Best of TED Conference 2009 – Elizabeth Gilbert – A different way to think about creative genius – OLE !

Feb 12

TED 2009 took place this weekend 20 minutes from my place. For a few moments about a month ago, I was actually playing with the idea of paying the $6000 for the 3-day conference but then came reality – $6000?!? A few moments later, when reality kinda’ took a nap, play came back and said:

“hey, no problem, keep being the remarkable person you believe you are and that you aspire to be, and soon enough, TED will invite you to give a talk…” Reality woke up, play gave her a tease, reality played along, inspiration opened the door, a ton of ideas walked in… hey, hi there, you are?…. ah!… yes! motivation… glad you could make it… :)

Talk about motivation, I was watching Elizabeth gilbert’s TED 2009 talk (the first TED 2009 video released) and… WOW… blew my mind!

Elizabeth Gilbert faced down a ­premidlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of – running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the megabestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home.

She’s a longtime magazine writer – covering music and politics for Spin and GQ – as well as a novelist and short-story writer. Her books include the story collection Pilgrims, the novel Stern Men (about lobster fishermen in Maine) and a biography of the woodsman Eustace Conway, called The Last American Man. Her work has been the basis for one movie so far (Coyote Ugly, based on her own memoir, in this magazine article, of working at the famously raunchy bar), and now it looks as if Eat, Pray, Love is on the same track, with the part of Gilbert reportedly to be played by Julia Roberts. Not bad for a year off.

(source: TED 2009)

Then I watched Woody Norris’ amazing sound device talk:

First I thought Norris’ video was recorded at TED 2009 since it was just released, but was shocked to learn this was recorded during TED 2004! What? 2004? It’s five years into the future now and I have never seen anything like this! Where’s Sony? The car industry? All these wonderful ideas I had in my head while watching the video, on how to implement this technology… oh I wish I would have one of those toys… :)

Woody Norris is a serial inventor of electronics, tools and cutting-edge sonic equipment — such as the LRAD acoustic cannon. When he won the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2005, his official prize bio called him “a classic independent inventor … self-educated, self-funded and self-motivated.” His mind seems to race toward things the world needs, though we don’t know it yet: a nonlethal acoustic weapon that has been used to ward off pirates, a bone-induction headset, radar that can scan the human body, a tapeless tape recorder …

Norris’ educational background is a key to his restless mind. He is not quite “self-educated” — he’s taken many classes, but always at his own speed and in his own style, studying the things he knew he wanted to know and working closely with professors. Ironically, it’s a model that cutting-edge colleges are now embracing.

His inventions have seeded several public companies. Recently he has been working on the AirScooter — a sort of propeller-powered counterpart to the Moller SkyCar.

(source: TED 2009)

Ok, back to TED 2009, and once again… I’m blown away by the capacity of human creativity… I LOVE these Siftables reasoning games! Where can I get them?

David Merrill is a grad student in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT’s Media Lab. He and his fellow students in this group work on new technologies that give us more and better abilities to do things we want to do. His main interest now is the Siftables project, the subject of his TEDTalk, on which he works with Jeevan Kalanithi. In another field of inquiry, Merrill is looking at ways to access digital information in the wider world, when we are away from a traditional computer.

A musician himself, Merril also has a deep interest in new musical interfaces. His Adaptive Music Controller is an instrument that learns its player (rather than the player learning the instrument). And working musicians should check out his AudioPint, a portable case that consolidates instruments, effects and audio processors into a gig-safe rugged housing.

(source: TED 2009)

Juan Enriquez: Tech evolution will eclipse the financial crisis:

Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to come. But don’t look for it on your ballot — or in the stock exchange. It’ll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be … different.

The San Francisco Chronicle put together a list of the top TED 2009 talks but as of today, most of these talkes are not yet available to watch online. I’ll keep this post updated as more interesting talks come out.

If you are unfamiliar with the TED conference, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader:

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