Thought for food

I’m in the midst of writing a number of books, on a plethora of subjects. Labours of love. I haven’t quite decided the order in which I shall complete them, or for that matter when I shall complete them. For some it may even be an if rather than a when.

I’ve yet to decide quite how to publish them. My inclination is to go for a variation of the now-classic free digital download/$25 hardback/$150 limited edition. But I haven’t decided.

As I said, the books are labours of love, I get immense enjoyment just tinkering with them. The one I am keenest to complete will probably have no market. It is an unusual genre. Science fiction management manga. I am so enjoying writing it. And thinking of how I would want it illustrated.

But leaving that one aside, I’ve tended to drip-feed the content of the rest into the market in many forms: sometimes as a blog post; sometimes as a long dinner conversation with the kind of friends one has long dinners with; and sometimes as talks I give to a variety of audiences.

One such talk is Thought For Food, looking at food and information as if they were one. Dave Morin suggested the title in 2005 when I first broached the topic with him, two decades after I started delving into the subject matter.

It so happened that I spoke about it while at a TED Salon in Austin this March, as part of SXSW. And the curators-that-be at TED decided to give it some more airplay.

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, my first (and probably last) online TED talk. All 8 minutes of it. Let me know what you think.

8 thoughts on “Thought for food”

  1. I hope to see your talk tomorrow, if my back has healed enough. Hope all goes well for you, it’s a great story.

  2. From “Dosas to Data”…very interesting 8 minutes. I could relate to everything you said being a big time south indian foodie myself.

  3. Hi JP,
    Just watched your talk. When you said that information overload is not our problem but filter failure, it made sense because I was finding it difficult to digest the information overload concept for a while. But what we consume should be in our control because if tomorrow we start labeling information for its fact percentage as you mentioned consumption can be get confusing I guess just like if you have to stick to a diet looking at calorie count at the back of every item you consume. Having an information diet that can make you healthy is important, may be too important in our school kids. Also you made a great point that is missing in lives today “the opportunity for kids to grow up with books”. Not that I am an anti kindle guy, but I guess in an era when every book store in town is closing down, I would love to go to a similar store as you showed in the picture :) Great talk sir, and very valuable information

  4. Mr. Rangaswami,

    I feel a little awkward leaving you this message here, but when I was tasked by my director, Lisa Petermann, Ph.D., to try to track down your contact information after she saw the above video, I just didn’t have any luck. She would really like to extend an invitation to you.

    We are holding the inaugural meeting of the International Knowledge Exchange Network for Mental Health (IKEN-MH) this July 9-10 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.The formation of the IKEN-MH was jointly envisioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL), to increase the capacity for effective knowledge exchange in mental health by connecting people, ideas, and resources on a global level.

    We would be thrilled if you would consider being a keynote speaker on the use of technology to improve information transfer and connectivity in health. All expenses will be covered by us.

    Please contact me ([email protected]) if you would like to discuss this with Lisa. And please accept my apology for posting this in the completely wrong venue.

    Lori Hager
    Creative Assistant, Knowledge Exchange Centre
    Mental Health Commission of Canada

  5. Brilliant… Thank you for serving your deep thought information. My cortex was licking its neurons through out the whole lecture.

    Another similarity between food and information is addicitions. I read an interview with Nicholas Carr about how our brains can be addicted to information, meaning how we like to consume morsels of information at a fast pace. However, our satisfaction for knowledge was never completed. Our brain was left hungry.

    In this age of too much fast-info in mass quantities will make us fat, but not smarter.

    Here is the interview:

  6. Wonderful talk, extremely inspiring. Thank you very much JP. I couldn’t help but to think about the filter failure you mentioned: how the surrounding environment offers availability to certain kind of information only, like certain kind of local/seasonal food at where we live and that how information is constantly arriving into our brain vs. we eat food only when we would like to/available. Our brain constantly has to digest and we cannot necessary control what’s going down or at least it takes tremendous amount of consciousness to filter, and that mediation could be a form of break from information eating and digestion…

Let me know what you think

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