Hyperconnectivity of Youth

There are the basics meat and potatoes of inspiration for every writer—

1. Family, friends, and strangers spawn great dialogue and poignant gestures.

2. Intoxicating music sets a character’s mood and provokes honesty and a primitive element to prose.  (I have probably watched The Killers Dustyland Fairytale performance, Letterman, 5/09, over fifty times.  Brandon Flowers bares his soul in that performance.)

3. Compelling novels/paragraphs/sentences are like brilliant teachers that dare us to enrich our own prose.

—and then there are the garnishes…the pineapple and red pepper kabob or the carrot and raisin salad that make the feast invigorating or simply unexpected.

To experience a new point of view, to encounter innovation, I go to YouTube and Podcasts.  There is nothing that makes me feel more on top of my game then to listen to a lecture by someone who actually is on top of their game.  It’s cold here in Chicago, I’m hibernating in my house, and to tap into that keg of creativity warms up my soul, feeds my brain, and somehow makes me feel part of a community.  And by the way, how long will it be before a kid’s resume lacks a college degree and instead lists the lectures they’ve heard?  In some fields a college degree has become little more than a formality, a paper that begets trust and says, See, I really did pay attention. 

You can go to http://www.podcastawards.com to see what most people watch.  I list some of my favorites here with a concentration on science ‘cause that’s just the way I roll.

1    Futures in Biotech.  The BEST Podcast to give you a feel for what lays ahead.

2    Ted Talks.  Twenty minutes of my time, and I always learn something new.


3   Powers of 10.  Put out by IBM decades ago, but still humbling.


4   Mark Pesce lectures.  These lectures are dated, but Pesce is so forward-thinking that listening to them even at this point in time is useful.  Mark didn’t coin the term Hyperconnectivity, but I first heard it from him.  Love that word.



5   Flash Mobs.  Ok, these are not science-related, but they just make me happy. 



6    Technocalapse.  Over the top, yes, but still food for thought.


7   This American Life.  Hands down one of the most fun, most well-produced, thought-provoking podcasts.  Great material for writers.  Most of the people who appear on this show are so eloquent, concise, and hilarious—they should all be best-selling authors.

8   Craig Venter talks with The Long Now Foundation.  Venter is such a hard ass, you got to love him.  And with most lecturers I’m left with the thought, Tell me something I don’t know.  Never with Venture.



So I’m wondering, what Podcasts/lectures/videos feed your intellect or stir your soul?  What else makes you feel hyperconnected?