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TED 2010 in 100 Tweets
By Bill Gross, Chairman and Founder, Idealab
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Bill GrossJust got home from the TED conference, which I wildly enjoyed this year. I have been going for 15 years, but I enjoyed it in a new way this year — by having a shared conversation with many others via Twitter. It was a different experience, and I got a lot out of it. I "Tweeted" a couple hundred times, and I went to excerpt it here down to 100, and I ended up at 112. I hope you enjoy these, and get a sense of the conference. This is by no means complete, even though I attended every session, but it's a taste of the arc.

Enjoy, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

@Bill_Gross at Twitter

Tuesday, TED University

1. Arrived at #TED. Have been hosting monthly best of TED talk lunches at Idealab with great response. Would love feedback from others who have tried this.

2. You can cut the excitement in the room with a knife where #TED U is about to begin on Tuesday afternoon!

3. Helen Walters from BusinessWeek writes about #TED's influence and growing digital reach.

4. #TED University has started. Great talk by Catherine Mohr about how to look at embodied energy in all areas of life, and in a new home.

5. Dan Kraft on the future of medicine predicts a $100 genome soon — jokes that your own genome will be in your #TED gift back in a few years. Maybe he's not joking...

6. Phil Zimbardo at #TED U talking about how people become heroes. The general population is at the center of the bell curve, and villains and heroes are the outliers.

7. Cindy Gallop at #TED U — imagine if every good intention could be turned instantly into action. Launching new website IfWeRanTheWorld. Change the world for the better one "micro-action" at a time.

8. Wired Magazine posts article about how #TED makes strange bedfellows.

9. Why are babies so cute? #TED U talk about how this cuteness is necessary for survival. Strong nurturing response comes from visual trigger.

10. #TED U – How to capture great moments in photography — "Keep your eyes roving all the time, work to capture surprising, wonderful moments." "Capture what something looks like, and also what it FEELS like."

11. Rob Cook of Pixar arguing against the Kurzweil "singularity" in 2045 — "it underestimates what we don't know about what makes humans human." "If you want to appreciate the richness of human intelligence, looking at artists is a good place to start."

12. Standing ovation at #TED U for musician Robert Gupta.

13. Derek Sivers on becoming a leader – the first follower is what turns a lone nut into a leader. A leader has to stand out and be willing to be ridiculed. Regard your first followers as equals.

14. Omar Ahmad at #TED U recommends sending a paper letter once a month to elected officials you want to influence. Probably not a bad idea.

15. For copyright purposes, YouTube analyzes 100 years of video every day.

16. Kindergartners beat MBA's at the "marshmallow and spaghetti" challenge because they iterate, and they are not trying to be CEO.

17. Manu Prakash giving talk on how to walk on water — how pond-skaters can move at 1.5 meters/second.

18. Watching a heartbreaking video showing how the Taliban is training young boys in school to become suicide bombers. To make them dangerous, they take away everything in life and promise them all this and more later in paradise.

19. Keith Ferrazzi — "that other person over there just got promoted because the boss likes him... well no shit!" Relationships are critical. To start a relationship, vulnerability is not your kryptonite, it's your superpower. Use your humanity and your insecurity.

Wednesday, Session 1: Mindshift

20. Chris Anderson at opening moments of first #TED session — "The last year was disappointing and the world needs a re-start!"

21. TED Talk #1, Dan Kahneman — "happiness is mainly being satisfied with people we like, but there are several cognitive traps that make it hard to evaluate happiness." We think of the future not as a vision of the future but as anticipated memories.

22. Poverty researcher Esther Duflo on how to measure the cost-effectiveness of poverty-solving — you get an extra year of school attendance for only $3 by de-worming.

23. Jake Shimabukuro, Hawaiian Ukulele virtuoso got a standing ovation for his amazing performance of Ave Maria and Bohemian Rhapsody.

24. Can we eat to cure cancer? William Li from Angiogenesis Foundation.

25. Philip Kaplan showing Blippy – credit card where everything you buy is streamed to your friends.

26. Frank Drake on why other civilizations haven't visited us — "it's too expensive!" Also talks about using the Sun (or any star) and an enormous telescope because of its gravity-based light-bending properties.

27. Meg Ryan introduces this year's TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver who goes on to give fantastic speech on healthy eating. His comment on schools, "if you don't have knives and forks in school, then you are endorsing fast food!"

28. Jamie Oliver’s wish-to educate every child about food-to inspire families to cook again, to empower people everywhere to fight obesity.

29. Sheryl Crow just invited Thomas Dolby out on stage to play with her.

Thursday, Session 4: Reason

30. Michael Spector on science and myth — "be skeptical, ask questions, but when you get the proof, you need to accept the proof!" We have leaped not only into the arms of big pharma, we have also leaped into "big placeba!"

