In between talks they've shown a number of short video clips, most of them commercials, all of them pretty freaking clever. Here is one:
When June Cohen was introducing him, people were listening attentively, patiently like a good audience would. But when she said the word "wingsuit" there was a collective gasp. Rather than tell you who Ueli Gegenschatz is, I'll just tell you what he is: CRAY.ZEE. Wingsuit is suit he's invented to reduce fall rate of skydiving to approach something resembling human flight. Hair-raising and toe-curling aren't nearly intense enough to describe what this guy does.
This reminds me of one of my son's favorite videos on YouTube - Col. Joseph Kittinger jumping from a high altitude balloon. And by "high altitude" I mean really high - 102,000 feet.
Well known for her book about the world of morgues and their temporary residents, Stiff. Her newest book is Boink: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.
10 Things You Didn't Know about Orgasm
1. You were having them in the womb - There was an article documenting what appears to be in-utero masturbation.
2. You don't need genitals. Yep. (one woman found that brushing her teeth triggered them)
3. You can have them when your dead. Do what? This can actually be triggered in brain dead patients who are still alive through respirator/life support. There's a spot on the spinal column that you can stimulate to create what's called the Lazurus Effect - a dead body will cross its arms over its chest.
4. Orgasm can cause bad breath.
5. ...and cure the hiccups.
6. Doctors once prescribed orgasm for fertility. (apparently this isn't true for women)
7. Pig farmers still do. (and I guess it is true)
OH MY GOD. Just - oh my god, the video she just showed. I
8. Female animals are having more fun than you think.
9. Studying human orgasm in the lab is not easy.
10. ...but it sure is entertaining. Kinsey decided to measure the force of ejaculate. 300 men, measuring tape and a movie camera. This experiment led to her second favorite quote encountered: "2 sheets were laid down to protect the oriental carpets."
But her favorite quote: "Cheese crumbs laid out in front of copulating rats will distract the female but not the male."
June Cohen declares she's renaming this TED session Crazy Sexy TED
Founder of Extrcycle does some cool lasso tricks for us.
And another commercial clip:
Lena Maria Klingvall
When she was born, she was immediately taken away for 3 days because she had no arms and only one normally formed leg.
"Many of us have handicaps, but most are invisible."
"Society would not adapt to me, so I would have to adapt to society."
"I felt just like my friends, only when they used their hands, I used my feet."
"My parents never told me where my limits were. They encouraged me to have fun and try again and again when something didn't work. I never quite understood there were things I shouldn't be able to do, like swimming."
This is one of those moments, watching a woman write calligraphy with her toes, that words like "I can't" seem tired and small and worn.
And another commercial break:
Oops, I forgot to say something about Herbie before I hit "post." Well, really, what is there to say? Genius will suffice.
In Palm Springs this is technically session 2, but since we are Long Beach-centric, the numeration is off. Here in Palm Springs we began the morning with TEDDIY - 10 talks by members here, on topics from human jet packs to the genetics of psychotic killers. Some notes on just two of them:
Aaron Digman treated us to a Guitar Hero performance and challenged our collective framework about what constitutes a musical instrument and how might musical games shape and influence music--and the way children come to be musicians--in the near future.
Al Meyers unveiled his vision for a virtual education system, aligned to standards, integrated to a digital learning system, connected to other schools.
There were many others - Linda Avey, Jim Fallon, Yaacov Mutnikas, Tony Odriscoll and names I haven't captured yet.
Her first curatorial exercise - taking the game cards from the game "Masterpiece," which were reproductions from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, and placing them and moving them around the walls of her house.
She studied art history at a time when the art world didn't embrace most of the art world - women, people of color, people from regions outside of the traditional art world of Europe and to some extent the US.
"I was interested in the idea of why and how I could create a new narrative of art history and art in the world."
1994 - Black Male - the intersection of race and gender in art, 20 artists exploring black masculinity.
"I was confronted by how powerful images can be to people's understanding of themselves and others."
