Monday, July 16, 2012

Is it just me, or are there no good TED talks?

Is it just me, or does everyone and their mom tend to get all "You've got to listen to this amazing TED talk!! Here's the link, you'll absolutely love it and be inspired by it!!" with you?

And I go, "Ok, [because I just love to waste time on the internets so much] let me listen to what the esteemed author of 'Eat, Pray, Douche' has to say about life."

So I give it a listen, and then I'm thinking "Wow, that sucked out loud." May I please get my wasted time back now?

I kind of want to swear off TED talks... but am wondering if there really are some worthwhile gems somewhere in TEDland. Anyone care to talk me out of it?


Anonymous said...

I don't have links for you, but there are some really awesome ones by academics. One of my favorites is a linguist (I think from MIT) who video-taped his son's entire verbal development.

I think the one from Dan Gilbert, the Stumbling on Happiness guy was pretty good too, but it's been a while since I saw it.

Got It, Ma! said...

Umm... I'm so lame... what the hell is a TED talk?

Got It, Ma! said...

OK, I googled. I get it. Now, to respond to the substance of your post, although I've never actually listened to a TED talk: Story of my life...every time I hear that something (book, movie, lecture, etc.) is "so wonderful!! It changed my life!!" there's a part of my brain that just knows automatically that it'll leave me feeling like, "Meh..." All those self-helpy-woman-coming-into-her-own-touchy-feely-empowerment books make me break out in a rash. I trust almost no one when it comes to those sorts of recommendations. I think you and I have a similar MBTI type, right? One that represents like 1% of the general population. Maybe that explains it...

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any self-help TED talks, just ones that are like entertaining and condensed NOVA specials.

Adam Savage (from Mythbusters) I think had another really entertaining one on his fascination with the dodo bird. Life-changing, no, interesting and funny, definitely.

Anandi Raman Creath said...

That MIT one N&M mentions is a-freakin-mazing. That's the one that stands out to me.

A little more self-helpy, touchy-feely are Brene Brown's talks, but I actually really liked them :) Not life changing, but interesting.

Cloud said...

Well, there's the one about the kids and marshmallows, which is pretty good. I think my husband has sent me a couple others I've liked. But I don't make the time to watch many of them, and it seems from the outside that maybe they're pushing the brand a little far- like the initial conference had great things, but now they're trying to do so many that the awesomeness is diluted.

mom2boy said...

If it comes recommended in an email forward, just say no. I'm not big on motivational talks no matter the format. Like Cloud said, the topics are so broad there's probably more chaff than good stuff now.

From the website a description of the top 20 talks: Talks about education and creativity, sex and fish, whizzy tech demos and big questions about the universe.

hush said...

You all have convinced me to give certain TED talks another try - and to adopt a mindset of "this could be interesting" rather than "I fully expect this to be life-changing." Thank you, I will definitely check these out:

Deb Roy "The birth of a word"

Adam Savage "My quest for the dodo bird, and other obsessions"

Brene Brown "Listening to shame" and "The power of vulnerability"

Joachim de Posada "Don't eat the marshmallow yet"

@Got It, Ma - I'm an INFJ, and I think you're right - it explains why I want to gauge my eyes out over what most other people find "inspiring."