Archive for the ‘Our place in the universe’ Category

TED Day 4: What’s the Point?

March 3, 2008

2302085579_e29b0fc98c_s.jpgNellie McKay, TED 2008 Day 4

Taking a breath…last session, last day of TED…. 

Poverty

Global Meltdown

Moral imbalance

Complaints, Complaints, Complaints

Too much talk and not enough listening

The last day at TED shined a clear, bright light through the 4 day multi-focal lens on BIG QUESTIONS, pointing to obvious political facts: The world is broken. We can fix it. Let’s stop kvetching. “Yes We Can” (TED played the recent YouTube video of DigDive’s musical re-enactment of Obama’s history making speech — the producers are TEDsters who brought the video to Monterey).With the help of economist Paul Collier, activist Al Gore, musicians/activists Nellie McKay and Bob Geldof, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, planetwalker John Francis, and the Kids Table Collective, TEDsters were called to taking first steps:

Collier: Draw from the lessons of post WWII reconstruction to begin the process of saving the “billion bottom” of starving nations.

Gore: Embrace Democracy, Embrace Citizenry; don’t let the “Lucifer effect” of the past 8 years of American governance hypnotize you into fear and political paralysis. (The Lucifer Effect comment refers to the talk given by Philip Zimbardo, mentioned in my recap blog: Day 2: Does Evil Prevail).

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McKay: Protect and Defend the Innocent (dogs and other best friends). Use plenty of catchy, playful satire and remember…”if you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair.”

Geldof: Avoid Cultural Extinction. Salvage every flotsam and jetsam of human meme-making.

Haidt: Escape the warping of the Moral Matrix. Recognize the “ying and yang” of moral non-duality. “If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.” – Jonathan Haidt, quoting Sent-ts’an, from 700CE China.

Francis: Listen more. Question Assumptions. Listen even more.

The Kids Table Collective: Leave no stone, no toilet seat unturned in search for the origins of life!Our work begins.

Begin with a breath. (Breath precedes initiation).

Thank you TED.23ef515.gif     We Love You! M. A. from L. A.

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TED Day 3: What’s Out There? What Stirs Us? Storytelling and Art!

March 1, 2008

What’s Out There? What Stirs Us? TEDsters clearly have both curiosity and a love for story telling (who doesn’t?) and DAY 3 at TED gave everyone several chances to downshift from high math to the intimacies of personal and collective narrative — from the heartfelt reporting on the great redwoods and mushroom forests by science writer Richard Preston and mycologist Paul Stamets to the recounting of experiences in a Nigerian prison by the soulful, sexy writer and poet Chris Abani.

Chris Abani, author and poet, TED  2008 Day 3: What Stirs Us?

Of course, one can’t forget the boyish charisma of British physicist Brian Cox charming us with the “creation story” of the physical universe and impassioned plea by ocean explorer Robert Ballard, reminding us that in addition to space probes, the stories of the vast ocean deeps await exploration by the curious and video game talented! Ballard is banking only on youth, but surely there are some aging multi-intelligent somanauts out there who could convince Ballard otherwise!Brian Cox, Phyicist (the British Carl Sagan!), TED Day 3: What’s Out There