Harlem is interesting because people think of it in the past, present and future simultaneously.
Post-black - new set of questions
-what does it mean right now to be African American in America?
-what can art say about this?
-where can a museum exist as a place for us all to have that conversation?
We need to re-imagine this cultural discourse in an international context.
Non-Terrestrial Intelligence: Octopuses
What might indicate intelligence? One mistake humans make is that we apply our own criteria of intelligence in looking for intelligence in other species? (Thinking about Jill Tarter and SETI here - how are we limiting our search for life in the universe by listening for the sort of signals we know how to make?)
Her research differentiated three criteria: Personality, Play and Problem Solving
Personality - she found that octopuses can be avoidant, reactive or active
Play - they did an experiment with empty pill bottles to see how octopuses would react to it. They naturally tested them with their mouths, but eventually began to play with them.
Problem solving - octopus tend to eat clams that offer the least resistance to being opened. They have different tools for opening clams and will switch tools when the type of clam is switched - attentional spotlight.
Nadkarni is studying the canopy and its ecology, particularly the mosses
Prison project to study mosses, led to some terrific sustainability projects in prisons, just as beekeeping, raising endangered frogs ("raised in captivity, of course").
Did you know that bacteria can talk to each other? At any time we have 10x more bacterial cells in and on us than human cells. We have the basic 4 DNA proteins of human life,but we also carry 100 bacteria DNA types.
When bacteria were alone in dilute suspension, they didn't create light. But when they reached a certain concetration, they began to emit light. They use a chemical language to communicate. Alone, they don't create light, but they secrete molecules and the bacteria sense the concentration of the molecules. When it reaches a tipping point, the bacteria "turn on the lights" of bioluminescence.
Squid cloaking device - sensor on back senses amount of moonlight, has bioluminescent lobes that it keeps under a "shutter. The back senses the amount of light and opens the shutter enough to match the amount of ambient light, thereby erasing its shadow. (The shadow is what other animals use to track and eat the squid.)
All bacteria have similar communication that turn on group actions - quorum sensing. They basically cast chemical ballots which result in the "winning" action. Bacteria control pathogency through quorum sensing. Not only that, communication is intra-species - each has a particular molecule as its particular language.
There's also a second communication method - a second molecule that allows for inter-species communication. They count the other molecules they're sensing to see how many of "them" there are and make "decisions" on how to act.
So what does all this mean? It means awesomeness - if we can understand how bacteria communicate, we can tap into that communication stream to turn them off or otherwise incapacitate them as a new therapeutic tool, a new antibiotic tool.
We can also improve quorum sensing to leverage the immense nature of the bacterial world - tap into the good bacteria.
The "Indiana Jones" of virus study.
There is a vast, unknown world of the small - the microcosmos.
On screen he shows an image that looks like invading alien/robot creatures. They're actually a bacteria-eating virus - 1031 of this bacteriophage on the planet - the most numerous organism. If you created a 30 volume encyclopedia of all life on earth, 27 volumes would be on bacteria. (is that really what he said? or did he say viruses?)
If HIV was in tens or hundreds of thousands of people by 1929 when it crossed from apes to humans, why did it take us so long to discover it? If we sensed it earlier, how might have it altered the spread of HIV?
Most viruses come from animals and make the leap to humans.
Viral chatter - the pinging of viruses into human population, testing for a door in. His goal is to discover this creep, this testing earlier so that we can do more prevention and/or better track virus propogation.
Why did we think the responsibility rested with one indiviudal - one bush hunter? Bush meat might be a vector, but we can't blame the bush hunters or expect them to fix the problem. But bush hunters can be a valuable partner in the effort to fix the issue. Wolfe and his team have started the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative. It seeks to establish thousands of people in populations to continually monitor (and have them collect specimens from animals they hunt). It isn't just bush meat - it's live animal markets in Asia (where SARS emerged). GVFI is monitoring some hotspots, but there are many more to be watched.
