Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

"Has Your Head Exploded Yet?" BoomTown Queries TEDsters on What They Learned

While at the TED conference last week, I asked a variety of people in attendance at the elite gathering which presentation had blown their head off. Figuratively, of course!

TED–for Technology, Entertainment and Design–had an eclectic range of speakers and tony digerati parties at its new location in Long Beach, Calif.

Onstage, there were a lot of talks about the awful state of the earth at TED, which sometimes feels like a four-year college in four days.

But there were also less-dire presentations, like the one from “Eat, Pray, Love” hit author Elizabeth Gilbert about genius, and another on how Brad Pitt’s head and range of facial expressions are now stored in a studio database for all eternity (as part of his work on the movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”).

That’s a cold comfort amid all the global melting down, but BoomTown will not refuse it.

I also got reaction from some other TED attendees to the event. Included in the video are: Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Foxmarks’ James Joaquin, Craig Donato of Oodle, Mozilla’s John Lilly, VC Dave Hornik, Steven Levy of Wired, entrepreneur Bill Gross (showing off a future car) and techie Linda Stone.

Here’s the video:

And here is a video of my tour of TED action.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work