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Dorthea Back Online and Thinking About Humanity
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9:26 am
May 10, 2011


christian briggs

Bloomington, IN

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It looks like Dorthea is okay, but she has some thoughts for our teams in Bloomington 2011:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..RwgxAqWeec

It seems as though she is asking for us to think about two things:

  1. How is humanity defined by our actions?
  2. What kinds of behavior and communication patterns have developed in your groups?

How is humanity defined by our actions?

Philosophers and theologians have debated the nature of humanity and reality for millenia. Do we exist because we think? Is there an essential "human" nature? Is "human" a socially constructed idea? Whatever you believe, i would like to suggest that for now we try on the simple but profound glasses of Forrest Gump, who suggested that "Stupid is as stupid does" or the similarly simple but profound lenses of Jimmie Dodd and Doreen, who suggest that "Beauty is as beauty does." (i know there are more high-minded versions of this concept, but i thought it would be entertaining to use these)

In other words, humans are what we do. And extending that to the premise of this game, humans might be not only the things we do today, but also what those things we do cause in the future. Assuming for a moment that this is true, what does that mean for us today? Right now?

What kinds of behavior and communication patterns have developed?

Communication is critical to getting things done with other people. Take it away and the ability to get things done goes with it. Improve it, and the ability of two, ten, hundreds or thousands of people to create better outcomes improves too.

Most often, communication patterns emerge out of people's everyday interactions, as they develop their own norms for how to work together. Occasionally we solidify these norms into spoken or written rules. What are some of the effective or ineffective patterns that you have seen emerging in your teams?


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10:56 am
May 10, 2011


kisbundas

Bloomington, IN

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Dorthea asks "is humanity what we think, or is it what we do?"  Both good questions, but I think humanity is who we are – for better or for worse.  I believe we have the ability to rise above the later and the skills/resources to bring ourselves closer, as a community, to the former. But we have to make a deliberate decision and put forth the effort to do so on a continual basis.

We all seem to have different styles of thinking and playing – and we have certainly demonstrated that we have a lot of great ideas for how to improve the future!  Having limited resources and time and the subsequent need to pick the one thing that will have the most impact is perhaps the greatest challenge we must overcome – i.e., taking that first step when there are so many potential directions we can go. 

4:21 pm
May 10, 2011


Inna

Bloomington, IN

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#1. thoughts and actions are intertwined. if one thinks people don't deserve healthcare or good education because they can't pay for it, one would act upon it accordingly. and talk about socialism, "death panels",  super-rich overpaid teachers, etc.

i guess i just mentioned at least two issues that can have serious consequences in the future.

9:01 am
May 11, 2011


kisbundas

Bloomington, IN

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I heard an interesting post on NPR this morning about a group that had come together to provide grants for fertility treatments to people without the financial means to do so otherwise. The group, Inciid, (http://www.inciid.org/) asks recipients to come up with a small amount on their own and then seeks donations of services and goods from doctors and other medical providers to cover the remaining costs. The group, and its founders, asserted that rich people shouldn't be the only ones who had the means to access technology/medicine that allowed otherwise infertile couples to become parents.

 

The following TED talk explores our evolving notions of success over time – from historical times where people had little control over their place in life and subsequent destiny (and those with little were considered "unfortunate"), to today's world where we have greater opportunities and a belief that we control our own destiny – and people who don't excel or achieve are considered "losers" rather than just unlucky or unfortunate as the case may be.

Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success


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9:05 am
May 11, 2011


kisbundas

Bloomington, IN

Member

posts 13

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Sorry – something got corrupted in the previous post so I wasn't able to edit it. 

Here is the link:

Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..tSE4rglxbY

8:19 pm
May 11, 2011


AnnaAnastasia

Bloomington

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How is humanity defined by our actions?

 

I'm tempted to say that humanity should be defined by our actions alone.  After all, whether humanity's problems are caused by willful actions or benign neglect, the result is the same.

 

However, this question makes me think of what I learned in Criminal Law about the (theoretical) goals of our criminal justice system.  If I remember correctly, the professor talked about four main goals: punishment of perpetrators, deterrence of other potential perpetrators, rehabilitation of perpetrators, and restitution to the victims.

 

Society's response to the criminal and the victim will be affected by the mindset of the criminal.  For instance, an premeditated murder is seen as the most serious type of murder because, although the victim equally suffers, the community would experience more distress.  Thus, the crime requires a greater level of restitution to the community to restore their feeling of safety, the sentence should create the highest level of deterrence to maintain community safety, the perpetrator should be highly punished for causing such harm, and the heightened punishment would offer a greater opportunity for rehabilitation of the perpetrator.

 

I'm optimistic enough to believe that humans generally don't purposely try to cause serious harm, especially the type of harm that is happening in Dorthea's world.  However, the challenge in solving Dorthea's problem is that the actions that cause that harm are basically mindless, everyday actions.  We have to create in all of us a mindfulness of society's everyday actions.  I believe the more mindful we are of the harm we cause, the less likely we are to do it.

8:35 pm
May 11, 2011


christian briggs

Bloomington, IN

Admin

posts 71

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Wow folks,

There is so much richness here. I wish i had time to respond fully. But i don't, except to say thanks for the very rich responses! 

9:22 pm
May 11, 2011


Slappy

Bloomington

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Thanks for the insight AnnaAnastatia – it's totally helping our presentation.

 

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