Surface parochialism - the assumption that life exists just on the surface. If the volume of the subsurface areas is greater than that on the surface, might we also discover there is more biomass under the surface? And that the origins of life bubbled up from within rather than raining down from cosmic stardust above.
Thought experiment - take a substance, like a drop of water. We can figure out exactly the density of genetic code, nucleic acids. We can calculate the amount of expected energy. We can calculate the real entropy. If we see a difference, that might suggest another form of life was there.
Whoa. I do not understand that. I kind of understand each little part of it, but not how they add up to possibly suggest revelation of other life forms. After I'm done being a theoretical physicist in a next life, I'm going to have to take up molecular biology.Between talks, they showed this commercial from Discovery Channel. In our house, this is a favorite:
There really is no better way to end a day of 14 talks, plus myriad other 3-minute "interstitial" talks as the terrific TED blogger Chel calls them, than with the TED Prize talks. After a day of intense information flow and mind-bending technologies and concepts, it's a relief to have these Prize issues brought to the forefront in a way that says "I want to do this particular good, and YOU can help." It marries the intellectual with the emotional. But I also think back to last year's talk by Ben Zander. If you watch it on the TED site, you don't get the full experience. After the portion of the talk you see online ended, Zander led us all in singing Schiller's "Ode to Joy" which Beethoven famously set to music in the chorale of his Ninth Symphony. It had been a long day of wonderful talks, but there was something in that singing together, with abandon after much coaxing and encouragement by Zander, going "beyond the f*ck it." It was uplifting and connected us all to the wonder and beauty we are all capable of, giving us another door in to the belief that the things we were hearing and experiencing were, in fact, possible.
During Elizabeth Gilbert's talk yesterday, she spoke of performers who, when they seemed to transcend their art, their audience would shout "Allah! Allah!" because they believed God was with the performer. As people migrated and language changed, this cheer became "Ole! Ole!"
After Jose Antonio Abreu's TED Prize talk, we were treated live via satellite to a concert. I assume this is the primary Venezuelan Youth Orchestra. Led by outstanding conductor Gustavo Dudumel, himself a product of Abreu's El Sistema, they gave a vigorous, inspired, buoyant performance. Here in Palm Springs, the response was visceral--there wasn't a simple standing ovation. People leapt to their feet. The applause was thunderous and frenzied. There was laughter. There were tears. But above it all was the joy--Ole! Ole! Ole!
This session is the emotional highlight of TED for me. This group, this TED community is one of awesome privilege and power and it has its critics that it is elitist and insular. I understand those critics because I catch glimpses of that here. But there is no denying that despite its flaws (and yes, it has flaws, just like every other community)..and I know I said this last year...but the resources this community can bring to bear to make worthy wishes a reality is something to behold. For this reason more than any other, I am proud to be a part of this community.
Director of the SETI Institute
We are the products of a billion year lineage of stardust.
SETI uses the tools of astronomy to look for evidences of other life through detecting other technology. SETI notes the possibility not probability. Ultimately what will determine its success is the longevity of technologies over both space and time.
We are not the pinnacle of evolution. We are only one outcome of a process. We have a sense of privilege the universe does not share with us.
All the efforts of SETI equate to scooping out of the ocean one glass of water. No one would conclude from that one glass that the ocean was without fish.
Did you know that the UN has declared 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy? My son Alex is currently very interested in astronomy - I can't wait to talk to him about this TED prize, whatever it is!
I wish that you would empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company.
50 years ago, no one imagined we could harm the ocean by what we put in or took out. Auden said thousands have lived without love, none without water. With every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, you are connected to the sea. It drives our entire life. We over-estimate the resilence of the ocean.
With knowing there is caring, and with caring, there is hope. But first, we have to know.
The good news is there are now over 4000 places of protected ocean area. The bad news is that it's only 0.8% of the ocean. The good news is there is still time. There is hope that the census of ocean life will live not just as a list, a photograph.
Our ocean is the largest unprotected ecosystem. The next 10 years might be the most important. To cope with climate change, we need new ways to generate power, cope with poverty, war and disease. If we fail to protect the ocean, nothing else will matter.
