As a speaker at the 2013 Virginia Tech TEDx event I was impressed by the 3D projector that lit up the words TEDx on the stage into a very dynamic 3D object. It was classy, it was innovative, and just plain cool. As I reflect on my experience with Virginia Tech’s TEDx event I find the 3D projector to be an appropriate analogy of what TED talks mean to me.
TED talks move ideas from a two dimensional print world into a 3D experience that champions not only the idea but the emotion that the idea evokes. We see a glimpse of a concept from every angle and most importantly through a very humanistic angle. In TED talks we find an intersection of science and society, of passion and logic, of reflection and action. We are pulled in, both heart and mind, into the crux of an idea.
We need to feel the gravity of ideas. To me TED Talks do that in a very communal way. They bring a shared gravity to our discovery. A gravity that brings us into a virtual orbit, seeing an idea from every angle. For a few minutes we as an audience we are invited to be the scientist, to be the dancer, to be the kid in the outfield at their first softball game. We become not only witnesses to someone’s epiphany but we are given a chance experience it ourselves. We are pulled into the gravity of a performance and unwittingly we are moved to become an actor.
The information age brings us an infinite salad bar of information to consume but rarely savor. TED talks take us into a rhetorical kitchen of how thoughts and ideas are formed and we are given a firsthand view of the ingredients that make an idea worth sharing. We are allowed to sample the soup, we are encouraged to savor. Keep reading »