Inspiration, everywhere but nowhere - TEDxRutgers 2011

Blog post before the madness of end of semester settles in. Been a very quick month and a bit so this will be a quick post.

Inspiration

TEDxRutgers 2011

TEDxRutgers 2011

Wow wow wow wow. Yes that feeling when you are inspired to wake up every morning and change the world. Throughout undergrad I lived with that mantra that we can change the world as long as we put our minds to it. Last year after attending TEDxRutgers 2010(I was one of the amateur videographers) I promised myself to get involved for the 2011 one. I did not know in what way I would. A Speaker (My mind keeps on saying not yet) or an organizer (Mind said yes). I thus started hunting for the organizers and tried to get on the ship before it sailed. I had no luck in getting on it but by chance encounter got involved by a chance meeting at a Mexican Restaurant. Details aside this led to some quick work to get TEDxRutgers 2011 of to a spirited start and culminated on an evening on the 8th of April that a lot of attendees will never forget. I became the social media manager. We managed

 

TEDxRutgers 2011 Team

TEDxRutgers 2011 Team

The TEDxRutgers team itself was made up of a dynamic group of people, you can check some of them out here: The Team. Its only some of the team. There were a lot of volunteers and they helped out a lot. Thanks to everyone. I really cannot find words to really explain everything that happened on the night. I live micro blogged from the TEDxRutgers Twitter account. Who were my favorite speakers. Well I will say all of them as they brought in different views, experiences and messages to the audience. I am proud to have been part of organizing this and look forward to doing it again in future and maybe also working with South African versions of TEDx. Ohh this might be late but if you dont know TED, it stands for: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Go to their website and be blown away. The first TED video I ever stumbled upon was the "Best Stats" video from Hans Rosling.

Nowhere

I have been following the South African buildup to local elections and it has become an electioneering circus. It has been interesting in that we might have our first real election as it seems (by the media's account) that people are looking for an alternative to the ruling party. This is not seen as a betrayal of the ruling party as, to quote Khaya Dlanga, "If the ANC continues to take voters for granted, in future voters will split their vote this way; they will give the ANC national government but will give local governments to the DA.". This is an interesting take and the DA is taking full advantage of it within their campaign. They really are pushing the "Proof is in the Pudding" angle, not with Cape Town like they are preaching, but with their plea for voters to give them a chance with their municipalities. Its like they are saying: "Look you have nothing to lose, give us your municipality for the next few years, if we dont deliver then you can go back to the non-delivering ANC". That is a powerful idea that I think will win more voters, not because of politics but because of "Bread and Butter" issues. Let me not get too political lest I reveal a side of me I do not normally entertain on the internet. The reason I say Inspiration everywhere but nowhere is that I got the feeling that there are great young South Africans in abundance but they are nowhere to be found during these types of times. Only a few stand up and voice their concerns as well as try to become part of the solution. We need more people to be part of the solution, not just pointing out problems (this has been said a billion gazillion times, but its true). Lets stand up and be counted (too bad I cant vote for local elections 🙁 ). That is my two cents worth about that.

Stuff that was interesting but cannot cover now:

  • Intersexions is finished, Finito. I could not get a hold of any of the producers at the show (bummer and their loss). You can catch the last episode on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBzSTOfbT-c. I will look out for the DVD set in future. It was also not wise for them to region lock their Facebook Page. Yes you read right you cant access their Facebook page unless you have your current location in SA.
  • Lupe Fiasco's Lasers is good, get it now, listen and then relax. Yes I listen to a few Hip Hop artists, now stop staring.
  • Jake Shimabukuro should be on your video list, if not on your CD buying list in future.
  • I have an interesting project that I have been busy with for the last 3 months that has to do with Twitter and something else on this blog post. It should be available for public viewing later in the year. Keep an eye out.
  • Groups of algorithms are feeling more and more like the solution to our computational problems in terms of generalization. My advisor has been subtly hammering this into my head for the last few weeks. After more thought and introspection it feels natural to think about how my experiences on different tasks and situations always benefits from my experiences on others. Meaning I save strategies that make me do well in some things and recall them when needed so as to solve new problems. Why all this thinking well, Watson strikes again.
Gerald Tesauro @Rutgers Talking about Watson Strategies

Gerald Tesauro @Rutgers Talking about Watson Strategies

This has been another ~1000 word post blog post. Sweet, not too long, and as good as letting my soul rest a bit. Do follow me on Twitter for more ramblings by way of Tweets and interesting discussion with the South African online personalities.

 

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