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Monthly Archives: March 2012

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Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story

The story can be found here:

Time: 19:16

In looking for tonight’s Blog subject, there were quite a few thoughts that ran through my mind about TED and Ed Talks Ted.  For one, TED is going to continue to produce more videos than I can blog about.  (Atleast, at the current passive rate of one per week.)  Second, does TED need a lone Canadian blogger who is pouring over their site to the point of obsessive?  Probably not.  However, I know a few reasons why this blog exists (to me) but I’ll save that for later.

I openly admit, this TED talk stood out to me because it mentions ‘John Carter’ in the brief summary.  The thing about ‘John Carter’, is that its been in the news quite a lot recently.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/movies/liam-lacey/john-carters-a-flop-but-weve-seen-floppier/article2378324/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Opinions&utm_content=2378324  – Globe and Mail Newspaper, giving it a mediocre review that is neither too good or too bad

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/20/business/disney-writedown-john-carter/ – CNN covering how John Carter is a pretty big financial disaster.

Ok, so this movie is considered a flop and failure.  And it looks like this TED talk was done before, which means this TED talk could also be a failed attempt to draw audience members.

Now I admit, I have yet to see John Carter but I actually WANT to see it.  I openly admit that I had no idea this movie even existed until I went to the theater recently to see Spy Against Spy with my friend Amanda.  What I saw, a giant cardboard gorilla in midbattle with a man who seemed impossibly strong, threw me for a loop.  I was confused, and curious, but really mostly confused.  The title of the movie, I knew right away had to be from a book or alternate source because ‘John Carter’ is a terrible name for a movie.  If anything, I was reminded of Joe Carter, who was batting for the Jays during the world series in 1992 and 1993.  On the other hand, the man depicted in the cardboard sure didn’t look like him.

Another quick aside (outside of this entire opening), is that it isn’t my intention to be focusing on Ted Talk / Movie tie ins one right after another (this would be the second in a week’s time).  This could very well be media affecting my mind so late at night, but this talk IS well worth exploring and delving into.

One Sentence Summary:

Again, this is a rather well thought out talk in this manner.  “How can a storyteller make their stories more intriguing to their audience?” 

Now this description is a little different from the subject title “The Clues to a great story” and I stand by the difference.  The clues to a great story is certainly a much more interesting quick summary but the entire talk is about the storyteller perspective. 

This makes me wonder about the blog as well.  How can I make this blog MORE interesting?  What would I need to put here that would make people to WANT to share it with their friends?  That they’d want to say “Hey, there’s an interesting opinion here.”

And that leads to the question that I had earlier, does TED Talks need someone who blogs about them?  The answer is no.  The very method of how I learned about TED Talks was because someone forwarded me a link to the video.  If other people want to learn more about the video there are dozens of references, posted opinions and discussions on the TED talk site itself.  Ted Talks has a means that supports itself for spreading awareness so some could argue that blogging about talks is pointless.

I’ll ask the question again, does TED Talks need someone who blogs about them?  The answer I think is yes.  I think commenting via a blog allows one to respond with a fuller reaction that can exist isolated from the distraction of conversation, at least in terms of the type of conversation people will hold in comments section or public forums. More on this later, it’s already late.

Andrew is obviously a great story teller.  Not only does he have an impressive list of accomplished stories, he naturally speaks with the kind of ‘guiding voice’ that a professional spokesperson will utilize but he is also interesting.  You just know you’re in for something different when he breaks out into a seemingly random Scottish accent.  At first you’re taken back but immediately recognizes that he is going somewhere with it.  Heck, he even tells you that he’s going somewhere with it.

What really stands out to me is not only is this a pseudo ‘historical telling’ of the first years of Pixar but it also tells how it relates directly to him.  There is personal thoughts here and near the end when he speaks about his childhood and parents, I can feel that these memories are strong to him.  (I apologize for being completely out of turn, but I can almost imagine he just recently dealing with issues that the story revolves around.  Either the loss of a parent, child or encountering a baby with a similar condition.  The response seems that strong, despite his reluctance to show the emotion.)

