TED Talks – Feed Your Head
When I was a child back in the late 1960’s, one of my favorite things to do was flip through our set of World Book Encyclopedias. Looking at the pictures and graphs at first, then as I learned to read, the subtitles and articles. It was my window to the world, and what the world might be in the future.
A few years ago, a good friend turned me on to what has become my modern day equivalent to the old World Books; the TED talks. I speak of this because I feel it’s important to keep up with the world around me. I may never used any of this knowledge, but satisfying my curiousity helps me experience a healthy midlife.
Most of you probably know about TED, but for those who don’t. Here’s a description from their webpage:
TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984, as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then it’s scope has become broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
The best speakers from the two annual conferences are put up on the web for all to see. They can be shared and reposted under the Creative Commons License. Over 1,000 videos are available. They are short from 6 to 18 minutes. The best places to find them are TED’s website, YouTube or Netflix streaming, were they are categorized by subject. I’ll pop them up on my laptop while I’m performing mundane tasks around the house. The speakers are simply amazing, some are famous, like Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, or James Cameron. Others should be or will be famous, like Surgeon Anthony Atala, who has been experimenting with printing, yes, printing a Human Kidney. Another is Regina Dugan, Director of DARPA at the time of her TED talk, spoke about eliminating the fear of failure, and what can be achieved when that fear is overcome. I could go on listing fasinating people and what they have achieved.
I have to admit the talks on new technologies and design are my personal favorites, but many of these talks dive into global issues and potential solutions for problems that affect us all. Whatever the subject matter, the TED talks are intriguing, inspiring and eductional.
Many of our modern day windows on the world are images of conflict, acts of senseless violence and pure terror. To be able to pause from that and retreat to a world of discovery and wonder quite simply can make your day a better one. What a special treat it is that people can come together and speak of what inspires, how their dreams have in many cases become their realities. The Ted conference in and of itself may not solve any world issues but there’s a darn good chance that people attending TED will meet and realize that they as individuals have a piece of a puzzle, that when combined, will create paradigm shifting results.
With those paradigm shifts, the world as we know it will evolve, as it has in the last 30 years since us mid-lifers were in high school or college. Imagine what the next 30 years might bring! Will we accept those changes and new technologies or will we eventually not be able to keep up with the changes as has happened with many of our parents. I hope that we as mid-lifers and into our latter years can use avenues of discovery like the TED talks, so we can at least keep an eye on the cutting edge, and do our best to keep up. Speaking of keeping up let me leave you with a video from Dan Buetter on How to live to 100+
and Remember what the Dormouse said, Feed your head… Feed your head…