It started with a Kevin Rose interview on a podcast I can't remember right now. The founder of Digg said he is trying to watch a TEDTalk every day, as a way to educate himself on topics he normally wouldn't learn.
That approach inspired me.
Yes! I thought. I miss self-education! This is perfect!
And so I embarked on a similar journey, when I became a full-time freelance writer in March. Every day, for a month, I'd watch a new TEDTalk, on everything ranging from what happens when you mix medications to the wild world of underwater caves to actor Adam Driver revealing what he learned during his Marine days.
I devoured TEDTalks like they were Nibs. I couldn't get enough. It seemed like a no-brainer. Here were experts in various industries willing to share their knowledge to us in succinct 10-minute videos, often inspiring us to learn more about the speakers or the topics. I admit diving into a YouTube wormhole of underground cave footage when I first saw that TEDTalk on the mysterious phenomenon.
When I left university, I never did any post-post-secondary training or continuing ed. I realized as a journalist I am learning every day, based on the interviews I'm conducting with business leaders, medical experts, athletes, tech experts, etc. But TED gave me the opportunity to open my mind to other things that interested me, like neuroscience and startup culture, for instance.
And to be perfectly honest, I haven't been able to keep up with my pace of daily TEDTalks, due to my busy schedule of freelancing and applying for grants in the past few months. But I watch around one video weekly, and have also expanded my repertoire to include those fantastic Talks at Google as well.
So I implore anyone who is jonesing for an educational jolt to give TEDTalks a chance, if you aren't yet. It's the kind of brain exercise your neurons are craving.
Do you have a favourite TEDTalk? I'd love to know! Comment below or reply to me on Twitter via @SilverbergDave
About David's Blog
I write about journalism, freelancing, the arts, Toronto, technology, sports and why egg nog is under-rated.