Christian Long

Derek Sivers: Weird, or Just Different?

In TED Talks on May 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Extra credit reflection by SYLVIA A.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Derek Sivers:  Weird, or Just Different?

I enjoyed this talk, although it was quite succinct. It was a quick display of differences in culture and it sparked much more in my imagination. I feel like it planted the seed of curiosity and amusement in our minds and as we let our minds dance around the topic, they turn into actual questions. How did our cultures com to be so different? Which way is the right way?

On top of that, I’m impressed with the title of this talk, “Weird, or just different?” This could have been a 45 minute talk and it still would have held my attention because of the mere topic. Perspective is so interesting to me. The possibility that someone in America can see something that would be taken totally different by someone in Japan is truly fascinating. Using something so common such as streets and blocks served as a good example. How do we connect with other’s whose simple every-day life aspects are totally different or even opposite form ours? Along with music compilation, where the driver seat is, and even which direction the toilet flushes there are many micro-details in our cultures. It’s quite evident that these things don’t define our societies but they do put a quirky spin on what we perceive as ‘normal’.

It makes me happy that our world is not so dull and boring. If we all saw the same thing there would be no progress, no creativity, and no diversity. Nothing, in reality is definitive, because as we change our outlook changes and on top of that our initial standpoint affects how we view the world. We don’t think about it often because as humans we are naturally self-centered, but there is always a flip-side to your version of ‘normal’.

Even though I call others different from me ‘weird’ all the time, this video made me feel better because I know they’re probably thinking the same thing about me.


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