This is my TED2009 story [TED = technology, entertainment and design]. It aims to give you a sense of what it feels like to be there. Some of this may seem like an insider’s story and I apologise for that.
For 3.5 days we watched, heard, tasted [those who got the bread in Long Beach and all of us with the Vosges chocolates] as well as felt many wonderful performances. That chocolate with beer was such a novel taste!
As is now becoming a tradition @TED satellite event we started, carried on and finished on a funny note – thanks to Rives and Kelly and a team of comedians. TEDsters – us community members in attendance – were invited in the beginning to get on stage to get the interactive thing happening. The deal was that we had 30 seconds to tell the audience a story around “Once I got caught….”. (more…)
What is it when your mind is whirling with ideas from many gorgeous passionate performances on stage, you meet wonderful people at every turn, you are in a beautiful location, the sun is shining and your heart says thank you – It’s TED in Aspen Colorado, end of February early March 2008.
As you see it has taken me a while to write about my experience and my take aways. There are many reasons for that, some rather mundane and others emotional and then just that nagging feeling that I would not do it justice unless I processed it a bit. I am not sure I can anyway cause hey these are just flat language signs and what we experienced was a multi-sensory fiesta. This is an account of how I felt, things I knew would fit in my world mental models and conceptual mapping of what goes on, hence enabling me to add my extensions and experiences from other areas of my life. The piece is long!
First I’d like to say thank you Chris [ Anderson , curator of TED]. I found your approach on stage a key to the tone of the conference. Everything came across as a ‘as I feel right now’ and ‘if I can find the right words great’, heartfelt and honest, and yet clearly deeply woven into the lives and pursuits of those on the stage.
You told us that the gang over in Aspen was strangely good looking. We thank you for that too, we think . For those who weren’t there. There were 300 people in Aspen sharing the Monterey conference as it was happening. We got to sleep a bit longer, thank goodness. It was rather amusing as we clapped, cheered, gave standing ovations, sang ‘Ode to Joy’ from the top of our lungs all that to the large number of screens surrounding us at the home of the Aspen Institute, the Doerr-Hosier Center. Of course we were getting each other into a mood of sharing our views by doing that. Imagine 300 people not reacting in any way for 3.5 days. That would have been really strange. We did have the pleasure of having our ‘host’ Walter Isaacson and some of the key artists, sharing their views on the trials and tribulations of humanity on stage in Aspen, like for example the Raspyni brothers, one of whom was not shy with language and the other was not shy about the bare human, thanks guys I finally know what it was….
The stage darkened….a severe man appeared….and gently reminded us of the mortal coil.
….and we were rolling. Not down the inviting powdery hills of Aspen but up and down our own emotions. Awe, fear, disgust, horror, love, romance, passion, joy, sadness, compassion, care, delight, wonder…… (more…)
I have been wondering whether I was the only one getting annoyed by some of the ageism on the net…
Today I found out at the Enterprise 2.0 Future Exploration that no I am not the only one getting tired of this simplistic cop-out or even worse, ageism by hiring only those under 45, cause those above have some sort of genetic mutation which makes it impossible for them to a/ get it and b/ add value.
We heard from the final panel, four people who were baby boomers or gen xers and who have Twitter streams, blog, use wikis and work and play enthusiastically in the evolving Enterprise 2.0 space.
Peter Evans-Greenwood from Capgemini said it well. He is tired of the tendency to lump enormous masses of people into “age based horizontal categories” and then think that it is somehow a useful be all and end all for any particular decision agenda.
Just because there are loads of people out there who don’t get a kick out of how it works in detail does not make them ‘to-be-ignored’ consumers of the technologies and services – it still has to be said – or poor decision makers in companies who create the technologies and services.
It is in the attitude, willingness to engage and adapt previous knowledge with the new. Us humans are very adaptable, we have to.
So next time a baby boomer CEO of any top net company launches into a “the over xx year olds just don’t get it” – I think it would be good to contextualize that answer with the individual speaking.
Yes I am a baby boomer too, just …….and in my head – say what?