Her wish: I wish you would use all means at your disposal -- films! expeditions! the web! more! -- to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas - hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.
You decide - how much of your heart do you want to protect?
Jose Antonio Abreu
It is difficult for me to capture his speech because it is in Spanish with subtitles, so I'm reading the screen. Hopefully TED will also post the transcript of his speech since they have it from the subtitles. I must not be the only one experiencing this difficulty because the #ted2009 hashtag has grown silent on Twitter search.
"I wish for the world to create and document a special training program for at least 50 gifted young musicians, passionate about their art and social justice, and dedicated to developing El Sistema in the US and other countries."
Quincy Jones has brought together 50 organizations (like VH1's Save the Music) to contribute. The New England Conservatory has agreed to host the program.
The youth orchestra is going to play for us live now - what a treat! What a way to end a phenomenal day!
The need for power has driven me from my comfy couch perch to the bloggers's table here in Palm Springs, so I'm surrounded by my blogging counterparts. Some of the other TEDsters capturing event:
Wonder is not precisely knowing and not precisely knowing not - Emily Dickinson
Architecture is not based on steel and concrete, but on wonder. It's a story of the struggle against improbabilities - the pyramids, etc - we all know what they are.
It is optimism vs. pessimism. You have to believe in the future. (Remember that we don't have time for pessimism anymore, according to Yann Arthus-Berthand.)
What I love about TED speakers is the passion they bring for the thing they do, whatever that thing is. Libeskind is talking about architecture in ways others might talk about religion. He deeply believes in what he does, in the beauty and wonder of this form of expression. That's the thread that brings passionate people together - we can all find reverence in the thing that brings us fulfillment. We can all feel exhaltation in the ability to express or create or produce energy in the world through whatever medium has meaning or power for us.
Building 1 house - 1 billion BTUs
(created EcoRock green drywall)
ElectricalFault Circuit Interruptor
10-cent transmitter in a plug and a cheap receiver in the outlet that detects when too much power is drawn and shuts down the flow - could save lives and money because 83% of electrical fires happen below the safety threshold of circuits, meaning the circuits never trip because there seems to be no threat.
How would you run a whole country without oil?
For him it comes down to cars - can you create an electric car that is just as good or even better than a gas-powered car. It has to be more convenient and more affordable - that's the only way to break the social contract we have with current cars.
His idea - separate car and battery ownership. The "batteries not included" model. This creates a 2-component network - you create a network of batteries/power and then you buy the car, but subscribe to a number of miles. Then people swap batteries - you drive into something that looks like a car wash, swap them out and then go.
An add to the contract - if you stop more than 50 times per year to swap batteries, you get a refund because that's beyond their threshold of convenience - that's fewer times you'd stop at a gas station. The battery isn't the equivalent of the gasoline, it's the equivalent of the crude oil. Current electric cars ask you to pay for the whole "well" - this model is pay for that well as you go.
eMile - the new commodity - in 2010 he estimates it at 8 cents per mile (that's cheaper than gas in the US, far cheaper than gas in Europe). But the model improves - 4 cents in 2015, 2 cents in 2020 as battery cycles improve.
Israel said if you can find a manufacturer who will mass produce your car, we will give you a market (HA). Renault stepped up.
By 2015 we'll have another quarter billion cars - that is a 25% rise in oil demand, equivalent to the entire US oil use today.
Eventually cars will resemble the cell phone model - buying the minutes subsidizes the equipment.
In the UK, there was a debate about slavery, which amounted to 25% of the GDP. Many said its abolition would destry the conomy. Many said it should be done slowly. But in the end, morality won out and slavery was abolished and the Industrial Revolution begin within a year.
When I read the description of her talk, I thought to myself, "I remember meeting someone doing the same sort of thing at TED@Aspen last year." Guess what? It's the same thing because she's the same person.