Now the Ted talk does START with mention of John Carter, but it fades away so quickly from it that you almost forget that he mentioned it.  This is NOT an advertisement for a movie despite my initial surmise.  Although it easily could have been, if he desired it.  He starts with the movie clip, and then leads with his ‘final line’.  In hindsight, I think IF he wanted to advertise JC (John Carter) then he should started/finished with it. 

What caught me off guard:

To be honest, this talk didn’t surprise me in any way.  If he went out on a wild mad rant of how the stories he worked on were terrible and that Pixar is controlled by alien overlords than that WOULD have been surprising. 

On the other hand, what he was saying was very interesting.  I never felt bored.  There’s plenty of great details for budding storytellers and how Pixar broke the mold of what conventional story telling is.

Questions:

When he showed the clip of Woody, did he miss a line?  Will John Carter be a success?  Eventually? 

Ok, the first question is only due to the fact that Woody is a complete A-hole to the other toys.  This scene was obviously not in the original Toy Story but at the same time he doesn’t actually give a full explanation.  I was halfway expecting a line something akin to ‘Test audiences were appalled by Woody’s character and burning effigies of the doll were put up that evening.  So we decided to scrap that scene and add a bunch of scenes where about Mr. Potato head.’

John Carter, to my perspective, should not be written just yet.  There is a thing about advertising and that there really isn’t such a thing as negative media anymore.  Just by posting up so many ‘John Carter is a failure’ articles everywhere, it is generating more interest in people wanting to learn about the movie and even possibly seeing it.  The other aspect about whether or not this movie is a success/failure is also about the ‘machine’ with which movies work these days.

I heard that Ford once said “I could give away cars for free and still earn a profit off of their lifetime of maintenance” and I wonder if this will be the same with John Carter.  I almost want to believe that movies could be ‘seen for free but the studios will still earn a profit’.  The dvds, rentals and related worldwide repeat ‘selling impulses (showings/toys/cross advertising) ‘ could bring this movie back into the black.  That and things like set pieces, innovations in film work and other side benefits of creating the movie still come into play.  I simply don’t know them.

So now that its been discussed, what can I do?

This is a very big question.  As much as I enjoy thinking about TED talks and my reactions to them, I honestly do wonder if these blog entries are at all interesting to someone else.  This could very well be a very important talk as it makes me think of how I could possibly improve my story telling in the future.

– Updated every Thursday.

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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
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Terry Moore: How to tie your shoes

And now to actually talk about a Ted talk.  (the other two tonight, did not count)

This short but enlightening talk can be found here: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/terry_moore_how_to_tie_your_shoes.html

Time: 2 minutes, 59 seconds

(wow, tonight is a big blogging night, how did it become so late already?)

I really liked this talk, it is the simplest thing to tie one’s shoes but it is great to find out there is a better way with which we can do it.  Most importantly, it taught me that I was tying my shoes wrong and that how I can immediately correct it.

One Sentence Summary

“How to tie your shoes.”

Yeah, it can be that simple.

What caught me off guard.

Well for one, its about tying shoes.  It’s hard to believe there could be a TED talk about tying shoes.  This isn’t some hypothetical conundrum or ‘life as we know it hangs in the balance’ kind of talk, this isn’t a talk about a life changing event, what this talk is about making our own lives a tiny fraction better by improving something that isn’t questioned normally.  And heck, he even brings a demonstration shoe.

Another thing that caught me off guard, is that this talk seems to load poorly.  It seems to get stuck about midway through but I’ll blame my internet connection and assume it is not related to the TED site.

Questions

Ok, if I’m tying my shoe inefficiently, what other things am I doing inefficiently?  If I were to guess, I’d imagine quite a lot.  In fact, there are websites dedicated to showing me the error of my ways.

http://pinterest.com/   Pinterest is an online pinboard.  So it covers many more topics than ‘better ways to do things’, however there are some real gems about using common household objects in improved ways.