Where balanced people go hunting and not so go on a rampage…. figuring who’s who in the zoo
One month ago a student killed eight people at a school in Jokela, which is a small town about 50km from Helsinki the capital of Finland. He then killed himself, which, according to Finnish experts was what he went out to do. He was on a modern suicide mission, it had to make the press, he had to make it matter.
A few days earlier I had been giving a table full of Americans a hard time about their gun carrying, all but one had at least one gun at home.
I live in Australia where we had our share of ‘I cannot believe something like this could happen here, in this great country where people are friendly and easygoing’ in the mid 90s in Tasmania.
In Norway, also in the 90s, two small kids effectively killed another as they left the poorly dressed girl outside in the snow.
In Australia some 25 years ago a girl was kidnapped and killed and it became impossible to let kids get to school on their own. The society changed. The difference in that regard to Finland for example was noticeable when I first arrived to Australia in the late 80s.
These are examples of ill or otherwise unbalanced persons’ warped ways to deal with life and the societies’ inability to spot the illness and instill enough ‘understanding of consequences, yes they will come’ and help. Granted in some instances those consequences are part of the truly ill person’s agenda, which is harder to deal with, where ‘stranger danger’ education is about the only way to effectively handle it, bar the continuous parental supervision.
So the questions I keep asking are:
1/ Do we live according to the balanced people’s needs and agendas or the minorities’?
2/ Do we allow awful events to change life for everyone forever?
3/ What should the gun laws dictate if we cannot get the societal controls in place?
4/ What are the means for the societal controls or facilitation?
There is no such thing as absolute freedom. One person’s freedom is another person’s limitation.
The nations mentioned dealt with the shocks very differently.
In Australia there was a mass collection of guns and the ability [as against right] to carry arms was made more controlled.
In the US there is a fundamental belief that every person should have the right to carry arms to protect their families and territories. This was described to me as a remnant from the days of the wild west when such measures were necessary due to great distances from one home to the next, itinerant robbers and poor law and order.
In Finland the jury is still out as to how the society will react.
In Norway the whole society took part in a conversation on what kind of a nation the Norwegians wanted based on the ‘isolated’ event. The population voted “no we do not want to live under the tyranny of the event”.
It is clear to me that if you combine unbalanced people in a society not ready to cope with its ill, providing with easy access to guns and lots of airtime given to these events [and many other not airtime worthy things] it combines into a higher potential for the person(s) to enact for being noticed, belonging, even if it is to a group of bottom dwellers.
I asked my son what he would like for me to write about in the blog. He said write about how your youth was different from what the youth do today. As I thought about his idea I came to this as I find that the young today seem to deal with many ills, which did not exist when I was a kid. These unfortunate incidents caused by unbalanced young on other young have become news worthy. When I was a kid we got a bloody nose or we sulked about awful friends for a little while or even a long while and that was it and anything that went beyond would not have been known about, did not become an example for others.
I find that the young are parent shadowed a lot. Not giving kids the space to be kids.
It is a sad sad situation and the ostrich approach to this problem has not worked very well. Now what?
My father loved his books
Our home was always covered in books. Wall to wall books. Even our kitchen had a whole bookcase on something else he loved, cooking. My mother is the ‘chef’ and my father was the chef of the occasional day.
I shipped 30 boxes of books from Finland to Australia in 2000. Our home has now been transformed to fit them. I am just kidding. The house has been transformed but to fit the house around some books that’s taking it a bit too far, no?
In amongst the books I found books that mom had brought back from France when my grandmother passed away. Lovely leather bound illustrated Larousse and other gorgeous things like that.
My father collected Nobel prize winners and so there were many of those and not just one book. He loved Vonnegut, whom I had just lately rediscovered or discovered. Kurt’s writing is a breath of fresh air.
Somehow I feel that my father’s soul is in these books. Books are a good soul keeper as they actually ‘talk back’. I just need to be careful not to read too much into it
Oh yes, I love books too and my son loves books…..
I miss you Antero Jaurola so I am having a chat here with you….
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