About Tiffany

Bio

My name is Tiffany Ard. I'm a big nerd who was tragically born with a creative brain. I was an information designer for high-tech industry until the day when I realized that designing things for people to use when they were selling software to people at other companies who were going to use that software to manage accounts for other companies who managed legacy mainframe computers which were used by banks to track databases for other banks was maybe not the best use of my one life on this planet.

Life is much better now. I started Nerdy Baby and now sell my science-themed artwork to parents and nerds all over the world.

Areas of Expertise

Creativity

An idea worth spreading

Most early childhood education focuses on teaching lists of skills and disassociated facts. My thoughts about this traditional approach A) won't fit in this space and B) contains swear words.

I am developing a curriculum that gives young children context for every new thing that they learn. We start at the beginning of the universe and every year we cover the same topics in greater depth. Week by week we talk about the big bang, then atoms and molecules and the four main forces, then stars, then formation of planets, formation of Earth, early life, dinosaurs, mammals, all the way through modern human life. We spend each week learning all that we can about each topic and nest it within the context of everything we've covered so far.

Every day my kids are learning the scientific method, the idea that our understanding of how things work can (does) change over time, and that they are part of a world that is unimaginably big and old and beautiful.

I'm passionate about

Allowing young children to be the artists and scientists that they were born to be.

Talk to me about

The brain, learning, creativity, evolution, anything my kids might find interesting

People don't know I'm good at

keeping up with laundry and dishes. It's a secret I will take to my grave.

My TED story

I am addicted to TED talks and fantasize about someday giving a talk, even though I'm shy.

Comments & conversations

53979
Tiffany Ard
Posted 10 months ago
Abha Dawesar: Life in the "digital now"
This felt like two TED different talks. I found the first part insightful and interesting. Then during the second half Dawesar shifted the tone and I felt like I was being reprimanded. It seems arrogant to suggest that warm and wonderful childhood moments are being blotted out by technology. Do you mean that kids are no longer learning how to chop vegetables or look at the stars because they and their parents are absorbed in the digital world? That's a strange assumption. Any time your argument rests on "Back in MY day we didn't _________ and it was better!" you're on shaky ground. I would've loved to hear more about other shifts in the way human societies perceive time. How did those changes affect childhoods and families and the experience of "now"? Some examples off the top of my head: * Agriculture + astronomy + navigation techniques * Adoption of a standard calendar. * The new permanence of the written word. * The immediacy of newspapers. * Introduction of train schedules, suddenly there were clocks in every town square * 20th century factory work week/timeclock cards. * Tuning in to hear live radio shows or watch recorded television shows. * Air travel became cheaper and suddenly distances shrink and the way we perceive time changes. * Recording devices like answering machines, tape recorders, and VCRs change the need to be present. And on and on... so yes, smart phones have shifted the way we engage with each other and the way we think about the past, present, and future BUT hasn't this kind of change happened before? Has it been devastating in any instances? Because if you want to make the case that this new way of experiencing time is problematic, then let's hear the reasons why. But they need to be reasons, not just grumbling that these damned kids need to get off your lawn.
53979
Tiffany Ard
Posted about 1 year ago
Eleanor Longden: The voices in my head
Possibly confirmation bias makes it seem that way. We don't hear from the inarticulate mentally ill... they are invisible, mumbling on the bus or ranting on downtown corners or have been institutionalized or medicated into a haze. And mental illness is interesting... meaning that articulate people who are boring don't grab the spotlight, but also you may be more inclined to notice a brilliant talk or creative work by someone with a mental illness than a talk by a neurotypical articulate person.
53979
Tiffany Ard
Posted about 1 year ago
Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?
Absolutely... admitting this (very human) flaw is huge. I hope that others see him speak about that kind of regret and shift their attitudes -- not just medical professionals because really, all of us have been guilty of judging others when we couldn't know the whole story. Those pangs of terrible regret are painful to teach us how we want to behave in the future. It would be wonderful if med students were offered guidance to help them avoid stumbling into this same trap.
53979
Tiffany Ard
Posted about 1 year ago
Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?
What I found most profound about this talk was the regret Attia expressed at the way he viewed this patient. However, it bothers me that he is sorry because he realized later that it might not have been her fault. If he finds out that oh look, she really did simply overeat -- would it be okay to go back to judging? I wish that medical schools would try to teach empathy. You never know what someone else is dealing with. You never know what their alternatives were, you never know what they've been through or what their emotional state is like. And even if someone DOES completely stupidly cause their own illness that doesn't mean that they don't deserve basic human compassion. Every one of us is imperfect, some mistakes and flaws are harder to hide. We need medical professionals who can set aside judgment -- or fake it enough to treat every patient with compassion.
53979
Tiffany Ard
Posted over 2 years ago
Ariel Garten: Know thyself, with a brain scanner
Interesting talk, but from the title I was hoping for something more than neat games or meditative relaxation applications. To me the exciting story would be to have researchers taking leaps into using this technology for deeper things like: can we make predictions based on brain wave patterns? Can we diagnose difficult-to-pin-down things like autism spectrum disorders, personality disorders, ADD? Can a person have baseline data stored and check periodically for early signs of neurological problems? Could we make an app that would use the wireless headset to catch and record absence seizures? I can also see marketing departments using the idea somehow to find out how people feel about their brand. How hard would it be to develop games that reward users for thinking happy thoughts about Coca-Cola and mean thoughts about Pepsi?
53979
Tiffany Ard
Posted about 3 years ago
How do smart people "find their level" in conversation?
This is a common misconception. Uh and um and other verbal stumbles (sometimes including curse words) are thought to be indicators that the person is putting together their thoughts as they speak. Speech that's free of uh, um, ehhh could be memorized, pre-planned, or simply an expression of ideas that the speaker is not thinking much about. They are sort of meta-words that mean "I'm thinking about this" or "I'm about to tell you something new"
53979
Tiffany Ard
Posted about 3 years ago
How do smart people "find their level" in conversation?
My husband says that you can measure someone's intelligence based on the lies they tell. He believes that a person will only tell a lie sophisticated enough that *they themselves would believe it.* If a lie is so ridiculous that only a person with no logic skills would believe it, then you can assume that the liar has no logic skills because he would find that lie believable. If a person tells lies that are complex in a very believable way, then you know that this person knows how reason works, and also that person understands a lot about what the listener might be thinking. This approach has a bonus: If you meet someone whose lies convince you, you won't even realize they were lying. So you get to go through life thinking that you never meet anyone smarter than yourself. :-P
53979
Tiffany Ard
Posted about 3 years ago
How do smart people "find their level" in conversation?
When I meet someone, I gauge our relative IQs based on: Does this person contribute spontaneous insight and original ideas to the conversation? Are their jokes sophisticated, original and surprising? (or literal and unoriginal?) Is this person curious about the world? Is this person open to new ideas? How does this person act when he doesn't know something or turns out to be wrong? Can this person deal with grey areas? Does this person follow side trails in the conversation? Does the person acknowledge nuances? Am I hearing a lot of bad logic? Does the person defend failed logic? Has this person tried to convince me to attend their church and/or try homeopathy?