There has been many signs of the current pandemic which is upon us now, in retrospect. Bill gates talk from TED is a popular one people mention. But there has been many more including this one, Fowl plague from how we get to next.
One of the questions in the FAQ is spot on.
At this very moment the USA has surpassed China with the most amount of people infected. It doesn’t take a lot to see the problem of a pandemic with no public health care system.
Has a case has been made for universal health care providing a better defense against pandemics, as people are less likely to stay away from medical treatment over fears of the costs involved?
The case for universal health care was made in the years following the Spanish flu in 1918, when more people died at the hands of avian influenza than in both world wars combined. This event made it abundantly clear that, in the midst of a pandemic, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, insulated by health insurance or not: Everyone was at risk unless society was treated as a whole. This is, I believe, the strongest possible argument for universal health care; by definition ideas of individualism disintegrate in a pandemic scenario.
When I mention public health that extends to sick leave too as Vox’s video also explains so well.
Talking of Bill Gates, just this week TED did a follow up interview.
Global health expert Alanna Shaikh talks about the current status of the 2019 coronavirus outbreak and what this can teach us about the epidemics yet to come. Alanna Shaikh is a global health consultant and executive coach who specializes in individual, organizational and systemic resilience.
This is something for many people who are reading too much stuff, guessing by the figures and filling in the blanks. Alanna makes too many good points about so many aspects of the current outbreak.
Step back and do the right thing, wash those hands and take some responsibility for your health care. Outbreaks will happen and its always just a matter of time. But that is not a reason to throw your arms up, blame different countries and bulk buy all the toilet roll you can get your hands on.
Last year I never got a chance to write about TEDxManchester 2018, partly because I tend to take pictures with my camera and its the new venue (Bridgewater hall) policy not to allow cameras in.
Regardless I went to TedXManchester 2019 (without my DSLR), and thought its about time I got back into blogging some of the best talks, especially as they are put on youtube now. Because they are on youtube so quickly, I created a playlist with the best TedXManchester videos. There are a number missing and its worth saying the list is highly opinioned. Theres some key ones from previous years gone by including my own and Carrie’s super popular one.
But I wanted to give credit to the best ones this year and last year.
Last year the outstanding talk was form Vikas Shah’s How to save your own life.
A year later Vikas tweet is a perfect description.
Today is #TimetoTalk #TimeToTalkDay and back in February 2018, I stood on stage at @TEDx @TEDxManchester and shared my own journey of anxiety, depression, suicide attempts and recovery. It's important we talk and normalise #mentalhealth challenges – https://t.co/TdH5PvNJZm pic.twitter.com/PLIEcuNGti
— Vikas Shah MBE (@MrVikas) February 7, 2019
I felt the talk was extremely brave, powerful and honest. The mental health message was powerful.
This years outstanding talks were difficult to pick one. I was torn but decided although everyone loved Ged Kings talk I wasn’t super keen. I found Andrew Szydlo and Jon Carmichael’s fantastic but its not online yet so decided Katherine Ormerod spoke to me like Emma Harvey’s “Whoops, I changed the world” at TedxBradford.
Although I don’t let social media run my life, and use it a certain way which bother some. I find the continuously running theme of living life with these digital tools interesting. There was a talk just before with Chris Bailey (this is from TedxLiverpool) which was good but felt too preachy for my palliate. As I write this blog post in a coffee shop, I’m watching a woman taking a selfie with her tiny dog to a social network. She took about 12 photos before finally settling on one to post. I find the whole thing strange as posted about before, and I wonder how many are in control, following fashion, doing so out of peer/social pressure, etc…
Yes, we all know it’s the right thing to do. But Michael Kimmel makes the surprising, funny, practical case for treating men and women equally in the workplace and at home. It’s not a zero-sum game, but a win-win that will result in more opportunity and more happiness for everybody.
This is such a great talk, so well told and so many things I can pull out but this one sums it up perfectly…
Ok I’m bias here because I took part in TedXManchester4 as a speaker but honestly the line up was vast, diverse and had plenty of great talking points through-out. I said a similar thing about TedxLiverpool last year. But I have to admit Sir Ken Roberson did push it just past the dizzy heights of this excellent well conceived and very well executed TedX.
