our cities' and think of how you could either start a movement or where you should look to find those most valuable movements already under way. Locally in Canadian province of Ontario there is a program for supporting locally produced green energy known as the 'FIT' program (Feed in Tariff) whereby the government agrees to pay a fixed premium for energy produced in ecologically friendly ways. By providing that guarantee many companies like Grasshopper Solar or Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op have been able to lower the cost of entry for anyone wishing to start generating power (and other benefits) with waste land and otherwise underutilized spaces. It's not just about the 'human power-plant'. Another vastly underutilized resource is human creativity, time and effort.
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Kevin Turnbull
Posted over 2 years ago
Is war a necessity or something that should be avoided at all cost?
I think this is an unnecessarily defeatist view. Humans have been waging massive wars only since the invention/development of centralized semi-anonymous decision-making bodies (churches, governments, military bodies) and that's not our entire history. If you look at tribal cultures they don't go to wars very often and when they do it's not something that would seriously affect the gene pool. More often the one or two people from tribe x who come across tribe y will have something to trade to be able to make the journey back to their home. The resources necessary to create a war to attack another village would be too much and risk losing too much. Modern society has it's flaws but if you look at recent events like the independence of South Sudan and it's acceptance into the UN as well as other major improvements towards peace I believe it's entirely possible to foresee a day when literally everyone is at peace due to a common understanding that stable populations, economic development and technological transhumanism benefit greatly from warless states.
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Kevin Turnbull
Posted almost 3 years ago
What are the reasons for disinterest in the political system?
It's a quite undefended viewpoint for me to hold but I'm of the opinion that being a politician should require open access to the information used to make major decisions. If you represent the people you should be fully transparent in your actions. I'm not saying all your text messages and e-mail accounts should have no passwords but any change of opinion should be based on a reasonable, defend-able and openly accessible (read recorded and published) set of meetings with openly available agendas and key points. If you want people to be interested in politics you must allow them to learn the deep workings of politics. In reference to military operations I tend to agree. Putting a military stamp on an operation could be used to hide any number of activities but if they must be fully disclosed once the operation has been halted/completed then it gives disincentive to do things that would damage your reputation once it gets released. . . The problem is does that not mean you allow 'history is written by the victor' to be the standard policy? Another aspect though of note is that we don't vote in our military leaders. They fight to the top. In every country it's obviously different -- but who has more control over the vast amounts of money put in the hands of world militarys the democratic leaders, or the military leaders?
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Kevin Turnbull
Posted almost 3 years ago
What are the reasons for disinterest in the political system?
I feel that one of the reasons why people feel disinterested in Politics is because they have nothing to watch. The way that the workings of government are shared with the people are overly complex out of a desire to hide the real actions of the politicians. I feel that a politician should have to be a figure who is open to intense public scrutiny but in reality most of the real decision making is done behind closed doors and involves details which we as citizens aren't allowed to know. What's the government doing that requires so much secrecy?
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Kevin Turnbull
Posted almost 3 years ago
Seeking an Idea from TED and TEDsters to Help Two hundred (200) million people
By supporting eco-entrepreneurship and focusing on whole-life education for those who are unemployed you can provide jobs to those willing to build businesses or work for themselves. The number of small businesses are (as I've been told) one of the reasons why Canada wasn't hit as badly as the United States by the recent recession. Also, their's practically no end to the value adding work that can be done towards making human culture more sustainable.