Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2013 Day 4

English: Portrait of Julia Sweeney

Julia Sweeney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday, March 1, 2013

8:30 – 10:15

Session 11: Who Are We?

Are we getting smarter or are we just better trained to take those IQ tests? Moving from the concrete thinking to taking the hypothetical seriously. Our abstraction is now powerful. However people today also live in the bubble of the present. Still, educated masses posses advanced abilities today that the ruling class in the past could not imagine. This new level of mental ability gives him hope.

Thinking about death, natural duality of children’s thinking, the function of beliefs… At this point I would like to mention that this is the first time that I am TED live blogging without my maternal grandmother being alive. This was the first time I lost a closed loved one, me being over 40, and her passing at the age of 89. I am sure, in a more advanced and less stressful society my grandmother would have lived up to 99 or a 100. I miss her.

Psychopaths have underdeveloped amygdalas. Daniel suggests that the plasticity of the brain holds the opportunity for change in their behavior. He believes that human nature can change with practice in many cases. We need: Restorative Justice Programs. I agree.

Jared spoke about the value of elderly in traditional societies and how elderly are valuable in our modern society. One reason why Americans undervalue old people is due to literacy. Old people are no longer the only holders of unwritten experience, knowledge and stories. Also, in the US, young people leave their homes for college and the physical distance between child and parent is huge. In addition American society is emphasizing independence … therefore old people appear a burden when they are no longer able to care for themselves. However, old people still have value, knowledge, important life experiences, and can provide support to their families.

He told us his story of an accident changing his life and him years later facing the terribly limited and simple minded man who caused that traffic accident. He realized that the person who ruined his young life created a narrative within himself that protected him from having to face himself (him as a killer, him as a person who caused Joshua’s bodily pain, and so on). Joshua had to face a life so unexamined in that man that there was no point in expecting an apology. I think Joshua is a powerful speaker, an intelligent, successful, and strong person.

11:00 – 12:45

Session 12: A Ripple Effect?

Telling the story of effective altruism. He shows rich and not so rich people giving, and examples of charities that help you give better.

Acts of kindness cards… Kindness is accessible to everyone. Give  kindness and change the world around you.

Charity CEO’s earn low wages for their education level, and nonprofit market share is stuck at 2% of the US GDP. An extra 1% of the GDP would result in 150 billion dollars for social causes. Society has to invest more into nonprofits to be able to raise more funds for solving huge problems.

Look up her other talks on TED. She summed up the TED 2013 content in a funny way.

Global music on the TED stage, his famous virtual choir now partly performing live via skype. TED Long Beach is closing now, and next year TED 2014 will be happening in Vancouver Canada.

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Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2013 Day 3

Thursday, February 28, 2013

11:00 – 12:45

Session 8: Coded Meaning

Well, right in the middle of this Session the stream again started to break down… very very very annoying. It spoils your experience, it kicks you out of your flow.

TED2013_0057974_DSC_7265

TED2013 Saki Mafundikwa   (Photo credit: TED Conference)

We are introduced to written African languages and symbols. The first alphabet was created in Africa.

Texting is not writing, not formal. No. It is more like speaking. Speaking liberally with our hands.

Sign language in the age of computing and mobile technologies. Text can be translated into sign language animation… directions can be also displayed by sign language on a smart phone. It is very important to people who are deaf. The problem is not the disability, the problem is that many technologies are not yet accessible to people with disabilities.

How to teach autistic kids abstraction? Ajit tells us how he developed a visual educational tool for tablets. As an outcome, he arrived at free speech that is independent of language. He created a language engine, containing the possibility of universal translation… and language learning that is more like native language learning, not foreign language learning (these two happen in different parts of the brain, after I think age 12…).

TED2013_0058640_D41_0793

TED2013 Ajit Narayanan (Photo credit: TED Conference)

 

Raghava… promoting his liberal art…

Names of dolphins… sounds of dolphins… communicating with dolphins… The web stream is terrible… My computer has issues communicating with the TED technology… I am sure I would be more fluent with dolphins…

  • Adam Spencer
  • Science communicator

    Adam Spencer | Mathematics Enthusiast | TED@Sydney

    Adam Spencer | Mathematics Enthusiast | TED@Sydney (Photo credit: TED Conference)

This was a fantastic talk, by a geek wrapping prime numbers and his love for the Higgs boson into humor. Me too, I love the Higgs boson and science and technology (and art and writing), so I think I am a geek too who feels lucky to live during this era. I am not into math because I had terrible math teachers, but those teachers did not manage to destroy my interest in science, so I kind of understood what Adam was saying. However, I am not sure if I could talk about his topic the same way… he really has a skill that makes him perfect for communicating the story of mathematics and science.