The TedXManchester team did a great job and it was well worth the extra year we had to wait for HomeMCR to be built and for TedxManchester to move with it.
Here’s all the talks and my brief thoughts… I did write notes in a mindmap, which can be seen here.
Tom gave much thought about our tradition notions of what a cyborg is and made some good arguments why we all are cyborgs now. Main point being we have all augmented our minds already and we need to get over it. Really nice start to TedxManchester.
His study of digital wild fire as Rob called it was certainly cause for concern. It was a study of the viral spread of provocative or false information over social media.
I did have a slide in my old deck talking about how intimacy happens at internet speed. And in Robs case, a clear sign of how internet speed can really spread false information at a incomprehensible speed. I later spoke to Rob and made the point that a study of the awful ways relationship break ups happen at online would be most insightful.
From bombs to bread was a breathtaking talk with plenty of passion and some incredible humanity on the things forgotten in a war. The effect of war is horrific but on those trying to carry on with family life in the middle of it can be devastating well past the end of the war.
Her project to focus on them was fantastic to hear and see.
Ruth summed up one of my thoughts I had when I first moved to Manchester. They do things differently here. Yes besides the gravy sucking through a straw, there was something which spoke volumes to me.
Challenging the status quo, being inspired by those under pressure and if it wasn’t for Hip-Hop I would be dead. All spoke volumes to me. Great talk, shame we didn’t get a chance to talk Ruth.
Since then, I’ve seen more and more live coding and started wondering if this could be a element the future of djing? I’ve already shared my ideas slides with Sam and Dan (who I work with in R&D) previously.
So I finally tried it with a little help from Sam…
Oh shame its not in the ubuntu repos… sudo apt-get install @sonicpi
— Ian Forrester (@cubicgarden) February 14, 2016
Currently got a problem with JackAudio and PulseAudio, which I need to sort out.
It was funny having Jeff just before my own talk. Jeff was making a lot of good points about games and play. Then there was me criticising game techniques in dating apps/systems/sites.
Interestingly I didn’t know Jeff’s company are involved in the VR upgrade of Alton Towers Air rollercoaster ride. I have already got in touch about what I wrote previously about Perceptive Media in a theme park. Who knows… could be interesting, just as interesting as his talk.
I feel like such a idiot, but its worth saying I was pretty good too but expect a full break down of my slides coming soon.
Very funny dating 101. Ian Forrester #tedxmcr
— myclever™ Agency (@mycleveragency) February 14, 2016
— Tom Cheesewright (@bookofthefuture) February 14, 2016
When I first heard Hayley play back in Thinking Digital 2014 in Gateshead/Newcastle., I was touched and frankly stunned. Shes incredibly talented and to hear the personal story which surrounds her playing Clair de lune, was heart touching to say the very least. I look forward to the next time I hear her play again. Such talent and just starting out in her adult life.
Jan was great, she told a old tale with such passion and such vigor you couldn’t help but be swept up in the story. She was right in the green room, these stories are as powerful today as they were then. I’ll be checking her out in the future…
— misscroissant (@misscroissant) February 17, 2016
It was great to hear how Radio waves are having such a effect on much more than we think. Danielle was a really great talker and communicator of her passion for the science radio waves. This also extended well into inspiring the next generation of women into engineering fields. Look forward to hearing more and seeing where she goes next.
Looking at architecture as music is fascinating to think about and it actually makes a lot of sense, especially when framed as immersive experience. Quite a unique way of looking and evaluating the landscape around us. I especially like the quote Architecture is frozen music.
Lemn’s poetry is incredible to hear again after Thinking Digital Manchester 2015. Epic and edgy as always.
There is little I can say about Yandass without really seeing her dance. I mentioned to Yandass afterwards that she summed up the exact reason why I love freestyle dancing and tend to reject couple/organised dancing. Yandass, just danced, mixing styles and building up her own take on everyone of them.
