This post is part of a series from the TED 2009 conference held in Long Beach, California from February 4-8th. You can read other posts in the series here, and the TED site will release video from the talk in the coming weeks or months. Because I’m putting these posts together very quickly, I will get things wrong, will misspell names and bungle details. Please feel free to use the comments thread on this post to offer corrections. You may also want to follow the conference via Twitter or through other blogs tagged as TED2009 on Technorati.
The crew in Palm Springs sums up the conference with a parody titled The Wizard of TED. Asked the difference between Palm Springs and Long Beach, one quips, “About $2,000.” But they make it clear – it’s a cool thing, versus a famous thing. That helps explain how the conference can close with a dance party on stage in Palm Springs with someone dressed as Bill Gates circa 1984 – “Because he’s easier to parody that way.”
While we’re on the subject of cool, Darius Weems is very, very cool. His brother died from muscular dystrophy, the genetic disease that’s responsible for more deaths than any other. Darius has the disease as well – he’s very clear that he doesn’t “suffer” from the disease – and has been engaged in a very cool campaign, called Darius Goes West, to call attention to the disease.
Riding in a custom RV, Darius and his crew have sought out MTV so they can pimp out his wheelchair. It now features spinning rims and a 10″ subwoofer. Darius cranks out a rap he recorded from the chair as he spins off stage. As a video of his trip west reminds us, “I’m the age when my brother died, and I am very, very alive.”
How does TED 2009 end? The sun has come out, and people are headed to an outdoor party. Jamie Cullum leads Long Beach in a chorus of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, sung at the first TED 25 years ago, and we’re off.
Thanks, everyone, for reading. I’m likely to be offline the next couple of days catching up on email and giving my eyes a rest. I really appreciate the links, the comments and the support from everyone.