And for some reason the stream was fine now… it fluctuates all the time.

2:15 – 4:00

Session 9: Indelicate Conversation

We hear all about human digestion, toilets, digestive illnesses, sanitation.

Nano coating, waterproofing.

Winner of the IG Nobel. This was the most creepy yet fascinating talk… about homosexual necrophilia among ducks and other animals. Who knew…

It is a Victorian, outdated idea that sex and economic power should go together (not sure why he says that… it originated from earlier cultures). He says we need to become more tolerant because everyone has a closet to come out of… due to the social stigma that is forced on people unnecessarily… think of cultures where people are not stigmatized for who they are. And men should stop trying to define women’s freedoms. In addition, men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus. Both are from Africa.

She had a hip replacement and after that decided to learn hip hop.

Demonstrated how cyber attacks impact people and asked everyone to use the basic security measures while using smart phones, tablets, other kinds of computers. He is a really good speaker.

He is definitely under cover, because he can not show his face while on stage… He has a very dangerous job in Africa… but he is very determined and also successful at what he is doing.

5:00 – 6:45

Session 10: Secret Voices

Surprise guest: Ben Géza Affleck talking about his work in the Congo… he introduces the Orchestra Symphony Kimbanguis from Congo. (The second one played was: Brahms: V. Magyar Tánc, V. Hungarian Dance… Did you know that Ben got his Hungarian middle name “Géza” because his parents really loved their Hungarian neighbor?)

Artistic camouflage. Blending in with the ruins of China’s planned market in transition to becoming a free market, or with party propaganda posters, with toxic supermarket food, with news rooms, with Venice, with lamps, with newsstands, with ruins of actual buildings. Very interesting images.

Dolphins playing with symbols in water, a Bonobo playing with a keyboard and making music. These four speakers pointing into a future where other species will be connected by the internet too. The most magical moment was when the Bonobo played musical notes on the keyboard… the fingers carefully touching and making sounds.

Talking about the power social media gives people when protest are really needed.

Mental health professional telling the story of the voices in her head and how she survived the mistreatment that followed when she mentioned the voice to others… She is a survivor of the narrow mindedness around her, and she is a powerful advocate for like-minded people. In fact when she was talking, several times I felt like: now this is the last sentence… now perhaps this one… because of the power and intonation… each line could have been a closing line… and I was thinking, perhaps a voice in her head is telling her what else she should say… and when she was really done, June asked her if she still hears voices… and she answered: yes, I do, like: this is what you forgot to say… That was interesting, that somehow I could tell that from the way she presented the last 6-10 sentences. Anyway, I am glad that she managed to come to the conclusion, that what matters is not the symptoms, but what happened to her, and that she needed compassion, acceptance and support to recover from the traumas before and after her first diagnosis of schizophrenia.

She escaped North Korea and she told her powerful story… I grew up in a communist country, we could not easily leave Hungary for decades. What she escaped is much more dramatic compared to my experiences of the seventies and eighties in Hungary. When we had the revolution in 1956, I am asking you, where were the powerful democracies? Why did those nations passively watch people in my country suffer? Why was the assumption of ignorant people in wealthy countries that we wanted or deserved the shit we had to put up with? So, again and again I am asking: How much longer are you going to passively watch the suffering of people in North Korea? Those people were brainwashed, emotionally tortured, physically hurt. Do you think it is what people want there? No! I know that the North Korean people want your help even without knowing. I know that the North Korean dictatorship will eventually fall apart, but the process could be expedited by creative diplomacy… Just go and stop that madness, because people there are hurting.

A powerful and poetic talk about a bullied child growing up to be a powerful poet.

Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2013 Day 2

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

8:30 – 10:15

Session 4: Disrupt!

