Stephen Fry at TEDGlobal 2009: Running notes from Session 1

Posted by: Emily McManus


From TEDGlobal (a group Twitter feed for TED staffers): Stephen Fry is wearing a tie because he heard it was a tradition at #TED not to. That rebel!” Fry seems glad to be in Oxford, home of the 0.9 beta version of the modern university. The perfect 1.0 version is, of course, Cambridge. He talks a bit about the rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge, as expressed in the interpersonal dynamic among the members of Monty Python. The expansive, joyful Terry Jones: “Let’s get, oh, 30 ballerinas up onstage.” John Cleese: “Why?”

Fry moves on to examine a more universal dichotomy — between heart and mind, passion and intellect, C.P. Snow’s two cultures of Humanities versus Science. Why are they forcefully separated? He suggests that a hero of TED, a person who combined the two, is his friend Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “He was passionate in his intellect and intellectual in his passions.” (As Richard Dawkins also pointed out in 2002, Adams would have enjoyed TED.) Fry grows tender in his reminiscence of Adams — “I miss him every day, because I want to know what to think about things.” Adams’ mind sounds like the kind of mind that one would dearly miss.

Comments (8)

  • James Danaswamy commented on Aug 13 2012

    Please Upload!

    • Antonio Perezdecastro commented on Aug 14 2012

      Arent you cruel, i have been looking all over to watch this talk, it not uploaded, but you send me an email reminding me you had Mr Fry at TED but still do not upload his speech.
      Bad, bad people

  • Antonio Perezdecastro commented on Feb 20 2012

    Please, pleeasseeee, upload Stephen Fry´s talk

  • denisa chinaski commented on Jan 11 2012

    please upload mr. fry’s talk.

  • Sasha Rad'kova commented on Aug 19 2010

    I cannot seem to find Fry’s talk. Isn’t it uploaded yet? That would be a crime against humanity.

  • Joyce Hatcher commented on Sep 26 2009

    Is this talk up? I, for one, like the fact he chose to wear a tie.

  • Anna Patai commented on Aug 3 2009

    Ooo, when can we see this talk? Soon, I hope. Although I do believe it’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, not universe.:)

  • Joe Beirne commented on Jul 22 2009

    Fry refers to C.P. Snow’s _The Two Cultures_.

    C.P. Jones was, I believe, the grandmother of Terry Jones.