TEDx talk, immortalized

In September – on my birthday no less – I delivered a talk about bees, myths, babies, preconceptions, and swarm journalism to 1800 people at TEDxBoulder.

It was a tremendous amount of work (they didn’t tell me until after I said I’d do it that the talk had to be memorized), a terrifying experience, and also quite gratifying, thanks both to the near-orgasmic sense of release after I had given my talk (I got to go 2nd, so was able to enjoy the rest of the night), and to the fact that I got to spend a month’s worth of Wednesday nights practicing with a bunch of really interesting people — my neighbors! who knew! — whose talks all, uniformly, blew and expanded my mind, on subjects ranging from prosthetic legs to disaster preparedness to building bridges to open source hardware to making unpopular decisions.

You can find their talks on youtube (my co-speakers were: Nathan Seidle, Avery Bang, Brady Robinson, Cristin Myrick, Alena Grabowski, Don Whittemore, Tim Shisler, Erika Napoletano, Jen Rubio and Shannon Paige). And here was my contribution.



Comments (2)

  1. icon comentsDel says:

    In _Beekeepers Lament_ (loved it, incidentally) you mention a number of ways bees have been used in analogies. Here is a very famous one – influential in the history of science – from Francis Bacon (_New Organon_, 1620): (note: “philosophy” was an early term including science)

    “Those who have handled sciences have been either men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes a middle course: it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy; for it neither relies solely or chiefly on the powers of the mind, nor does it take the matter which it gathers from natural history and mechanical experiments and lay it up in the memory whole, as it finds it, but lays it up in the understanding altered and digested. Therefore from a closer and purer league between these two faculties, the experimental and the rational (such as has never yet been made), much may be hoped.”

    • icon comentshannah says:

      Wonderful quote, Del, thanks so much for bringing it to my attention! That process of digesting and transforming is also not unlike what happens in writing, too (one hopes, anyway). Good stuff!

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