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This blog is about both scientific, societal/political, and yoga-related issues - individually and considered as different aspects of the same problem/solution. A longer description is found in the first blog entry, and all old posts are found in a structured way here. The blog is an extension of my main home pages and Twitter: @gunnarcedersund

What we watched at last night's TED-evening

events/courses at yoga-link.sePosted by Apr 12, 2013 22:00
Two days ago, Wednesday evening, we had a new TED-evening. It was the first one in more than half a year, since the last time we all felt that the concept had saturated a bit, and that we had less people and not as inspiring videos as in the beginning. We therefore decided to take a little brake, and start again when the pressure to have a new evening was on again.

And, that strategy seemed to have worked just fine. This last TED-evening was the most successful one yet: with 14 people (the most so far), really great food, inspiring videos, and a generally really nice time. Here is a short summary of what we watched.

THEME 1: Health care 2.0

Here she talks about her own and other peoples' research on placebo and nocebo, the two psychological phenomena by which we can heal ourselves, or injure ourselves, by our mere beliefs regarding the treatment we have taken. This is closely related to what yoga is utilizing (and is a mechanism that modern medicine has largely ignored), and it was therefore personally interesting to me. A piece of information that stuck with me was that it seems like a key ingredient in our bodies' ability to heal ourselves is to really relax sometimes: without deep relaxation, this mechanism never kicks in.

This second video was a sort of continuation of the first, in that it was a personal story about somebody who did heal himself from a death doom. His key ingredients was to utilize a patient-to-patient online network that helped him find alternative treatments, treatments he wouldn't have found otherwise, and treatments that seemed to be utterly effective. He also mentioned the importance of utilizing the patients as a resource in healthcare, and to get raw data available to the patients. In his recovery, he also did some psychological training which he describes in more detail in his book.

In this final video in the first session, we sort of built upon the second one, in that modern technology, information sharing, etc is being exploited and examined - to dream about where modern medicine might take us. This video is very close to what I am working with professionally - systems biology and systems medicine - and it didn't for this reason blow my mind. But for some others it was the best video in this first session.

THEME 2: The future of education

This is a video I have watched many times before, but it was a fitting introduction to the second theme: Salman Khan who introduces his Khan Academy. There are so many amazing things in this: his way of talking in an inspirational yet really humble way, the idea of flipping the classroom, the idea of promoting experimentation and allowing for failure even though you demand mastery, etc etc. If you haven't watched it - do it! Khan is one of my personal heroes :)

Khan is originally from India, and so is the guy in this second video: Bunker Roy. He has created a new type of education, an education for the poor. It is a remarkable story of how he has managed to educate people to really help themselves, and to really make a difference in making their lives, and the lives of the people around them, significantly better. An interesting facet is that he, just like so many other similar people, have found that it is much easier to inspire and effect change in a society by going via the women, by empowering and uplifting the role of the women. I think that this is true on so many levels, in society, and even in tantric sex.

The evening was rounded off with the following slightly off-topic video, that we originally had in mind to watch in in the first topic. It is a TED-talk by the author of the best-seller novel "Eat, Pray, Love" (which also has been fimatized by Julia Roberts). She basically starts by describing the problem she faces, along with many other professional creators: she has done a divinely inspired, or at least extremely well-recieved piece, and now does not know how to follow this. She then discusses whether it isn't really easier and more psychologically sound to dis-identify oneself from ones work, and from the ultimate inspiration that comes to you in rare occassions. For me, who also is working in the creative business, this was really interesting - and the perhaps most insipiring video during the entire evening.

Finally, if you want to see more videos, suggeset new videos, or follow the discussions leading up to new TED-evenings, go to this link on rizzoma.

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