Manual RedEye

Day Three: Oct 2

A third group of students attended the Idea Festival on Thursday, Oct. 2, following Thrivals on Tuesday and the main event kickoff on Wednesday.

The first presentation of the day was “Us/Them” by Joshua Greene, the associate professor of psychology at Harvard University. Greene spoke on common sense morality and decision-making.

The next presentation included four artists from Creative Capital, which provides funding to artists across the country. These featured speakers included Julia Christensen, Juan William Chávez, Robert Karimi of “The Peoples Cook” and Kerry Skarbakka.

Karimi focused on community and tradition through food.

Robert Karimi at Idea Festival 2014 from duPont Manual on Vimeo.

Clare Doyle (11) found Christensen’s presentation on her e-waste project to be particularly relevant.

“I think that planned obsolescence is a really important topic that we don’t really think about all that often. There are so many alternatives to creating the amount of e-waste that we do and I really appreciated that she brought that topic up,” Doyle said.

Creative Capital was followed by geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan on “Global Disorder and the Future of America.”

Claudia Hammond of the BBC spoke next on the concept of time.

She explained why time can seem to pass slowly depending on what is going on in a person’s life and surroundings by recalling an experiment in which a psychologist recorded his sick wife’s temperature at different times and asked her to estimate when two minutes had passed. The higher her temperature was, the more impatient she was and thought the two minutes had already passed in a shorter amount of time.

The fifth presentation of the day was “Surviving the Great Zombie Apocalypse” by mathematician Sarah Eichhorn and neurobiologist Andrea Nicholas. The pair explained the logistics of an apocalypse in terms of math, biology, ecology, and physics.

Jason Padgett was the final speaker of the day. After muggers attacked him outside of a karaoke club ten years ago, the resulting brain trauma caused him to develop mathematical skills and understanding he hadn’t had before.

“In high school I thought that there was no application for math in the real world,” Padgett said. “Now I know that there is nothing you can’t use math for.”

Idea Festival 2014 will end on Oct. 3.