Friday, November 17, 2006

Dangerous Ideas

The best ideas are dangerous.There's a new book (and website) devoted to them: WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?.

I picked up the prequel (WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?) last Christmas Eve, it was cheap, and looked a good random present -- in the end I jealously kept it for myself.

Two of the most interesting "unprovable" ideas were:

1) Brains are reducible, although very complex, they are in theory completely explainable. Therefore, there is no such thing as free will, we are complex biological robots. I have pondered on this idea quite a bit - it is mind blowing (excuse the pun).

2) Sooner or later we will know objectively the core moral values of all humanity.

If the book sounds interesting, and PC monitors give you too much eye strain I will send you the book if you contact me (no point in it gaining dust, call it a Christmas present :)) -- I haven't bought the DANGEROUS IDEAS book, but will. I've been thinking of my dangerous idea, it goes something like this:

It is in the interests of the wealthy of the world, that the poor remain so, because,

1) Developed country's citizens use 32x the resources and produce 32x the waste of developing countries (Collapse, Jared Diamond). (China and India could never attain Western European standards of living without disastrous global environmental consequences.)

2) When developing countries manage to cut down on corruption and other barriers to investment, economics tells us that capital will flow in (capital naturally searches for an abundance of labour and vice versa). The corresponding capital outflows from the West will reduce real wages, Western governments will be loath to allow that to happen (just as they are loath to allow economic migrants in).


coffeeliqueur said...

Wow!I didn't know you have been filling up your blog..:D
Can I link your blog with mine?Oh, you can link mine to yours too if you want...:)

bambang aroengbinang said...

Greetings. Whether an idea is "safe" or "dangerous" is contextual. It depends on who you are, the idea generator, and who they are, the affected society or groups of people around you, once your voice is heard.

In any context, liberation of idea generation and its subsequent communication to the public will pose a degree of threat to the establishments.

johnorford said...

i agree with you.

what i find fascinating is how single "ideas" themselves can (still) be so devastatingly dangerous.

e.g. during the week i read about the indonesian preacher who wanted to recite prayers in indonesian instead of arabic. it's a v straightforward (and rational) principal/idea, but is dangerous (at leastin a v real way, to him and his family).

johnorford said...