Saturday, March 1, 2008

John Francis "planetwalker"

What an amazing man and great storyteller. Spent 22 years walking an sailing around the world. He started when he saw 1/2 million gallons of oil empty into San Francisco Bay he swore off using a vehicle or anything that required oil. He spent 17 of those years he didn't say a word. He stopped speaking so that he could stop arguing. He felt it could help him learn to listen. Although he reevaluated his vow of silence on his birthday every year. That lasted 17 years during which he earned a BA, MA and PHD. It took him 7 yrs and a day to walk across the country. The best thing, he says, is learning to listen. What started him talking again was when he realized that we, people and how we treat each other is truly part of our environment. He became a UN Ambassador (though i'm not sure what kind). He felt that he had a responsibility to help change others and he felt it was the only way he could have significant impact. We have to leave behind our security and go to the place we must go. We have to do something now, we have to change now.


Al Gore Activist "How dare we be optimistic

I'll start with the end where Al quoted an African proverb when ask what he will do next:
If you want to go quickly, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
He announced the launch of the Alliance for Climate Protection scheduled to launch worldwide in April 2008.

I took reams of notes, there was so much value in what he said, but bottom line you really have to watch the video when it comes out. His key messages were about activism and the link between climate change and poverty, It's not just about changing out lightbulbs or adding solar panels, but it's about being active as citizens in our democracy as citizens of the world. In a way I think he was talking about accountability. We are accountable to our planet, it's people and the environment. He calls it a unified earth challenge. More than a local challenge, more than a regional challenge, it's a global challenge and we are able and in fact we MUST get engaged and do something big now. Our generation CAN be the one to force change, our generation CAN be the one to change the cycle, CAN be the one to make a difference, but only if we hold ourselves accountable. We need to initiate a worldwide mobilization effort. We did it after WWII we can do it now. We can change the world.

We have to force the media to engage, to ask the tough questions, to make sure we know where the candidates stand on the issue. Less than fraction of a percent of the questions relate to global warming. We have the will, we have the technology, we just need a commitment to hold ourselves accountable. he cited the example of Australia where the citizens forced the Kyoto accord to be an issue and shortly after Australia became the second to last to sign the accord. The only remaing hold out is the USA.

Paul Collier economist

It's all about ideas for creating opportunities for the worlds poorest people.
He's focusing on one of his 4 big ideas wrapped around what he calls the "commodity boom".
He says that the revenue from commodities in countries where the "bottom billion" live far exceeds the funding for aid to those same countries, so how can we make this "change the world".
Currently the "bottom billion are experiencing the fastest economic growth rate ever. The key is to sustain it and according to Collier is how do you sustain it. He cites Canada, Australia and Finland as doing it right. It requires very strong checks and balances and these countries simply don't have them. He feels a key component is transparency, creating interest concern and effective action to ensure that there is indeed long term benefit. If society is uninformed, they can't act. he challenges us to help figure out:
How to extract resources our of the ground and benefit the country. He infers that what happens now is that big traders and government ministers carve deals that benefit them but not the long term economic health of the populace. If we could establish standards we can support the reformers who are struggling, and ensure transparency so that the general populace knows what is going on and can prevent the backroom deals that benefit big corporations and insiders.

Book: The Bottom Billion

johnny lee what can you do with a Wii?

OMG, an electronic whiteboard, 3d head tracking, all with a Wii. unbelievable stuff, and johnny offers free downloads on his website. you gotta see it to believe it.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Benjamin Zander Conductor

Amazing speaker. Passionate, funny, brilliant. By mid way through I'm dying to go hear some classical music, and that's a hell of an accomplishment. Funny, he just said that he will not continue his talk until every single one of us loves classical music. So he starts playing piano...chopin is his first choice. OMG this man is fabulous. I though about cutting out an I'm so glad I didn't. He, in 15 short minutes has 1600 people listening for the E and loving every moment. This is the TED video you have to share with your kids and parents. Your parents will cry, your kids may embrace it in a way you hadn't thought possible. he says we all love classical but many of us just don't know it yet. He said something dramatic that will stick with me and applies to many aspects of life. He says that as a conductor, he can't make a sound. His mission is to draw the best out of his orchestra. To get the listeners and players to have "shining eyes". He says success for him is about how many shining eyes I have around me. More than any of the talks, I see shining eyes all around me.