Open source architecture… print your own wiki house. Democratization of production… a wikipedia for solutions…

Boosted Boards are really nice… for young  people.

He shows us a book listing all people who had an e-mail address at the beginning of the eighties. The internet was built for a different scale and it is too vulnerable for present day challenges. Nobody really knows what the internet is at the moment (size, connections, data), it is so complex. We should have a plan B, a secondary system for cases when the internet is down in some areas and when there is an attack carried out via the internet… people should be able to communicate if the internet is not able to function in a hospital, at an airport, or at the fire station.

Nice dramatic performance. He definitely has self-esteem now. 🙂

Using a dominating, useless and ugly tower to display public art and strengthen a community…

Surprise: Sergey Brin talks about the Google Glass. Sergey, the introverted genius awkwardly fighting his shyness again and again on stage.

She connected with people and managed to kickstart her music. Trust… She is a fantastic person. Instead of asking how to make people to pay for music, ask: how could we ask people to pay for music nicely. Her kickstarter project was phenomenally successful. 🙂

Small dollar funding of elections would eliminate the corruption of present day elections and lead to a better form of democracy and a better government. Even we liberals love this country… – he says.

11:00 – 12:45

Session 5: Dream!

This session starts with some creative dancing…

Elon Musk

Elon Musk (Photo credit: jdlasica)

Chris interviewing Elon about his electric car, solar energy, and reusable rockets… fascinating discussion. TEB (Technology Education Business) and confidence… Elon is another interesting person, really calm, intelligent, good to listen to. We see a rocket that takes off, hovers for a while and lands safely again… Wow!

He set out to solve the energy problem. Not fusion this time… ok, just a bit… just to understand that fusion reactors are terribly inefficient. So he is proposing small local underground reactors that would use up radioactive waste material that we need to store anyway. Running for decades with no need to refuel, it is also low pressure, the fuel is molten salt and so it won’t melt down obviously and it won’t explode. In the case of an accident it won’t contaminate large land areas. So, this is the offer of this 18 year old brilliant scientist, entrepreneur in the making: use decommissioned nuclear material to solve the energy crisis.

She had a brain surgery many years ago. A key part of her brain was removed and she had to experiment with some powerful chemicals, hormones, in really small doses, and she felt how just a small amount of change impacted how she felt, who she was, her temper, her self, her intellect. This talk reminds me of a radio show on This American Life about testosterone. She is actually showing us technology that can tell what you see in your head. I have heard about this before, but now I must really face it, because it is coming… And at the same time, the new player is so terrible, that I post on the TED conference tech chat: I never had such a terrible viewing experience during a TED conference. Never. The quality is constantly disturbing.

Planning to bring back extinct species using genetic material. Pluripotent stem cells can be turned into reproductive cells and so you can have chickens birthing falcons… Not the least disturbing, right?

She is from South Korea, where elite suicide is very common (I read articles about this issue). Why am I saying this? Because she spoke about her depression. It is a sickly competitive nation (sorry about stupidly generalizing). I love their history and culture, they are lovely and driven people. I am so sorry that their attitudes cause so much stress and depression. My post is not meant to offend anyone, I am sorry if it does. I can tell you, Hungary has also a lot of stress, and nowhere near as much competition and success as in S. Korea. Hungary is just simply a country overwhelmed by pessimism and depression. Sad place in many ways. Unfortunately Hungary has a pessimistic culture. Lots of depression, suicide, alcoholism, and other substance abuse, plus aggression and corruption. I think it has to do with the history. This country fell apart so many times… wars, communism, an ill fated superficial systems change for the last 20 years towards broken capitalism… and we still have some really toxic people of the past in power (left and right)… Those people hold a lot of power… still… their shortsighted mentality is killing the economy, the labor market, and people who lost hope. Back to South Korea: Congratulations upon electing your first female president! I posted about that on my facebook wall a few days ago. This would be impossible in Hungary, still a male dominated society.

2:15 – 4:00

Session 6: Create!

Stream issues…

So, the theory is that technology will permit people to work less… and do more… aha… keep telling the jobless all over the world that… in the short run lots of people will suffer because of joblessness IMHO… perhaps in the longer run it will get better… but not tomorrow…

Bowtopia… the fibers in the bow know their purpose… each person should be like those fibers. Dong Woo is from South Korea and he reinforced my feeling that schools there are overly and painfully competitive putting too much pressure on people.

