Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TED Talk Tuesday: Charlie Todd with The Shared Experience of Absurdity

So, I don't know if you've noticed, but during our Ted Talk Tuesdays we become a community of writers which doesn't necessarily talk about writing.

Which is a good thing.

Because discussing things in the vacuum of like-mindedness can produce uninspired results.

And, I'm hoping that non-writers (as if anyone really is a non-writer) will feel like they can chime in about these talks as well. :)

A few weeks ago, we talked about how we can better overcome obstacles if we place those obstacles into the framework of playing a game. How when we problem solve within a game, we can change the way our brains attack problems. How gaming can improve our lives. If you haven't checked out how Jane McGonigal wants us to lengthen our lives by playing games, definitely check it out, on the blog, or at TED.

This week's talk is a favorite of mine. Charlie Todd looks at how play has intrinsic value. Take special note of when the No-pants-subway-ride prank becomes a shared experience, and how that changes the meaning of the experience for the woman involved.

What does it look like when a book becomes a shared experience? how does this change the experience for the readers? How can we achieve this sort of thing?

I LOVE this practice of creating a public scene that is a positive experience. Of trying to make people's day a little brighter, a little more funny.

Next week, we will look at what one person thinks this kind of psychological solution can mean for us as a whole. (Stay tuned!)

Did you enjoy the pranks? What was your favorite? Was your experience heightened at all since you could hear the laughter of the TED audience as they watched it? And, do you agree that we need to play, just to play sometimes?

Oh, and I would love for you to support Natalie Bahm and our write-a-thon for a family in need. Please consider joining the write-a-thon, buying a book, or sponsoring me! 


  1. Gosh, I love these TED videos. I so often miss them. Thanks!!

  2. What I like best about Charlie Todd is that he made something unique, creative, and fun out of nothing but his imagination. Then he offered to let other people in on the fun and watched it become something far bigger than just himself or the participants.

    How cool is that?

    "As kids we're taught to play and we're never given a reason why we should play. It's just acceptable that play is a good thing. And I think that's sort of the point..."

    -- Tom

  3. This is a new thing for me--I always love a new idea!

  4. another TED video! I'll have to watch this during my lunch time:)


  5. Sheri--This one is easy and fun. I hope you like it!

    Tom--Very cool! And, isn't that what we want to do with our writing? I agree that "play is a good thing." Play for play's sake. :)

    Kristen--Me too!

    nutschell--I hope you like it!