26 Feb 2004|Christoper Ireland

I’m at the TED conference this week. I’ve been attending this conference since 1992, and I can honestly credit it with a series of “ah ha’s!” over the years. It was at TED that I first learned of the “world wide web” and Mosaic, well before they hit commercial early adopters. TED introduced me to nanotechnology, biocomputing, flying cars, blogging and a host of other “truth is stranger than fiction” concepts. Thankfully, this conference balances science with highly creative music, art, poetry and humor.

Check out the speaker list and other info on the site, or read more of what’s capturing my interest at this TED….

I’m wrapping up the second day and have listened to about 20+ speakers and presenters. The most captivating so far was Kunstler who spoke about how ugly we’ve allowed our cities to get and the impending energy crisis we’re all ignoring. He’s a compelling presenter–powerful, rough, irreverent. His content was exaggerated, but effective in a “slap in the face” manner. I can’t recap his presentation, although I’m sure other bloggers will. But one of his final requests–that we stop calling ourselves “consumers”–is one I heartily endorse. It is a flat, one-sided and potentially destructive term that should only be used in a limited and directly relevant context.

My second favorite presentation was a group of teen/young adult dancers brought in from LA. Their dance was a combination of very fast HipHop moves, dramatic improv and visual expression. Fabulous, energy-creating entertainment.

Finally, my third favorite presentation is the one I’m watching right now: Felix Dennis reading his poetry. Maybe it’s the wine, but I suspect I’m just enchanted by his verse and its emotional pull.

What else have I learned in the past two days? The value of simplicity in art, the future of gravity, the fruitlessness of a 10,000 year clock, the math of form, the folly of eating too much meat, and the power of magic. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

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