TED Community » Daniel Massarano

About Me

United Kingdom, Manchester
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More About Me

I'm passionate about

Main interests are music, gaming, cars, science - especially physics, sci-fi, football and technology. Secondary are politics, philosophy and a (largely critical) interest in religion.

People don't know that I'm good at

People who know me say that I'm very intelligent but due to poor communication skills and slower ways of thinking its slow to come across. Also very musically talented but I'm too shy to perform.

My TED Story

A few years ago, me and all of my friends were taking copious amounts of drugs. Whilst my mates would sit and watch silly cartoons and popular TV, my mate would show me TED talks whilst we got high. Something about the cocktail of weed and free, original and thought provoking ideas, shared for the sake of it, struck a chord. I had been too long in a society where so-called academics would teach us whilst being obviously unable to think for themselves, where new ideas are scorned as ravings of a madman. The idea that there was actually a places where knowledge was gained and shared for the sake of it was one that I wasn't aware even existed anymore. Now, a couple of years later, I have re-discovered that curiosity, though this time, it is combined with lucidity. TED is a haven for true intellectuals who can think independently, who can formulate hypotheses 'just for the hell of it', who are not bound by budgets or politics or votes, and most importantly, are being encouraged to do.


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  • A reply on Talk: Jackie Tabick: The balancing act of compassion

    Feb 14 2012: Hang on Bigot Ben, I have studied the Bible in its original form for over a decade and I promise you, there is no such commandment in a single passage, nor even reference to it, of god or his instruments committing rape or genocide. If fact, both are amongst the worst sins that one can commit. Furthermore, whilst the Bible implies that the Jews are the chosen people, I'm sure that almost every text of around a millennia around it said the same thing. I'm no expert in every religion under the sun but I know Christianity and Buddhism say those same words. That was the standard for the time. At least the Bible lays down laws on how to treat 'tourists'. Unlike other religions of the time and after who forced minorities to convert or be executed. Who was that?
    If one believes in creation and therefore the Bible, it is extremely hard to argue that the God of such a world is not generous and compassionate in the extreme.
  • A reply on Talk: Jackie Tabick: The balancing act of compassion

    Feb 14 2012: That is a purely Christian belief based on the view that sex is dirty and anything borne of it is filled with sin. Judaism believes that man is born free of sin and is perfect for the first and only time in his life. Whilst I have sufficient doubts with either set of beliefs, at least Judaism has the wisdom to view sex and reproduction as a positive and selfless act, and that a baby who has done no wrong to be purely innocent of sin. I won't even go into the Catholics
  • +4

    A comment on Talk: Feisal Abdul Rauf: Lose your ego, find your compassion

    Feb 14 2012: Being somewhere between Agnostic and Atheist I'm not normally to go for religious teachings or lectures, but this guy has really put a new perspective on things. As someone who was bought up in a religious Jewish family, and had therefore had about 10 years of study on the matter, as well as a few years on other religions, especially Buddhism in the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that there is really not much difference in most religions. Sure, some details may differ slightly, and one may think that their leader is better, but really it's like arguing whether Vidic, Evra or Ferdinand make a better captain for Man Utd. The core beliefs are so similar as to be of negligible difference. I would actually love to study the Qu'ran, only having studied the Tan'ach, or Bible, in both Hebrew and English, I know how badly misinterpretations can make things. Maybe a translation to Hebrew as they are sister languages.
    The point made here is bang on. Most religions are virtually the same - like the United comparison above, yet there is an unexplainable rivalry, that has progressed to hatred in some cases, yet from a logical point of view it makes as much sense as preferring a blue Kia over a silver Porsche because of the colour.
    I liked Abdul because he addressed the whole religious rivalry issue, as well as explaining what Islam is actually about, without any shame of referring to prejudices about issues. I have a few mates at Uni who are Muslim, and we like to discuss exactly such issues. The point is when any of us quotes an important concept in one religion, one of us will quote a virtually identical concept in another religion, usually one of the Abrahamics as they are the closest related. He is clearly right. If everyone swallows their egos we'll all find harmony in the belief in god. We will realise that all faiths are virtually the same and with a little maturity they will realise that a slightly different gloss on things is all that separates them.
  • +1

