23.1.11

Too many TED talks



Inspiration overflow alert! Too many ideas, too many TED talks. The tagline of TED is "ideas worth spreading" and the theory behind the conferences is that ideas can 'have sex' and spawn lots of interesting, new baby ideas. But Chris Anderson of TED (not the Wired editor in chief) says it's also changing the behaviour of speakers.
Since the first TED videos appeared online, speakers have spent more time preparing their talks, focusing mostly on the quality of the presentation, and using state-of-the-art visuals to sell mediocre ideas. Take for example this talk by art historian Denis Dutton.



It looks really nice but if you'd listen to this talk without watching the animation, Dutton's ideas probably wouldn't sound very sexy. He takes some notions from the standard, widely accepted Darwinian theory of evolution and applies them to art in a straightforward and seemingly logical way. His conclusion: modernist art is degenerate because it doesn't respect the 'artistic instincts' of homo sapiens. Really? Sounds like bullshit to be honest.. but who cares, it looks nice and you get that warm and fuzzy TED feeling.

TED is about selling ideas and making you feel good. Unsurprisingly, the most interesting TED talk so far is from a self confessed ad man. A funny story about advertising, poetry and perception.



The people at Rhizome have a more basic instinct for ideas having sex. If you're interested in art meeting technology you should check out the Seven on Seven conference. Seven artists and technologists paired in couples of two develop something new over the course of a single day and present the result in 20 minutes.

Finally here's a truly wacky idea based on evolution theory and this time applied to technology in a straightforward and seemingly logical way. It's Ray Kurzweil, the guy who used to sell synths and keyboards.