On the third or fourth Wednesday of every month at 3pm, RRLC will host a viewing of one of the TEDtalks, short video talks on topics designed to stir curiosity and encourage discussion. The viewing will begin at 3pm, with a discussion to follow. Come to REDtalks for lively conversation, networking, and a free-flow of ideas that could lead to great things! Check the RRLC Events Calendar or Workshop Listing for the topic of the month. Our Fall offerings are listed below. Registration is not required but is appreciated.
What we learned from 5 million books
Have you played with Google Labs' Ngram Viewer? It's an addicting tool that lets you search for words and ideas in a database of 5 million books from across centuries. Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel show us how it works, and a few of the surprising things we can learn from 500 billion words.
Jean-Baptiste Michel holds joint academic appointments at Harvard (FQEB Fellow) and Google (Visiting Faculty). His research focusses on using large volumes of data as tools that help better understand the world around us -- from the way diseases progress in patients over years, to the way cultures change in human societies over centuries. With his colleague Erez Lieberman Aiden, Jean-Baptiste is a Founding Director of Harvard's Cultural Observatory.
Erez Lieberman Aiden is a fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and Visiting Faculty at Google. His research spans many disciplines and has won numerous awards, including recognition for one of the top 20 "Biotech Breakthroughs that will Change Medicine", by Popular Mechanics; the Lemelson-MIT prize for the best student inventor at MIT; the American Physical Society's Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation in Biological Physics; and membership in Technology Review's 2009 TR35, recognizing the top 35 innovators under 35. His last three papers -- two with JB Michel -- have all appeared on the cover of Nature and Science.
Embrace the remix
Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform.
Kirby Ferguson explores creativity in a world where "everything is a remix."
What's a remix? In Kirby Ferguson's view, any piece of art that contains a recognizable reference to another work--a quote from a lyric, a borrowed riff, a filmic homage. Which makes almost everything a remix, from a Led Zeppelin song to a classic film from George Lucas. His deeply researched and insanely fun four-part web series, "Everything Is a Remix," dives into the question: Is remixing a form of creativity, a production of the new on the shoulders of what precedes it, or is it just copying? He comes out firmly on the side of creativity, calling for protections for people who, with good intentions, weave together bits of existing culture into something fresh and relevant.
Turning powerful stats in to art
Artist Chris Jordan shows us an arresting view of what Western culture looks like. His supersized images picture some almost unimaginable statistics -- like the astonishing number of paper cups we use every single day.
Chris Jordan runs the numbers on modern American life -- making large-format, long-zoom artwork from the most mindblowing data about our stuff.
Photographer Chris Jordan trains his eye on American consumption. His 2003-05 series "Intolerable Beauty" examines the hypnotic allure of the sheer amount of stuff we make and consume every day: cliffs of baled scrap, small cities of shipping containers, endless grids of mass-produced goods.
His 2005 book In Katrina's Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster is a chilling, unflinching look at the toll of the storm. And his latest series of photographs, "Running the Numbers," gives dramatic life to statistics of US consumption. Often-heard factoids like "We use 2 million plastic bottles every 5 minutes" become a chilling sea of plastic that stretches beyond our horizon.
In April 2008, Jordan traveled around the world with National Geographic as an international eco-ambassador for Earth Day 2008.
Cost to attend:
FREE to RRLC members
$15 to members of other 3Rs councils
$20 to non-members