What are the biggest problems in the world today?

And other big questions with Allison Burtch

Allison Burtch asked us to write about some rather big questions in her class at SFPC. I don't by any means have the right answers, and surely someone else has described similar answers in better ways. I think its important that there is many correct answers to these questions, on different levels of abstraction and in different contexts. Here are some thoughts from our discussion. I will try to come back and elaborate, for now keywords.

What are the biggest problems in the world today?

First what it is not. Mainly it is not violence. The world is more peaceful than ever, the common misconception that it isn't and the fear that comes along with that might be.

  • Fear of terror
  • Centralization of power
  • Inequality
  • Greed On interesting thought, on a meta level problems might arise from individuals fear of death. Not sure I believe that, but it is an interesting thought experiment.
Role of artists
  • Access to power - power enablers
  • Inspire people to take a stand together
  • Clearing the facade
  • Breaking taboos
  • Habit breakers
  • Expanding the possibilities of though
  • Provoke? this can make people stick to their values
  • side though Creating new kinds og unions
What is art
  • Humanities way of making sense of the world
  • R&D for humanity
  • Creative expression without a clear utilitarian purpose
  • Language without constraints
  • Exploring things beyond our understanding

Talking about this art almost ends up being this kind of utilitarian way of influencing decision makers about the work. I think that has it's place but I'd prefer to flip it around. To me art and creation is why we life and I want to do things than expand peoples freedom to create art.