Pre-thinking:

Sebastian Wernicke thinks every TEDTalk can be summarized in six words. In this talk, he shows how to do just that — and less. See if you agree with him.

Why you should listen:

Currently an Engagement Manager at Oliver Wyman, Sebastian Wernicke originally studied bioinformatics at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. During his time in academia, he devised an algorithm for analyzing biological networks that now aids researchers in dealing with their innate complexity.

Who is he?

Before his career in statistics began, Wernicke worked stints as both a paramedic and successful short animated filmmaker. He’s also the author of the TEDPad app, an irreverent tool for creating an infinite number of “amazing and really bad” and mostly completely meaningless talks. He’s the author of the statistically authoritative and yet completely ridiculous “How to Give the Perfect TEDTalk.

Questions:

  1. Wernicke gave his talk some time ago. There are now about 2000 talks. According to him, how many word would this be?
  2. In these talks do you think there are 2000 ideas worth spreading?
  3. Wernicke takes an idea from Hemingway that ideas can be expressed in 6 words. Even Ted talks can be. How tongue in cheek do you think he is?
  4. He says he could get a 6 word summary for 10 cents through Mechanical Turk. Is that a good price?
  5. Eventually after having the summaries of the summaries done he came up with 9 groups. He was not satisfied with that. Should he have been?
  6. His final 99.9997 reduction came down to these 6 words, “Why the worry? I’d rather wonder.” Discuss this statement with someone. Is it a good Philosophy of Life?

 

1000 TEDTalks, 6 words, with Sebastian Wernicke

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