She is talking about trepanation, then early public surgeries in the era before anesthesia. Trepanation arose in multiple areas. Once anesthesia was "invented" surgeries could be done without rush and pain during surgery, but patients died at alarming rates due to infection because - hello - no one thought it was important to wash their hands before surgery.
We get to write the script of the next revolution in surgery. Mohr is discussing technologies such as injecting markers that allow tumors to be seen, blood vessel connections to be detected, all without the radiation that has been traditionally required.
Her vision is not to spare people the epiphany of facing their mortality when receiving a life-threatening diagnosis. Instead, she says, "What I want instead is for you to be whole, intact and functional enough to go out and save the world after you've decided that's what you want to do."
New tool, "Marrow Minder" that allows bone marrow harvest without multiple entry points. They find they get 10x the stem cell activity in the marrow mined with this technique than with standard techniques. Makes the process less painful and invasive - can be done outpatient. Can lead to people being more willing to donate their marrow.
Well, I'd tell you what that means, but the slides have too many words for me to read and type in the time they're being shown. And I know what you are thinking, "Just Google it." Good idea. Try it and see what happens. Closest I got was a 2002 article on bioinspiration. Tim Berners-Lee, we really do need linked data now!
The application of it is that he and his colleagues have created synthetic adhesive that mimics gecko toes both in the way they are sticky as well as the way the toes quickly curl back to release the adhesive. When they build a gecko-like robot, they found the toes worked, but the robot fell off the wall if it didn't have a tail. What difference did the tail make in this case? Tails in this case are active, functioning as a fifth leg to provide stability, even allowing a gecko to right itself if it falls while upside down. It even allows it to glide, yawing left and right and even flapping like a dolphi to swim through the air. What does this mean for the evolution of flight - could it have evolved from falling from trees and controlling glide? In the lab, they found that geckos could glide and control their "fall" to land on a target.
Net-net - his lab wouldn't have made these discoveries if the engineers building the robot hadn't begun questionning the tail and its utility.
WOW. If you ever have a chance to see her one-woman show, DO IT. She captures cultural elements of expression in a very real way.
Let me just say that I love the energy June Cohen brings to the TED stage and she is a joy.
Author of Skin: A Natural History
Wow, someone starts off talking about being a light-skinned person in a moderate to dark-skinned world and having privilege. (She's talking about Darwin.)
In 1871, Darwin said of all the differences between skin color does not correspond to differences in climate, which is what was popularly believed at the time. What Darwin couldn't appreciate was the fundamental relationship between UV intensity and skin pigmentation. We all share a heritage of very dark pigmentation.
We get lots of information about what happens when light skin is exposed to UV. But we don't hear much about the impact of lack of vitamin D and other health impact of dark skinned people living in lower UV areas...why is that? Is it the same reason that dark skinned people are often more likely than light skinned counterparts to die of certain disease? This can't be coincidence, right?
3 minute talk by Art Benjamin, a "mathamagician"
In a nutshell: all math builds up in school to calculus but this is wrong, it should be stats and probability
He's going to play the growth of HIV plotted against dollars spent per person since 1983. It took 25 years to reach steady state - which only means things aren't getting worse. 30-40 million infected today, the entire population of CA.
Rates fall faster in poorer countries because people aren't treated, so they die. They aren't tracked in this stat, so the stat can be deceiving.
People say HIV rates are high in Africa - he says HIV is different. We have to stop oversimplifying Africa and one thing, one place, one people. That thinking will keep us from solving problems, curing disease, knowing and understanding. (I remember a commercial for a furniture store where they included different people from different countries, such as Sweden, Australia, and ...Africa. As if that's a country. I'll never forget that.)
Bread - a topic I can get behind!
She's equating homemade bread with authenticity. But why do we feel the homemade loaf is more real, more true than the store-bought Wonder Bread? We equate it with a mythical past, a romanticized version of this rural, agricultural past. Yet the Wonder Bread is more relevant, she says - food has become plentiful and affordable to the western world. (I am skeptical about this.)
