Culture TED Talks

Dueling TEDTalks: Thomas Stat and Andrea Kates at TED2012

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

A ‘scheduling snafu’ led to two speakers being booked for the same slot, but Chris Anderson felt he had to honor the comittment to both, so Andrea Kates and Thomas Stat both took the stage and delivered a TEDTalk, at the same time.

Kates and Stat begin tossing out phrases, backed by slides, the nature of which slowly becomes clear.

Stat: The universal hunger for connection.

Kates: The power of analogy…. The universal hunger for connection.

Both: The beauty of metaphor.

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Then, Kates says, “Shakespeare explored deeply human themes,” while Stat simultaneously claims, “Roddenberry explored deeply human themes,” and it becomes clear what this is about: Shakespeare vs. Star Trek: is one better, or are they the same.

They choreograph lines weaving the adventures of Kirk and Macbeth, Spock and Prospero.

Kates: Julius Caesar questions relationship in the face of conspiracy.

Stat: Sabatoge and blind judegment rule in The Trouble with Tribbles.

Both: What an inconvenience to be human.

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

And they make clear the point with their final line, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” (Said in English and in Klingon.)