He researched why sex is so good and he realized that the best things in life arouse all five senses in a major way.

I love UMAMI! And food. And that is her topic, so this can only be a good talk… but not really…

Wow, she was really talented as little girl! She is applying her sense of fashion and art to architecture and interior design… Not my kind of architectural thinking, but some things in her portfolio were interesting.

Telling the story how she developed the story telling tool “Snow Fall”… I hope I got that right…

We have our first visibly trans-gendered TED speaker I think. And yes, she transitioned to Kate in 2007, but did not mention that during her talk (I just looked her up online while she spoke). However, at the start of her talk I was looking at another tab in my browser and in my mind I was listening to a man… and when I went to the TED stream tab, there was a woman… wait a man… no, that is a transitioned woman, ok… this was my mindset (I expected a heterosexual female speaker based on the program and based on my ignorance), so I could hardly focus on her talk and went to google to explore my dilemma about the speaker. Well, I am sorry about this, I need to get used to openly trans people. It is a learning process that won’t happen overnight. Good for Kate that she can live the way she wishes and she contributed to my learning process. I hope you can also keep an open mind and accept her for who she is. All we people need is love, support and acceptance for who we are. And we are in fact all work in progress as long as we live… and some are work in progress even after that when other people remember them…

Here is a true hero of science and a superhero for cancer patients. He is 15. His super power is original thinking! He worked out a super cost-effective, sensitive and quick test for pancreatic cancer. He says: “Undeterred by my teenage optimism…” – quoting boring adults… the audience laughing… Add another superpower: humor! Anyway, he is now working on a 5 dollar home kit for a multitude of blood tests. Standing ovation! Of course! Me too right here in the middle of the night joining the celebrating global audience from Budapest, Hungary. Love his brain!

5:00 – 6:45

Session 7: Sustain!

Biodegradable trash becomes Methane on the landfill (no oxygen) versus Carbon-dioxide in a natural garden composter (oxygen)… Half of the food globally is wasted because of huge refrigerators. Also, lettuce is more wasteful than the badly insulated fridges all together. She goes on and on about surprising hidden facts and design opportunities to save energy. Excellent speaker.

“Food is the problem”, so he started to plant food in South LA to change the health situation. Funny thing about sustainability: you have to sustain it. Become gangster gardeners. “Come to my garden so that we can plant some shit.” “Kids who plant tomatoes, eat tomatoes.” Fresh, self made food is his solution.

The first metal instrument is called “doromb” in Hungary. It is interesting to note that the cat makes this noise here: “dorombol” (“purring”). The second was a Calabash instrument…

Discovered a local bio-degrading bacteria.

He is an energy geek. Only peer pressure helps save energy. When electricity is produced, 90% of the coal is wasted by the time you turn on the light in your home. So, coal that could give you electricity all year, only provides approximately 1 month of energy… Very inefficient. His goal is to make people ask the question: How could we save energy?

Music.

FFTT… 30 story wood buildings (and TED 2014) coming to Vancouver. Wood is safe, strong, environmentally friendly, and people hug wood parts of buildings, and that means something… 🙂

Using livestock to stop desertification and change micro-climate to the better. We see beautifully reforested areas.

Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2013 Day 1

Let me start with the good news that Richard Saul Wurman is attending TED Long Beach this year. He wrote via facebook chat on February 13.: “surprise I’m going to TED”.  I am so glad that the differences between Chris and Richard are no longer dominating their professional relationship. I responded: “Go and enjoy. Its really your amazing kid all grown up and successful. Your gifted brainchild.” And indeed, we should keep in mind respectfully, that RSW is the father of TED.

