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-   -   UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2546)

Bloggingheads 01-24-2009 07:45 PM

UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 

Baltimoron 01-25-2009 12:28 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
Admittedly, at first Drayton's placid delivery was annoying, but by the end of this diavlog, I was impressed. Discussing sub-Saharan Africa, I realized there was a connection between the region's dearth of change-makers and its economic under-development. The same bad policies that inhibit growth also inhibit people, and both change-makers and economic growth could be mutually productive as well as each being auto-catalytic.

Abdicate 01-25-2009 01:20 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
If Al Qaeda ever seeks torture me, please don't tell them of my psychic experience when listening to William Drayton and Mark Leon Goldberg.

sugarkang 01-25-2009 01:28 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
Sounds like a ponzi scheme for charity.
It just might work!

Silver~Guy 01-25-2009 09:17 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
Amazing. Thank you for this great interview Mark and William.

Curtis 01-25-2009 10:56 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
I really, really meant to listen to this all the way to the end, but a 10:57 in, my elbow dropped off the end of the table and I fell in the floor. I'm sending bloggingheads the bill for the stitches I got in my head on the way down.

Curtis 01-25-2009 11:02 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
I have an idea to give, what is unquestionable laudable and wonderful goals as pressed out by the hot iron of Dr. Drayton's delivery, a chance of succeeding on a mass scale. Mix it up with a little sex and violence. That should work. Failing that, at least, a chorus line.

jonny goldstein 01-25-2009 11:41 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
I thought this was great stuff, albeit not to the tastes of some of Bloggingheads more hardboiled viewers. I see so many nonprofits and government programs spinning their wheels ineffectively, so it's good to have other models out there.

bjkeefe 01-25-2009 12:10 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jonny goldstein (Post 102121)
I thought this was great stuff, albeit not to the tastes of some of Bloggingheads more hardboiled viewers. I see so many nonprofits and government programs spinning their wheels ineffectively, so it's good to have other models out there.

That's a good way of putting it. I felt much the same way -- we have enough problems that aren't getting solved, or aren't getting solved quickly enough, and a persistent fraction of the world population that seems stuck no matter what we have done, that it's worth trying some other ideas in parallel.

William did sound a little vague and hand-wavy about his program, and to the extent that I understood it, I'm dubious about how well it would scale, but there might be something to his approach. During this diavlog, I kept thinking of the old Margaret Mead line:

Quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

paagle 01-25-2009 02:05 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
For my first bloggingheads comment, I'd like to thank Curtis for darn near making me do just as he described.

paagle 01-25-2009 08:10 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Everyone a Change Maker
 
falling over from laughing, that is. Not from dozing off.

Dang, flubbed the first one

Wonderment 01-26-2009 06:34 PM

Empathy, rationality or both?
 
On Free Will this week Eliezer and Will discuss rationality and "overcoming bias" as values. Their criticism of Bush as "stupid" suggests that a more rational president would be better and that rationality trumps "feelings."

Mark and William seem to suggest another POV -- that a) empathy is supremely important b) it can be taught and c) people who become more empathetic will solve our fundamental problems. Mark suggests nonviolence should be our core value, even though violence may appear "rational."

To what extent do these core values of empathy and rationality complement or contradict each other?

I'm cross-posting this on the Free Will discussion to see if anyone wants to pick it up there.

AemJeff 01-26-2009 06:38 PM

Re: Empathy, rationality or both?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 102203)
On Free Will this week Eliezer and Will discuss rationality and "overcoming bias" as values. Their criticism of Bush as "stupid" suggests that a more rational president would be better and that rationality trumps "feelings."

Mark and William seem to suggest another POV -- that a) empathy is supremely important b) it can be taught and c) people who become more empathetic will solve our fundamental problems. Mark suggests nonviolence should be our core value, even though violence may appear "rational."

To what extent do these core values of empathy and rationality complement or contradict each other?

I'm cross-posting this on the Free Will discussion to see if anyone wants to pick it up there.

Wonderment: see this. H/T Tyrrell McAllister.

bjkeefe 01-27-2009 12:57 AM

Re: Empathy, rationality or both?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 102203)
To what extent do these core values of empathy and rationality complement or contradict each other?

I'd see no inherent reason why empathy and rationality can't complement each other highly. In this light, see Dennis Overbye's latest essay.

Excerpts:

Quote:

Science is not a monument of received Truth but something that people do to look for truth.

That endeavor, which has transformed the world in the last few centuries, does indeed teach values. Those values, among others, are honesty, doubt, respect for evidence, openness, accountability and tolerance and indeed hunger for opposing points of view. These are the unabashedly pragmatic working principles that guide the buzzing, testing, poking, probing, argumentative, gossiping, gadgety, joking, dreaming and tendentious cloud of activity the writer and biologist Lewis Thomas once likened it to an anthill that is slowly and thoroughly penetrating every nook and cranny of the world.

Nobody appeared in a cloud of smoke and taught scientists these virtues. This behavior simply evolved because it worked.
Quote:

It is no coincidence that these are the same qualities that make for democracy and that they arose as a collective behavior about the same time that parliamentary democracies were appearing. If there is anything democracy requires and thrives on, it is the willingness to embrace debate and respect one another and the freedom to shun received wisdom. Science and democracy have always been twins.


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