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I Love TED

June 18, 2015

TED isn’t a person, it’s a website of short presentations by (normally) gifted speakers.  Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED), which, to me doesn’t sum up much of anything, but their mission does: To spread ideas.

A TED Talk is 18 minutes or less and highly focused.  TED on my Sony Streaming and Amazon box doesn’t feed the monkey because it’s limited and I can’t find a search function, but on the computer it. Is. Awesome!

The speakers are people who ideally have changed the world or their corner of it; they are there to inspire the listeners to change the world or their corner of it. The listeners tune in to change themselves and therefor change the world or their corner of it.

It’s funny, because I have zippo desire to go to one of their conferences (unless I was speaking, which just might be on my bucket list)… there are a lot of people there and I don’t do groups of people unless I’m in front of them or far off watching them. It’s a personal thing that stinks, but there it is.

I’ve seen the talks on technology, and as much as I love gadgets, they are neither compelling beyond a “cool!” moment or particularly memorable.

The talks that stuffs the monkey full-to-bursting are the ones about psychology or sociology. How we think, how people think, the trends of society, the effective communication of ideas. The human factors.

Because they are short talks, they are extremely focused; the title or descriptions are enough to say, “Yeah! Listen to me!” (Great for someone with my attention span.)

At 17 minutes, they give you enough to chew on without overwhelming you (though some can blow your mind).

Let me do a compare and contrast between our Sunday sermon and a TED Talk.  Both can be incredibly impacting.  Sermon clocks in around 45 minutes; TED at 17.  Sermons (at least by Aron) can be very funny and deeply insightful.  TED, deeply insightful and sometimes funny.  Sermons, surrounded by people; TED, just me and my shadow (see the people thing above). Sermons are spiritual; TED can be, but almost never eternal.  Sermons give me an idea of how to live forever; TED is far more immediate. Sermons offer accountability; TED, none.  I find they work together far better than they do apart. Sermons are concerned about my soul and behavior toward God and my fellow man; TED is about my psyche and more focused on me. That’s actually a strike against it, but tends to be where I live.

Here’s what’s unique about TED talks for me, though. It is the only thing I’ve seen where the visual/audio presentation is stronger than just reading it. Normally I absorb far better through the written word. Sure, I enjoy movies, but even online, my most visited sites are text driven.

Check ‘em out.  Good stuff.

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