Let’s see if I can find some:

http://pinterest.com/pin/141863456982267260/ – recycling an old basketball into a purse, or.. clutch?  (I only recently learned the distinction)

http://pinterest.com/pin/206461964137347818/ – home made icepack, created by sealing Dawn cleaning soap into a ziplock freezer bag.

Wow, I don’t know this site very well so it looks like disorganized chaos to me.  There’s plenty more helpful hints but it’ll take more exploration time than I would have for tonight’s post.

What else?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An0mFZ3enhM – How to fold a T Shirt in 2 seconds.

I knew about this one for quite some time, but in this video it advertises a thing called videojug.com.  I don’t know what this so I’ll quickly scope it out.

Woah, jackpot..

http://www.videojug.com/ – A how to website for pretty much everything.  As I’ve just discovered this website, I cannot say for certain if these videos are natural improvements to standard methods.  These could simply be alternate methods or novel ideas, but in any case it looks like it has hours upon hours of how to do videos.  And here I thought I knew how to do things, dang it.

(So out of curiosity, I did a random search.  In this case, juggling.  I can juggle quite well and every once in a while, I’ll actually practice.  To the untrained eye, I’m quite advanced.  Compared to professionals, I’m still a mid level beginner.  In any case, in this one subject, videojug appears to be lacking.)

On the other hand, this is a cart before the horse type of thinking.   I’m looking for ‘more efficient’ ways to do things without actually having a list of things I’d like to do more efficiently.

So in other words, if you want to find stuff on the web, be specific.

I’m going to see if I can find some everyday task and then find a more ‘efficient’ way to do this.  It is highly possible that the internet has better methods to do everything so let’s find out.

Hah, got it.  ‘How to Tie your Shoes’

And the Google search result is… ridiculous.  Approx 10 million results?  The first is a Youtube video, followed by the Terry More Ted talk.  Going down a little more, there is a runner’s world video that seems to be the most technically sound (with fancy words like ‘Granny knot’).  http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-319–13001-0,00.html

So now that it’s been discussed, what can we/I do?

Well this makes an interesting dilemma.  As much as it is nice to know the most efficient method to do everything, the process of sorting and finding the most efficient method is almost equally inefficient.  It would appear to me that if you’re willing to get by on using inferior methods that work for you, then why not? Sure it does help to know better and that your mom/dad, school teacher, kung fu master was in the wrong, but that’s life.  Technology improves over time, methods improve over time and sometimes we learn over time too.

Now if I had my way, I’d cut off all my shoelaces and replace them with velcro.  Dress shoes be damned, it’s about maximizing efficiency of labor versus the rewards of shoe stability!

Note to Self: TED Talks has an Android app, I should try to review this at some point.

– Updated Every Thursday

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in TED Talks

 
Aside

The extremely distinguished and extremely dramatic talk can be viewed here:

http://blog.ted.com/TED2023/

Time: 3 Minutes, 8 seconds

Now I’ll have to be honest and say that I did not see this talk by going to the TED site.  Instead, I was watching the trailer for Promethius (the movie this TED talk is based on) and trying to learn what that movie was about.  Needless to say, the surprise went a little like this.

What the deuce!?  A movie tie in with TED Talks!?  This is awesome!  I didn’t realize TED was such a forward thinking / willing to be made meta / could this go viral sort of thing.  And the production on it is really solid making it a very enjoyable clip.

There are so many things to enjoy from the clip despite the fact it is so brief.  The possibility of what a future TED talk might look like, the huge screens and flying cameras (both of which are within reach today already, and could easily be used) and the simple fact Peter Weyland is so obviously the kind of movie jerk we love to hate.  Please forgive the slang but he is easily the first TED speaker I would ever call a douchebag, that is, if he was real.

And because it’s more fun this way, let’s treat this entire thing like it was real.

One Sentence Summary

“Peter Weyland wants to change the world via technology.”