Never before has the ability to feed the world been in the hands of so few people.
The counter-movement is towards small-scale, farmers' markets, but this is based on that fallacy, that romantic view - we need to keep increasing our food production, supporting farmers all over the world to be mechanized. You can't feed 3 billion urban dwellers with small scale farming.
She's basically talking about bringing the same innovative mindset to farming that Ray Anderson brought to manfacturing.
Oops - battery dying! More to come...this day is going to be bursting at the seams!
It's a beautiful, cool morning in Palm Springs and people seem very energized and perhaps a tad wary about the amount of information we are all about to take in.
Oliver Sacks, famed neurologist and author of books such as Awakenings and Musicology, starts us off. He began with the observation that we see with both our eyes and our brains, and when we see with our brains, we often call it imagination. We are all familiar with the landscape of our own imagination. But when we have hallucinations, our brains are showing us the unfamiliar in a way that mimics perception in a way that seems real. "You're seeing a film that has nothing to do with you."
He says about 10% of blind people have visual hallucinations and 10% of deaf people have auditory hallucinations, but perhaps hundreds of thousands of them are too afraid to tell anyone about them.
He admits that he has blindness in one eye and impairment in the other and experiences geometric hallucinations. He wonders if ornamental or cave art were derived from such visions.
In between the many 18-minute speakers there are a number of 3-minute speakers. To me, it seems they are offering glimpses of the headlines we'll be seeing in the coming years. JoAnn Kuchera-Morin
is a great example of this. She brings us news of her project, Allosphere - 20 researchers can stand inside the sphere and be immersed in their data. Imagine if a research could stand inside an atom and watch the particles spin. Imagine flying into the brain as if it were a world, with blood density heard as music.
Astounding - they can represent quantum flow visually and audibly - a single electron's motion in a way we've never experienced before, joining math, science and art in new ways.
I wonder what would happen if they mapped my brain right now - it is certainly spinning like crazy trying to keep up with the projects she just introduced us to!
Dale Chihuly talks and shows a bit about his beautiful glass art. I'm astounded by his art - having tried glass blowing, I can attest that it is hard to do!
Working on a project called Life in Space. He's framing what we see not as taking in, but as a dialogue between the world and the brain. He's exploring the shifting boundaries of creation and experience of creation - who is the producer, and how is does the perception add to the production?
EVP of Production at Digital Domain, the company responsible for visual effects from films such as Titanic and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. "What you might not know, for the first hour, Benjamin Button is completely CGI from the neck up." I didn't know this was based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story...I'll have to read that.
"The human head has been considered the holy grail of our industry"
The human head has been considered the holy grail of our industry. David Fincher wanted Benjamin Button to be played start to end by one actor. So they generated Brad Pitt's head at various ages and married it to the body of various actors of different sizes who did the live action. Exceedingly difficult as it is, right? Add in the little fact that Brad Pitt is extremely recognizable, meaning there would be little tolerance for visual error.
The state of motion capture technology was great but nowhere near what they needed, so they walked away from it and began creating "technology stew" - different techniques from gaming, medical imaging, etc. and appropriated them. Called the entire process Emotion Capture.
I wonder what Brad Pitt thinks about the projections of how he will look at age 80 - it will be fascinating to see how well Rick Baker and the other artists predicted his aging.
Culture of Availability - rise of availability driven by mobile device proliferation across the globe and societal levels, increasing the expectation of availabilty. There's a huge difference between what is socially acceptable and what we actually do.
The Lean, The Stretch - various images of people surreptiously using their mobile devices in social settings. Hilarious stuff - hopefully others captured some images of them. Check out Flickr for TED2009 tagged images.
"Nothing says 'I love you' like 'let me find someone else I give a damn about.'"
The real need is creating shared narratives -
"Our reality now is less interesting than the story we will tell about it later."
What you share becomes the context within which we live. We aren't simply projecting identity, we are creating it."
