Monday, January 18, 2010

Notes from a guest lecture at XIC

Threw in some TED videos for my guest lecture on blogging. At least, that's what it was supposed to be about.
It was a novel experience as I am not very used to public speaking, and it was my very first lecture. It was good fun, where else can you get to impose on a young audience clips of Adam Curtis, Charlie Brooker, P Sainath, have a student read out the Citibank report on Plutonomy, talk about Sea Shepard, Internet memes, augmented reality, and then have time to segue into kitten pics. Yes there were kitten pics.










I hope some found revelation in V Ramachandran's talk on empathy, and how it is channelled through mirror neurons in the brain, which he calls "Gandhi neurons".
Most of these students were already familiar with P Sainath, but obliged a video of him an hour into the lecture. Most did not know about TED.com. Ohanian's talk on Splashy McPants (how to make a splash in social media) segued well after my talk about Sea Sheperd and their Batboat crashing drama and a discussion into why whales and pandas get an undue amount of attention. My answer: For the same reasons that kittens do.
I also talked about media memes, going viral, conspiracy theories, fringe belief systems, and think tanks. The power of personal computing technology as illustrated by the documentary Loose Change.

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