When you watch Ted online every video is a revelation. These brave men and women charismatically telling us life altering stories and changing our view of the world with science or personal experience, and we have the option to stop watching if our view of the world has not altered in three minutes or less. It is always a good source of inspiration, but you don’t go looking for the videos which have low view counts or subjects which don’t interest you, and you rarely find the videos where the person was just a bit rubbish, forgot what they were saying or didn’t really encite much rabble rousing. You know, the videos where no one stands up or claps, they just go ‘I guess.’
But there has to be some out there, right?
I found Ted Bristol a bit like that, a mixed bag of excellent, interesting and pointless and completely forgettable talks. In fact I imagine most Ted’s IRL are like this. Not every talk can change your life, but it would have been nice if a few more of them had.
The theme was failure, most of the speakers were men, and most of the men were ‘experts’ at getting their clients not to fail, and were either talking up their businesses, pitching their ideas (okay a rocket in space the size of your pocket is cool, but I still don’t want that) or giving us general business advice. That seemed to be assuming an awful lot about the audience.
There were some really interesting speakers, like Sven Hopla, a circus performer who pointed out that ‘failing’ is an essential part of their training, and it takes 1000 attempts before you can do a running tuck jump.
There was Paul Archer who travelled around the world in a taxi with his two friends, breaking records, nearly getting arrested by the secret police in Iran and having the car fixed by a mechanic who went on to murder two of his clients. He drank beer with him. His talk made me nervous because it involved a lot of forged visas, sneaking into countries and getting pardoned by different Kings. I am a sucker for the rules.
But although his talk was too short due to the wealth of stories he could have relayed, he had that essential charisma which makes you long to hear more, or at least not feel slightly nervous if the other person seems nervous.
Two people forgot what they were saying half way through the speeches, and they both had shaved heads, so I suspect a correlation. Sometimes when your head is cold, you forget your words.
I did however get this photo taken.
We watch three talks during the day, which had taken place at other Teds, and they were fantabulous. They will change your life (or at least the next twenty minutes)
Watch This amazing video from Brian Goldman about the worst mistakes he has made as a doctor, and why they should be talked about.
Eddie Obeng did a talk about failure in a fast world, and you kind of want him to be your best friend after about 30 seconds.
There was also Jian Jiang’s eye moistening story about rejection, and how a box of doughnuts changed his life.