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Intellectual harassment: TEDxSalon 3, in Beirut

August 25, 2011, 9:30 pm at Monroe Hotel, Beirut

The third TEDx saloon is the last before the one-day TEDxBeirut to be held in Berytech (Mansourieh) on Sept. 24.  In TEDxBeirut, 20 speakers will take the podium, among them many Lebanese speakers who were selected according to a strict selection process.  A candidate speaker had to submit a one-minute video. I did send my video. I was eliminated from further consideration.  I was not sent a notice or an explanation: I knew the result by reading the names of the dozen who were selected to go through the second phase. (I guess that video was not meant to judge on the relevance of the topic, but to screen those with potential to be coached without much trouble and trained in two sessions, or looking presentable and young enough, kind of “thirtysomething”).  As one of the first video submitter, I was entitled to a free entrance to TEDxBeirut.

To attend the third TEDxSaloon, you had to register on-line to reserve one of the 350 seats.  The session was well planned and organized, discussion session was eliminated to be replaced by the “game” of drawing your neighbor with a pencil.  (The beautiful Crystelle S sitting next to me was hard to draw: She had not a single facial defect to caricature, and my lousy, and ugly drawing was not explicitly an issue since I explained my case…) The technology applied was excellent and we witnessed the showing of the website live, the picture of the auditorium with audience raising their hands.  You can send comments and suggestions on that website….

The first speaker was a female in neuroscience (I cannot recall names, a certain Boyle).  She was 37 of age when she had a brain stroke in her left hemisphere. She recovered in 8.5 years from the stroke.  The surgeon removed the blood clot as she was experiencing Nirvana state of releasing her spirit… She explains:

“I felt a gripping pain, like eating ice cream, and the pain would subside briefly. I got on my treadmill and had the sensation that I had no body, that my body was decomposed into molecules…Time was out of the equation, it was no longer a factor: I was living the present, the moment.  I felt the energy field of the environment flowing through me, my sensory capabilities expanding, the notions of past and future were irrelevant…

I stepped into the shower and my left brain kicked in briefly saying: “Lady, you are in trouble…” My right hand was a stump and useless.  I tried to call my assistant and had trouble seeing the numbers.  Going through a thin stack of business cards took over 45 minutes. As I phoned the digits, I could recall the number I already pressed, and I used my stump of hand as a locator of the digit to be pressed.  I had this fantastic revelation that I am experiencing live a case of stroke, in all its minute details…

In the hospital, I felt kind of floating… She explained: “Our two brains are fundamentally separate with specific tasks.  The left brain functions in serial fashion using time, duration, recall, cause and effect reasoning…The right brain functions in parallel processing, receiving all the sensations, converging to perceiving the moment, the present…(read note 1)

The second speaker revealed that critical ideas, the Ereka syndrome, are: first, generated from close interactions and communication among peer professionals, the disorganized “coffeehouse gathering”, and second, the Ereka syndrome is basically the culmination of a long process:  The idea was clear and already formed, but lacked the proper model, example, framework, and mechanism  to gel.   The speaker gave the example of how the idea of GPS was generated as the first Soviet Sputnik was put in orbit in 1957…

The third speaker said that life is basically a play process, being creative in participating in games…Like a female chimpanzee grabbing the testicles of the male and both turning around in circle…

The fourth speaker warned against taking the habit of working on the laptop positioned on your lap.  Your testicles will experience local warming and the sperms will be debilitated.  For example, the Danish might witness demographic decrease if computer laptops are used extensively on their lap…

Note 1: I may conjecture from the experience of Boyle on brain that the individual susceptible to reach Nirvana state have their primitive brain still not entirely atrophied. They can , with training, work on the nerves to constrict the blood vessels to the left hemisphere and permit most of the blood to irrigate the right hemisphere, lighting up like a Christmas tree.  Isn’t what psychedelic drugs do?

Note 2:  I have listened to countless TED speakers and wrote many articles on specific topics.  I even wrote detailed summaries on many books that TED speakers published.  I realized that: First, speakers allotted more than 15 minutes to expand on their ideas, substantially conveyed adequately their concerns. Second, speakers with less than ten minutes were deemed “less famous” for that honor (sold less books or products or their institutions and enterprises were not worthy ten minute-talk). Third, speakers allotted 5 minutes were considered the intellectual tabloids:  They talk about their single idiosyncratic variable that explains complex man-made systems, are the jokers, the funny intermission break-time, and those selling their “unique” products that are very expensive to acquiring…




February 2023

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