Friday, January 20, 2012

1000 TEDTalks, 6 Words

 I was searching for a podcast which would be related to my previous blog posts concerning to the production, education or economics, but suddenly one title attracted my attention: “1000 TEDTalks, 6 words”.  I have heard it and decided to make this blog and I think it relates to all themes because it is about all TEDTalks taken altogether.
 After listening to this talk, I was very interested in the author and his work experience because I liked a lot his talk, his clear explanations and his great aspiration to get the desired result. That’s why I have decided to search about him in Google.

 Sebastian Wernicke is a manager at Oliver Wyman. He studied bioinformatics; he processed an algorithm to analyze biological networks. He worked as a filmmaker, and then started his career in statistics. He is mostly famous by being the author of TEDPad app.
 In his talk Sebastian Wernicke (2011) states that there are some ways to summarize all TEDTalks in 6 words. He explains his point of view very clearly. There are thousands of TEDTalks which express 1000 different ideas. The average length of TEDTalks is approximately 2300 words.  For watching and getting all those 1000 ideas, each person has to spend nearly 250 hours. By doing some calculations, the author gets 2.3 million words for 1000 TEDTalks, and he discusses a question: 
 “Isn’t there any way to have the TEDTalks shorter and what is the minimum amount of the words which are needed to have a TEDTalk?”

  During discussion of this issue, Sebastian Wernicke faced the case of Ernest Hemingway. The writer summed his novel into 6 words which became his best novel: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”. 
 Sebastian Wernicke also takes into account one project which is called “Six words memoir”. According to that project people were asked to sum their life into 6 words and one result of such summary was: “Found true love, married someone else”. After all these Sebastian came to one conclusion that as the novel and the whole memoir can be put into 6 words, then only 6 words are needed for making a TEDTalk. 
 One way of getting the summaries for all TEDTalks was through website where is possible to post tasks like “please summarize this text for me in 6 words”, and the task is done for 10 cents. As it would be very costly to summarize all TEDTalks individually, it is more appropriate to do 6 words summary for 10 TEDTalks at the same time. It will result to 600 summaries for 1000 TEDTalks. Some good examples of such summaries that Sebastian Wernicke mentioned and I also liked are: “Striving toward happiness=moving toward unhappiness”, “Food shaping body, brains, and environment”.

 But all these 6 words 600 summaries are a huge list, and there should be another way of summaries. That’s why Sebastian Wernicke divided those 600 summaries into 9 groups (Courageous, persuasive, informative, fascinating, inspiring, beautiful, ingenious, funny, jaw-dropping), and asked people to summarize groups. Here are two interesting results: for courageous group People dying with easy solutions around”, for funny group “English is not good of author”. So, the cost also reduced to $95.50, which is less than $100.
 From all those mess-up summaries, Sebastian Wernicke got one 6 words summary for 1000 TEDTalks at the value of $95.50 by playing with different words in totally different summaries. That summary is: 
“Why the worry, I’d rather wonder”.

I liked this TEDTalk a lot. Sebastian Wernicke clearly defines and solves the problem. He uses some other similar ideas and concepts, provides explanations and finally states the concluded 6 word sentence. He talks clearly by providing logical interpretations.

Source: Wernicke, S. (2011) 1000 TEDTalks, 6 words TEDtalks (Video podcast). Retrieved from:

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