After he was done and the longest and loudest ovation so far, he had everyone singing Ode to Joy. As he was trying to motivate the crowd to engage....He made a comment the meaning of which I hope I never forget...paraphrased...A true leader finds ways to get things out of people that they didn't even know they had in them!


Chris Abani writer

Published since he was 16, in jail in Nigeria soon thereafter (i think i got that right!). After two more imprisonments he turned to poetry. His stories are amazing, he talks about the horrors he saw and heard about as a child. Some are simply horrific. He's an amazing story teller and some of his stories, not the most horrific but the ones about cultural issues, like a few of those he told remind me of my time teaching in the jungles of Sumatra. Some things just didn't make sense. I remember being in the midst of a cholera epidemic that killed hundreds every day. Ironic that the front page of the Bengkulu Sumatra paper was about 14 (or so) Americans who died of legionnaires disease, a new thing at the time. A tiny paragraph on the last page was dedicated to the latest death toll in their own province. I deduced that the financial impact of the death of those Americans far exceeded that of the Indonesians, but i couldn't understand, nor could they explain why the 18 Americans dying was more newsworthy than the deaths of their neighbors.


David Griffin Natl Geographic Director of Photography

as one would expect, incredible images....photographs emulate our's not just about capturing an image, it's about connecting with the viewer as if they were there, not just visually but emotionally. they've added a section to their website a "your photo" for reader submissions. "you need to know how to create a visual narrative".

helen fisher anthropologist (of love)

college students were asked:
have you ever been rejected by someone who you really loved?
have you ever dumped anyone who really loved you?
95% said yes to both
"romantic love is one of the most powerful sensation" on earth she says and so she studies it's "biochemical foundations and its vital importance to human society". she's studying data now on
people who had suffered a romantic loss. she has learned that romantic love is a basic drive (not the same as sexual drive). it's an addiction and it's great when good and horrible when it's not going well. you crave, you distort reality, you take enormous risks you wouldn't normally take.
indeed she says "romantic love is one of the most addictive" things on the planet. her newest experiment is testing people who are still in a long relationship and say that they are still deeply in love to try and determine the origins of love and why we can walk into a room full of people who may be similar and be romantically attracted to one.

closing: "love is in us and deeply embedded in our brains."

website 1
website 2

decided to take a break from blogging and absorb

I decided to take some time to just's who you missed, but keep an eye out as will be posting them soon. For more info now, just check the websites listed:

Walter Isaacson Aspen Institute CEO (our amazing conference hosts) website
Sue Goldie Public Health Scientist website
Peter Schwartz Futurist website
Nassim Nicholas Scholar of Randomness website

Richard Preston science writer

Incredible author, he's written some scary stuff on everything from ebola to cobras to bioterror to.....redwoods! so what up with that? it seems that he tired of the horrific nature of his other work, though that's not clear.

he spent much of the time talking about redwoods, which are near and dear to me having spent 7 years of my life living amongst them. that being said, i never would have actually thought about climbing one, yet he's climbed the tallest. he has found berries, mosses, lichen and all kinds of interesting other life.

