Saturday, October 18, 2008

20 Minute Bits of Hope

I just love TED.com.

I have learned some very scary things there, but it is also a site of great hope and inspiration for me. The site was introduced to me by someone I barely know. How it came to be shared is quite an amazing little bit of what I will call "stunning universal irony" but is far too personal a tale to share completely. Suffice it to say, it was a surprising little nudge along the path of my re-awakening.

I have not been visiting the site a great deal lately, as I was not seeing many new presentations and I found myself focusing in different areas. Today, however, I had a look and discovered a recent addition. As with so many Ted presentations ( I will list a few suggestions later), I found this one incredibly moving. In this presentation, Eve Ensler (creator of the Vagina Monologues and V-day) discusses our current focus on security.

The very short interview at the end of the presentation is of particular interest to me. The thought that Ms. Ensler shares, regarding grieving, is a thought I have frequently. I am very much the same way, tho I have thankfully not had to face anywhere near the amount of horror that she and other women have had to face.

I admire Ms. Ensler's work a great deal, both theatrical and humanitarian. I have even worked on a production of the Vagina Monologues...an interesting experience in itself. The woman who directed this production was quite a powerful individual, but one who I feel embodies my one criticism of Ms. Ensler's message. In recognizing and utilizing her own power and creativity, this particular woman had a rather incessant knack for running roughshod over others, especially men. While I completely agree that it is wrong to denigrate women as is the case in so much of the world, I cannot support a return to a matriarchal society (which Ms. Ensler seems to advocate) anymore than I can support continuing a patriarchal. What I support is learning to appreciate the value of BOTH genders, in our society. What I support is striving for balance, for understanding that we are both a part of nature and, through our consciousness, apart from it. That we are both individuals, male or female (or both in some cases), AND part of a completely androgenous collective.

A few of my other favorites on Ted:

Jill Bolte-Taylor discusses neuro-anatomy, her own stroke, and human consciousness. This was the first presentation I saw, and it had me in tears...but happily so, upliftingly so. It still gets me every time.

Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute discusses why and how we must win the Oil Endgame. My one problem with Mr. Lovins is his seeming devotion to the current consumption and profit based system. I love the carbon sequestration potential in carbon-fibre technology, but the energy cost remains quite high. If his numbers are right, however, we should be listening a lot closer than we seem to be. His connection to the military is a bit worrisome tho, to me anyway.

Majora Carter is one of the true hopes in the world, I think. Her warning of continuing racial and class segregation in talking about a sustainable world is an incredibly important thing we have to remember. Everyone should hear this woman speak. I`ll go so far as to say `the hell with Barack Obama. THIS woman should be America`s President.` I don`t care what color her skin is, or the fact that she is a she. She puts all the candidates to shame. Except like all true leaders, I doubt she would feel up to the job. But just imagine a world with such REAL leaders.

Start with these, see what else you find.

Peace to all.

Update:

I thought I would add a couple of examples of presentations I am not so crazy about as well.

Paul Rothemund shows a glimpse of the future of genetic engineering. It would seem that Gene Roddenberry wasn`t so far off with his `replicator` technology. However, I think this post highlights mankind`s recent trade-off between intelligence and wisdom. This is of great concern to me and, I wish, to others.

Stewart Brand thinks 2 Billion people living in squatter cities is a good thing. It`s only 3 minutes long so I`m not going to say anything else, other than this 3 minutes made my skin crawl. No wait, I am going to say more...this is what people are to elitists like this guy. Energy cells. Sure, I think the human population is at a dangerous level but I will never agree that we are livestock that need to be managed.

Aubrey de Grey
does not believe death is supposed to be part of life...

7 comments:

MoonRaven said...

Thank you for sharing this. I watched the Eve Ensler and Majora Carter presentations. Very powerful. I had watched a previous presentation on there that was educational as well, but your post was a great reminder of the riches on the TED site.

SoapBoxTech said...

Quite welcome. I really think you`d like Jill Boldt Taylor`s presentation as well.

E said...

Stewart Brand from Wikipedia: "suggests environmentalists embrace nuclear power and genetically modified organisms as technologies with more promise than risk."

SoapBoxTech said...

wow e. no wonder my skin crawled.

Amber said...

I love TED! I thought the Jill Boldt Taylor talk was amazing!

Looking forward to checking out some of the other links you suggest.

If like TED, you might also enjoy
Fora Tv.

Cheers.

EJ said...

Some critical thinking about the Jill Bolte Taylor video:

http://westallen.typepad.com/idealawg/2008/04/some-critical-t.html

Theresa said...

I really like your comments about gender. When I talk to people about sex/gender roles, I try to make sure I always say "the complementary sex" rather than the "opposite sex." And I find that the yin/yang symbol is a good way to conceptualize it too. Interwoven balance, just like you said.