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May 27, 2009
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Ted on Ted

Ted on Ted

I recently stumbled on a website called TED: Ideas worth spreading, and I apologize in advance for sharing this most addicting site with you.

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, “brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).” More than 400 TEDTalks have been posted. New ones are added every week. The speakers are a remarkably talented group and include well known scientists, artists, and politicians, plus less well known intellectuals who are perhaps even more entertaining.

One of the first videos I watched was anthropologist Wade Davis giving his views on endangered cultures. I met Wade Davis a number of years ago when we shared the stage at a pharmaceutical company meeting in Puerto Rico. At that time, he had recently published The Serpent and the Rainbow (1), a bestselling book about zombification practices in Haiti. I remember it as a fascinating story of an exotic culture that grabbed my imagination.

Davis believes that the world in which we live in does not exist in some absolute sense, but is just one model of reality. He says, “All of these peoples teach us that there are other ways of being, other ways of thinking, other ways of orienting yourself in the Earth. And this is an idea, if you think about it, that can only fill you with hope. Together the myriad cultures of the world make up a web of spiritual life and cultural life that envelops the planet and is as important to the well-being of the planet as indeed is the biological web of life that you know as a biosphere.”

The TED organization was founded in 1984 by the architect Richard Saul Wurman and his partners. TED was acquired and is now run by Chris Anderson, the new-media entrepreneur who started Business 2.0, among other magazines and websites. The annual, multidisciplinary TED conference can be attended by invitation only. The TED conference was first held in 1984 and featured early demos of the Macintosh computer and the Sony compact disc. After each conference, TED creates videos of the talks and puts them online so they can find a broader audience.

Bet you can’t watch just one!

If that knocked your socks off, just wait until you see our next cool topic.
Only one way to find out – come back soon.

1. Davis W. The Serpent and the Rainbow. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985.

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