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Are Some Big Problems Unsolvable?

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BlindSide

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I know this digs into the idea of “purpose” a bit, but it’s just something that’s been on my mind today.

What about those problems that you hear about every day, such as animal abuse, cancer, certain diseases, etc.

These problems obviously take a huge emotional toll on everyone involved, but you never really hear of any 100% solutions (Chemo doesn’t work for everyone, etc)

What’s your thought when you think of these global problems? Just too big to go after, or is there another reason?

PS: Didn’t mean for this to be on the inside, can’t move from my phone. Mods feel free to move it.
 

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Tom.V

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No problem is unsolvable so long as it is not limited by the laws of physics. Problems have one purpose, and that is to be solved. No matter how big or how small. Cancer is totally solvable. Animal abuse? Solvable. All diseases? Solvable. It's a matter of time, effort, resources, technology, and breakthroughs. Not opinions.
 

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96wells

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What’s your thought when you think of these global problems? Just too big to go after, or is there another reason?
I think you're right. But think about it this way.

You never go into a hard problem and come out of it the same. You gain some new knowledge. And then you can solve new problems you might of never of seen because of your new knowledge.

If we think some big problems are unsolvable, then they really are... because we haven't even taken step 1, how do we have the knowledge to see step 2. We can't.

Other people might even tell us but how believable is something you haven't personally experienced? Like Allegory of The Cave.

Similarly, who would of thought gas, metal, shaped like wings, [insert component] would enable us to fly. The inventors all took previous knowledge and built on it. The average people just think it's a miracle, but for the inventors, it turned out it was a deliberate plan.

They had the perseverance to go after the things they believed "may" be right. It's not as far-fetched when you have insider knowledge, but it required great imagination and courage and faith. And that's what I think you need if you were to even start with the big problems. Take the 1st step (with courage, imagination, faith, etc) and the 2nd step will come to you. Have an adventure.

Bringing home the point, gonna reiterate...

Somehow the big bang happened. We don't know, but we know there must be an origin somewhere. The concept is not hard to believe (start, finish)... We may never solve this mystery. But along the way we probably solved a ton of other mysteries. We wouldn't of known these other questions (dinosaurs? Who would of thought?) if it weren't for the big question... What I am getting at...

I think the big question helps us take the 1st step.

I think the big question you gotta ask yourself is if you're taking the first step at all or if you believe in the big question.... not if they're solvable or not (because you just can't see it yet. Without the first few steps, it's going to be intimidating).

You never know what you'll find, and you never know what the next person would discover based on what you found... you gotta take the 1st step toward the big questions first.
 
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Andy Black

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ApparentHorizon

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I know this digs into the idea of “purpose” a bit, but it’s just something that’s been on my mind today.

What about those problems that you hear about every day, such as animal abuse, cancer, certain diseases, etc.

These problems obviously take a huge emotional toll on everyone involved, but you never really hear of any 100% solutions (Chemo doesn’t work for everyone, etc)

What’s your thought when you think of these global problems? Just too big to go after, or is there another reason?

PS: Didn’t mean for this to be on the inside, can’t move from my phone. Mods feel free to move it.
Time and resources....look at the last 250 years.

From building houses by hand with timber you chopped yourself, to launching literal cars into orbit.

If you told someone back then we'd fly across the world like birds, they would have thought it too big. If you told someone we'd go to the moon...hell even now, some people are in disbelief. A feat so grand, that there are whole communities preoccupied with its disproval.

Now Elon Musk is trying to move a million people to Mars, and we're all sitting here saying...yup, that sounds about right.

The amount of problems we solve in just a lifetime (80-100) years is beyond comprehension. Images of the progression of civilization always leave me awestruck:


Some more: Cities, then vs now.

Here's one that's been on my mind for the past decade:

Why can't we all have our basic needs met to focus on solving the problems of the world?

A problem in and of itself.

You get paid in direct proportion to the problem you solve
- Tesla rocket man

(Also, there's a new development in cancer treatment that's going into human trials. It looks promising.)
 

Andy Black

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I keep hearing Henry Ford’s quote...

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t ...”
 
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BlindSide

BlindSide

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Thread moved outside.

I’m reminded of this article by Paul Graham:
That was a great read! Some of this really did surprise me, especially challenging e-mail. Shows that my mindset needs to continue to grow.

This is incredible! And really helped me to see what these "big problem" solutions actually look like in action.
 

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Well Elon Musk is trying to take humans to Mars, how big is your problem?
 

CPisHere

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I'm going to disagree with others here, and say YES - some problems are unsolvable, though not necessarily the ones you mention (cancer seems entirely curable, though unlikely in our current medical establishment).

Let's take bullying as an example, something I've thought about quite a bit. Can bullying be "solved"? So long as human nature is human, it can't be eradicated. But with the correct social environment, it can be mitigated.

Businesses do not solve innate problems. They solve created problems. If that makes sense. Using my example, schools are not the direct cause of bullying - that's innate, but with a different environment that could be much less of an issue.

Also, as an aside, I'd mention this uncomfortable truth - the greatness of the person must measure up to the greatness of the problem. Elon Musk may be getting people to Mars, but are you Elon Musk?
 

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