When you do something unexpected or out of the ordinary, it rarely starts out as such. You do it because you want to or because it could lead to a better way of life. You're not thinking about the lasting impact it may or may not have on people, or how they will react to your decision to do something crazy.
I've seen many shark attacks and what impresses me is how wary and cowardly sharks are. They typically circle and check out their prey from a safe distance, then ease in closer to gain more information. Then, they frequently probe it in a swift passing bump before something switches in their brain and they attack in a way that the word used to describe sharks at supper portrays -- a frenzy.
Big Data could lead to the greatest advances society has seen in generations. Or, it could take us down a path of poor decisions and increased discrimination. Eating curly fries (unfortunately!) wont make us smart enough to guide the right decisions, but collaboration between technologists, policymakers, and businesses could.
Effective transparency is not a one-way mirror that reduces individuals to being spectators on how their data is used. Instead, meaningful transparency requires both inbound and outbound information flows. It requires institutions (commercial and governmental) to listen and act upon the wants and needs of individuals.
Most of us simply find it too tiring, too complex, to pay much attention to all the privacy settings out there. How many of us, for example, actually change the password settings when we are supposed to? We assume, naively, that there must be some kind of law out there that keeps corporations from going too far with all that data they are collecting on us.
Along with all these multilayered personal responses, there was another, much less complicated reaction invoked as I listened to Sgt. Briggs' story, so I'll talk about that one instead. One that is direct, basic, and easy to say. The simple, pragmatic thought that, for me, as I listened, was the Elephant In The Room of this whole TED talk.
If you are one of the survivors, if you are one of those whose loved one completed the jump, or the hanging, or the overdose, or the shot to the head, I have three things to share with you. Three things which might help you yourself survive the days and weeks and years ahead. Three things I learned from the many people who have had the courage and compassion to accompany my family and me in one way or another since the death by suicide of our son and brother. Three things which might help you live in hope.
If you saw someone on the verge of suicide, would you know what to say? As a patrolman on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, Kevin Briggs helped bring many people back from the brink. In this moving talk, he gives a powerful piece of advice to those with loved ones who might be thinking of taking their own lives.