Oh my! Yandass ndlouv at #TedXMcr is explains the reason why I so love freestyle dancing
— Ian Forrester (@cubicgarden) February 14, 2016
It was amazing to see dancing, so free of movement and contemporary. Nice tie up with Ruth Daniel’s If it wasn’t for Hip-Hop I would be dead.
As a touching end to the whole event, Herb and his daughter said thank you to everybody for coming along with the core team of the Isabelle, the Emmas and many other helpers. It deserved to be sold out and people stayed right up to the very end.
Thanks to Herb and the team, I enjoyed every moment. Heck I even got a valentine dinner date after my call out on stage… with Herb in pizza express… ha! Not exactly what I expected but heck it was a great end to the day.
You don’t need to plan an exotic trip to find creative inspiration. Just look up, says Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. As he shares charming photos of nature’s finest aerial architecture, Pretor-Pinney calls for us all to take a step off the digital treadmill, lie back and admire the beauty in the sky above.
Although I was pretty critical of TedXSalford last year, I did go back this year. To be honest I wasn’t planning to but friends convinced me and I decided well after the great work at TedXLiverpool and TedXManchester, I should give it another go.
This time I was nicely surprised by the line up and speakers. Gone were the massive names but in their place good names which few people had heard before (or at least I had not heard of them before). One of the big names Caprice didn’t show for what ever reason and to be fair I thought it was maybe better without her. Not because its her but because it didn’t need a big name.
One of the things I like about TedX’s is they bring people who you never heard of before. TedXSalford did a good job highlighting people I had not really heard before next to people who you heard about but not really seen before. Here’s some of my highlights
Myself and many others are aware of Brooke from the famous blog she wrote about her experiences as a call girl. I was fully aware of her but never seen her in real life. Although she was hounded by the press also, it was Girl with a one track mind (Zoe Margolis) who was more interesting to me as she was not a escort but a women who dared speak her mind. Good to hear her talk regardless, even thought its quite a while ago now.
Jack Sim’s talk was all about the essential hygiene which the toilet brings to us all. I say us all but what I really mean is most of the developed world. Jack highlighted how important it was to have a toilet and his life mission to give everybody in the world access to a basic toilet. The killer part of the talk was highlighting how he took on the title Mr toilet and the opportunities he took to get the word out. I can’t even begin to express how important his mission is. Jack rightly received a standing ovation from the audience for his fantastic work.
Always great to hear a talk about why people believe and the crazy things we do believe. Nicely put together and really interesting talk about one of those things I’ve always wondered about.
I won’t lie, I didn’t really know who she was but what she was saying really struck a cord with me as a feminist. Smart slow talk with plenty to think about. A nice directional change from the high energy of some of the other talks previously.
Talking about high energy…. Well Robin had it in bags upon bags. He seemed to bounce around the stage talking about how remarkable and complex the human brain is. Interestingly the points which made the human brain remarkable were…
- The fact we recognise ourselves in the mirror (he made the point animals don’t recognise themselves, and think its another animal by the way they react)
- We stopping ourself from doing the wrong thing at the wrong time (we think bad thoughts but stop ourselves recognising it would be a bad idea)
- We leave our thoughts and dreams behind for generations beyond our time (legacy)
Robin’s speech spoke volumes to me having had my own experience understanding how powerful the brain can be. Great talk… Another standing ovation.
You got to hand it to Jamie and to be fair Jack Andraka was also good on the night. And its great to see young people inspiring other young people. Favorite quote from the event… “I tried to buy the parts for a Fusion reactor on ebay…”
It really shows how transformational knowledge can be
Almost one of my favourite talks of TedXSalford was Sophia’s talk about the Clit. Yes the Clitoris, something she calls Cliteracy. Yes we’re talking about the female sex organ. Usually not spoken about and few people know much about. Sophia rolled out a ton of facts including…
Vagina actually mean sword holder (how crazy is that?), the clit has its own blood supply hence why organisms can happen again and again and again in very quick succession. The misunderstanding (or is it a conspiracy) by many that it was just a like tiny female penis and this was a taught fact up till about 15 years ago.
