I watched Krista's TED talk yesterday along with a couple others. I always meant to watch all the TED Talks and I have tried to make it a habit. But what inevitably happens is that I start watching two or three a day, and then shortly thereafter, I get TooTooBusy and so I stop so I can attend to the work of my life. But then, after weeks of work, I feel empty and that I'm neglecting some part of my being and I so force myself to watch a couple TED Talks. Sometimes they inspire and resonate. Sometimes they make me feel sick with fear.
So, yesterday I saw Krista's talk about compassion and her plea for us to pay attention to "the technologies of compassion." And I started making a list in my head of possible technologies of compassion:
- the human touch (massage, hugs, hand-holding)
- gift giving
- singing and music
- free time
- travel, pilgrimage
- helping someone
- being helped
And yesterday's third TED Talk I saw Eli Pariser's Beware online "filter bubbles". Eli makes a convincing case that as flawed as mass media is and was, at least the editors involved would nominally present "vegetable information" about wars and famines and other bad things that we don't want to see but we know we should whereas new technologies from Google and Facebook don't even pretend to have a moral centre.
And now, just now, the reason why I'm writing this post, I just read a great post by David Weinberger on Ethan Zuckman and the importance of serendipity and being cosmopolitan. And David, I think does a wonderful job of challenging Zuckman's notion that by introducing cosmopolitan elements (using libraries, geocaching, and other novelties) into our media diet that we, privileged North Americans, can come to care for Others Elsewhere.
But David does believe that we can be brought to care. And he uses TED Talks as an example.