WELCOME TO THE ON-LINE HOME OF TEDxNEWYORK.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
or strong enough
to take a lot of pain,
take a lot of pain.
Love is like a cloud,
holds a lot of rain.
Oooh oooh love hurts
but even so,
I know a thing or two,
I've learned from you.
I've really learned a lot
really learned a lot.
Love is like a stove,
burns you when it's hot.
Oooh oooh love hurts
Some fools think of happiness,
Some fools fool themselves I guess,
but they're not fooling me.
I know it isn't true,
know it isn't true.
Love is just a lie
made to make you blue.
Oooh oooh love hurts
-B. & F. Bryant
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Every time I hear Juan Enriquez, I'm inspired.
It makes me wonder if the question posed below will be much harder to answer in our lifetimes.
Anyway, my holiday wish for everyone this year is happiness. It may be elusive. It may not be where you thought it would be, but whether you find it or synthesize it, I hope you supersize it.
Great TED Tuesday this week as we explore the brain. First Jill Bolte Taylor then Vilayanur Ramachandran.
Will our ability to grasp ideas ultimately kill us? Imagine if our existence was only biological. What if ideas did not catch on and transfer from person to person? What if we were never able to duplicate an action such as making fire? What would the world be like?
This talk made me totally re-access my idea of intelligence. By suggesting that ideas act like genes, Susan Blackmore brings a high level of chance into the equation of evolution and opens up immense variability in what intelligence is. Imagine other life forms suddenly showing up from outer space. We always think of aliens as having a similar intelligence as ourselves. Sure they would be more or less advanced than us, but intelligence would take the same form. However, according to Blackmore, our intelligence is based on imitation and replication with variation. And, she says, that is an incredibly dicey equation for two reasons. First, it isn't easy for brains to do. Ideas had to be had by the first replicators, they had to find special brains. Blackmore referenced Louise Leakey who pointed out earlier that there were several branches in our family tree that didn't make it. Second, big brains are dangerous. They are hard to give birth to and it isn't in our best interest, physically speaking, to have big brains. Big brains are not efficient. Big brains are two percent of our body weight and take 20 percent of our energy to run. Does that make memes more dominate than genes given the right replicator?
So, back to the original question. I think our ability to replicate ideas with variations has had a profound effect on every other species on the planet. We have recreated the Earth in our image. We have created a place specifically for creatures with big brains – a place where ideas shape the landscape, allocate resources, form cultures and create wealth. Ideas have forced the rest of the world to adapt.
Finally, Blackmore brings us to temes and says technology is the next replicator (the t in temes). I wonder if the recent stock market crash is an example of machines blurring the lines – computers set to sell stock at a certain price trigger a cataclysmic melt-down of the global economy. Sounds like sci-fi and there is a decidedly Matrixy feel to the whole thing.
Also, if anyone from TED is reading this blog and has info on what Bill is doing now, please share.
Also check out his five-part series on the end of peak oil.
The discussion was varied on this our first go out of the gate. A lot of it surrounded the end of peak oil and the demise of Walmart (an event Kunstler predicts). But we soon shifted to urbanism and the culture suburbia forces on us, which seemed to some in our group to be more hype than reality.
The question what can we do right now to stave off the "long period of pain" Kunstler talks about as a result of the end of peak oil came up and led us to a discussion of living locally (buying locally, working locally, finding ways to have more value to our neighbors).
Here's a question (or two) to everyone – what can we do to move the conversation from consumerism to living locally? What kind of tools can we build to facilitate that behavior? For instance, what about a craigslist-style message board where local growers can connect with local customers? A co-op message board. Any ideas?