Monday, February 13, 2012

“Monstrosity”

     MATHUR AS PARIAH. Seems like everyone but me attended Thursday’s memorial ceremony for Richard McCullough at Saddleback College’s McKinney Theater. Friends, including Saddlebackians, are telling me that the event, which was well attended, was all that it could be, marred only briefly by a couple of bigwigs who insisted on speaking, despite not being on the program (there was an opportunity for “others” to speak, a category apparently not good enough for said bigwigs).
     I’m told that, to everyone’s surprise, former Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur (who ousted McCullough as SC Prez) attended the ceremony, although I’ve been assured that, if you look up the word “pariah” in one of those illustrated dictionaries, you’ll see a picture of Raghu sitting alone in the otherwise packed McKinney auditorium.
     To everyone’s relief, the fellow did not speak.

"...low-level entertainers...."
     IVC DOES TED. Denizens of IVC just received an email from IVC President Glenn Roquemore announcing that,
On Wednesday, February 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., IVC will host
TEDxIVC Live
The Live Simulcast event will be held in the IVC Performing Arts Center.
     Um, what on Earth does all this mean?
     Well, according to Wikipedia, TED, which stands for “Technology, Entertainment, and Design,”
is a … set of conferences ... formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading".
     TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event and the conference was held annually from 1990 in Monterey, California. TED's early emphasis was largely technology and design.... The events are now held in Long Beach and Palm Springs in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming of the talks. They address an increasingly wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, educator Salman Khan, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners….
. . .
     Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online…. As of November 2011, over 1,050 talks are available free online….
     TED grants licenses to third parties to hold free TEDx events in cities around the world.
. . .
     According to TED these franchised events were "created in the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading." The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level...TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis."
Glenn
     I’ve been only vaguely aware of these TED conferences. I’ve seen some of these 18-minute wonders, and some of ‘em strike me as pretty dang flaky. They remind me of some of the crap we used to get jazzed about back in my college days. –You know, Bucky Fuller, thinking away hunger, that sort of thing.
     Naturally, TED has been criticized. Again, according to Wikipedia,
[influential Lebanese American academic and essayist] Nassim Taleb criticized TED for intellectual dishonesty and lack of substance in the latest edition of The Black Swan (2010). He calls TED a “monstrosity that turns scientists and thinkers into low-level entertainers, like circus performers.” 
     I don’t wanna be a stick-in-the-mud, but I’m guessing Taleb is onto something.
     But that doesn't mean that this TEDx event won't be fun.
     Well, here’s what’s on tap, TEDwise, in a couple of weeks:

     If you've got nothing better to do, you might research these speakers and identify those that are leftists. Then read the Lefty list at the next board meeting, being sure to highlight their leftular accomplishments.
     Then watch Glenn.
     What fun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just had to laugh. "TED" could mean "Red" for those with Dat fingers.
Nobody will get this.

Wendy

Summer runnin' down