Well, the stream during the first session was terrible. After we figured out via the stream chat that some have super quality, some have constant buffering, I wrote: “I know it is on auto, I am just imagining people in less developed countries… apparently TED tech people are now under the spell of the ‘progress enigma’ for every nation at the same time (not having diverse insight into global differences and not having an oversight of the spectrum of progress is a problem)…” Ironically, ‘progress enigma’ was the main topic of the first session. I also wrote on the chat: “I would be really angry now if I had to pay for this… the archive option also helps a lot to keep calm… but this buffering situation is destroying my live blogging process and timetable for the 4 days.” At this point I went to the tech chat and posted my issues with all other people with terrible streaming issues… there I was informed that this time, because of the new player the auto setting can not be changed to manual… so the tech people will lower the general speed for the next session… And now you can imagine why I could only take fragmented notes… Most of the time the stream was buffering… and no, it was not my computer. I give you what I can… hope to have more in the next session. (In the second session the stream was better but the picture was smaller. Most of the issues were fixed for day 4, but I am unable to say that it was perfect. In fact the stream quality was all too frustrating for days…)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

11:00 – 12:45

Session 1: Progress Enigma

Her big idea is supposed to be an energy policy for the US. Right… what took you so long as a developed nation? And still just an idea?

There is growth… in the past… Robert is worried about joblessness in a robotic environment. He also says: let in people (stop the madness of visas in the US) and legalize drugs (to stop the drug war). So, from conservative he suddenly turns progressive liberal… (My live stream coming and going…)

Growth is not dead. Productivity in the US and globally is at an all time high. Lots of free stuff. Robots are taking over. The problem is  not with technology, the problem is that we are not sharing the outcome… the wealth… the knowledge… the opportunity…

We see an advanced factory robot that is supposed to help factory workers, not replace them. Similarly, caregiver robots are coming… Robots have no gender…

Robots should be personal. (Again my live stream is fragmented.)

I am going to have a look at the archive because the stream stopped all the time during this talk…

  • Bono
  • Musician, activist

Saving the world… one rock star at a time…

2:15 – 4:00

Session 2: Beautiful Imperfection

He decided to teach a course on ignorance. I know this is a favorite topic of Richard Saul Wurman. How can we distinguish the smell of a banana and a pear when the difference is only one carbon atom in a molecule that carries the odor … our brain is a brilliant chemical detector. Testing methods are bad at schools and you get what you test for. So if you are having a bulimic method of education feeding huge amounts of data to your students and testing it… that is not intellectual learning and not productive in scientific terms. Science changes with every funeral… (I add: as does society).

How to trick the giant squid … and make a photo of it. Really funny video follows showing the giant squid. We need a NASA like organization for marine research.

Camille Seaman gives a short audience talk about us being one with nature. She is a storm photographer and shows us marvelous images of clouds.

His photographs are epic. He shows how he reforested his family estate with 2.5 million trees.

Another speaker from my alma mater, Columbia University, speaking about cities that are living systems. Open source urbanism for the user living in the city… instead of engineered high tech cities that are alienating and sterile.

The Long Beach gift bag is introduced with a few words before the next TED attraction enters the TED stage… I feel: that is the ugliest bag I have ever seen. Brown. Boring.

He is playing with his own voice, with and without technology and making music.

He embraced his limitations (a nerve damage initially caused by his pointillist art and a creative block later when he had too many choices) and created: inside the box! He painted on his body layer by layer, he created art that he immediately destroyed, he created art influenced by others, he painted martial arts style… I have to say Phil was the most authentic, most down to earth, most relaxed person on the TED stage until this point. Good for him!

5:00 – 6:45

Session 3: The Spark

Let kids take ownership of their education. He knows how to do that as a successful educator. High expectation… if you are smart that is only a good start for hard work… Building community and groups… trust… how to explain concepts with clarity. It takes researchers to produce researchers. Let them learn in labs regularly… You need faculty to get involved with students. Connecting… Redesigning courses so that students are not bored in classes. Use technology… Freeman is a passionate educator. 🙂 Excellence is never an accident. Choice and not chance determines excellence.

She says: do focus on your twenties, the most defining years of your life. The most significant decisions are made by 35. Fertility peaks at 28. Get identity capital, do something … invest into the person you want to be. Explore work. Find like minded people. Reach out to your friends’ connections. Mindfully select your partner for life. (One way of living… but not for everyone.)

What a wonderful person she is!!!! 🙂 Lisa told us her inspirational story of redefining her dream by comparatively reading books.

How to invent a security system to save livestock by using materials at hand in your village in an African country… while still being a boy…

Sir Ken Robinson presenting this years TED Prize Winner. He says an awful amount of education is going on with a terribly low amount of learning and that has to change.