31. Sam Harris gave an amazing talk on the price in human suffering of being open-minded. "What does voluntary mean in a community where when a girl gets raped, her father's first impulse is to murder her out of shame?"

32. Funny TV ad for Nolan's Cheddar Cheese just shown to big laughs.

33. Michael Sandel — we need better political debates — we need to discover the lost art of democratic argument.

34. Chris Anderson is begging Moot to not have 4Chan users take down He's asking them to be nice. Moot — "the reason my parents appreciate the site 4Chan is that they don't understand it!"

35. Kevin Bales on slavery, 27 million around the world. Slavery begins with "want a job?" If someone is destitute, that is the first step.

36. Kevin Bales, "There is a complete collapse in the price of human beings. This is driving the explosion of slavery."

37. Kevin Bales, "Slavery is on the edge of being extinct, but we need to push it over the edge and give it the boot."

38. Kevin Bales, "Total cost to lift the world out of slavery, $10.8B, or what we spend on pretzels!"

39. Kevin Bales, "If we can't use our intellectual power to end slavery, then are we truly free?"

40. Stewart Brand quoting David Mackay during nuclear debate, "I'm not trying to be pro-nuclear, I'm just trying to be pro-arithmetic."

41. Jane McGonical — "so far we've spent 5.93 million years playing World of Warcraft game.

42. The average young person growing up in the US will spend 10,000 hours playing online games by age 21 — the same amount of time spent in school.

43. Amazing dance group League of Extraordinary Dancers

44. New Bing maps that integrate Photosynth are just amazing. you need to install Silverlight.

45. Nathan Mhyrvold shows amazing laser-based mosquito-zapper to address malaria. Better than spraying, awareness, nets.

46. Nathan says shooting mosquitoes out of the sky with lasers is the "pinky-suck" moment – like Austin Powers.

47. Nathan says mosquito wing motor continues flapping even after they kill mosquito and as it's falling to the ground.

48. Andrew Bird is making some magical, musical experience. Wow!

49. I'm so lucky to be at #TED. It's not really fair. I see all the TED envy on Twitter. I wish everyone could feel this shared experience.

50. Andrew Bird is stunning everyone!

51. Andrew Bird is exhibiting first-hand the "reckless curiosity" which he just proclaimed that the world needs now. So meta!

52. Andrew Bird gets a standing ovation for creating ethereal magic!

53. Wolfram — run all possible cellular automata simple rules lead to amazing thing. When he first saw this, it was a shock to him.

54. Wolfram — "nature is just sampling what's out there in the computational universe, and just sometimes, we get surprising beauty."

55. Wolfram Alpha — goal is to be a serious knowledge engine to answer questions, starting first with 2+2 and then getting harder.

56. Gary Flake from MSFT is showing new "pivot" tool to be able to visualize patterns in data. Radical new visualization power.

57. Gary Flake visualizing every single Wikipedia page – showing “insights” that can be uncovered from patterns and connections.

58. Gary Flake encouraging us to extract information from patterns in data. A peek here:

59. Seth Berkley talking about an important vaccine. More on Seth Berkeley at Huffington Post here:

60. Pivot, Alpha, new MSFT maps demo all show the re-migration of hi-computational power back into applications to make them exciting again.

61. Andrew Bird “what the world need now is reckless curiosity.” What the world needs now are more artists like Andrew Bird. BG

62. Nexus One demo of Google Translate – like the Rosetta Stone in your pocket!

63. Al Gore said representatives came up to him in Copenhagen and said, “the World now has one problem and it’s YOUR United States Senate!”

64. #TED U my wife was getting ready for a dinner party, and asked, “do you like my hair?” Damn, this is exactly the dilemma of Google in China.

65. Gary Lauder gave a great, clever talk about how to save time/money/resources @ stop signs with new type of yield.

66. Very funny video shown at #TED University about a weatherman freaking out at the terrible weather report.

67. The carbon footprint of our online habits presentation at #TED University — typically about 1-2% of total carbon usage

68. Ann Marie Thomas talking about / lamenting that kids don’t get enough of a chance to build things – how it really unleashed imagination.

69. John Underkoffler talking about new interfaces for the future – gesture – the OS IS the interface.

Friday, Session 8: Boldness

70. Video of Demo that John Underkoffler is showing at #TED that is online at MIT

71. Very interesting 2 see dramatic new speed of evolution in user interface – multi-touch, iPhone, Wii, accelerometer controllers, gesture.

72. Google entered China operation in 2006, & Sergey felt things improved, despite censoring, speaking @ #TED, but things started going downhill, particularly after the Olympics.

