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.