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The singer of metal band Gwar gave a TED Talk about how his music is secretly about togetherness.

Metal band Gwar is not usually associated with thoughtful social commentary.
Unless you’re already a Gwar fan, you probably think of the band as “that crazy group with the freaky costumes and elaborately vulgar stage shows.“ (Actually, even if you are a Gwar fan, you probably think of them that way.)

So you might be surprised to learn that the lead singer of Gwar recently gave a TEDx Talk.

Dr. Michael Bishop, who gave the talk, currently plays the role of Gwar’s lead singer, the berserker Blothar. More importantly, he has a Ph.D. in music from the University of Richmond, with a particular interest in ethnomusicology (basically, the cultural and social context around music).

The talk is about the intersections of regional identity, economics, slavery, and creativity — and how it all relates to the construction of Gwar’s mythology.

一流研究者への道

ふと思いついたことを書く. 

以前,とある老教授から聞いた話を思い出してTumblrへこう投稿した. 

二流研究者への道

大学院博士後期課程を出た直後ぐらいの研究者を五流としよう.その後の道は,
 五流→四流→二流
という道と,
 五流→三流→(壁)→一流
という道がある.

これを図にしてみよう.

学位取得直後ぐらいが五流(柿の種)だ.ここから,莫迦になってオリジナリティを求める渋柿コースと,賢くものまねをする甘柿コースに分かれる.甘柿コースを選ぶと,すぐに四流(未熟な甘柿)にはなれる.一方渋柿コースだとなかなか上のランクである三流(渋柿)には上がれない. 

甘柿コースで四流になると,普通はそこから「駄サイクル」を回すことになる.身内だけで褒め合うってやつだ.業界が未熟な場合は身内褒めをしつつ一定数の仲間を増やすことも必要だが,四流しかいない駄サイクルはまず何も生まない.しかも悪いことに,駄サイクルを回しているうちに四流の研究者はしばしば二流(甘柿)になる.自分たちが勘違いしているうちに,世間も勘違いしてしまうという流れだ.もっと悪いことに,二流は世間的には三流よりも上である. 

多くの研究者は三流を目指して去っていくし,なれたとしても三流は世間的な評価が低い.こうして二流ばかりが残る. 三流になるためには莫迦に徹しないといけないし,そこを突き抜けた大莫迦だけが一流(完熟柿)になれるのだから,割りに合う生き方とは到底言えないだろう.

と,ここまではその老教授の話の受け売りだ.件の教授はさらに「だが若者よ,三流で終わることがあっても一流を目指せ」と続けたことは言うまでもない.

最近この話には続きがあることを思いついた.次の図を見てもらいたい.

一流の中には,歴史の中で成熟されるレベルの超一流(干柿)がいる.一方で,世の中には超一流と並んで「超二流」という人々もいる.駄サイクルを超えた超駄サイクルを回すことで,世間的には一流と見分けがつかない完熟柿になる人たちだ.

超駄サイクルとは何か.メディアや業界団体が世間を巻き込んで,二流の人物をヒーローに祭り上げる駄サイクルだ.超二流の例は枚挙にいとまがない.そして,超駄サイクルは,我が国では東京にしかない.超駄サイクルを回すには,それなりの経済規模と文化規模(注:深度ではない)が必要なのだ.

ひとりのエンジニアとして一流を目指すのは当然のことだが,また同時にTEDxキュレータとして,一流と超二流を見分ける目を持っていたいと,僕は思う.

A Personal Update: Thanks For the Support Everyone!

Hey everyone! I thought I would let you know that I’m going to be giving a TEDx Talk at my university! I’ll be talking about citizen science, scientific literacy, and the importance of making space accessible to everyone! I expect that you will get some sort of shout out.

Thanks for all the support everyone, I really couldn’t do it without you!

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The people I met have endured terrible suffering, loss, heartbreak and fear. They look to Europe for protection. They look to Europe for safety. Yet they are too often met by prejudice, ill-will, hostility, intolerance and anger. I urge people to take some time – even just 5 minutes – to look beyond the headlines and get to know one of the millions of people around the world who have been forced to flee their home.” - Douglas Booth 

Thank you so much #WesternUniversity for having me at @tedxwesternu. It was great to meet so many of you even if briefly, you had great questions and amazing initiatives that you are collaborating on. The talk was livestreamed on @tedxofficial and will be available to watch later, @themrmilan also #periscoped it on my periscope if you want to check it out. Thanks Casie Stewart for capturing this and for her presentation. Special gratitude to Rishi who suggested me. 💕 #TEDX #tedtalk #femmesforjustice #London #speaker #writer (at Western University)

“TINY VICTORIES: What I learnt from painting a miniature every single day for 730 consecutive days.”

I’m so honoured to have been invited to be a speaker at TEDx UCT this Saturday (and yes, my nerves are shot). If you’d like to see me facing my giant fear of public speaking, you can grab a ticket at the link in my profile. 🐜 #tinyvictories #tedx #uct #uhoh (at Buchanan Square, Woodstock)

youtube

Consciousness – the final frontier | TEDxNoosa 2014

“Just as your own consciousness is the essence of your own mind, cosmic consciousness is the essence of the entire universe.” ~Dada Gunamuktananda

Many think the ‘para’ part of Paralympics means paraplegic or paralysed, but they would be wrong.

Speaking at TedX Sydney today Dylan Alcott, a Paralympic gold medalist explained the word Paralympic is actually just two words smashed together with ‘para’ meaning parallel and the ‘lympics’ bit just meaning Olympics.

“It actually represents the word parallel, meaning the Paralympics runs in parallel, or alongside, the Olympics. Every four years in the same venue with the same elite sports, with the same elite sports stars competing,” he said. “The only difference is that at the Paralympics everyone has a disability and is heaps better looking.”

Simple.