Everyone is Everyone (And Everything is Everything)

My wife, Maureen, and I have been watching the show Continuum lately on Netflix. Continuum is a Canadian science fiction series. The series centers on the conflict between a group of rebels from the year 2077 who time-travel to Vancouver, BC, in 2012, and a police officer who accidentally accompanies them. In spite of being many years early, the rebel group decides to continue its violent campaign to stop corporations of the future from replacing governments, while the police officer endeavours to stop them without revealing to anyone that she and the rebels are from the future.

While watching a recent episode, a song at the end captured my interest, and with Shazaam, I was able to purchase it from iTunes. The music is terrific, and the words that follow blew me away. One year ago, on October 16, 2013, I spoke in Rome at TEDxTrastevere. If you watch my talk, you will see why the lyrics from Au4 to Everyone is Everyone (And Everything is Everything) touched a deep nerve within me.

Somehow I found myself here today.
Awakened to these thoughts and feelings,
Or an oceanic sense of lucid dreaming?
A strange sort of spherical sensation,
With an overwhelming sense of apprehension.
An emptiness that thunders out
From beyond the mind’s horizon.
So far beyond our reach,
Where consciousness coalesces
Like the billowing loom of thunder clouds.
The streaming runs of thought go
Round and ’round and ’round.
Till the dancing funnels of wind touch down.
And the earth bows down in reverence,
Lest it should be torn to pieces
And blown into oblivi-essence.
And all who live will run and hide
And do what we’ve done since the dawn of time.
Everyone flees from the cyclone winds of
One’s own mind.
But if one day we should stand on the canyon’s edge,
Peer out through the beating rain, the pounding wind
You’ll find that everyone is everyone
And everything is everything.
(Verse One)
Open up
Your hearts and minds.
Cause I remember
Nothing.

Penang Monthly | Gary Thompson on the Internet’s CLOUD-y Future

On October 12, 2013, CLOUD co-founder, Gary Thompson, had the privilege of starting his TEDx World Tour at TEDxWeldQuay in Penang, Malaysia in tribute to his honored hero and daughter’s classmate, Kethan. Following his talk at the Whiteaway Arcade, Ch’ng Chin Chin from Penang Monthly caught up with Gary for an interview on his talk, his connection to Kethan and the implications of CLOUD for the future of the Internet. Ch’ng Chin Chin beautifully captured the story in this article recently featured in Penang Monthly:

Gary Thompson on the Internet’s CLOUD-y Future

Trophic Cascades, A Human Ecosystem, TED, Love and Cancer

Before I talk about the trophic cascade, I need to provide a little locational context. I am sitting next to the woman I love. Let me repeat that, I’m sitting next to the woman I love.  Unfortunately, we are at Seton Central hospital after some outpatient day surgery. This great piece, “Marriage Is Not For You,” reminded me exactly what it means to say this word: LOVE. For 23 years, the best of times are the ones when I’m totally and completely focused on Maureen, the woman I love, or the kids we’ve had the privilege of bringing in to the world.

IMG_0003Ten years ago, we heard different words, words that started us on the journey that has me sitting next to her again… in a hospital room, waiting for her to recover from yet another procedure, this time, a biopsy. What were those words? They were “you have cancer.” My words right after she heard those were “I love you.” Take the time to read “marriage is not for you,” because it really captures the essence of what it means to be in love. I will admit to not always getting this right over the last 23 years, but boy, when I do, I am the absolute happiest man in the world. To know our story with cancer, I point you to this piece I wrote a few years back, “Survivorship is Not a Phase.” A couple of weeks ago, we learned that this stupid cancer had “snuck out” of the Herceptin box we’ve had it in for the past few years. It has found its way to a few new spots, and this biopsy will tell us what this round of cancer cells look like now, so we can beat cancer back again.

So, what in the world does any of this have to do with a trophic cascade? Continue Reading →

My Tribute to Kethan | TEDx World Tour Ends in Magic at Tallaght

Thursday night in Dublin, Ireland was nothing short of magic. As I flew into the Emerald Isle on Thursday afternoon from Rome, I felt the rich hues of green reaching out to embrace me. I have wanted to travel to Ireland all my life. I listen to “trad music,” as my cab driver called it, or to the sounds of bag pipes on St. Andrew’s Day at our school, and my soul moves. It is as if the sound is within me, being heard not through my ears but through my soul.

BWzmFiXIUAArPy0.jpg-largeMy soul moved in Tallaght Thursday night at the Civic Theatre. It is impossible to describe what it feels like to walk out on stage, on to the red dot of a TED stage. Yesterday, I was privileged to make that walk for the fourth time, however, last night was different. As I write this post, I am listening to the same album from Nabiha, Mind the Gap, that I’ve listened to throughout the journey. I met these artists at the airport as I left Austin almost 2 weeks ago. They had just played at the Austin City Limits (ACL) Festival. Their music has moved my soul throughout this TEDx world tour. I listened to it in the green room and in the hallway backstage at TEDxTallaght. It made me dance, move my feet and lightened my heart. Continue Reading →

My Tribute to Kethan | From TEDxWeldQuay to TEDxTrastevere

Sitting aboard Thai Airways on my flight from Malasyia to Rome, I am looking both ahead and behind me. On Saturday, my TEDx world tour reached its official start as I took the stage of TEDxWeldQuay. The Artistry Within of this event capturing every aspect of my time in Penang itself.

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I was greeted by Mee Quin Ooi from their TEDx committee at the airport on Friday and was then whisked off to a wonderful lunch in the Georgetown area. Not only did I properly learn how to use chopsticks, but I discovered a plethora of amazing tastes. Malaysians love their food, and I now understand why. Either they love their food because it is so good or it is so good because they love their food. Either way, this lunch was a spectacular gift.

On Saturday, I awoke with great anticipation. Although I am deeply grateful for the chance to take the stage of each of the three TEDx events at which I will speak, this one in Penang was special. I was in Malaysia, where Kethan’s story started. Although he was born in Austin, his family is Malaysian. This is who he was, where he began and where his Appu and Appachi; his Appu and Amamma still live. Continue Reading →