Random Internet Discovery of the Week:

Never let it be said that I don’t give you what you want. Since posting my most recent poll, I have gotten a unanimous consensus (okay, it’s only three votes, but still) that among the things I should add to Da Blog is a series of random Internet discoveries.

So we start with TED.com. Such a valuable address was snapped up by an

annual conference [that] brings together the world’s most fascinating
thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18
minutes). This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to
the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available,
with more added each week.

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

The TED Conference, held annually in Long Beach, is still the heart of TED. More than a thousand people now attend — indeed, the event sells out a year in advance — and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter pieces of content, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.

Mm. Interesting. And in no small way connected to my non-random discovery last week.

The conference is actually only moving to Long Beach in February of next year, after spending 20 years in Monterey, and is being simulcast to an audience in Palm Springs. Don’t expect to be able to attend it live – “attendance at TED is by invitation only,” consists significantly of people more famous than you and me, and sells out fast – and the Palm Springs conference is probably equally crowded. But you can still watch the videos on the site.

I was originally planning to make this feature daily, but I don’t think that’s feasible, for the same reasons as Sports Watcher…

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