TED2012: Full Spectrum

Happy Leap Day!

Before the second day of TED2012 kicks off.. A word about Day 1 of the Conference, which this year is themed around “Full Spectrum” (whatever they mean by it).. I am anxiously following Guardian’s Live Blog as a substitute for being there in person. They give a good detailed account, which is further deepened by reading the TED blog (before they finally release the actual videos..).


The most interesting talks from Day 1:
Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts“, called for “a quiet revolution” of introverts. “A third to a half of the world’s population are introverts. But nobody bothers to listen them. Cain calls for “a quiet revolution”. Introversion is different from being shy. That’s about fear of social judgement. Whereas introverts just don’t need or thrive on external stimulation.”

Andrew Stanton, writer and director of WALL-E and Finding Nemo, of Pixar on storytelling. “According to Stanton, storytelling is joke telling. It’s remembering your punchline. Leading up to a single goal. And hopefully reveals some deeper truth. Stories about who we are. We all want affirmation that our life has meaning. There isn’t anyone you can’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story. The most important story commandment: make me care.” “Storytelling without dialogue is the purest form of storytelling, he says.”
“So, here’s the golden rules of animation according to the Pixar crew:
No songs.
No “I want” moment
No happy village.
No love story.
No villian.”

Billy Collins, poet-laureate who received a standing ovation after his talk yesterday, on his animated poetry (some of it can be found on YouTube) “It was an idea he initially resisted, he says. He wanted to let the reader do a little work. It’s about using your imagination, after all. But, then he realised, it would mean you could have poetry on television.” This is what he said on humour: “”Humour is epistemological. The angle at which you see life. There’s something very authentic about humour. Anyone who’s ever had a job or sat in a classroom knows how’s to pretend to be be serious. But you can’t pretend to be funny. It’s authentic that way.”

Atul Gawande, surgeon and writer for the New Yorker, on the power of the checklist, how embracing systems can help healthcare; “Good care, Gawande says, is now about data. And, when he looked at other industries, he found that there’s a simple solution: the checklist. They got the lead safety engineer from Boeing to write a checklist to help people to understand complexity. To understand the moments in the process where there is a danger and to create a pause point, to catch it first. Things get forgotten, he says. Unless they’re checked.”

Starting to make my own checklists as I’m gearing up for Day 2!

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