Paul Stamets mycologist/mushroom scholar

a man who spends all his time with mushrooms. he has 22 patents and rails against mushroom prejudice. he thinks that there are thousands of uses and applications for mushrooms, from antibiotic and other medicinal uses to terraform planets "by sowing a mix of fungai spores and other seeds." ways to address global issues:
1. using mycellium to absorb oil (think oil spills!). the mushroms absorbed the oil, killed the smell and attracted other life forms
2. a rare fungus that grows in US forests is being used for flu viruses, defense purposes..........problem these guys only grow in old growth forests
3. used against insects and could revolutionize the way we deal with this..
people are giggling, openly asking if he's a nut or not...did he eat too many of the wrong kind?
4. econol, a mushroom derivative which could be used for energy

"I believe engaging mycellium can save the world"
really really, out of the box stuff in one way, but in another way so cool in its simplicity and the potential!

Robert Ballard Ocean explorer

talking about how little we really know about our oceans. 50% of USA lies under water and he says we know more about mars than our own oceans. 15% (whoops, did he say 25%?) of our planet is a 42,000 mile long underwater mountain range we didn't even explore until after we hit a golf ball on the moon. one of the things he talks about is how much of the worlds natural resources lie under the sea. they discovered bacteria that emulated photosynthesis where no light is available, creatures never before seen, all kinds of life, hydrothermal vent systems, etc.
he's totally frustrated at our lack of knowledge, he knows that going to the unknown on our planet we may find many answers. he's beginning to disseminate information and motivate children to explore and dig for knowledge earlier than any one else. he ended with comments about how we have great opportunities with existing technology to learn so much more, to use so many things to our benefit.

Brian Cox british rocktsar physicist

100 billion suns in our galaxy and 100 billion universes, 13.7 billion years old. an attempt to recreate the conditions 1 billionth of second after the birth of the universe. what is particle physics and cosmology? in an attempt to understand who we are and where we come from, he's driven to understand what happened in the very first billionth of a second after the birth of the universe. although insanely complex he is a great presenter and is able to demystify it just enough to make one think they understand. we'll see if i really do.

Tod Machover composer inventor

What an amazing thing this man has done to enable people who had no hope of playing an instrument to do so and express their creativity in a way not possible before. Personal instruments..what a concept. Incredibly moving performance by Dan, a cerebral palsy patient. Just the look on his face during the performance was enough to jerk a few tears.

Amy Tan How do we create?

Amazing, engaging, powerful, funny, creative. Taking about all the different sources of creativity. Seizures, psychosis, past lives, angst, sacrifice, thinking about death, childhood experiences, family and cultural influences. Makes me think about how our designers are constantly under deadlines to deliver "great creative". In fact the more we hear from these incredible minds, the more I think about how my efforts may be misdirected in the bigger picture. She talks about how the universe gives us clues and we often don't see them. There are never complete answers, rather, if there is one, remind oneself that there is uncertainty. If there is an answer it is to imagine.....Imagination is the closest thing to compassion. become the story

Robert Lang Origami????? How do we Create?

He took an ancient art form and, by applying mathematical principles took it to another level. Using computers to help design, it ain't the origami we remember. Showed and amazing commercial for Mitsubishi that was ALL origami except the car. Livermore labs uses origami to help understand how to bring large lenses, up to 100 meters, into space. Stents, airbags, etc., use the mathematical formulas originally developed for an art form.

Yves Behar Designer

Another incredibly talented person, an amazing group of accomplishments, most recently the XO laptop for the One Laptop Per Child program, the jawbone headset, the leaf lamp and the reinvention of numerous brands like Birkenstock. very cool unpretentious presentation talking about design and how it can tie to a relationship with social responsibility, value and as he says "the values we put into our design work" that is the big differentiator. He says design is the glue that brings everything together. He fuses values and design. Tackling the One Laptop Per Child
was an amazing effort that is changing the world. He wraps with the NYC Condom program a mindblowing totally different approach to a huge challenge. We can change our values, we can change the companies we work with, we can change the world....sure makes me think about my client base!

John Knoll visual effects

Big deal, a few Oscars, Star Wars, Pirates, oh and he invented (with his bro) some little program called photoshop. He's sharing the visual effects "secrets" showing how much goes into effects. Makes it seem like nothing is impossible, helps us to see how things that seemed impossible just a few years ago are not today. As I listened, sure I was entertained, but now I think, at least for me the relevance is that the impossible is not necessarily so.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Changed my mind....Karen Armstrong

She's so good and her talk so near and dear to my heart.....