I am totally on board, with sex education. I use to think I had bad sex education, but after talking to others. I would say Whitefield school didn’t do so bad. However I have to admit the amount of female focused pleasure was lacking? And the clit never came up as a big deal (no pun intended).
Sophia’s talk about the advocacy originally was interesting, for example replacing song lyrics but she kept on which kind of dragged on a bit which spoiled it a bit. I mean it was important of course but the clit shaped glasses? Really?
Wrapping up, TedXSalford was much better but still has some ground to go to make it as good as TedXLiverpool, TedXManchester and TedXBradford. It was a very long day (9am – 8pm) and even with the breakout sessions it was a commitment. I will be interested to see where it goes next year, because it could be easy to go back to the tried and test formula of big names instead of taking the risk with local talent.
Talking of which, I retweeted Kevin’s tweet about the local speakers following a break out session. It seemed to be a quote, which I later found out to be untrue (nobody else in the session heard this quote). I asked Kevin and Mishal for a details but only Mishal (director and originator of TedXSalford) got back to me with details. Kevin had equal chance to get back to me but didn’t. Its a shame somebody would make up lies like this and spread them, no idea what he gains from doing so? If he has a problem, write it down (like I did) and don’t pretend to quote somebody.
Well done TedxSalford and everybody who made it all come together this year.
I am in love with this idea right now… It comes from something I heard on NPR’s Ted hour about making mistakes.
The show is made up of a few TED talks but groups them together under one general theme. In the part which made me pick up my ears, a bunch of jazz musicians, improvise around each other and their mistakes (as such).
HARRIS: So someone could conceptually perceive that as a mistake. And the only way that I would say it was a mistake is in that we didn’t react to it. It was an opportunity that was missed. So it’s unpredictable, we’ll paint this palette again, he’ll play it. I don’t know how we’ll react to it, but something will change. We’ll all accept his ideas or not.
Mistakes are simply opportunities missed!
It’s much more organic, much more nuance, it’s not about bullying my vision or anything like that, it’s about being here in the moment, accepting one another, and allowing creativity to flow.
As part of my investigations into Perceptive Media, myself and other colleagues are deconstructing storytelling down to its most logical parts. Part of this is understanding the history of storytelling and other aspects of storytelling which are outside the mainstream consciousness.
In this hour, TED speakers explore the art of storytelling — and how good stories have the power to transform our perceptions of the world.
The one which struck a chord with me was Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk on the dangers of the single story. Chimamanda gives a great example to start.
So I grew up in a small university town in Nigeria, and started reading quite early. And I read a lot of British children’s books, which was not unusual. This was the norm for children like me. And so when I started to write, I was writing exactly those stories. All my characters were white and blue-eyed. They played in the snow, they ate apples, and they talked a lot about the weather – how lovely it was that the sun had come out. Now this, despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria, I had never been outside Nigeria. We didn’t have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather because there was no need to. My characters also drank a lot of ginger beer, never mind that I had no idea what ginger beer was. And for many years afterwards, I would have a desperate desire to taste ginger beer.
What this demonstrates, I think, is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children. Because all I had read were books in which characters were foreign, I had become convinced that books, by their very nature, had to have foreigners in them and had to be about things with which I could not personally identify.
The power of the story is that powerful. And I conclude listening to her talk and the other TED talks on the show. Mass publishing/broadcasting is partly to blame for this.
Of course in my usual way, I wonder could Perceptive Media could/would make this situation better? I believe so, but how?
In this case, personalisation could be a good thing. Yes the fears of echo chambers and filter bubbles, have to be wary of but on the other hand a well written story is adaptable to almost any culture. Its the inflexibility of the medium which is causing African women to grow up thinking white blue eyed ginger beer drinking kids are part and parcel of the medium. Yes you can point the finger at globalization but its deeper than that. Its inherent to the medium of publishing and broadcasting… in my honest opinion.
If Perceptive Media can remove or even dislodge the dangers of the single story, I would be very happy. As Chimamanda finishes her talk saying…
Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.
