Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED Talks are 15 to 20 minute standup slide show presentations, in front of a live audience. These genius talks once commanded a small, but highly influential audience. At $2K a seat, the 99% was not admitted. They still command the same live audience, but through the internet, the rest of us can hear these speeches too. Held live in Monterey, really Pacific Grove, just up the beach from Asilomar, TED has posted over a thousand online talks. Notables like Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Steve Jobs have all given TED Talks, but Jill Bolte Taylor’s is the one that I would like to share.

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist brain scientist who specializes in the postmortem investigation of the human brain. She is affiliated with Indiana University and is the spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center. Her own personal experience with a massive stroke, in 1996 at age 37, and her subsequent eight-year recovery, has informed her work as a scientist and speaker. Her experience and this episode is the subject of her TED Talk.

To say that her speech is moving is an understatement. It was once said that everyone has a book in them. Maybe the new rubric is that everyone has a Ted Talk in them. Andy Warhol once said that everyone had just 15 minutes of fame. Who knew it came with PowerPoint slides.

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