Religion has been hijacked she says. We have a talent as a species for messing up wonderful things. You cannot confine your concern to those of your religion. You must open up your mind and think more about Universal Outreach which she feels many religions no longer do. Religion is a kind of fault line and when a country has armed conflicts, religions tend to fall into line and are also impacted and take advantage of opportunities like armed conflicts, to grow when they have the opportunity to do so. After 9/11 her work on Islam has thrust her into prominence. She says the world is yearning for a change. Thousands of Pakistanis came to her recent talks. She says religion should serve to bring people together not tear them asunder. We should not treat other nations in a way we wouldn't want to be treated ourselves. Sh talks about how the mosques in this hemisphere reached out to Sinagogs and communities to begin to communicate and generate understanding. Personally I've always been of the belief that it's hard to hate those with whom you are familiar and she seems to support that. It is the "otherness" of our enemies that allows us to hate them. Her wish is that we help with by developing a charter of inspiration and based on the fundamental principle of the golden rule. To connect all of those who wish to reclaim their faith, to remember the ethos of love and charity. She wants to see the major religious leaders, at least a thousand all sign a charter that we can get to everyone on the planet. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has already offered his support as has the UN alliance of civlizations. we need to avoid the escalation of extremism. The UN gives it validation that it's not driven by single religion. Make relgion once more a source of peace rather than conflict.
Amazing, inspiring the books and get involved! This is why I haven't been able to subscribe to any religion and now I have a reason to dig in and see if there's a way to help. She has the potential to be a bridge to a new world.

The Great Transformation
The Beginning of our Religious Traditions
The Bible: A Biography
A History of God

lazy jack

I'm going to watch this session, since you can do the same at:

personal observations about TED

Truly amazing experience. Wonderful ideas and creative thinking. Could be better with more opposing viewpoints. Seems more value could be generated with a little more interaction and questioning of the speakers. It may be that the environment is too intimidating or that organizers are focused on specific outcomes. It's hard to sustain something as earth shattering as this event for 20some years, and it's easy to throw stones, but I certainly plan on being a part of it as long as I'm allowed and as long as it continues to generate great ideas and attract ao many amazing people. It would be great if the entire conference could be viewed by anyone/everyone!

Samantha Power politcal scientist and journalist

Currently an advisor to Barack Obama (she manages to slip a few comments in about him every few minutes), she's the one who wrote the famous memo that basically said the the US must return to human rights centered foreign policies or it will continue to lose prestige and influence in the world at large.

She makes an interesting point. With all the trouble in Uganda, very few Americans even inquire or have any awareness of the challenges there, but the phones ring off the hook for people who want to save Gorillas.

Samantha talks about some of the organizations who are having some success raising awareness of some genocide, particularly in Darfur. She clearly thinks that a change of presidents isn't going to make much difference unless it's Obama.

So how do we prevent evil from prevailing?

Be adaptive, don't just denounce, be in the room, talk to your adversaries but don't check your principles at the door.

Espouse dignity, no holier than thou stuff.

Don't hype the threat, focus on the legitimate challenges and threats, but don't lunge into reactive mode. calibrate your response and approach.

Increase your awareness of the complexity of the issues. increase your involvement, don't let fear scare you. If we want change we have to become part of the effort.

Evil will not prevail she says, not unless we let it!


book: A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

Irwin Redlener

He's a Public Health Doctor with a deep understanding of disaster medicine and medical care. He's also a founder, with Paul Simon of the Children's Health Fund.

