Column: Music, life and nonsense

TED talks are a daily video podcast in which the world's best leaders and thinkers give lectures of their life experiences, technology and entertainment, among other things. (Image courtesy of nyfa.edu)

A friend of mine recently started a podcast with no intention other than to highlight a conversation. He is pursuing acting in New York City and has made friends along the way in similar situations.

Together, they sit down once a week and converse about their mutual experiences pursuing art in a city that is saturated with others pursuing the same field. This open dialogue can be extremely beneficial for actors and people of other occupations and passions alike. It opens the floor up to discussions about positive decisions that led to success and vice versa, so that people listening can relate and even learn something from their experiences.

In an industry you’re new to or that is inherently difficult to navigate, it is paramount that we keep talking to one another and absorb information from other people’s experiences. The growth at which we can acquire knowledge exponentially rises when we simply listen to other people’s accounts.

Especially with the digital age we are in now, being able to have a conversation in your living room with five friends can now be broadcasted to hundreds of other people simply by recording the conversation and uploading it.

Now, people pursuing something like acting in Los Angeles can converse with this friend group in New York. The marketplace of ideas expands and a fractured and ambiguous group of likeminded individuals now have the opportunity to build a platform around their common interests. It is now all democratized as well, for anyone can host their own show and talk about interests the might have been overlooked in prior mainstream formats.

If you feel you have something of value to say and have friends or colleagues who feel the same way, now you have the medium to be one of those voices in the wider conversation. Why let your experience go to waste for someone who might just be getting into the field you have become knowledgeable in?

Interviews through YouTube are another source of knowledge for aspiring innovators or scholars of any kind. You are most likely not going to get the opportunity to speak face-to-face with some of the greatest minds—and if you do, you probably won’t get an hour of conversation—but when watching in-depth interviews, we are given the golden opportunity to internalize these lessons and realizations from experts in the field.

Channels like TED Talks do a remarkable job of creating an online lecture platform for experts. Again, this opens conversation between viewers in the comment section online and gives a comprehensive starting point into any and all complicated subjects. Granted, not all conversing in comment sections is productive, but such is human nature.

The mere opportunity for people around the world to listen, and even contribute, to a conversation is a modern take on communication and it comes with the opportunity for unprecedentedly high amounts of collaboration and idea sharing. 


Brett Steinberg is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at brett.steinberg@uconn.edu. He tweets @OfficialBrett.