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The winner is: Sugata Mitra! I love his work!!!! He says the Victorian era education system is outdated (yes) and a new one is needed (yes). He now has one million dollars to realize his paradigm shifting plans for appropriate education. He says his rich friends kept saying that their kids are gifted because they can do wonderful things with their computers. So, he jokingly asked himself, how come all the rich kids are “gifted”… he decided to give computers to kids in slums and watched what happened (Hole in the wall experiment). And as we in education research know, the kids started to teach each other language and IT skills and even genetics. Encouragement is the key. Punishments and examinations shut down the brain! Educational self organization… let the learning happen. Self Organized Learning Environment: SOLE… His wish is to design the new future of learning together. The school in the cloud… (I am so glad that I see the change in education during my lifetime.)

I came back after two months, and the 26 children marched in looking very, very quiet. I said, “Well, did you look at any of the stuff?” They said, “Yes, we did.” “Did you understand anything?” “No, nothing.” So I said, “Well, how long did you practice on it before you decided you understood nothing?” They said, “We look at it every day.” So I said, “For two months, you were looking at stuff you didn’t understand?” So a 12 year-old girl raises her hand and says, literally, “Apart from the fact that improper replication of the DNA molecule causes genetic disease, we’ve understood nothing else.”” (Sugata Mitra at TED)

Here is an interesting and popular fact: “The Hole in the Wall experiment left a mark on popular culture. Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup read about Mitra’s experiment and was inspired to write his debut novel Q & A, which later became the movie Slumdog Millionaire.”(wikipedia)

Here is my relevant TED conversation comment from two years ago. (I really don’t understand where this previous line disappeared since I posted this blog after the first day… now I am posting it again without the comment hyper-link to TED and cut and paste my actual comment from two years ago…:)

“Feb 19 2011: Jane! Hi! I am not a gamer. I am an online idea generator. When I listened to your talk live last year, I knew that I should translate your talk into Hungarian and I am glad I did that (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/hun/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html). 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration! I had this idea: Why not create a game that makes people in the developed world responsible for the education of people in the less developed parts of the world. There is now so much content out there for online education for free… I was thinking: Ivy League development, education, etc… students should be inspired by online games … you know, somehow combining education, mentoring, research and gaming… Get your degree as an online gamer by teaching people skills, showing them the world, interacting with them online and seeing results as we play. Learn from each other. Get your university credits with meaningful online games. I even wrote e-mails about that to the TED management, because TED talks would be perfect for this new way ofonline global community graduation” with “gamer organized free educational content” from the web. I imagined getting an experimental PhD in such a way online (on top of my Columbia University MA) from my home in Budapest, Hungary while pulling someone else (living in a less fortunate environment) toward a BA or an MA degree. The game could have an academically meaningful impact beyond the epic win of teaching people skills, languages or science… I am sure many PhD students would be happier with this, instead of being the RA and TA slaves of tenured professors in the US… I could work with a post-doc who is in the US… so that person in the US, me in Hungary, and the person in the Third World: we would get to know each other’s needs and culture too and that with minimal carbon footprint. That could promote global power balance and understanding. This in my opinion would be a meaningful game project. 🙂 Best, Regina Saphier”

Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2012 Day 4

English: Structure of the FOXP2 protein. Based...

Friday, March 2, 2012

8:30 – 10:15

Session 11: The Classroom

Hosted by Kelly Stoetzel and Rives

Bill loves sun dials, and he made sure one goes to Mars. Ainissa says kids have an inner scientist and we should concentrate on that instead of training them for tests. Adult John illustrated his middle class confused human teenager memoir story with dance and music. Al recommended that Americans replace the baseball lingo with pizza symbolism when they talk about sexuality to make it personal, desire based, non competitive, non sexist, non heterosexist and equally pleasurable to both sexes. Kate is a writer, she draws time lines when building new worlds and she asked kids to imagine the worst and best possible worlds. Angie does not want to be remembered as perfect. She asked us to record our real history and leave it behind for future generations, because if you do not do it, someone else might. Awele demonstrated participatory citizenship with a courageous black woman’s story who would not give up her bus seat and who changed history this way. Chris showed us a cute animation about his key question: How is it possible that we have not yet seen any sign of life beyond Earth? He asked us to stay curious and also announced that TED-ED will be open to teachers superb short lectures and will animate the best ones TED style, similar to TheRSA videos. Aaron showed us evidence that yes, evolution is real, like the FOXP2 gene, responsible for learning in birds, mice and humans. You can test natural selection, in a short period of time. Raef introduced his students who entertained us. 🙂