He talks about the danger of nuclear holocaust and how lucky we were to have survived the cold war. What is really scary is that most of those weapons are still around! His point here was that virtually every scenario of a nuclear holocaust showed a total destruction of life as we know it. the fact that we told people to hide under desks or build fallout shelters. Every single plan the government suggested was ludicrous. One depended on 4 days notice which obviously would never happen. The point he says is there was a total disconnect with reality.

The really scary thing is what he calls chapter 2 which we're in the midst of now. The idea of an all out war is unlikely, but nuclear terror threats DO exist.
1. The nuclear stockpile is not secure, they can be bought or stolen easily. 18 cases of theft have already been documented. 1300-2100 metric tons of highly enriched uranium are in the global stockpile. Amazingly enough, it takes only about 75 pounds of HEU. Plutonium is no less scary, it takes much less plutonium.
2. The information is readily available on how to build a bomb.
3. Evil-doers are organized, dedicated, "stateless" and "retaliation proof". Al Queda operatives have specifically stated that they have "the right" to kill 4 million Americans, including 2 million children. we, as a country are totally unprepared this kind of attack, both from a prevention perspective and a treatment perspective. Just a small suitcase is all that's needed to carry a bomb. He basically showed us how easy it would be to do.

He feels it's almost inevitable thought there's much more we have to or can do. So what does it mean and who would survive? A bomb in NYC would be insanely devastating. His description of what would happen, from the "nuclear storm" or hurricane, was so scary that almost everyone in the room gasped. You would have 10-15 minutes, IF you survived the blast, to get away from the lethal radiation which will come straight down. If it ever happens, get the hell out of dodge the moment it happens. Get in shelter and stay there if you can't get away. It's critical you find as much information as possible. The really really scary thing is that not one single American city has an evacuation plan. It's not futile, and with some planning we can dramatically impact the survival rate. The key is to get away from the blast as fast and as far as possible. NEVER STARE AT THE CLOUD, DUCK AND COVER, GET AWAY FROM THE INITIAL FALLOUT, MOVE DOWNWIND/CROSSWISE, KEEP YOUR MOUTH OPEN SO THAT YOUR EARDRUMS AREN'T SHATTERED, DECONTAMINATE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, STAY INSIDE SHELTERS FOR AT LEAST 48-72 HOURS.

live feed free at 5:15 pacific time 2/28

Check out the live feed tonight at 5:15 Pacific Time at this url:

Phil Zimbardo What makes People Go Wrong/Will Evil Prevail

Known by the public primarily for an experiment where Stanford Prison Experiment. He is now asking "what pushes some people to become perpetrators of evil while others act heroically on behalf of those in need?". He says that it's ultimately about power. His first example was the outrage of Abu Ghraib. He says he was disappointed but not surprised after his experience as the prison superintendent for the Stanford study. He showed many of the startling and frankly disgusting images of the abuse, worse than anything I'd seen before, including the smiling images of Americans standing by those they abused. Truly sick stuff. He pointed out that some of the prisoners were mentally ill and should never have been there. What makes people do this kind of thing? Dispositional (bad apples), situational (bad barrel), systemic. He then talks about the lucifer effect, the human minds infinite capacity to be evil AND to be good. He asks, would you electrocute stranger if Hitler asked you to? The study he then talks about is one many of us have seen or seen analogs to where one of the subjects is the teacher and the other is the student. Every time the student makes a mistake the teacher shocks him with steadily escalating voltage. The test was to see how many people would go all the way to 450 volts which could kill someone. Even when the "students" screamed and said they had heart conditions, nearly 90% went all the way to 450 volts. The "teachers" were noral folks form every walk of life.

Next he described the Stanford test "Quiet Rage". 75 students signed up for the 1-2 week study.
They were "arrested by local police, which was a surprise. They were picked up and jailed as if they were under arrest. They were forced to do degrading activities from cleaning toilets with their bare hands to various kinds of punishment and harrassment...the study had to be abandoned when so many of the subjects literally "lost it". More at

He describes 7 social processes which cause the lucifer effect and one of the stronget was power without supervision. That's what happened at Abu Ghraib. The guards knew that no one was going to come down and see what they were doing.

