Some mornings I need a little inspiration. This was one of them. You know the drill, you get up, walk the dog and start to dig through email while drinking coffee. Not very inspiring, though I do enjoy the time with the dog.
My special way of feeling good and getting inspired is to watch videos on TED.
If you’re not very familiar with TED, you should be.
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).
Their site makes the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 400 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.
Today I watched Mae Jemison, the astronaut, make a case for teaching arts and sciences together. Too long, she says, has there been the belief that scientists are not creative and artists are not analytic. Arts and sciences are both manifestations of the same thing.
One of her best lines is “science provides an understanding of a universal experience and art provides a universal understanding of a person experience.” One her funniest was in quoting the microbiologist, Sydney Brenner, “It’s always important to distinguish between chasity and impotence.”
She makes the case for me of integrating the intuitive and the analytic. Time for me to supplement my very deficient science education.