Monday, June 15, 2009

Right said TED

A friend recommended this video over the weekend and I was riveted from the first moment. You probably know Mike Rowe from his "Dirty Jobs" show on the Discovery Channel, in which he serves as an apprentice in various dangerous, stinky or just-plain-gross industries. And you may have heard of the TED (Technology/Entertainment/Design) Conference, an annual 4-day confab of big thinkers who speak for only 18 minutes each--it's the event during which Bill Gates set free a jar of mosquitoes into the audience to illustrate a point about malaria. The event is $6,000 a seat, but you have to admire the fact that the organizers post all the videos on the web for free.

Be forewarned that Mike's opening anecdote is not for the faint of heart. But trust me when I say it's ultimately a deeply philosophical commentary about the nature of work, and that it's well worth the time to watch it--as are all of the TED videos.


  1. That was lovely, Jake. Riveting topic by a riveting speaker.

    Ironically, my other half asked me just the other day why manual jobs weren't held in high esteem over here. Where he's from on the other side of the pond, one uncle is a welder, and another a farmer--both held in high demand and well respected.

    But in North America, their dirty hands would raise eyebrows and smirks.

    A father and son team came to install our air conditioner yesterday. They worked quick and well, and cleaned up after themselves. And I thought: there are 2 men who'll always have a job, cause no one else knows how to do that.

    I hope I remember the lesson in this video for a long, long time.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. Smart guy, and I love the point he's making, particularly in light of his audience.

    Honestly, I haven't seen a dud yet on the TED site. The other one that mesmerizes me is Hans Rosling--all three of his TED talks are worth watching.