This is about the closest thing I can get to because the teaser doesn’t actually go anywhere.  It establishes a few things off the mark, that he has an idea or is important/famous enough that many people wish to hear him speak.  He is a very confident speaker and exudes the kind of qualities one would expect from an overzealous entrepreneur with a god complex.

What caught me off guard

Skipping back to knowing that this is a movie named Promethius, his initial mention of Promethius and the advent of mankind receiving the gift of fire must be related to the movie.  I don’t know very much about the movie so I could easily be wildly off however this is my initial reaction.  Promethius = fire = mankind starts its new found love of technology.  This movie must be looking at some kind of Ancient Aliens concept where early mankind was given ‘fire’ and the movie is about finding ‘Promethius’ and the early aliens that are still torturing Promethius.  Or this could be similar to the Lord of the Rings where certain technology or too much technology is so unnatural that it ends up becoming its own downfall.  (As it is unlikely the movie will be about scientists inventing things, chances are it will be explorers unveiling scientists who invented something that destroyed themselves)

What also really caught me off guard was the list of inventions he remarked upon.  Specifically those after the twenty first century, biotech, nanotech, fusion, fission, and M theory.  This leads me to the questions that I ended up having.

Questions

Is this an alternate universe?  Did the things he mentioned being invented in the first decade of the 21st century actually invented?  Will, in 2023, which is only eleven years away, will we be creating cybernetic individuals?

Now most of these questions can be answered pretty easily.

This must be an alternate universe, because its a freaking movie, although it looks like it is trying its best to be ‘close as possible’ to our reality.  In other words, if I asked Peter Weyland who became the President of the United States in 2008 he’d probably say it was Barack Obama.

What about the inventions he listed?  Sure, I’ve heard of every single one of them but I seriously do not believe that they’ve invented cold fusion.

Wait a second.. He didn’t mention ‘cold’ fusion, just fusion / fission.  Ah hell, he’s just wrong and is naming stuff in the wrong century because we already knew about these things A LOT earlier than the 21st century.  He might as well have listed “Biotech, nanotech, the airplane, how to boil water, eating poison is bad, all in the first decade”.

No wonder the audience stayed quiet during this rousing sentence.  They were confused.

What about the others?

Biotech – Bio Technology, which is also relatively widespread today, is described as “Any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.”  The Wikipedia Link about Bio Technology can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bio-technology

Nanotech – anyone who has seen Star Trek the Next Generation will know all about Nano Technology.  And in case you happen to not have seen it, then its simply about manipulating matter on an atomic or molecular scale.  (Star Trek had a huge thing about molecule sized robots, which is an oxymoron I guess) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanotechnology

Fusion – I assumed nuclear fusion, but Mr. Weyland could have been referring to Fusion cuisine, the combination of elements of various culinary traditions.  I believe this IS a 21st century thing.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion

Fission – Wow, I didn’t know this but Fission is also a Swedish melodic death metal band.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fission

M Theory – this is probably my favorite.  I wrote a script for a Youtube performance group about multiple dimensions and about a girl coming into our universe (She was called Em and it was named Em Theory.   Yes, I am subtle like truck to face is subtle).  They never used it but it was still damn cool to me.  In any case, M-Theory is an extension of string theory in which 11 dimensions are identified.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-theory

Will we be creating cybernetic individuals in 2023?  I could argue that we’re making these right now so hopefully it will only be ‘better’ in 2023.  At the barebones level, we could say a doll with automative parts is a cybernetic.. aw crap I’m like way off..  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybernetics

Ok, based upon Wikipedia, this is a whole mess of complicated stuff.  Sneaky how I instinctively thought cybernetics meant robots or automated parts, obviously I’ve been trained wrong through media.  (Damn, I knew this too, why did I.. weird)

And, finally, my last question..  The video ends with the big “Weyland Corp / WeylandIndustries” logo.  Is there a company today, that could be this company in the future?  And the answer is yes, and there are many.  For one, we have many technology based companies out there and two, thanks to things like Occupy Wallstreet, we know that ALL of them are evil.  (KIDDING!  Just kidding, please don’t hate me)

So I could probably just name a random company.  Well, he implied making robots so I’ll select a company that also makes robots and seeks advances in that technology.

