As a self-employed person and home worker (amateur artist, B&B proprietor) there is a tendency to spend a great deal of time alone.
It took me a good year to adjust to not having my little craft shop and its slow but steady flow of friends and visitors who came in for a chat, free cuppa and occasionally to shop (!!). I was also a proactive member of many groups and a bit of a political activist within local politics.
I resolved this year to step back. So, whilst I still keep abreast of all the groups and politics , this year , unless I really have to, I have no intention of attending a single meeting or demonstration. Although I can’t promise not to send a stern letter or email or make the odd controversial statement on FB or twitter! Those who are friends will be relieved. Others who know me may well sigh at this point.
Anyway, I have finally got myself very comfortably ensconced in being ‘out of the loop’ and reclusive at my work bench.
Quite often I enjoy the silence but more and more frequently I spend my time with TED.
That is to say I tune my computer to TED talks. TED standing for Technology, Entertainment and Design. Tag line “Ideas Worth Spreading”. Initially I would listen to talks that reflected the opinions I already had but then I started picking random playlists: design, technology, art, evolution, creationism, humanism, atheism, social change, scientific development, psychology, education, health and debates. Everything is there.
I’ve laughed, cried, been motivated and astounded. I’ve gained knowledge, grown opinion, discovered great people, had views affirmed, been surprised and occasionally been horrified. Some talks and debates have been so surprising, funny, or inspirational I’ve already shared them with certain people I thought might enjoy them, via FB.
I’m off on my holidays tomorrow I shall be taking myself ‘off grid’ for the duration. No phone, no computer, no internet, Nada. It’ll be great.
Anyway, I didn’t want you to miss me too much (yeah right!) – especially those of you who talk to me via the other social media channels. So, I am sharing with you my favourite TED Talks to date. With a little reason why so when you listen you can think of me crying or laughing, shouting at the computer, or dancing round the studio. If you listen to TED or similar yourself you might have something you want to share back. Please do, I often pick the talks that come by various recommendations and go off from there.
Here are my favourite eight to date – one for every day I’m away! If you listen to the whole lot it will take you less than two hours (and note – I have not included controversial anti-religion, pro atheism talks although some do assume a basic acceptance of the earth being billions of years old and the acceptance of evolution.)
Jill Bolte Taylor – My stroke of Insight – (19 minutes) powerful, emotional and insightful. Jill is a brain scientist and she herself had a stroke and this provides a detailed insight into what goes on during a stroke mentally, emotionally, medically and practically. I cried.
Neil Harbisson – I listen to colour – (10 minutes) Neil is colourblind. Completely. He’s also an artist. He HEARS colour in notes, cords, harmonics and discords. He can now dream in colour and has favourites but in the most beautifully creative way you can imagine. He “used to dress in a way that looked good, now he dresses in a way that sounds good”, for the talk he is dressed in C Major.
Juan Enriques – The Next Species of Human – (19 minutes) a very comical yet startling look at the problems with the economy, consumerism and the banking crisis (OK this talk is about the goings on in America and we’re here in the UK – but still relevant comparison); and bioengineering taking us forward into the not too distant future. Great images, poignant points, amazing technical advances in medicine. It’ll amaze you, make you laugh and think .
Lee Cronin – Making Matter Come Alive -(15 minutes) evolution, chemistry, and the amazing possibilities of life. What can I say? Lee is an inorganic chemist and he’s talking about ‘inorganic biology’ – this talk puts ‘biology in its place’. Eighteen minutes of jaw dropping possibilities about life and evolution that will change the way you look at life as you currently know it.
Ken Robinson – How Schools Kill Creativity – (19 minutes) Nurturing creativity. It’s really funny and will make you smile and laugh whilst questioning the way we ‘educate’ and prepare the next generation. He’s animated, articulate and thought-provoking. “….Professors look at their bodies as a form of transport for their heads – they are a way of getting their heads to meetings..”
Jill Sweeney – Its Time for the Talk – (5 minutes) – it’s just hilarious. If you have kids and have dealt with sex education this will make you cry laughing
Shea Hembrey How I Became 100 Artists – (17 minutes) what a talented man . Beautifully visual talk. An explosion of creativity.
Frank Warren – Half a Million Secrets -(11 minutes) it started with a crazy idea where he printed out 1000 blank postcards with instructions on one side asking people to share a secret. the idea went viral. He founded PostSecret.com. Its awesome, emotional and life affirming
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