On TED Talks

With a Backstreet Boy headset and access to just one psychological study, you too, can give a TED Talk.

I’m not sure the selection process for giving a TED talk–but surely it’s:

  • Do you have a headset?
  • Can it be taped to your face?
  • Do you have access to a psychological study?

Outstanding. Go tell people how to think. We will film it from three different camera angles.


“Look to the stage. I’m on it. It’s tastefully lit. Have you heard about the field mice who struck a powerful pose each morning? They found the cheese 50 percent faster. Let that sink in. Don’t believe me? Look at my position in space. I am up here, on a stage. Look at my face: a microphone is taped directly to it. Now do your power pose while you watch another TED Talk”.

Once past the TED vetting process, you’ll need a speech. This will require:

  • 1 self deprecating joke
  • 1 refrain
  • 1 personal failure
  • 1 anecdote
  • 1  weird trick
  • 2 hand gestures

The joke should go first. After the payoff, as the room settles, introduce your first hand gesture. It will look like you are holding a joint a foot and a half away from your face.

Look at that invisible j-straw

Next the anecdote. This should be narrow, specific, and globally allegorical.

Introduce the refrain and repeat it ad nauseam. It should be simple and sound like this: “Body language is language”. It’s also time for hand gesture number two. Properly executed, this will look like you’ve chosen ‘paper’ in a game of rock paper scissors.

This guy means business

Act one fun time is over. Introduce a swift and catastrophic personal failure.

Now, the cornerstone of your TED Talk — a psychological study. Your entire worldview hinges on this study, so do not forget to do this part. It can be any study done at any time.

Next it’s your ‘one weird trick’, which is also your thesis, and the means to your success. After introducing this trick, you can just wing it–but remember to take it serious–someone will live their life by this.

Here are some people who would give a great Ted Talk:

  • Ted Bundy
  • Salesmen
  • Pol Pot
  • David Miscavige
  • Young Republicans Club
  • Robert Oppenheimer

None of these people should be giving speeches.

Destroyer of critical thinking
The tagline for TED Talks is “Ideas Worth Spreading”–which just edged out “Parasitic Ideas From a Cat’s Ass”.

Toxoplasmosis (the name-brand cat’s-ass parasite) works to create crazy cat ladies who nurture more cats, who harbor more parasites.

TED Talks are much the same. They target people with an itch to better themselves. Then TED provides the means to do so, which is more TED Talks. It’s a Möbius strip of YouTube clicks.

So what do TED Talks actually generate?

  • Homogenous thought processes
  • Idolatry
  • Shallow explanations
  • Interesting explanations
  • Accessable explanations
  • Ad revenue

In summary, don’t watch these things. Be wary of hands-free microphones. Stay out of litter boxes.

Scraps of the Week (2/6/17)

These scraps are my children. I brought them to term lovingly–excitedly. I’d hoped they would change the world someday, but as it were, their fate was to die. An edict from a heartless editor. A kill command from that cold practical butcher: Destroy these. But the bond between us was too strong. My motherly instincts too fierce. Instead of a swift and humane highlight delete, I put them in a basket and sent them down the Nile. Here they washed up, on the banks of this humble blog post.

Discovery of Baby Moses by Paul Delaroche
Miriam looks carefully at a blog post

Scraps of the Week (2/6/17)

From class notes on happiness–

“Rick Perry deregulates Texas. A fertilizer plant explodes in West Texas next to a daycare/hospital/Carl’s Jr./Green Burrito combo building. Here is an acute picture of someone’s happiness necessitating someone else’s suffering. Handful of happy republican businessmen–blast radius of suffering Texans.

When millions of mainland Chinese slowly die from pollution in an unregulated China, the same principle is in effect–Happiness by standing on someone’s shoulders. The more anonymous people we are willing to give cancer to, the cheaper the unit price of our tradestuffs.”


 Rick Perry has an accerdited A+ lifetime rating from NRA. He served admirably as senior class social secretary of his college fraternity.  Presently he is in charge of the nukes.

From an essay on speculative fiction–

“Predicting a black president in 1998 (Deep Impact), is correct, and interesting, but not particularly insightful. A black president in the US had been an increasingly likely eventuality. When reading and writing the future, we acknowledge unpredictability. There are historical lightning bolts, pivots in history which cannot be accounted for. Mt. St. Helens and the 2011 New York Giants come to mind.”

new_york_giants_vs_green_bay_packersThe 9-7 New York Giants point at A.J. Hawk

From a lifestyle blog–

“Some people cook all their meals on Sunday and eat them at work and on public transportation out of various Tupperwares. This behavior is usually accompanied by tweeting, strong opinions, and a willful lack of empathy. These people are racing each other to the grave one re-heated chicken breast at a time. Cooking all your meals on Sunday is the exact opposite of what God intended. He is very clear on this. If you absolutely must live your life in such blatant sin, try to at least say a Hail Mary every time you peel open a plastic lid.”


You cannot meal prep an enchilada

Also scrapped from the lifestyle blog–

“Broad generalizations make the trains run on time. Along with baseless assumptions, they really make the world turn. Every morning I wake up and make the baseless assumption that I am not inside the matrix. Then at lunchtime I stop by any Mexican restaurant in the Valley and I make the broad generalization that it’ll be staffed by people who make amazing enchiladas. Accepting these TOOLS as useful is part of being an adult. And with these tools, (baseless assumptions and broad generalizations) we craft DICHOTOMIES, which are the simplest and best lens to view the world through. Rich people vs poor people, West vs East, old vs young…”