Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not Everything on the Internet Is Ephemeral

"I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me — shapes and ideas so near to me — so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught."
~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Every now and again — surprisingly often, in fact — the Internet coughs up a video or an article or an artwork that wears well over time. Today I offer you two videos that, for me, retain their value through multiple viewings. Both are from TED, an organization that brings together the best minds in science, the arts, politics, business and technology to share their ideas — and then posts their presentations online. (E-mail subscribers, please go to Divinipotent Daily online to watch or click on the individual links below.)

The first presentation is Rives on 4 a.m., a performance by poet, storyteller and wag Rives at the 2007 TED conference. In this eight-minute piece Rives uses large doses of intelligence and humor to dissect the popular insistence that relationships exist between random events.

Conductor Benjamin Zander insists that, deep down, everyone loves classical music. No matter how you feel about it right now, you'll probably agree with him by the time you've spent 20 minutes with his joyful and infectious 2008 TED presentation.

Finally, while it's too soon to call this playful graphic a keeper — it's only a few weeks old — I have hopes for it. The source is Lapham's Quarterly, a publication of ideas, culture and history, the sort of information that helps put the present into context. Recently, @LaphamsQuart — as it's known on Twitter* — posted a chart that is 100% trivia and yet so deviously fascinating, I have returned to it several times. Now it's your turn. Here's the chart in miniature, but please click through to see it full size.

"We do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory."
~ Georges Duhamel

*Contrary to what you may have read, Twitter is not all about what people had for breakfast.

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