Toyota.  Sure I could have named a whole mess of others, and with even cooler robots,  but I have this video trapped in my mind.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv35ItWLBBk

Seriously, just look at the little guy run.  AWESOME.  (I also think its funny that its not even a recent video)

So now that its been discussed, what can I/we do?

I think in this case the instructions are pretty clear, go see this movie.

http://www.prometheus-movie.com/

– Updated Every Thursday

Peter Weyland at TED2023: I will change the world

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in TED Talks

 

Coincidence is a repeating function.

When I had originally thought of the idea of the blog, I couldn’t place a name to what it should be called.  A few ideas bounced around in my mind but none of them really grabbed at me.

One morning I was driving in to the office and saw the initials ‘ED’ scribbled on a garbage can.  I did not and still do not know what ED on a garbage can means, but it did stick out to me.  (What does ED on a garbage can mean?)

That morning I had also forgotten my day pass, so I had to sign for one at the front desk.  Normally such a routine action wouldn’t stand out to me either, but I immediately noticed that my own initials also spelled ‘ED’.

Ed, well, maybe it was something I could use.  After all, ED rhymes with TED simply enough, so I ran with it and here it is.

About a week later, I see TED Ed for TED education and realize that I may have fell into a trap of naming the blog something ‘too close to home’ so to speak.  (What will the neighbors think?)  However, coincidence is coincidence and I can only call it that.  This site is obviously not Ted Ed and at no point will I try to convince others that it is.

Obviously, the two will eventually merge and we will have EdTalksTedEd, which is pretty horrible.

Seriously, that sounds terrible.  And if TED remains as progressive as it is, it will eventually begin to review and talk about itself from a meta perspective, effectively creating EdTalksTedEdTalksTed.

I really hope it doesn’t come to that, because I can’t even pronounce the damn thing.  It’s like Ted Talks meets Human Centipede and nobody wants to digest that.

In any case, back to the talks.

– Updated every Thursday (Yes, I am treating this as my tagline.  Terrible.)

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in In General..

 
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Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see

The very clever and visually challenging talk can be visited here:

http://www.ted.com/talks/beau_lotto_optical_illusions_show_how_we_see.html

TIME: 16 Minutes, 31 Seconds

After being so highly entertained by Jill’s TED talk, I took to TED very much.  In fact I spent the rest of the entire day watching additional talks and this continued every spare moment for the rest of the week.  In many ways it was simply because it was so different, and maybe it was because I just found the entire concept of what TED is so incredibly fascinating.

This talk first caught my attention because of his quote (2:47), “As Barkley tells us, we have no direct access to our physical world, other than through our senses.”  Now this quote wasn’t anything particularly new to me, I’ve heard variations on the theme many times.  However, when attributed to the idea of optical illusion, or simply, illusion it shows how we our brains are tricking ourselves.  Throughout the entire talk, he brings up multiple examples of how images that appear the same might not be and vice versa; samples where things that should not look the same, are.

Now how I interpreted this information, actually had very little to do with optical illusions.  What I had found most fascinating (well, at the time) was the notion of similar data as absorbed by the human brain may be interpreted completely differently based upon incredibly random factors such as the light, or moment when it is witnessed.  I’ll try to summarize this entire phenomenon with a quote from a play I worked on.

She said, “He looked at me from across the bar, waved me over and said, ‘Hey Baby!’. 

And I didn’t find it creepy.”

That interpretation, of the brain interpreting one action as creepy versus another action as not creepy has a rather large impact.  It is what could start a relationship or ignore one, it is what makes a person comfortable versus paranoid.  And could it be possible, that these factors are not based upon the data, but rather the environment with which the data is viewed?  In essence, the illusion is as much the reality regardless of that reality. 

Long story short, I saw this talk as much deeper than most.

One Sentence Summary:

“Optical illusions may trick the mind and they are everywhere, and for whatever reason they don’t affect bees.”

