Ask a Good Question, Start a Civil Conversation

Ask a Good Question, Start a Civil Conversation

The world’s most important questions….. change and shift in priority almost every day.

Art | Biosphere | Change | Coronavirus | Democracy | Dystrumpia | Education | Existential Risks | Family | Human Rights | Immigration | Universe | Politics | Poverty | Racism | Religion | Science | Social Media | Sports | Truth | Virtual | War

Dystrumpia

1. Who planned and led the January 6, 2021 insurrection?

  • Who gave the orders?
  • Who was complicit?
  • What was their objective and how did they propose to achieve it?
  • Who knew what, where, when, why and how at the top?

2. What does FREEDOM mean?

  • What does FREEDOM not mean?

3. Evangelicals, how long do you apologize and put up with Trump’s lies and vulgarity?


I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year
by Carol Leonnig & Philip Rucker

War, Peace, and Military

1. Should the President of the United States have unilateral authority to order a nuclear attack?

  • How can we prevent the global nuclear triumvirate (U.S. – Russia – China) currently in-check by Mutually-Assured Destruction (MAD), from escalating into open military conflict?
  • Is adopting a no-first-use policy among nuclear-armed states a good starting point towards ultimately achieving a safer and saner nuclear-weapons-free world?


Peril by Bob Woodward

2. Why is war never-ending?

  • Does Lyndsey Graham speak fluent forever war?
  • At the end, did the U.S. “forever war” in Afghanistan do more harm than good?
  • What are the Lessons of History?

3. Does the U.S. need such a large and expensive military?

Social Media

1. Can the profiteering on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google and TikTok which compromises the well-being of users, be reasonably controlled as new human and social contagion problems are generated faster than they can be solved by humans or artificial intelligence?

2. Is Facebook crushing their competition legally, or illegally?

3. How do we live in a world where disinformation is inevitable?


Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked
by Adam Alter

Art

1. Is Morgan Wallen’s “N-word” racist outburst indicative of a broader racial politics of country music in both the past and present?

2. Is there a healing power to art?

3. If you love Picasso, but you hate his misogynistic behavior, what do you do?

Change

1. Can change happen in an instant?

2. How do you bring people over to your side?

3. How will we handle AI and the pace of change?


In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History
by Mitch Landrieu

Human Rights

If we rationalize torture, we become the barbarians. — sp

1. “What everyday horrors of our world will our descendants look back on with disgust, and wonder how we could have been so blind as to condone such transgressions against humanness and humanity?” — Dorfman

2. Do you believe in (Former) President Trump’s position that “torture works,” such that it justifies its use by the United States during war?

  • If evidence extracted by torture is inadmissible in court, why the heck are we spending billions of dollars at the Guantánamo black-site prison?
  • Is someone afraid of what we will find? Of what prisoners will say?

3. Should the world’s moral responsibility to stop human atrocities rise above national sovereignty?


Universal Declaration of Human Rights
by the United Nations

Family, Parenting, Grandparenting

1. After separating, how do you co-parent as a team?


The Co-Parenting Handbook:
Raising Well-Adjusted and Resilient Kids from Little Ones to Young Adults through Divorce or Separation

by Karen Bonnell

2. Are you frustrated with a screen-obsessed kid?

  • At what age should a child be given a cell phone?
  • Is it a good idea for kids to be asking for answers to important questions from digital assistants?
  • Is this practice interfering with the learning process?

3. Are overprotective parents raising a generation that can’t grow up?

  • Can we get kids to listen without yelling in anger?

Truth & Trust

1. Can algorithms be depended upon to sort out the subtleties of public discussion about complex topics such as Ivermectin?


Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories
by Rob Brotherton

2. What can I say with certainty is true about me?

3. If you want to find and verify the truth,

  • where do you look,
  • who do you ask, and
  • what does the truth look like compared to disinformation?

Coronavirus

1. Are the most selfishly dangerous people in the world today, asymptomatic anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers?

  • Are we now experiencing a pandemic of the unvaccinated?
  • Does wearing a mask and getting vaccinated require and deserve our solidarity as the most important thing a citizen can do for the Common Good?
  • Based on what we now know, and the entrenched remainder of the unvaccinated, is “herd immunity” realistically out of reach?
  • If so, should Anti-Vaxxers be required to purchase health insurance to protect their employer against the virus-spreading danger they present?


Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement
by Jonathan M. Berman

2. In order to fulfill our duty to keep our children safe and healthy across the nation, what is the scientific and moral way to protect them from the Delta variant of the Covid virus?