Request - we are creating technoligy that will create a new world. Please make technologies that make people more human, not less. (these requests carry interesting weight because they are made to an audience that can truly impact those technologies)
Where is 'art' inthe iPhone app store?
"The mouse is the narrowest straw through which you could try to suck all of human expression thru"
Cognitive psychologists have mapped out the shapes and planes we associate with sounds. He created a project to map this backward - Re-Mark (?) - a program takes speech and renders it as shape in real time.
Snout - an 8-foot "snout" with a googly eye. Inside is a robotic arm "that I borrowed from a friend." The idea is "to make a robot that seems continually surprised to see you."
See more about his projects at www.flong.com
TED represents a great paradox - how can something be so mentally exhausting and invigorating at the same time? My brain is humming from today's speakers and I know that tomorrow brings so much more. I'm in my room now getting some much-needed introversion time. One thing I do at TED is push myself to operate out of my preference and be more extroverted. That's hard work any day of the week, but in a situation where I'm already hyper-stimulated, it's that much harder. Or maybe the hyper-stimulation makes it easier...I'll have to noodle on that.
Another TED truism - as the information flows in, it can be a struggle to make sense of it all, but as time goes by, the connections multiply. (Some connections come quickly, of course.)
I keep thinking about the Fast Company characterization of the satellite location as the "B list" and what it's really like here. Yes, I'd definitely like to experience the "big TED" one day, but just as I was last year in Aspen, I'm struck by the intimacy of this community. I'm sure that there's a certain level of intimacy in Long Beach, but there's something to be said for a smaller group where you can connect with more people in a bit more depth. There's also something great about being in one spot - no shuttles to take back and forth from the convention center. Tara Hunt tweeted today that she'll bring her toothbrush with her tomorrow because the hotel is far removed, which made me chuckle.
I was happy to hear that they've established TED hosts in Long Beach to help TED "virgins" feel welcome. But why not have hosts in Palm Springs, too? was my immediate thought. So I tweeted and emailed my suggestion and volunteered to be a host. ;) Yes, that's right. Me. The introvert. Go figure. I need to find Bruce Johnson, who sent the TED folks an email similar to mine. Bruce, if you are reading this, let's talk!
There are a lot of ways to follow TED happenings. The TED blog has great reports on the speakers. There you can find the text of the poem "Tomorrow's Child" read by Ray Anderson, Twitter snapshots, and interviews with TED speakers. For instance, there's a short interview of Chris Hughes, who gave a demo on software he wrote to enable a web browser to do object recognition and layer onto the object real-time graphics and video. So imagine the newspaper you are reading having the ability to also play a video clip related to the story on the page. What, you've never heard of Chris? (I hadn't before today.) Well, if you have a jailbroken iPhone, you have him to thank, because he's the first person to do that. You can read more about that at the TED blog. Also on the blog is a list of people who are blogging the event. There is such an overwhelming amount of information output here that it's impossible for one person to report it all. Not only that, we all take in this information differently, so it's awesome to have so many different reads on the same topic!
You can also follow TED happenings by searching Twitter (via its own search tool or services like Tweetscan) for the #TED2009 and #TED@PalmSprings hashtags.
Oh, and MSNBC reported on Bill Gates' mosquito release.
I'm still thinking about the gift bag and wondering if the scaled back gifts are a sign of shifting priorities. Many of the gifts focus on sustainability and learning. I'm connecting it now to Ray Anderson's equation for environmental impact and the inclusion of happiness, in which happiness is related to being happy with less stuff. So intentional or not, the gift bag definitely fits with this framing of impact and affluence as less material based.
So with that, I think I will do a little non-TED stuff, like read my email or write a poem or just go to bed. Bed sounds awfully appealing right now, actually.
Oh, but I forgot what I was saying about connections. I really should page up and put this up there with the other picture, but it's late and I'm feeling to lazy to "squirrel" up as Alex would say. So I'll just keep typing here and say that I'm looking forward to a lot of reflection in the coming days and months about this entire experience, and to the patterns that emerge as I step back. Good night, all.