Alright, this is a very shoddy one sentence summary but I think I might have been over zealous with my previous description anyways.

What caught me off guard:

I viewed this talk, probably the same way as 99% of other viewers do, and that was with a computer.  And my computer monitor was neither large or that particularly good so some of the illusion tests simply could not work for me.  (eg> Red/Green dot vs landscape test)  This wasn’t a big deal, only because I was more interested in the illusions we see in the everyday.

Quite certainly, the piece that took me off guard the most was how deeply I was interpreting what he was saying.  It could have been because of the fact he speaks with a slightly more complex vocabulary or it could be that he was using quotes that really caught my attention. 

I did forward this talk to quite a few friends (before social media sites) via email to many friends but outside of ‘that’s cool’ I think it stayed the same.  There is also another talk that speaks about how our brain interprets messages from our eyes which greatly stood out to me as well.  (I cannot find it tonight however, so I can only comment on remembering this paraphrasing “the human eye collects so much data that it can’t interpret it all at once so it creates images that it finds useful”.  In effect, if it sees something that it doesn’t consider to be useful, it ignores it or transforms the image into something useful to that person. 

I really dislike sideline mentioning another TED talk but the two relate.  No doubt over time, there will be many TED talks that relate to each other.

Questions that I had afterward.

How can I share this with other people?  Are we currently being blindsided with optical illusions everyday but our brain is simply accepting the data as truth?  Why do I write this blog so late at night?  All questions, seem relatively reasonable.

The beauty about TED talks, is that the information is online and that means it is accessible.  Back in 2009, all I had to do was copy it into an email and hit send.  Today, I can post it to my Facebook or, say, this blog.  In other words, my goal to share these with others wasn’t a one time offering.  By bringing it up again and again, this sharing will grow. 

As for getting the ‘true vision’ towards our reality, this is still a mystery.  On the other hand, as we seem to function quite normally without having a magical pair of sunglasses that filter out illusions then seeing what is actually real might not make a difference.  (Until we see a measurable difference which is repeatable, but that’s a different story)

And why am I blogging so late?  There exists some part of me that believes that blogging this late is best because I am available and Thursdays make a great ‘blog night’.  Ironically, this might be just an illusion.

So now that its been discussed, what can we do?

Well, in one aspect there is nothing we can do to really ‘tear down the illusions of reality’.  So, the answer is, in one interpretation, nothing.  He doesn’t give any instructions on how to not be fooled but rather simply how fascinating the human brain / eyes really are.  What’s also interesting is how easy it is for the common joe to be able to take this talk to heart.  Anyone who has gone to a buffet and achieved ‘eyes hungrier than the stomach’ status would know what it means to trick oneself with consequences.

 

If anything, I would recommend patience.  If the information we receive is taken as a possible illusion (as a given) then it is possible we might be able to avoid making silly mistakes.  On the other hand, and this sounds cryptic as heck, but sometimes one needs the illusion to get by.

Thanks for reading.  I find that this blog is still finding its development so there might be a few growing pains still ahead.  Just pretend its an illusion.

E

Updated every Thursday

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight

The original, extremely interesting TED talk can be found here:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

Time: 18 Miutes, 42 seconds

This was the very first TED talk that I watched and it blew my mind.  I remember feeling that this felt very much like watching a (fake) television program scripted to show a very intelligent woman and sharing concepts that are just beyond the common thought process that we as ‘normal folk’ live by.

But in parallel with her talk of two different hemispheres of the brain, I also knew that this talk was real.  This person, was real.  There actually are people out there in the world who can express themselves in terms of both scientific and symbolic fashion.  Throw in the additional fact that the story itself is captivating in its own right, and we have a TED talk that makes an excellent ‘starter’ video for introducing one to what TED is about.

What caught me off guard:

The language with which she uses to express herself and her ideas.  And her voice is very distinct, which plays with the ear so you end up listening more closely.   She is a visually expressive speaker, closing her eyes and reliving every moment of her story with her actions and you can sense that her emotions are intensely attuned to her story.

