Kinda. It's not like I went to the real TED event, but I did get the chance attend the 2007 TED Salon (that's fancy-talk for smart people parties, which means there's no dancing). If you're a first-timer like I was, just make sure you don't let anyone know -- it's worse than what they make you do at Rocky Horror.
Anyway, I was able to get in thanks to a lot of pleading. I've watched countless talks online and this particular event was to discuss "Hot Science: Radical Ideas to Combat the Climate Crisis." Radical, dude.
The highlights for me were the bookend presentations by Michael Oppenheimer and Juan Enriquez. Oppenheimer's presentation was depressing (as promised) but quite engaging nonetheless. Looking at his slides (and considering how long he's been warning us) I hope Gore sent him a "Thank You" note after An Inconvenient Truth.
On presentation alone, Enriquez was easily the most compelling. I was enthralled. And I think it had a lot to do with his adherence to my 1/2/3 rule (take that, Guy). He prefaced his talk with a warning, that we were the guinea pigs for a new presentation. Aside from a couple minor timing glitches, he rolled through a parade of flickr photos (all attributed, too!). The bits of text that did make it on the screen stood out and there wasn't a dull moment from start to finish. Walking out, all I knew was that we ought to be drawing our energy as efficiently as we grow our crops (what he was talking about during all those pretty pictures). Damn you, 1/2/3 rule, you are an engrossing one.
But the quote of the night came from Russ George, which the TED blog kindly recorded:
We have a bunch of aberrant applications in this planet, jamming a lot of errors against that primary operating system, and it's threatening to reboot and give us that blue screen of death, threatening a reboot back to 16 million years ago.So is it time to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL?
*Oh, and if you think I remembered the first and last presentations best just because of that primacy and recency effect, you're probably right, but don't ruin this for me.