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January Meeting - TED talks

Jason Runcie
user 26900792
Worcester, MA
Post #: 2
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Michael Specter: The danger of science denial - http://www.ted.com/ta...­
Ronny Edry: Israel and Iran: A love story? - http://www.ted.com/ta...­
Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions - http://www.ted.com/ta...­

This is for any post meeting discussion about the TED talks we watched. Since these boards don't get much traffic I figured one thread for all three is fine, but if people are active we can break it out into three different threads.
Jason Runcie
user 26900792
Worcester, MA
Post #: 3
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Sam Harris and women's bodies: I don't think Sam Harris was necessarily contradicting Zoe, he just did not present it exceptionally clearly. He started off in a way that I could see being offensive "Consider the great problem of women's bodies. What to do about them." My hope is that was a bit sarcastic, but I can see how that would set the rest up to be interpreted negatively.

When he showed the women in Burqas he said women should be able to wear whatever they want, but questioned the voluntary nature of the choice when in that community.

When he showed the magazines he started with a joke, so again not great, but then he questioned whether that was the right environment to raise our children in terms of views of youth, beauty, and women's bodies.

What I get from this is that both were representing the same thing: a culture that dictates what women should look like. One says they should be covered, one says they should be supermodels. The problem with the magazine covers isn't that women are allowed to be undressed in public, it's that these images condition people to think that this is what women should look like.

At least with Burqas, any women can easily attain the accepted look of the society. Almost nobody can attain the accepted look of our society. They have vitamin D deficiency and a very real threat of death for not conforming, we have eating disorders and melanoma. And of course there are other problems in terms of status in society, but I'm limiting this to the specific topic of appearance.
Jason Runcie
user 26900792
Worcester, MA
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Ronny Edry - Diet Coke: I am interested more in the cynical opinions on this. I could understand "it won't really do anything" (even though I think there is already evidence against that) but I am curious about the "it's harmful" concept. I don't know people's names but I'm pretty sure I heard it said. Is it that people would see this and think "oh, conflict resolved" and not think anything else more needs to be done? That's the only way I can see this as being a bad thing.

This is separate from the debate of whether the internet itself contributes more good or bad to the world, I'm talking specifically about the spreading of a positive message of "we don't want war".
Robyn Franke
user 10837891
Worcester, MA
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On Ronny Edry - I am also interested in the cynical opinions regarding this movement - I can only see positive possibilities when people overcome the "us" vs. "them" mentality
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