I’ve been catching up on my instapaper and liking the interview with Elon Musk by Chris Anderson
It is no surprise, then, that Musk has often been referred to of late as “the next Steve Jobs.” The comparison I want to make between them, however, is not just in the diversity and scale of their achievements. It’s also in their thought processes. I see in them a mental trait that is incredibly rare, a trait that has made me a huge admirer of both men, and of their creations.
So what is their unique brand of genius? Here’s how I think of it: system-level design thinking powered by extraordinary conviction. Each of those italicized phrases is critical.
I like what Chris picks out in them both. Although not a fan of Steve Jobs choices and direction later with media and computing. I do respect his brilliance of thought. Elon is frankly the tony stark of the real world. I can’t say enough about his achievements and I’m sure many more are to come.
I love the way he thinks… as he gets going in this paragraph about the spaceX.
“What I mean by that is, boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there, as opposed to reasoning by analogy. Through most of our life, we get through life by reasoning by analogy, which essentially means copying what other people do with slight variations. And you have to do that. Otherwise, mentally, you wouldn’t be able to get through the day,” he said. “But when you want to do something new, you have to apply the physics approach. Physics is really figuring out how to discover new things that are counterintuitive.” Reasoning by analogy would be someone in 1900 thinking that the way to get faster transport was to breed stronger horses. You limit your imagination to a simple extension of what you already know. That is not how the world changes.
What is there not to love? Its a good interview and full of good observations.
Well here’s some passing words to think about…
Dream big! Don’t focus on making money! Work for an idea that’s bigger than you are! Broaden your mind! Embrace thinking from outside disciplines! Expose yourself to the world’s most inspiring designs and designers! Make things as simple as they can be (and no simpler)! Immerse yourself in science and leading-edge technologies! Don’t be limited by what’s gone before! Play with radical outside-the-box future possibilities and keep playing until you find something really big that you believe in!
Another one of Mark Mason’s blogs… this time 12 Stupid Things People Care Way Too Much About. (a point of clarification, there all really good but this is the ones which really stood out for me)
On the list number 2 – Celebrity and Sports Gossip
These people directly affect your life in absolutely no way whatsoever. Your obsession and investment in them is worse than harmless entertainment, it is a way to live vicariously through the idealizations of who you wish you could be — if only you weren’t so afraid to get off the couch and actually do something. Yeah, there, I said it. Or as Lil’ Wayne once said, when asked if he was concerned that people may look to him on how to live: “If you need a rapper to tell you how to live your life, then maybe you ain’t got no life.”
I almost clapped when I read this one the tram today…
There have been dates in the past who have gone on and on about celebrities. To the extend I wrote on my Okcupid dating profile.
I have little time for the mainstream garbage of pop music/fashion/celeb driven nonsense.
I swear to you the amount of messages I’ve had from women saying something like… I was interested then I read your comment about celebs and was turned off. I usually reply with “yeah well I’m sorry to hear that but it simply wasn’t to be…”
It goes for sports too. I can see how you get wrapped up in the moment, heck I have before but I don’t then follow these people on twitter and facebook trying to get a word in edgewise hoping they will spot and say something back. Screw that. There are millions of interesting people who I can have meaningful interesting conversations with, why waste your time?
Maybe I’m missing the huge amount of joy you get from following celebrities around?
I was walking back from Booths supermarket the other day and someone pointed out that the girls sitting opposite the Holiday Inn in Media City UK were actually there to see Jedwood? I was taken a back. Jedwood? Those guys I’ve seen on TV a few times? What did they do again? Oh yeah, pop idol or something? Those guys have groupies? Wow, I really hope they grow out of it soon. Maybe its part of growing up? Although to be fair its not part of my growing up…
I grew up with rave flyers on my wall not popstars or sports stars, not sure what that says about me…
I’m also in conflict about celeb culture, if its for something noble or worthwhile then I can’t complain about it. For example in the internet world the likes of Lessig, Doctorow, Rose, Shirky, Gladwell, Pink, etc are the modern equivalents but it feels different…
Is it about empowerment? When you walk away from a Jedwood concert you feel happy but when you walk away from a lessig talk, you feel empowered… This question is important because as we get more TED like conferences and people pointing the finger grumbling, we need something more concrete to avoid the celeb culture black hole. Even I have suggested in the past that celeb culture might be useful to encourage the next generation and I tend to shift my view on that one everytime I think about it. For example, how can we forget NerdTV. The Charlie Rose of Geeks? Certainly not the Paxman of Nerds…
I guess there are parallels to how Films use to be about the art of cinematography, directors vision, etc. Recently its changed to who’s in your film than the vision and cinematography its self. Dare I say it, maybe its natural conclusion of all things popular?