    A reply on Talk: Elizabeth Pisani: Sex, drugs and HIV -- let's get rational

    Feb 14 2012: The taboo surrounding prostitution, as well as the false assumption that they are all either scum or sex slaves, (no doubt a fantasised assumption to fulfil one's misguided assumptions) is one that simultaneously angers and baffles me. At risk of devaluing one of my favourite phrases, I fear that religion and it's influence on society, is to blame. Prostitutes are not scum and junkies are not scum. Most of both groups are great people, whilst many prostitutes love what they do and provide an invaluable service to society. Unfortunately everyone hates them except when they are using them. If you want to launch misguided attacks on anyone, blame society. Many of both of these groups could be doing great thing had they been given a better opportunity. One thin is for certain though. A choice of indulging in stimulants other than alcohol, or a career in sex, does not make one a scumbag.
  • +2

    A reply on Talk: Elizabeth Pisani: Sex, drugs and HIV -- let's get rational

    Feb 14 2012: Secondly, in my experience, I have been around enough prostitutes to say that, mostly, they are lovely girls. Sure, some are 'scum' but you will find that in almost any sweep found in a given profession.
    I have an injury-related disability that has left me unable to walk or lead a normal lifestyle, and realistically, the only chance of me gaining sexual gratification is via a prostitute. And no, I'm not ashamed to admit it. What girl is going to go for a bloke who can't even take a shower without some form of help? Prostitutes have filled this hole for me, and I can honestly say they are some of the loveliest and most compassionate souls that I have encountered. Most of them have even trumped the best nurses and other medical staff in terms of care. Many prostitutes are in the business for job satisfaction, some even devote their work to servicing disabled clients who would otherwise go without any action but for their right hand. Look down on this if you wish but every human born has the need for sex. It is one of our most basic and essential needs. Many prostitutes are working for the money, and many for the love of the job, but how is this different from any other job? You also work for the money whilst hoping for some element of job satisfaction, doing unpleasant work in hope of achieving some greater sense of happiness or achievement. How is this different? Heck, they're the smart one, doing it with sex, who doesn't enjoy that? (apart from Catholics)
  • A reply on Talk: Elizabeth Pisani: Sex, drugs and HIV -- let's get rational

    Feb 14 2012: OK. Haven't watched this article, I will when I get the time, but I feel the need to respond to your claim that most junkies and prostitutes are scum. As an ex-junkie myself, I can honestly say that that particular path is a steep and slippery slope that, once started on, can lead you to immeasurable depth. However, at no point would I have been considered a scumbag. Sure, many are, but there are so many events and circumstance that can lead to this, mostly childhood issues and poor upbringing and advice that can set you on this path. I myself ended up like this due to childhood issues and severe depression, culminating in a horrendous breakdown that almost ended my life. However, to an outsider, you would have been unable to distinguish me from an average Joe, save for the bags under my eyes. Many drugs can form a terrible addictive habit that is very hard to shake and can be induced from mere curiosity to an attempted escapism and is by no means divided by class, ethical values or conduct. Out of all my friends, all of whom have been severe Class-A addicts and are now clean and very promising prospects in our respective fields, one wouldn't dream of categorising any of us as scum, simply unfortunate or tragic cases.
  • +1

    A comment on Talk: Christopher McDougall: Are we born to run?

    Feb 14 2012: Pheidippides running the first marathon, as mentioned here, is a bit of a myth. Sources vary as to whether it was a 150 mile run either way from Sparta to Athens, a run of 300 miles, or whether the entire army did the march. The myth was accepted into popular culture because of a poem or play, no doubt with a similar devotion to historical accuracy as Hollywood regularly shows.
    Nevertheless, a top talk. Really shows how we haven't really evolved our ancient and feral instincts, and how they are still useful.
  • A reply on Talk: Christopher McDougall: Are we born to run?

    Feb 14 2012: What, you mean mums can't run whilst holding their baby? cos that's what my mum did. Maybe they weren't so paranoid about their baby's being hurt by improbable things. Also, condensed calories come from meat not nuts. If you need proof, look at bears. All of them apart from Pandas hibernate, and all but Pandas are carnivores. Pandas don't hibernate because, as vegetarians, they lack the build up of nutrients to survive the winter. Clearly the best form of nutrients are from meat. If not, why did anything evolve fangs or claws? grass and fruits don't fight back!

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