I can list all the conferences I'm not going to this year because I didn't get an invite. A friend who's going to TED this year for the first time (I've never been) says he's pissed at himself, ironically.
I've never personally faced a life-and-death struggle as intense as Dana Jennings describes in a piece at the NY Times. When I read it I think how small my problems are, I more or less have my health. I have to work at being unhappy or scared. This man has to work to find something to be happy about. And he does.
Dana Jennings: "I was hospitalized for six weeks in 1984 with an acute case of ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the large intestine. Before my entire ravaged colon was removed, my doctors let me peer through the scope and take a look at it as it died."
I also like the piece because it's beautifully written and uncomplicated. It represents a point of view that no one can say is objective. Its subjectiveness, written from the point of view of someone whose body is conflicted about living or dying, is what makes it so powerful.
It's been pointed out elsewhere that President Obama's meeting with Republicans was one of the best press events ever. But the press just covered it, it played no role. And that's as it should be.
I want the collective press to be like a microphone, a very accurate one, that simply tells us what was said or done, without spin or savvy. If a cat got caught up a tree and the fire department came to get it down, I'd like to know that, and what the rescue people thought, and the spectators, and the cat.
I've enjoyed my first experiences with the NYU students. It's a great thing for me to get back to those particular roots. To enjoy, vicariously, the point of view of someone who doesn't know all that decades of life teach you, and is smart enough to know that. But also people who will live to know things I never will know. Hey, we're all here now, people who are at TED and people who are not. People who were alive in 1955, and people who will be alive in 2055. People whose bodies don't need radiation and chemotherapy to have a chance at survival, and those who will be dead next week. We're all here now, so let's dig the moment and do it together, with respect. ">
Your first dividend from my NYU experience. Please check out nyulocal.com. It's a student-run news site, completely unaffiliated with the university. The kids don't get credit for it, they do it for love. One student, reviewing the study-abroad program in Paris (she had just completed it) said she couldn't wait to get back to NY to keep writing for the site. That's the kind of writing I love to read, and if you like scripting.com, I bet you'll like nyulocal.com too.