Mornings With TED – Truth & Hope

1. What happens if you don’t watch the news?
2. What happens when we turn off our phones?
3. Wait, what ARE we talking about?

• Not just a tool for predicting the future
• Acknowledge loss of thought autonomy and confirmation bias
• Nothing exists in a vacuum
• Gathering facts
• Discoursing – exploring alternative views
• Asking questions
• Avoiding the pitfalls of a “single story”
• Seeking truth

Michael Lynch is professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, where he directs the Humanities Institute. His books include The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data, In Praise of Reason: Why Rationality Matters for Democracy, Truth as One and Many and the New York Times Sunday Book Review Editor’s pick, True to Life. Lynch is The Principal Investigator for Humility & Conviction in Public Life, a $7 million project aimed at understanding and encouraging meaningful public discourse funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the University of Connecticut. A contributor to the New York Times “The Stone” weblog, Lynch’s work has been profiled in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Wired and in media worldwide.


Pope Francis was elected in March 2013, becoming the first Pope from the Americas and from the Southern hemisphere. He was born in 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in a family of Italian immigrants. A Jesuit, he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires and then a Cardinal leading the Argentinian church. Upon election as the 266th Pope, he chose Francis as his papal name in reference to Saint Francis of Assisi.

A very popular figure who has taken it upon himself to reform the Catholic Church, Pope Francis’s worldview is solidly anchored in humility, simplicity, mercy, social justice, attention to the poor and the dispossessed — those he says “our culture disposes of like waste” — and in a critical attitude towards unbridled capitalism and consumerism. He is committed to interfaith dialogue and is seen as a moral and spiritual authority across the world by many people who aren’t Catholics.


Selected Quotes for Discussion
• Happiness can only be discovered as a gift of harmony between the whole and each single component. Even science – and you know it better than I do – points to an understanding of reality as a place where every element connects and interacts with everything else.

• Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the “culture of waste,” which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people.

• People’s paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money, and things, instead of people.

• When there is an “us,” there begins a revolution.

• Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.

More Resources & Ideas:
• Find Your Candidate Match –
• Fact checking? Use Snopes –
• Post-Truth Species in a Post-Truth World – TED Ideas Blog
• AmeriCorps for 55+ –
• Join Quora (300M monthly users) –
• Wisdom of the crowd –
• Know Thyself – Free Coursera online course

3 Comments on “Mornings With TED – Truth & Hope

  1. Hi Tera and classmates :
    Feel so lucky to be able to participate in such stimulating sessions with all of you and led by our stellar leader. We are a fortunate bunch of seniors !
    I’m still searching for web site to post .

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