Sunday, 30 November 2014

Ask, Listen and Never Give Up

Now the weather has turned colder, and I'm less inclined to go tramping around the countryside, I've turned my thoughts to some of the 'indoors' goals on The List.
Recently, I started on a new one:
062. Watch 100 TED/TEDx Talks
In the past, I've watched various TED and TEDx talks, courtesy of YouTube, and find them interesting, informative and inspiring.
As 100 is a lot of videos, I'll blog about them every five or so videos that I watch, and embed the videos where I can.  So here goes!

Amanda Palmer: The art of asking
In this video, performer Amanda Palmer talks about her days as a street performer, the success of her crowd-funding attempt (which had around 25,000 backers!) and the belief that rather than making people pay for music, they should be asked.
Amanda Palmer is a very animated speaker and her talk left me with the impression that if, like Amanda, you have the balls (and trust in people) to ask for what you want, you'll eventually get it.

Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share
As you can guess from the title of this talk, it is about depression. Andrew Solomon, a writer, talks of how he came to be diagnosed with depression, the feelings evoked by the illness, and his journey through it. What was most interesting about this talk was where he talked of his research, in which he interviewed people with depression across the world. A particular point that struck me is that depression has long been considered a white, middle-class illness, but that those living in poverty also suffer from it--only it isn't picked up, because it's assumed those people feel miserable merely because of their situation. (He explains this, and the research that has proven it, far better than I can!)
This is quite a depressing talk, particularly if you're depressive by nature, but it is also reassuring and enlightening.

Diana Nyad: Never, ever give up
A talk by writer, motivational speaker and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, about her attempts to swim the 100 mile stretch of water between Cuba and Florida: how she prepared, the dangers and the people who supported her, how she carried on, and finally reached her lifelong goal--at the age of 64!
Diana is easy to listen to and I found her talk really inspiring. She is living proof that age should not hold anybody back from reaching for their dreams.

Neil Harbisson: I listen to color
Extraordinary talk by artist Neil Harbisson, who was born completely colour blind. However, due to a device attached to his head, he is able to hear colour, with each colour creating a different tone. Through this device he can even hear paintings and faces, and even colours that human eyes are incapable of perceiving! Within the talk he demonstrates how he can also turn this backwards--and turn music and speeches into colours. 
It might sound like something out of science-fiction, but this is actually happening! Definitely one to watch.

Jake Barton: The museum of you
A talk about listening and interactivity of museums, but mainly about the 9/11 memorial museum and the choices made in creating a museum that would reflect the experiences of the entire world upon that day. Some of it is a little upsetting (let's face it, most of the world found 9/11 upsetting) but this video demonstrates the tremendous amount of thought that has gone into developing the museum, from the voices of visitors in the entry, to the exact placement of every name on the memorial itself. 

So that's my first five! I have a huge number of other TED talks on my YouTube 'Watch Later' list, and even more bookmarked...probably over the hundred I intend to watch, actually. The others will be bonuses :)


  1. I have only heard the Diana Nyad talk. I'll definitely check out the some of the others.

  2. These sound really interesting, I will definitely watch them ^__^!! Thank you for the suggestions!!