TEDxNewYork is held at GreyNY, 200 Fifth Avenue. We meet every week (mostly) on Fridays now and (mostly) from 1-2pm. We are open to the public. If you want to attend, send a note to admin@tedxnewyork.com (that's Don McKinney & Chel O'Reilly) with your vitals. Our biggest limitation is space so give us plenty of notice and we'll do our best to accommodate. Hope to see you at one of our events soon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Expect the Unexpected, Please Do Argue (Nicely), and The A Word.

At breakfast this morning Kelly introduced me to Matthew, who is blogging for TED.

And as promised, some from my notes from the pre-blogging:

First, the arguments.  So many ideas here are idealistic and forward thinking, in the many conversation I’ve had with others about TED talks there haven’t been a lot of contrarians.   Of course I’m not in the academic position to take to task Patricia Burchat but I can ask probing questions, right? If we’re to truly understand ideas bigger than our own knowledge it’s going to take a little more probing I think. I’m not looking for a fight, but I’m looking for a challenge. From this remote location, I won’t have a chance to ask Nate Silver * directly about what he meant when he made point X, but I’d like too. Or I’d like someone else here @PalmSprings to dig in with me. That’s my hope.

The wildcard of who we might meet on this adventure is thrilling to me, but I cannot speak to that much yet. TED hasn’t shot the start gun, though last night was a great time to talk with great people. What does make me happy is that TED moments happen even outside TED sometimes. Sometimes you just get to meet an interesting person with an interesting role in the world and have an interesting conversation. The other night I had the pleasure of meeting the executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. I’ve made a Venn diagram (proportions may not be to scale) to explain the joy of that.

What makes that random run-in particularly applicable to TED is the conversation (argument?) we had about the role of atheism in today’s world.  We were just passionately interested people with divergent backgrounds digging into a different subject than our professions.  

Outspoken TEDster Richard Dawkins has a lot to say about it. The big (bad?) A-word has been given little face time (until recently) and whether or not one thinks it is necessary or even right, there is a need for conversation. Just as we need to get the faiths speaking to each other instead of, say, bombing each other, there is a portion of the population who finds morality without a higher being and shared morals are paramount for the survival of our species. I don’t know that I even have a stance on the issue, but I know I need to have the conversations, and I think here’s a good place for such things.  

That’s enough for now.

As always, more later-

PS Apologies that if you follow this blog and find it changes a little on you, I tend to post, then edit (or re-edit). Goal number one it to get the ideas worth spreading out there, goal number two is to double check that my hyperlinks work and punctuation is correct, etc. Example: this PS wasn't here the last time your read this entry. ;)

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