3. Is vaccinating animals safe? Is it necessary?

Biosphere, Climate Change, Sustainability, Green

1. When is it time to retreat from climate change?


The Geography of Risk: Epic Storms, Rising Seas, and the Cost of America’s Coasts
by Gilbert M. Gaul

2. Can human society live within its means — earth’s finite resources — without “earth overshoot“?

3. Is the hydrologic cycle being hacked by climate change? (i.e., human society?)

Poverty, Income Inequality, Food Insecurity

1. Is racial bias already deeply embedded in the secret social algorithms of the computing cloud?

2. Should the mega-wealthy commit to reducing the destructive effects of economic inequality?

3. What happens when you give basic income to the poor?

Democracy

1. Can Democracy Hold?

2. Are we entering a global “democratic recession”?

3. For hundreds of years, why have white Christians and the Church not stood up against the genocide of indigenous peoples, slavery, and racism?

  • In their minds, has the bible condoned (if not mandated) their assertion of white racism, nationalism, and supremacy?

Education

1. Why is America losing international students?

2. What are the top ten books that have made the most impact on your life?

3. How has the pandemic disrupted education for the better and/or the worse?

Sports

1. Do the Olympics reflect the power hierarchy and dynamics of our world?

2. What is a hero?

3. Is the purity of sports being poisoned by

  • technology (AI, surveillance, wireless)
  • the values/corruption in our increasingly uncivil society, and
  • gambling and corruption?

Immigration & Refugees

Who is the real threat to the United States and the American people? (a) a nonviolent family trying to find a safe place in the world? or, (b) a violent member of an international drug cartel?

Is there a way to balance

  • holding firm to our principles, values and laws governing border security, while
  • treating immigrants and refugees with humanity?

Religion, Utopia/Dystopia

Do Utopian Dreams ultimately crash against an ugly Dystopian Reality?

If an alien was sent to explore earth, what religion would the alien choose to follow, if any? If you had to choose, would you rather live in a world without technology, or a world without religion?

Why would you support a religious community that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity?

Racism, Prejudice/Empathy

How can you hate me (Daryl Davis, a black man) when you (a white supremacist KKK member) don’t even know me? Is the United States a racist country, or is it a democracy with racism embedded within and throughout its borders? Where does all this hate for American Asians and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) come from?

For over 400+ years, why have white Christians and the Church not stood up against genocide of indigenous peoples, slavery, and racism?

As the pandemic has painfully revealed, do we need a new hybrid socio-economic model for the 21st century that provides for a more fair and equitable set of economic and social outcomes that an unchecked free-market capitalistic system cannot alone guarantee?

Science, Technology, AI

How do we have a civil and productive discussion with the anti-science community that brings us closer together?

As we accelerate our ability to hack the laws of natural selection, where is this leading us, and where do we want to go? What are the long-term social implications of Artificial Intelligence?

How do we protect ourselves against those scientists who would willingly weaponize the technologies they develop?

Existential Risks

Will the world be saved by

How are we destroying the planet? How will we save it? What are the biggest long-term risks to the global economy? Is it time for ecocide to become an international crime?

Is protecting humanity’s future from existential risks the central challenge of our time? If so, what good do warships, warplanes, 14,000+ nuclear bombs, space force, infantry, commando teams, tanks, and aircraft carriers accomplish against

  • lethal pandemics
  • rising tides
  • burning forests
  • poverty and income inequality, and
  • animal, insect and plant extinction?

Matter, Energy, Universe

Are we alone in the universe?

How do we have a civil and productive discussion with the anti-science community that brings us closer together?

Is renewable energy essentially a shill for the fossil fuel, mining, and heavy industries?

Politics, Rule of Law, Policing, Gun Violence

Is there no violence and death threshold at which the NRA and its loyalists say “enough is enough”? How can we achieve a balanced, fair and equitable policing environment in a nation increasingly divided by race, class, ethnicity, geography, and ideology?

Why do we still have the electoral system? Is white supremacism the ugly truth behind voter suppression? How do we live in a 50-50 country? Is our Democracy as we’ve known it, at risk?

How long should people stay in prison before they get a second chance?

Virtual Reality

When it comes to Virtual Reality’s impact on kids, how long is too long? How young is too young?

Are kids now officially citizens of a dual world, real and virtual?

Has this forced online family distance-learning experience during the self-quarantining COVID-19 crisis confirmed the importance of brick-and-mortar schools for kids?

also

Art of the Good Question


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