11:00 – 12:45

Session 12: The Moment

Hosted by Chris Anderson

Henrik presented his robotic self. Sebastian tested the idea of interactive TED talks. Cesar showed us his one second a day video narrative of his life. Leymah spoke about her wish for African girls to be able to go to school and not having to suffer. Jacob Soboroff asked: Why are Americans voting on Thursday since 1845? There is NO good reason, and there is now the weekend voter bill, that will hopefully change the day and increase voter turnout. A video followed, a Symphony of Science summary of the latest TED event. Brené spoke about her and our vulnerability.

English: Photo of Brene Brown

English: Photo of Brene Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She asked the audience: Do you believe that your vulnerability is weakness? Most raised their hands. Next she asked: Do you perceive the vulnerability of TED speakers as courage? Most again raised their hands. See? Vulnerability is NO weakness. Vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage. Shame: I am a mistake (makes people depressed). Guilt: I made a mistake and then I admit it (this is adaptive behavior).

Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2012 Day 3

Thursday, March 1, 2012

11:00 – 12:45

Session 8: The Courtroom
Hosted by Chris Anderson

Lets see… Jim… I am sorry, but selling lots and lots of toxic deodorants with ideals… that is pathetic. And I am saying this with a marketing degree (diploma work in marketing ethics). Jim did not convince me. Sherry spoke about the avoidance of intimacy… people hide behind technology. Many young people have very little social skills, feel lonely, and need real attention. Tali warned us that we are way too optimistic. She called it the optimism bias and it could be responsible for the ongoing economic crisis. Depressed people are more realistic. But optimism leads to success. People love anticipation. Taylor Wilson, a really young nuclear physicist told us about his home made fusion reactor and also pointed out that for a scientist the glass is always full, because of water and air. 🙂

Bryan received a really long and deserved standing ovation for his wonderful talk on integrity, race, and fighting for justice. In his opinion richness is not the opposite of poverty, it is rather justice. He believes that each person is more than their worst action. When a judge decided to put his African American teenage client on trial as an adult, he made a motion: lets try him as a 75 years old privileged white male corporate executive.  He advocated for proximity between the privileged TEDsters and people in poverty.

2:15 – 4:00

Session 9: The Design Studio
Guest curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell

A highly entertaining session. Chip told the story of his book cover design process. He has the persona of a stand up comedian really and was dressed like an elegant and intelligent clown. Liz spoke about the redesign of a museum in Washington. Not my kind of design. My favorite speaker was David, a person who is well known as the one who helps people rediscover their creative power at Stanford. He gives back people’s creative confidence. He is such a compassionate person.  Thomas spoke about the curated museum experience at the MET. It would have been nice if he showed one of the tapestry exhibits on the TED stage. When I moved to New York in 1999, I spent my first two weeks at the MET. True story. Also true: when I was 9 years old, my parents lost me in the MET, in the book store in 1981 (luckily they did find me, after they realized in the lobby that I was missing… my father lost me actually, he has ADD I think… not with antiques, only with kids). The ABT did not particularly impress me. John Hodgman made fun of design. John Hockenberry told us about his father’s wisdom: design by intent. Intent makes all the difference in your actions and design.

5:00 – 6:45

Session 10: The Campfire
Hosted by June Cohen

Jared made flames dance and made us see sound. Joshua decided to write about memory training and ended up winning the competition he wanted to write about. We remember best when we memorize topic by topic, or in fact place by place. Make your life memorable, pay attention, be mindful, and remember to remember. Philippe told his fascinating story with passion. He made us imagine the moments when he crossed the air between the WTC buildings. Marco Tempest invited us to his digital campfire.