A paradigm shift is needed. Heroism is the antidote to evil. Promote heroism to kids. Reficus attention on heroes as opposed to evil. We want kids to realize that heroes are every day people not caped superheroes. They can be and should be heroic, we need to share examples of the good things people do, the heroic things more than the bad things. Teach them skills to be heroic. Act when others are passive....a great quote from one of the heroes he talked about: "I did what Anyone could do and Everyone ought to do".

The point he leaves us with is that we too will have the opportunity to be heroic and we should be prepared to be so.

Garrett Lisi...An exceptionally simple theory of everything

Brilliant, I think. This one sailed right over my head. There were very cool images and some great stories (he lives in his van in Maui). I'd say wait for the video to go live on TED or check garrett's websites:

Thomas Krens: Is Beauty Truth

As artistic Director for the Guggenheim he has transformed the art world. Even more than the art world, I've seen how the Guggenheim in Bilbao changed the entire city, it's lifestyle, demographic makeup and more, for the most part for the better. The last time I was in Bilbao, it was a dark dirty city deep in basque country and constantly in turmoil with the Basque conflict. No longer, the dirty industries are gone. Tourists actually come to Bilbao for the city itself rather than as a hub to go to Southern France or Spain.

Is it truth? Is that even the right question? Decided to pick out favorite images of his at random to share. They included images from artists like Matisse to Warhol. Traditional paintings to tumbling cars. How are all these things tied together and how do we experience them? Art Museums should reflect society and change, they have that as an obligation. The objects we see in museums are messengers to deliver the messages of another age or perhaps to another age. talked about Museums with no walls. Museums in your own house. Think about them as platforms and change agents. Connecting museums is a must for society.

Isaac process

Isaac says this will be the first time he will talk about his "process". My wife would love his first comments which address his lack of sleep, something he and I share. He is convinced that it enhances his creativity. Damn if I could be as creative as he, I'd use toothpicks in my eyes if necessary!

He says he doesn't know where "inspiration" comes from, he says it's not about research, more likely from using that time he isn't sleeping to think. This is a pretty amazing guy, selling everything from the highest end couture to a line at Target. He sits up at night watches movies to see how women are portrayed and he thinks about the roles the women play and that drives his thinking. He also talks about balance. That's what it's really all about. It's a huge part of his process. He wonders, as he lies awake and watches people in movies like Natalie Wood and wonders how he can ever create anything so beautiful. It drives his desire to keep going and take it to another level. He says "a little comfort is dangerous. I get bored." It's okay if I'm slightly bored with everything, in fact, if you're a designer you have to be a little bored with

Style is great because he says it keeps you from thinking about death.

Is Beauty Truth? Nancy sick, so 2 minute book review instead

The core of her book "Survival of the Prettiest" revolves around the theory that beauty does indeed matter. Even flowers in our homes "make us happier". A review in Time simply states that she is "skewering the popular wisdom that beauty is a social construct, this Harvard psychologist
argues that we ogle such features because they radiate the health and fertility our species needs to survive. We need to understand our innate drives, whether it's a desire for fattening foods or any other thing that we know exists and has potential problems, so we tend to temper those inclinations....

Doris Kearns Goodwin love work play

Amazing author sharing insights into Lincoln and LBJ. Lincoln traveled the world through literature. His early life was challenged by tragedy and the death of so many around him. One of the things that made him so successful was his desire to leave a legacy that would outlive him. he did some brilliant things, especially when he appointed his three rivals and former opponents to be his advisers. It was perplexing to everyone at the time and there was thought that said he was giving up control, but he established himself quickly. His greatness came from his integrity of character and selfless approach to resolution.

