Thursday, 11 August 2011

Reasons to Have Hope

Browsing through this blog, you might get a sense that one of the things I struggle with is a poverty of hope. From time to time TED talks do give me a little bit of hope, but often that hope collapses either because I realize that it's too much optimism and not enough substance, or because I see that it solves one problem and seriously exacerbates another, worse problem, or because the next TED talk I watch seems to think that the solution involves simply fancier technology.

However, from time to time I see ones that, I think, might stick, because they show ways in which social interaction can be rearranged for substantial improvement along lines that are already working in other areas. The following three talks are excellent examples I've recently encountered.

The first two are both by Rory Sutherland, an ad man whose ideas really need to be taken up by advocacy and activism groups. (Talks 1 and 2) His big thing is that if we want to lose some of our materialist culture, we need to develop new senses of value, something that the advertising industry is expert at creating. In the second talk, he discusses how we're biased towards costly solutions when minor solutions are sometimes just as powerful.
The third is by Jane McGonigal, a video game designer who is working on harnessing the problem-solving skills of our young gamers for real-world problems. (Here's the link.) She discusses the difference between problem-solving in MMOs and the sort of problem-solving attitudes those same people have in real life, and also discusses how gamers have actual skills that non-gamers do not have. They are experts at those skills, and we need them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please find a reference which lists many people and organizations who/that are actively working to create a better world, and also talking Truth to the powers that be.

Notice that most of them are essentially on the "left" side of the culture wars.

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