The whole of TedXBristol will be streamed live, so you can get a idea of the richness of the talks yourself.
In the meanwhile there’s a cheeky little interview with me on the TedXBristol blog.
If your one of my lovely friends from around Bristol, I’ll be going for drinks and a meal on Saturday night. So get in touch if you want to join us…
Last entry of my busy week. I took the day off and made the trip to Bradford for the very first time. I caught a direct train to and from Bradford from Victoria Station. One of the worst looking train stations I’ve ever been to and I’m pretty glad I don’t have to spend much time in most of the time. I could have changed at Leeds to Bradford but to be honest when I saw the off peak return for £10.50 I weighted up the price of changing and getting a taxi late night and decided its a deal.
Bradford is interesting city, and it seems I arrived at the very right time with the victory of George Galloway, the opening of a city centre square (although actually round) and the unveiling of the Bradford life online exhibition at the National media museum. I had always heard the National media museum was something special and although I didn’t really get a chance to walk around for a while, got a feeling it had tons of interesting things burred within it. Also impressed to see a full size IMAX rather than the knock off ones.
TedXBradford was for the most part a really nice TedX. All the speakers hinged around the idea of life online.
The whole thing kicked started in the usual style with a thank you from Chris Anderson followed by Tim Oreilly recorded a day ago in his hotel room in Washington.
The most interesting talks for me, came from….
Jane MacDonald, Tales of Things & Electronic Memory
I was familiar with Janes work before but hearing her talk about it live was great… Really interesting thinker
Maureen Pennock, Archiving the Web
Maureen’s talk was all about archiving the web… It reminded me of the work I had done with the Digital Preservation unit in Kew Gardens back when I was at Ravensbourne College. Sounds like things have limped forward but also reminded me to add cubicgarden.com to webarchive.org.uk.
Professor Paul Rogers, World Security in the Digital Age
This talk was like no other. Most of the talks were pretty neutral about the web. However Paul literally sucked the air out of the room with his talk about the political mess and security woes the internet has accelerated. Afterwards there was a level of what just happened in the cinema. It reminded me of a talk at heard in BarCampBrighton asking what would happen if things went dark. Pauls talk was much more sharper and I think I tweeted – “Everyone is wishing for the Energy Singularity…”
I also want to add…
Anna Farmery, How 3D printing is the next social revolution on the web
Gwyneth Sutherlin, Open Access or Silent Culture: ICT user experience
Dr Kieran Fenby-Hulse, The Modern Mixtape: The Evolution of the Digital Playlist
were also note worthy… Kieran’s talk drove me nuts because I so wanted to tell him he was wrong. The Digital playlist is not the modern mixtape and here’s a bunch of reasons why… Anna’s almost like pitch on why small businesses should embrace 3D printers was passionate and great but I kind of heard it all before, sure many others had not.
After TedxBradford was a special showing of the twitter documentary Twittamentary by director Siok Siok Tan.
Unfortunately the Q&A never happened because Siok wasn’t contactable on skype afterwards but whats interesting about the showing was having the twitter backchannel on the side of the screen as everyone watched. This was no Ben vs Mena thing, just a interesting way to watch a documentary. However quite a few people did tweet that it was very distracting to watch a doc with people chatting about it along side.
The documentary I felt was a little sloppy and if it wasn’t for the subject I would have gone elsewhere. It was worth watching and confirmed my believe that together we can do amazing things, maybe even over turn some of the doomsday scenarios Paul Rogers had mentioned earlier.
Generally TedXBradford was good and enjoyed the day… I’d certainly consider it again next year