TED conference 2012

This year my report from the TED conference is in the form of quotes from speakers..somehow they’re just as interesting when they’re random!

To succeed as an activist behave like an entertainer.
There may be extraordinary new biological forms of life in the 20%-40% of dark matter we know of.
The political idea that if the rich are taxed more there will be less jobs is dead wrong. Only consumers can set in motion the ecosystemic feedback loop that creates jobs.
We know that at lease 1/3 of all people are introverts. Yet studies show that we falsely rank fast and frequent talkers as more competent, likeable and even smarter.
The earth is full. The crazy idea of infinite growth on a finite planet is delusional thinking.
We are born for storytelling. Storytelling leads to a singular goal and hopefully ultimately affirms something common to all the human condition.
As an artist be yourself but be current.
Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And about all it takes a willingness to try.
Fear of failure constrains you and life becomes dull. Life becomes interesting when we fail because it means we’ve surpassed ourselves..
When you look at bonobos you know instinctively that they are our closest living relatives.
Good comedians are great philosophers.
We are entering an era of higher ideals.
Dreams make us who we are.
Crowdsourcing upgrades the brain (I didn’t believe this one until I saw a remarkable experiment at the conference)
Who you know shapes who you are.
Start thinking of solitude as a good thing.
We are designing tools that provide the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.
Optimism changes objective reality. Our brains aren’t just stamped by the past. They are constantly being shaped by the future.
People living in New York city live an average of 3 years longer than people living in similar cities.
In America the opposite of poverty is justice. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. The rich and guilty are treated better than the poor and innocent.
It’s easier to convince someone you’re crazy than sane.
One in 100 people is a psychopath. (That means 30-40 at the conference!)
Fail your way to an answer
Evolutionary biologists can TEST natural selection with modern genetic technology. Evolution is not random.
Education shouldn’t be about teachers talking but rather about students doing.
In 2 letter to Hitler, Ghandi called him “my friend”.
Write your own history. If you don’t someone else might.
Why can’t we see evidence of alien life?
Maybe biological life is just a passing phase.
Vulnerability is not weakness. Lean into discomfort. When we numb the dark we numb the light.
Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.
Shame is a straightjacket.
Truly the world has not been functioning well without the input, in every sphere, of women.
The quest for knowledge never gets dull. Stay curious.

And…..the winners for my favorite TED 2012 speakers are:
I loved Chip Kidd…book designer extraordinaire. I’ll have the pleasure of lecturing with him at Marywood next month.
I also loved US poet laureate Billy Collin. Who knew that an academic poet could be so hysterically funny?
Wade Davis is a perennial favourite of mine, and possible the most articulate story teller on the planet.
Filmmaker and TED Fellow Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy who just won the Oscar for her film Saving Face, about Pakistani women who are mutilated by having acid thrown into their faces by their families for small perceived errors.

And the grand prize winner according to me is lawyer (yes lawyer) Bryan Stevenson who brought us to our knees with his profound presentation about race and injustice in America

Stay tuned to TED.com where they’ll be uploading all talks shortly

One Response to “TED conference 2012”

  1. Cathleen Toelke Says:

    I was hoping you’d post some highlights, Anita…they do not disappoint! Thank you, and I will stay tuned to TED.com.

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