Think For Yourself | Danny Barren | TEDxNewAlbany

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I don't you ought to take a look at me

real quick I got a question for you what

do you think my net worth is see I asked

this question to a bunch of friends once

and they started throwing some numbers

around one guess a thousand another said

500 once at 50 and another said 5 I

politely asked that person to leave but

after considering the fact that I'm an

18 year old kid that hasn't had a job in

about two years and then how many bills

or car payments we settled on the

approximate value of six hundred and

seventy dollars I have a net worth of

six hundred and seventy dollars Bill

Gates has a net worth of seventy nine

point two billion dollars and Steve Jobs

has a net worth of ten point two billion

dollars those two individuals are the

leaders of the technology industry Andy


a famous artist who died back in 1987 at

his death had a net worth of 220 million

dollars then have Ray Bradbury who's

also passed away a famous writer and at

his death he had a net worth of 30

million dollars ben Carson a famous

neurosurgeon and a prominent individual

in the medical industry has the net

worth of 10 million dollars and Tony

Horton the creator of p90x and a leader

in the fitness industry has a net worth

of 10 million dollars as well so we have

all these numbers up in space somewhere

so what do we do with numbers well folks

we graph them

look at that see I'm not really a math

guy but based on what I see I think Bill

Gates is winning so we've been able to

quantify individual net worth but you

can also put a value on an industry as a

whole let's take a look at that see I

provided you with examples of people

from six different industries the

technology industry the medical industry

Fitness are in publishing technology is

winning again by over 50% it's worth six

hundred and six billion dollars with the

medical industry trailing behind at

three hundred billion I think that holds

some significance I think it's you know

correct to say that here in America we

spend money on what we value and mean it

just makes sense you wouldn't spend

money in something that's not important

to you

that would be foolish so to put things

into perspective for us

I created a pie chart same numbers that

we just saw the industry values and

technology is leading by fifty nine

percent well I mean I think that makes


technology is important to us I mean a

new iPad cost a hundred fifty five

dollars we're willing to spend that much

money on something so we've been able to

quantify individual net worth we've

quantified industry worth but here's a

question for all of us can you put a

price on a person not talking about

their net worth I'm talking about the

value of that individual that I said

award their value in order to answer

this question we have to consider

individual value human value what does

value mean well I have this definition

and I'm not going to read it to you but

I bolded a word for us relative value is

relative or relative to what well in the

context of what we're talking about

value is relative to majority opinion to

the popular stances

something's value a thing's value is

only determined by the surrounding

opinion of that thing I mean it makes

sense you determined worth it's only

determined by that

portance you know what does that thing

mean to you what do you use it for is it

a necessity is it a want what is that

thing well when we consider this we can

answer our question

if industry worth is somewhat

proportional to net worth for the most

part there's room for error you saw

things flipped around in the chart but

in terms of Technology that truth is

pretty consistent technology as an

industry was worth the most the people

in the technology industry had the

highest net worth that says something so

if we spend money on what we value and

if net worth and Industry Worth are sort

of proportional and if industry worth

sort of determines where people spend

their money and if worst people where

people spend their money sort of

reflects their value and what they find

to be important in their opinion of

things then net worth reflects in terms

of industry leaders that industry

leaders are worth to society well here's

another question what do we value I

think the charts and pie chart and all

the other graphs I showed you today all

show that we value technology I don't

think that's an obnoxious statement by

any means I mean I think it's pretty

true and for most people they think

that's a smart move you know technology

to many of us is the symbol of human

progress I mean the iPhone 10 years ago

we couldn't even put a picture on our


of a touchscreen cell phone and now we

all have them I mean technology is like

the symbol of the Information Age it's

new its vibrant it can do a lot of stuff

and that's important to us but what

about these other industries I mean

let's just exclude the medical industry

and in the fitness industry that's many

of us that's just a necessity we all

have those we think we need them they're

important to our health but what about

art writing and publishing what about

those industries do we not value them

what are we losing

well we're losing things like this this

is a painting by Caravaggio

what happens when we no longer value the

visual expression of our ideologies in

our beliefs when we no longer hold dear

to our hearts the visual expression of

our belief in the divine or even lack

thereof lose things like this this is a

painting by Vincent van Gogh what

happens when we no longer value the

expression of the abstract behind the

realistic the expression of what isn't

necessarily tangible the expression of

what doesn't rest before our eyes we

have to remember that there is a

difference between innovation and

imagination in that both are necessary

to human progress and where would

society be without a painting of dogs

playing poker at a table in my opinion

nowhere and we lose all of this to these

things it's a rectangle with a lot of

little rectangles inside of it and it

can connect to the internet and that's

kind of cool the Internet is this wealth

of information that we all have access

to 24/7 you don't even have to memorize

anything anymore I mean any historical

event you can find a Wikipedia article

that pretty much tells you everything

you need to know if I ask you what 7

times 15 is you're probably taking your

phones out I know what I did it's 105 by

the way but still I mean all the

information you could ever need is up in

this intangible sort of cloud of the

Internet you have access to it all the

time you don't really need to store

anything in your in your head but what

kind of intellectuals have we become we

become the kind of intellectuals that

put their brains and their pockets and

that's an issue we're not really using

our our heads our brains our minds what

they're meant to be used for I mean what

more is the human brain than a camera in

a microphone if you're not storing

information in it if you're not holding

dear to your mind your heart and your

soul the information that's in front of

you I mean how do we value information

these days

you only look at it when you need it on

your iPhone so like you're memorizing it

anymore so think for yourself let me put

the phone away use your mind for it it's

meant to be used for don't just use it

as a camera on a microphone I mean

actually memorize something take the

time to internalize information that is

valuable to you with these thoughts in

mind I ask you to consider this question

what you consider to be valuable do you

value the brain in your pocket that's

limited by battery power and a Wi-Fi

connection or do you value the limitless

possibilities of the human mind