Her story about LBJ was much more personal. She spent many many hours with him and had a very interesting start to their relationship. She was named a White House Fellow and when dancing with him at a White House reception he whispered that he wanted her to work directly for him. two days later, an article she wrote about how to remove him from office!
He apparently still wanted her to work for him and then said something to the effect of if he couldn't win her over no one could. She wrapped her story about him by making it clear that by never learning to "play", he was unable to enjoy his later years without ever having the opportunity to enjoy life at all. Lincoln, on the other hand was able to play through his love of literature and theater.

Susan Blackmore and memes

We're nearing the midpoint and I think I'm finally beginning to understand memes. Memes actually means copying. Susan is a psychologist who has demonstrated that evolution is not purely a result of genetic evolution but a combination of humanities unique (amongst animal life) ability to copy AND genetics. In fact she indicates that the two actually are in constant conflict. Genetic evolution, from Darwinian theory, attempts to deal with evolution as a function of adaptation requiring less thought and therefore a smaller brain. Memes push us the other way and force our brains to grow in order to be able to be able to copy memes. As an example she talks about how genetic evolution has nothing to do with things like language, music and art. She's essentially redefining evolution.

Craig Venter, synthetic lifeforms

Craig is involved in perhaps the most earth shattering (so to speak!) new technologies that as he puts it in New Scientist magazine, "over the next 20 years, synthetic genomics is going to be the standard for making anything...We really need to find an alternative to taking carbon out of the ground, burning it and putting it into the atmosphere. That is the single biggest contribution I could make." The sound of the potential impact, creating synthetic lifeforms, is scary, but the reality is that no matter how we harvest energy from the planet, we will deplete it's resources. By "creating" energy, we have the potential to find a path to equilibrium. There are numerous efforts
like this but Craig is the clear leader. At the lanch of the UC Irvine Brehn Center I had the opportunity to watch the growth of 100% synthetic plants and flowers which were made by copying the genetics. Craig is actually creating new life forms. Through genomics, a small team can now do what it's taken twenty years to do in the traditional model. A key component is not only to NOT use additional natural resources, but if we can use C02 as the core of synthetic fuels we may actually create a financial incentive to clean up the atmosphere. As he pointed out, there appears to be inherent challenges to biofuels in that it dramatically impacts the pricing of food worldwide as well as cause the need to destroy more forests worldwide in order to accommodate the worlds need for sustenance.

alisa in the us sucks

Really interesting quick 3 minute talk about how news here is dominated by things like Anna Nicole and Brittany. She shows visually how out of whack we's the key elements of the talk:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

sri sri ravi shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar truly believes that if we see ourselves in relation to the larger universe we'll live a more harmonious loving caring life and live in a world that's also more harmonious. Just understanding breathing and mediation can change one's mentality and approach. It allows us to see everyone as good human beings, some of whom just need help. Our hearts need to embrace everyone. Love is the answer. Love will bring us together. Love is the answer. breathing and meditating are the pathnto enlightenment. We're looking at pictures of 2.5 million people mediating in Bangalore. No police, no incidents, no problems. Totally different approach. He oozes calm, peace and love, we can all feel it.

peter ward

Peter thinks it's quite possible that amongst the billions of planets, earth very well might be the only place with "intelligent life". Our planet, like us is going to die one day and not likely frmo global warming. But, the fact is that anything could happen, just like us, our planet could be the victim of an accident...a rogue star, supernove, gigantic asteroid, etc. It appears that life on earth, has been wiped out before...asteroid catastrophe (KT, a ten kilometer wide asteroid) many things that could cause a catastrophe, yet we continue to survive....yet we treat our planet like we can just go down to target and get a new one. What's up with that, why don't we do everything we can to preserve what we have, if for no other reason than to give our kids a chance to experience nature...he's showing a nautlilus which has been on the planet for 500 million years. In 100 years we could have beachfronts in brand new places. One of Peter's friends is convinced we've got less than 100 years before view properties become beachfront.

