Posts Tagged ‘TED’

Fear (addendum)

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

After I posted yesterday’s entry I was watching some Ted talks (as I am wont to do), and saw the new one by Jonathan Haidt. I’ve seen him speak before and he always challenges me in really interesting ways, but the more I thought, and talked about this talk, the more profound it became to me. I also couldn’t escape the relevance to what I was trying to get at in yesterday’s post.

I haven’t read it yet, but Anne Bogart says that Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom is one of her favorite books.


Dear Mr. Obama,

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Dear Barak (can I call you that?),

I have a favor to ask of you. I understand that you have a complicated vision of what needs to be done in this country. It is sophisticated and comprehensive (although an arts policy would be nice). I understand that you can’t boil our situation down into one single issue and hope to get elected.

But this, so-called, “Climate Crisis” thing is a pretty big deal. So here’s one thing that I’d like you to do. Please.

1. Become president of the United States (I’ll try to help with this if I can).

2. Once sworn in, create a new cabinet level (or higher if there is such a thing) position called “Climate Tsar” or “Superman” or whatever.

3. Appoint Al Gore to this position.

4. Give Gore almost unlimited power, with the mandate of saving humanity. Give him the same power you would give him if he were conducting the largest military war we can imagine, against the most vicious and evil enemy ever. Give him an obscene amount of power, and then take it away if he abuses it.

Pretty please?

I am not saying this because I think he should be president and you should not. I think you should be president and not him.

In case you need a refresher on Mr. Gore here’s a vid of him at TED this last April. If you haven’t seen it, take a look. It’s about 20 mins long:

See. I think he’s valuable.

You’re going to have a lot on your plate. You have to take care of all sorts of people and issues. On top of which you’re a senator from the most nuclear state in the country. You’ve gotten a lot of campaign money from the nuclear industry. I get that, you’re a politician. You’re doing what you have to do. I seriously don’t have a problem with this.

As you have so eloquently pointed out, we’re going to have to start transcending politics. Maybe someone like Gore who has left the political fray has something important to offer. He represents the best chance we have to address this particular problem. I think one of your jobs as president will be to utilize the resources that we have. Al Gore as a citizen of the United States, is a really valuable resource.

Tap some of that!

Your buddy.


Thursday, March 6th, 2008

I am a big fan of TED. If you don’t know what TED is I’ll blog about it sometime soon. One of the things I like about TED is that I find a lot of cool stuff through TED. Recently a TED talk led me to I would like to suggest it to all readers of this Blog. I cross-post here their Manifesto. I think it says it pretty clearly. I don’t work for them of derive any benefit except in as much as I have a vested interest in the world getting better. If you read nothing else of it, check out the last line…
The rest of this post is cut and paste from works from a simple premise: that the tools, models and ideas for building a better future lie all around us. That plenty of people are working on tools for change, but the fields in which they work remain unconnected. That the motive, means and opportunity for profound positive change are already present. That another world is not just possible, it’s here. We only need to put the pieces together.

Informed by that premise, we do our best to bring you links to (and analysis of) those tools, models and ideas in a timely and concise manner. We don’t do negative reviews – why waste your time with what doesn’t work? We don’t offer critiques or exposes, except to the extent that such information may be necessary for the general reader to apprehend the usefulness of a particular tool or resource. We don’t generally offer links to resources which are about problems and not solutions, unless the resource is so insightful that its very existence is a step towards a solution. We pay special attention to tools, ideas and models that may have been overlooked in the mass media. We make a point of showing ways in which seemingly unconnected resources link together to form a toolkit for changing the world.

Every link we post is informed by technology, but the new possibilities we cover aren’t just high-tech. Sure, we all need to understand the uses (and dangers) of advances like biotechnology, the Internet, ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligences, “open source” software and nano-materials. But we also need to know how best to collaborate, how to build coalitions and movements, how to grow communities, how to make our businesses live up to their highest potential and how to make the promise of democracy into a reality. We need to understand techniques as well as technologies, ideas as well as innovations. How we work together is as important as the tools we use.

This is a conversation, not a sermon. We encourage not just feedback, but active participation, and, yes, challenge. Got a great idea for a resource we’ve missed? Let us know – better yet, write your own recommendation and send it to us. Think we’re off-base with a recommendation we’ve made? Let us know that, too, and what resource you think we should have covered instead. Changing the world is a team sport.