TEDxKL 2012 ; Worth of everybody’s time and dime





by Juey Adlin


That one simple word exclaimed elatedly from a friend’s mouth, drove me to the edge of my seat. I was driven with excitement; I was, beyond words, overjoyed. When I initially found out about it, I couldn’t help but think,

“How will I acquire that getaway ticket to an unforgettable experience of a lifetime?”.

Luckily, a good friend of mine assisted on obtaining one for me. Inevitably, I took the opportunity as a turning point of event that could change my life in a differently good way.

To some or may I daresay, most people has obliged sufficiently in procuring with curiosity to know what “TED” is defined as. You may run along with yourself if you are one of those “most people” and skip to the next paragraph.

To some who don’t, allow me to explain. “TED” is a platform, mainly for any kind individuals to spread ideas, free the minds of the curiosity, and providing information that none of us think initially existed.  As for the alphabet “x”, it stands for “independently organized TED event”. And so to have “TedxKL”, a local and non-profit organization that mirrors the original TED based in California, giving us a TED-life experience, living and breathing in the hearts city of Kuala Lumpur is by far, the most brilliant thing to have especially when it is happening in our lifetime.

Here was the chance; here was the opportunity for curious minds and thinkers to be free, be filled with knowledge and materials that are worth spreading to friends and family.

If I may be blunt, I will only highlight several speakers that were highly memorable for me to remember. Jo Kukathas, an Artistic Director for Instant Café Theatre and CHAI was one of the speakers I could vividly recall.

She was emphasizing on Malaysia’s forgotten culture in a cultural and spiritual sense. Pointing out that most of us have forgotten our roots of the past and the notion of racism has become of a norm today. Her topic “Joining the Dots” comprised mainly of what is happening in Malaysia. With her dressed up in a “baju kurung” and a “tudung” wrapped around her head as her alter-ego, “Tudung Periuk” was somewhat a giveaway saying,

“The problems that are constantly happening in our country is merely a self-strangulation on us and each other”.

Honed with an obsession with being Malaysian, she does a good deed of opening up our eyes the values of sticking to our roots but openly accepting new form of things as well.

The second speaker was Goh Sze Ying, who is a custodian of #BetterKL.

She briefly explained her current project with her teammates on #BetterKL, a campaign consisted of making and creating a better and positive change to our city. Where she was heading with her talk, she took the initiation of changing a positive change not only in KL, but around other cities in other states as well. To boot, I found her idea to be profound as her aims and goals were to make our city a better place to live in.

An architect and a writer of smallprojects, Kevin Mark Low expressed his impression of “form” and “content” in architecture.

He highlighted strongly on those two ideas when people are engrossed in changing and renewing “form” of things whereas “content” are just plainly the same. Kevin stressed that if one refuses to focus on the content, then it is pointless to have an excellent and well-presented form. It doesn’t matter if we have a strong form, as long as we have a strong content then we not need to worry about capturing the hearts of other people which is why his talk of “Interdependence and Individuality” became one of the talks I dearly admired.

“Life is Life”. That was what Derek Sivers had stressed on upon.

A TED fellow and an avid student of life refused to give in to failure to make sure he sent his message across on no matter how hard we try to define life as in a single word, life is purely life. At first, he asked us a question simply of “What is life?”. How do we define “life”. He presented a slide that entailed of “Life is ____”.

The man made us realize that in life, we are the ones that creates of what is good and bad, what is right and wrong. We ourselves make the decisions and opinions of things, to make logic of the illogic. That was what kept us moving on feeling sure of ourselves. Derek Sivers was right. Life is Life.

Professor Dr. Ille Gebeshuber.

She was one of my favorite speakers during the event.

A physicist and expert in nanotechnology, biomimetics and technology explained her purpose of studying nanophysics relating to nature. Professor Ille wanted to uncover the truth of what is hidden within nature in a microscopic sense. Resides here in Malaysia, she expresses her love and bewilderment of the country, informing that Malaysia has so much to offer, naturally speaking. She even kindly explained vividly of the colors that emit from animals. It is mainly the structure of the animals that develops colors which were never there in the first place. Her honesty and passion of physics made me realize how beautiful the world and the universe are.

Zurairi is the founder of Unscientific Malaysia, a Malaysian community that aims to gather as many rationalists, humanists, freethinkers and secularists to advocate science, scepticism and free thought. Zurairi is also a news researcher at The Malaysian Insider.

 “The Virtue of “I Don’t Know”” was Zurairi AR’s topic for TEDxKL. An avid fan of his website, Unscientific Malaysia for writing incredible things that opens the minds of skeptics. His angle directed to a point that there is nothing wrong with admitting that “you don’t know” to some certain things. Parents have a way of using religion as an answer to everything.

Questions like, “What is the universe made of?”, or “How do things happen?”. He said earnestly that parents with religious background tend to simply answer with, “God did everything”. For us, we have always been curious of things we are uncertain of and the only way to find out is to ask questions. And who will we turn to find answers? You’ve guessed it; our parents. He explained deeply that admitting “I don’t know” is a step to finding truths to our questions. “Since we were kids, we have been scientists”, he said. Truthfully, we are. We are merely devoted to finding truths about the world asking the whats, hows, whys, whens and whos all around us. His talk brought a great impact. To me, at the very least.

The atmosphere emitted in the hall made me feel belonged. People had no qualms if you have no knowledge of science, religion, politics and arts but are willing to learn just out of curiosity. I daresay, I was grateful to be amongst the crowd. Being an open-minded individual as I self-proclaimed to be, being there was one of the highlighted moment I have aspired to keep as memories. As presenters make their appearance on stage together for the photographers, I felt pride, as well as jealousy towards them. They have done such a good job!

As much as I would love to share more of my experience and knowledge concerning the event, I think it best that I keep it brief and short.

TEDxKL is definitely a place and platform for people to pass on their opinions, be it right or wrong. Just as long we share our knowledge unto each other. If there is one thing that I realized during the event, it is crucial for people to be open-minded when it comes to attending TED talks; be it religion, science, politics, arts and what have you.

But it is enough to say, knowledge is what brings us all together.


One comment

  1. Great post! Malaysians are generally open minded but still more to learn and accept from one another. Hoping for a better future.

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