One Sentence Summary:

(Well, this is difficult.  My original idea was to see if I could generate a single line sentence to describe the TED Talk, but I fear that this is an injustice.  However, I do see a benefit from having attempted such a thing so I will do so despite the vanity of making the attempt)

Our minds are a double highway that links both the minutia details of logic/reason and also a universal conduit to the connections all around us that is nirvana and that we should seek to spend time in exploring both.

 

Questions:

Who is Jill Bolte Taylor?  Is she still a neurologist?  Why did I see her name on a billboard while driving around the city one time?

Not surprisingly, there is a very detailed Wikipedia entry about Jill here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Bolte_Taylor

Summarizing the details presented, after Jill suffered the stroke in 1996 she wrote a best selling book detailing her recovery entitled “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey” which was covered on Oprah in 2008.  Since then she was recognized many times and was one of the top 100 influential people at one point.  She is also the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center.

Jill has her own webpage: http://drjilltaylor.com/about.html

Here one can actually contact Jill (or her press secretary) to book for a speaking engagement at a conference or public event.  Given how excellent a speaker she is, I would not be surprised if her planner is quite full.

 

So what does this all mean?

What is most provoking is that it asks the question, who are you now?  It is a question that we answer by defining ourselves at every moment and at every situation and thus we dictate our own mindset and quite possibly our own happiness.  It is a pretty damn big question to be asking.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t lead me with a good answer on the how.  I fully get that in my mind is the potential to be one with the universe, I actually have moments where that inner peace is so attainable that I could reach it with a back scratcher so I know there’s something there.

On the other hand, it might be better that this be left as an open question so that each individual should be seeking to finding their own method of interacting with each hemisphere of their brain.  It certainly makes a very good reason to try to know oneself and not have to wait for a stroke  to realize it.

E.D.

Updated every Thursday.

 

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in TED Talks

 

What is EdTalksTed?

Well, it certainly stands to reason that the very first blog post should be about what I want to be blogging about so here it is.

I want to discuss TED talks (http://www.ted.com/talks), specifically those that I find absolutely fascinating, what questions are left in my mind afterwards, can I find a way to answer them and now that I’ve listened to the conversation what can I or we do about it.

Growing up I was a child with a lot of questions.  Certainly more questions than there was answers available and this in turned probably annoyed my father to no end.  Eventually I stopped receiving answers to my questions and started receiving the reccomendation of ‘Why don’t you read a book about it?’.

I took this advise to heart and found a job at the local library at the earliest I could.  (I was 13 at the time, which I believe was considered ‘too young’ to work at the library but they gave me a chance to work in the children’s department)  And from there I read books, and looking back I have to admit it was quite a fair number.  On the other hand, this certainly did not turn me into a genius or anything remotely valuable; rather just a kid that enjoyed reading books.

This did generate an idea that I always dreamed of having.  To someday create a book that I would call ‘The Book of Answers’ where every single question I had as a child/teen/adult would be put down and an answer would be written down for it.  It would be something that I could pass along to anyone else who had their questions.  It was only a short time later that I discovered the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which was exactly what I was looking for,  at least in the abstract.

Years later, enter the internet age.  And suddenly the Hitchhiker’s Guide exists in the form of Google and Wikipedia.  Any question can be answered almost immediately after a few strokes of the keyboard, could this be the end of curiosity since the answers can now be found?

Around this time I stumbled across the TED Talks.  One of the glorious things about TED is not that they are giving opinions or questions to those that exist in my mind.  Rather, it is that it is a forum to bring about questions that I did not even consider or was aware of.  This in itself is a reward, but this was only the uncovering of a iceberg that was much more enjoyable.

It turns out that a common thread among the speakers at TED is that they do it incredibly well.  They surprise you, they trick you, they make you laugh and bring your mind to stimulus that is new.  It is better than a book of answers, it is a place of new questions.

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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in In General.., TED Talks