73. George Church from Harvard, pioneer in genome sequencing, his documentary film about personal genome here:

74. I find it striking that Sergey was on stage @ #TED talking about the huge China censorship / issue and people are tweeting about his shoes!

75. The promises we make to children should be sacred. #TED speakers Mike and Dave from KIPP.

76. Dare to be Different MTV Commercial showed at #TED can be seen here:

77. @BillGates is about to speak at #TED-can’t wait to hear what he has to say. He has the most breadth and depth of knowledge I have ever seen.

78. @BillGates “if you could pick one thing to reduce the price of to reduce poverty it would be energy for half the price and no carbon."

79. CO2 = People x Services x Energy x CO2 per unit of energy, this is the equation that we need to take down near zero. Bill Gates at #TED

80. "If you gave me one wish over the next 50 years, it would energy for 1/2 the cost and no CO2, that would be my wish." @BillGates at #TED

81. "All the batteries on Earth can store less than 10 minutes of the world's electricity needs." @BillGates @ #TED.

82. Bill Gates believes we have 20 years to invent and 20 years to deploy – that’s sort of the deadline we have to solve this crisis.”

83. A molecule of uranium has about a million times more energy than a molecule of coal — @BillGates @ #TED

84. Bill Gates – The rich can afford it. We can all pay 5x more for our energy and our lives won’t change, it's the other 2 billion that would suffer.

85. Temple Grandin is speaking now at #TED. Here is an interview with her on NPR with Ira Flatow

86. Here is a link to Bill Gates' slides from his energy presentation at #TED on Friday. The video should be available soon.

87. “The electricity industry spends less on R&D as a percentage of revenues than the dog food industry!” – Nate Lewis, Caltech Chemist @ #TED

88. Artist Marian Bantjes talking @ #TED. Here are some pieces of amazing art inspired by her dentist!

89. “Beauty is nature’s way of having natural selection work from a distance.” Denis Dutton speaking @#TED about beauty versus food in survival.

90. @SarahSilverman #TED “I was walking down the street in New York and a guy whistled, and I turned around and said ugh, and he said, not you!”

91. David Rockwell at #TED announces that he’ll be building/designing 100 playgrounds around the United States – goal to create a sense of play.

92. David Rockwell at #TED on his imagination playgrounds — bye, bye jungle gym. Time Magazine shows pictures here

93. New quad rotor helicopter being shown at #TED with integrated augmented reality — controllable by iPhone — see it here

Saturday, Session 11: Simplicity

94. Mandelbrot, 1st full-time "fractalist" shows the "complication" of a cauliflower. Interview with great pics here: #TED

95. Mandelbrot tells how the “roughness” number can describe the surfaces of mountain ranges, cauliflowers, and the inside of a lung. #TED

96. A human lung’s volume is very tiny, but it has an enormous area-it is nearly space filling. Surface area is about = to a tennis court!

97. Sam Harris a few days ago gave 1 of the #TED talks that I really can't wait 4 it to be online.Wired Mag sums it up here:

98. "Academics like complexity and emergence – the world puts up with it reluctantly, but really wants simplicity.” George Whitesides.

99. “There are things that can appear very complex, but in actuality, they are just “stacked” simplicity.” George Whitesides.

100. Big standing ovation for “common sense” at end of Philip Howard’s talk on absurd unintended consequences of legal action in our system.

101. Philip K. Howard: judge a law by its effect of the broader society, not a single disgruntled individual.

102. GNH (Gross National Happiness) versus GDP – for happiness, how do you feel about how you spend your time each day? Conley.

103. Conley happiness equation – Wanting what you have/Having what you want. Western countries focus on the denominator instead of numerator.

104. Conley speaking about happiness around the world. Check out the world happiness index country by country:

105. “Nature’s imagination is so boundless compared to our own meager human imagination.” – James Cameron

106. Jim Cameron pitched Titanic as “Love Story on a Ship,” but what he really wanted 2 do was get a chance to dive down to see the Titanic!

107. James Cameron online on the making of Titanic and how his $200m gamble paid off and made $1 Billion.

108. “Don’t put limitations on yourself, others will do that for you.” – James Cameron at #TED “Failure IS an option, but FEAR is not!”

109. Sir Ken Robinson on great Abe Lincoln quote from 1862 – The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate… full quote here:

110. Ken Robison's daughter never wears a watch. She says, "It's a single function device." He says, "no, no, here's the date." #TED

111. 12-year old child prodigy @ #TED "Kids love challenges, but when expectations are low, trust me, we will sink to them."

112. Just concluded an amazing #TED full of Ideas Worth Spreading. I'd like to share ideas with @TEDChris about helping turn those into reality.

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