Monday, October 24, 2011

Richard Wilkinson: How income inequality harms societies (video)

This stunning and eminently relevant TED talk by Richard Wilkinson “charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.” Wilkinson presents data that shows clearly how increased income inequality has a direct, discernible negative impact on the general wellbeing of a society. Economic growth (GDP), still vitally important for developing nations, is no longer as important as economic equality, for developed industrial democracies.

More unequal societies have higher levels of violence, crime, family breakdown, and lower levels of social mobility. The ills of a society with high income inequality are exacerbated and driven deeper into the fabric of society as income inequality widens. It is even demonstrable that more unequal countries are more likely to have capital punishment and justice systems with socio-economic bias problems. There is “general social dysfunction related to inequality; it’s not just one or two things that go wrong, it’s most things.” 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thandie Newton TED Talk on Embracing Otherness and Credible Selfhood

From TED.com: “Actor Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her ‘otherness’—first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves. A warm, wise talk, fresh from stage at TEDGlobal 2011.”

Newton explained that as she sought to grow into whatever it was her self was: “I still valued self-worth above all other worth. And what was there to suggest otherwise. We created entire value systems and the physical reality to support the worth of self. Look at the industry for self image and the jobs it creates, the revenue it turns over. We’d be right in assuming that the self is an actual living thing. But it’s not. It’s a projection which our clever brains create in order to cheat ourselves from the reality of death.” 

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thandie Newton TED Talk on Embracing Otherness and Credible Selfhood

From TED.com: “Actor Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her ‘otherness’—first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves. A warm, wise talk, fresh from stage at TEDGlobal 2011.”

Newton explained that as she sought to grow into whatever it was her self was: “I still valued self-worth above all other worth. And what was there to suggest otherwise. We created entire value systems and the physical reality to support the worth of self. Look at the industry for self image and the jobs it creates, the revenue it turns over. We’d be right in assuming that the self is an actual living thing. But it’s not. It’s a projection which our clever brains create in order to cheat ourselves from the reality of death.” 

Read More

(Source: ted.org)