Feeling a bit flat this Monday? If you’re looking for inspiration, meet your new mate TED – the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference.
Yes, we live in interesting times. Any time the “dismal scientists” of economics become rock stars, we know we’ve got issues. It’s almost enough to pine for the days when excited talk of real estate drowned out all other dinner party conversations.
The American writer Dorye Roettger observed in 1932 (a tough time for optimists), “There are no problems – only opportunities.” This spirit animates the many brilliant, committed people who haven’t let doom and gloom stop them from innovating. The TED conference is where the best and brightest share the fruits of their dreams and labours.
Juan Enriquez brings together, entertainingly, some of the incredible advances in science, and suggests that the developing ability to engineer cells, tissues and robots is leading to Homo Evolutis. Keep an eye out for Boston Dynamics’ “Big Dog” – a robot mule that looks eerily alive. For some the transition has already started, forcing us to examine the defined limits of the human body.
If Steve Jobs ever makes a comeback, this is what the iPhone 6g might look like (see video embedded at the bottom of this post). If you thought talking with a bluetooth earpiece makes you look silly, you’ll hate what’s coming!
Tim Berners-Lee (who, helped Al Gore invent the internet) suggests that if we can allow our data to be shared and linked, the internet will be re-defined, empowering everyone. This idea might be idealistic (for commercial and privacy reasons to name but two) but if it can be realised, we will see the world much more vividly. One awesome example of the network effect of linked data is this presentation showing how to mesh everyone’s photos to literally give us a new view of the world.
Helen Keller said, “No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land”. Nor do pessimists start their own businesses. Spend some time with TED and you’re sure to come away with fresh perspectives, renewed enthusiasm and some great new ideas.