Jon told the TED audience that there are probably 30-40 psychopaths among them. It would be normally only 1%, but it is 4% among CEOs. Corporate psychopathology is responsible for a lot of suffering in the world today. Abigail was singing in Chinese while playing the banjo. She was obviously born to perform.

 

Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2012 Day 2

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

8:30 – 10:15

Session 4: The Lab
Hosted by Chris Anderson

This session had at least two talks with the wow factor. After Scooter spoke to the TED audience and pointed out that TED is like the academy awards for nerds, Regina, a nerd herself says that people  should be nice to nerds because they are the ones who are able to change the world. She asked us: What if you could not fail? Life gets interesting by the way when we fail because it means we surpassed ourselves. She is designing amazing flying objects at DARPA and one of the most interesting ones is the nano hummingbird… looks amazingly real as it floats over the TED stage  and Chris jokingly remarks at the end: Look what a cute hummingbird just flew into my headquarter… he also kept trying to make her say that her designs will be used by the military in unknown ways and what those ways might be… But anyway: What would you attempt to do if you knew that you can’t fail…? Jack demonstrated the highly practical digital anatomy device where the human body is represented by a 1:1 3D model of the human body, excellent for training and also for surgery consultation. This amazing table is already on sale, cheaper than a human body. Marco visually narrated Tesla’s short form bio and we learned that Tesla’s mind was supported by synesthesia and he built models in his head. After hundreds of inventions he had one failed idea, that was actually possible, but he kind of overestimated the possibilities and got no funding. Finally he ended up a recluse in his Waldorf Astoria suit. I mean, how silly, after so much success, how could people leave him so alone? Donald explained his world changing idea: The Liquid Metal Battery. This invention might just save the planet, according to Chris. We were informed that while watching, there are 165 TEDx events happening simultaneously. Vijay showed his team’s agile flying robots. I knew about his work, I have seen it before, but some of the videos were new. I especially liked the small robots flying in formation. At the end of the session Chris remembered Steve Jobs.

11:00 – 12:45

Session 5: The Earth
Hosted by Chris Anderson

Karen took us high up in the mountains to watch bears and showed footage of a newly discovered bat that has a tongue longer than its own body to reach the nectar in a flower. Sharon showed photos of beautiful bird nests. Wade asked us to protect the sacred head waters of the world. James reinforced our knowledge that global warming is real and we need to put extra price on carbon. Boone spoke unconvincingly about natural gas as the bridge energy for the US. I mean he lost 150 million as a solar energy entrepreneur, and now he has investments in natural gas… you can see where he is coming from. The Civilians performed the end of humanity.

2:15 – 4:00

Session 6: The Crowd
Hosted by June Cohen

After some music, the start up whisperer, father of LinkedIn, Reid says that individuals need to use their online company of people, their network as entrepreneurs. You somewhat have to understand technology, have a network identity, need network intelligence and network capabilities.  If you are a company collecting user data, do not do anything with it that you would not publish in The New York Times. David Hornik had a 3 minute talk. He spoke about his invisible disability, dyslexia preventing him from remembering names. He says that even if he can not remember our names, he still loves us. 🙂 Lior presents the first crowd sourced TED talk, and brings a real ox on stage. Jen gives the most practical talk of this session, introducing OccupytheSEC. She brings application developers into City Hall. It is a peace corps for geeks. We need a crowd of voices, but more importantly we need a crowd of hands actually doing things. Frank gives an epic talk about asking people to share their secrets with him on a postcard. June shares her secret: her skirt zipper broke but safety pins saved the day. 🙂 And finally Reggie speaks nonsense in the most intelligent manner possible and produces fun with his persona.

5:00 – 6:45

Session 7: The City
Hosted by Chris Anderson

JR’s TED wish turned his idea into the biggest collaborative art project in the world. Edward spoke too fast, so Chris made him summarize his talk at the end: cities are important for us to be able to connect to create collaboratively. Eduardo demonstrated how efficiently his operations center works in Rio and his colleague came online to tell him about the weather, the traffic and river levels. Suja, a stunning person and excellent storyteller spoke about her urban planning project in Africa, where she is working on a new city in Free State in South Africa.  The session is closed with lively Gospel. 🙂 (I will never forget the kindness of the church people in Harlem after we visited their community following 9/11. It was an unforgettable and wonderful experience. Thank you!)