microsofts worldwide telescope

They are introducing Microsofts worldwide telescope. It's an incredible way to explore the universe. It will be available this spring at Amazing images and functionality. It allows you to create your own tours, get information, see stars, galaxies, solar systems, just incredible.....

mind blowing

From the anthropologist to the neuroanatomist. From an amazing artist with very real and scary portrayals that force us to think (especially abusers of cigarettes, prescription drugs and such..hit hard with me...a smoker) to a talk by Stephen Hawkins a paraplegic who uses eyetracking to communicate, it's been an amazing experience so far. Jill Bolte Taylor, who had a stroke and lost the left side of her brain which as she explained is where our memories reside. She is describing how it all happened, what she was thinking, how confused she was with everything...couldn't remember her name, couldn't translate images, even letters on business cards. She couldn't even determine who she was, who to call, what to do with the telephone....talking about how hard it was to do any simple task without the left side of her brain functioning. People talking sounded like gibberish, even herself. When she woke, she had already "said goodbye to my life" and was shocked to find that she wasn't. Could not identify who she was or where she was...not in a sense of being lost but really and truly not knowing where, who, anything about herself or the world around her. Somewhere in the midst of all of it she "found nirvana". She realized that we could find "nirvana" and if she as a stroke victim could then certainly the rest of us can. She says we have the power to choose who we are and what we are n the world. That we can choose to step into the consciousness of the "right side" of our brain vs the left and really be a part of the energy that surrounds us. If we chose to move to the left we will "find ourselves", but lose out on being part of the "big picture", the energy all around us. We can project and be peaceful.

Intro to TED 2008

So, an interesting intro....TED is not about seeing new things, it's about seeing things in a different way. We think of the internet as's not. Every time you download a single gig, you use an energy equivalent of a fist sized piece of coal.

First talk by anthropologist Wade Davis. He's talking about the Indians at Machu Pichu. It's an amazing story of a truly sacred culture. 18 yrs of isolation with the rest of the word nothing but an abstraction, they never leave the circle at the "center of the earth". He says it's amazing that this culture, just 2 hours from Miami, prays for us and the planet as their mission in life. Wade talks about how much there is to discover, what does it mean to be human and alive? The rich tapestry of life is there for us to discover.

free streaming

Thursday night TED will be streaming for free at this url....


Okay, so I was a bit intimidated....intimate surroundings, very smart people, beautiful weather in aspen. I walked down to the Aspen Institute and was kind of blown away. Everyone very cool and open. Met lot's of folks and someone stopped, Marsha, to ask if I wanted a ride. The goodie bag is over the top....the venue is amazing with views stretching across the valley and mountains. The TED folks are awesome....starting soon! This is the photo on my badge....

the big question


The Big Questions

February 27-March 1, 2008 Monterey, California

Many people come to TED seeking something out of the ordinary. A chance to mentally recharge. A chance to step back and consider the big picture. A chance to understand life in a richer way. Next year will be our most ambitious attempt yet to deliver, by answering questions like "Who are we?" "What is art?" "What is love?" and "What is evil?" in unexpected ways.

live from TED

okay, so I'm about to head over and get started at TED registration. There's a few events this afternoon, but for the most part it starts tomorrow. Check out for's the core discussion for this years event:
TED2008 will be our most ambitious attempt yet to deliver on that agenda. We're building our program around the biggest questions there are. And because it's TED, we'll be seeking answers not just from the sources you might expect, but by bringing together multiple voices from very different disciplines. The "Aha" moments often come from the most unexpected connections. The questions below will give you a flavor of the incredibly rich vein of possibility in this approach. Plenty of Profundity and Challenge, for sure ... but also plenty of room for Cool, Exciting and Whimsical. See the TED2008 Conference Program for details. We think you will like it very much:
Who are we?
What is our place in the universe?
What is life?
Is beauty truth?
Will evil prevail?
How can we change the world?
How do we create?
What's out there?
What will tomorrow bring?
What stirs us?
How dare we be optimistic?
And the point?

Now how cool is that?