TED Conversations

Amir Azizi Sarajy

Film maker, Timescratch

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Are you an Outcast ? TED Men and X-MEN

so many Great Thinkers, Artists,Scientist, and.... seem to be outcasts and detached from their own society for a time or even their entire lives.

I don't know if that is good or bad , but what I am so curious to know is how many TED members were or are an outcast ? Do you feel good or bad about it ?

to me somehow TED people seem like mutated people in X-men, so did you ever wanted to be Normal ? not to think ? not to worry ? not to care ?

inspired by a conversation with Debra Smith

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    Oct 5 2011: I never felt like an outcast, because that would mean other cast me out, I think I'm more like an outsider. I've never been a member of any communities really, and always had only a few friends (if any). Part of it was because of social anxiety and another part that I felt like I was different.

    I don't feel comfortable in a society where people are more excited about, say, a new iPhone or game release than they are about stuff that matters, that's crucial these days, and that's exactly what TED is about. BUT, I think this comparison is also a bit exaggerated, as I don't claim to be or feel like a great thinker, artist, scientist, or in any way extraordinary. I'm only (trying to be) conscious, mindful, empathic and supportive - which is, compared to the truly great historic figures, a really uncool mutation ;)
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      Oct 5 2011: Renata if any artist or scientist did something of a value it was because they cared about others more than themselves and that is exactly who you are as you said: conscious, mindful, empathic and supportive

      I don't believe just being smart makes anyone special, but caring , conscious and curious certainly does.

      by the way great mutation and by my sight a very cool one :)
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        Oct 5 2011: You're saying, "if any artist or scientist did something of a value it was because they cared about others more than themselves" - so do you think that artists and scientists only work out of selflessness? I disagree with that.

        Many artists, especially poets, writers, painters, etc. create things because it's their way of coping with their own suffering. Surely you know lots of great artists who have suffered from depression or some other sort of mental disorder. Some of my favorite poets and poems are about pain and misery and I am entirely sure they didn't have humanity and mankind on their minds when they wrote them. They are deeply personal and I don't think most of them thought about becoming famous either.
        So would this mean that these personal, pain-driven (or happiness-driven) creations are not valuable? I think not. What's the definition of "value" anyway?
        Or how many inventions and discoveries are the results of pure coincidences?

        You see, I don't think you have to be caring, mindful, selfless, you don't have to want to help in order to create something great and vice versa - if I'm mindful and supportive, it doesn't make me great.
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          Oct 6 2011: Jean paul sartre in Being and Nothingness says , we live for others and if we are all alone we would live a different life,

          I believe Da Vinci , Newton, or any other Genius would have lived another life if lived all alone in a deserted island, We humans need others respect and we would try for it , If many artists felt miserable about life it was mostly for caring about other not just themselves

          All I am saying is caring is a valuable thing and as Dan Dennett said here on TED We are the only species that Sacrifice ourselves to serve an idea , and a goal, for the future of others.

          But I agree , just being mindful or careful does not change anything.

          Great People are innovative hard working and caring .
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          Oct 7 2011: Also agree. I think art is the greatest form of self-indulgence.

          It's also the only self-indulgence that is worth sharing.
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      Oct 5 2011: what??? games are cool! :)
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        Oct 5 2011: Of course they are :)

        I didn't mean to imply that those things aren't cool, because I have many interests myself that don't serve the best interest of humanity either. It's good to have fun and good to be careless, but what I wanted to say was that many people don't care about stuff that matters (TED-material, if you will) at all. And that just makes me sad.
        I don't know if it's laziness, stupidity, carelessness or what, but I don't like it. I know I'm not going to save the world either, but I'm at least interested, I'm concerned, and I do my best to change little things for the better - and sometimes that's only playing a game to brighten my mood :)
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          Oct 6 2011: or just routine. sometimes people just do what they see other people do around them. thinking can take you places you didn't want to go.

          maybe ted is a way to escape swamp of local culture?
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        Oct 8 2011: Definitely. I always hated when people said that it's harder to do certain things in certain areas (here Eastern Europe for example). Hated that people went to the USA or any other Western country to pursue their dreams. I thought that it was just a stupid excuse, but the more involved I am, the more I see the truth to it.

        TED, and the internet in general is not just an escape but also an opportunity for me because here it's nearly impossible to live the life I want to live, especially in this little town. I used to judge the people who left the country for a better life and now I'm about to do the same.

        Well, the cultural revolutions and innovations always reached us belated, so in a way it makes sense even now. What I don't understand is why, because the internet, the modern infrastructure would make it possible everywhere to change things. So I have to assume it's because of the way people are thinking...

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