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  • First of all, for those of you who

  • are not familiar with my work,

  • I create multicultural characters,

  • so characters from lots of different backgrounds.

  • So before the present is the new future,

  • a bit about the past is that I grew up in a family

  • that was multi-everything -- multi-racial, multi-cultural,

  • black and white, Caribbean,

  • Irish-American, German-American.

  • There was Dominican music blasting from stereos.

  • There were Christians and Jews.

  • That's a long story filled with

  • intrigue and interfaith guilt and shame.

  • But I was totally immersed in this world

  • that was filled with everybody,

  • and then I went on to the United Nations school,

  • and that just completely

  • So I began sort of developing these voices

  • and these people,

  • all of whom were loosely based on people I really know,

  • and so, for example, in performing them,

  • I would really try to inhabit them.

  • And for example,

  • I don't really talk like that,

  • but that was one of my people,

  • and I'm going to bring a few of my friends --

  • I think of them as my friends

  • to this stage, in this spirit of the idea

  • that the present is the new future,

  • in sort of a meta way,

  • because I thought about it, and the future, for me,

  • what can be so frightening

  • is that I don't know what's coming.

  • I don't know if that's true for other people,

  • but that notion of thinking about

  • how we can understand the future

  • and predict outcomes,

  • for me, it's terrifying to not know what might be coming.

  • And so the idea that there are questions

  • that I've never seen

  • that my people are going to answer,

  • and some of these characters have been with me for ages,

  • some of them don't even have names,

  • I don't know what's going to happen.

  • I don't know what's coming,

  • and all I can do is remind myself

  • that I told Chris I'd fly by the seat of my pants,

  • and now that I'm up here it sort of feels like

  • that dream where you don't have any pants on,

  • and so I suppose I'm going to be

  • flying by the seat of my ass.

  • That said, let's just see who comes out.

  • May we have the first question:

  • "Do you ever get headaches

  • from the microchips implanted in your brain?"

  • Right.

  • Okay.

  • Well first of all, I'll just say

  • that I hope you can hear me okay.

  • My name is Lorraine Levine,

  • and the idea of microchips implanted in my brain,

  • frankly, just putting on my glasses reminds me

  • of thank God I'm not wearing the Google Glasses.

  • No offense to them. I'm glad that you all enjoy them,

  • but at my age,

  • just putting on the regular ones I have

  • already gives me too much information.

  • Do you understand what I'm saying to you?

  • I don't need to know more. I don't want to know.

  • That's it. That's enough.

  • I love you all. You're wonderful.

  • It's fabulous to be here with such big machers

  • again this year. Mwah!

  • Okay, next question. (Applause)

  • Next, please.

  • "Is dating boring,

  • now that humans reproduce asexually?"

  • Who do we got?

  • Hi, um, okay, hi everybody.

  • My name is Nereida.

  • I just want to say first of all

  • that dating is never boring under any circumstance.

  • But I am very excited to be here right now,

  • so I am just trying to remind myself that,

  • you know, like, the purpose of being here and everything,

  • I mean, trying to answer these questions, it is very exciting.

  • But I also, I just need to acknowledge

  • that TED is an incredible experience right now

  • in the present, like, I just need to say, like,

  • Isabel Allende. Isabel Allende!

  • Okay, maybe it doesn't mean,

  • of course it means something to you,

  • but to me, it's like, another level, okay?

  • Because I'm Latina and I really appreciate the fact

  • that there are role models here that I can really,

  • I don't know, I just need to say that.

  • That's incredible to me, and sometimes when I'm nervous and everything like that,

  • I just need to, like, say some affirmations

  • that can help me.

  • I usually just try to use, like, the three little words

  • that always make me feel better:

  • Sotomayor, Sotomayor, Sotomayor. (Laughter)

  • Just, it really helps me to get grounded.

  • Now I can use Allende, Allende, Allende,

  • and, you know, I just need to say it, like,

  • it's so incredible to be here, and I knew that we were going to have these questions.

  • I was so nervous and I was thinking just, like, oh my God, oh my God,

  • and reminding me, because I've had, like, some very,

  • especially since the last time we were here at TED,

  • it was, like, unbelievable,

  • and then right after that, like,

  • so many crazy things happened, like,

  • we ended up going to the White House to perform.

  • That was, like, amazing,

  • and I'm standing there,

  • and I was just like, please don't say, "Oh my God."

  • Don't say, "Oh my God."

  • And I just kept saying it: "Oh my God. Oh my God."

  • And, you know, I kept thinking to myself, like,

  • President Obama has to come up here at the same podium,

  • and I'm standing here saying, "Oh my God."

  • It's like, the separation of church and state.

  • It's just, I couldn't, like, I couldn't process.

  • It was really too much.

  • So I think I've lost my way.

  • But what I wanted to say is that dating, for me,

  • you know, as far as I'm concerned,

  • however you reproduce, as long as you're enjoying yourself

  • and it's with another consenting asexual -- I don't know.

  • You know where I'm going with that.

  • Okay, ciao, gracias.

  • Okay, next question. (Applause)

  • What are your top five favorite songs right now?

  • All right, well first of all, I'mma say,

  • you know what I'm saying, I'm the only dude up here right now.

  • My name is Rashid,

  • and I never been at TED before,

  • you know what I'm saying.

  • I think, Sarah Jones, maybe she didn't want me to come out last time.

  • I don't know why. You know what I'm saying.

  • Obviously I would be like a perfect fit for TED.

  • You know what I'm saying.

  • First of all, that I'm in hip hop, you know what I'm saying.

  • I know some of y'all may be not really

  • as much into the music,

  • but the first way y'all can always know,

  • you know what I'm saying, that I'm in hip hop,

  • is 'cos I hold the microphone

  • in an official emcee posture.

  • Y'all can see that right there.

  • That's how you hold it.

  • All right, so you get your little tutorial right there.

  • But when Sarah Jones told me we was gonna come up here,

  • I was like, betch, you know what I'm saying,

  • TED is real fly, I got a whole lot of dope,

  • you know what I'm saying, shit going on and everything,

  • but she was like, yeah,

  • we're going to have to answer, like, some random questions,

  • just like, and I was like, what the hell is that?

  • You know what I'm saying, just stand up there

  • and answer some random questions?

  • I don't want to,

  • I mean, it's like an intellectual stop-and-frisk.

  • You know what I'm saying? (Laughter)

  • I don't want to be standing up there just

  • all getting interrogated and whatnot.

  • That's what I'm trying to leave behind

  • in New York. You know what I'm saying?

  • So anyway, I would have to say my top five songs right now

  • is all out of my own personal catalogue,

  • you know what I mean?

  • So if you want to know more about that,

  • you know what I'm saying,

  • we could talk about the anti-piracy and all that,

  • but as far as I'm concerned,

  • you know, I believe in creative commons,

  • and I think it's really important that, you know,

  • that needs to be sustainable and everything,

  • and I mean, as far as I'm concerned,

  • I mean, this right here,

  • this environment, I would like to sustain.

  • You know what I mean?

  • But I'm just saying, if y'all are interested

  • in the top five songs, you need to holler at me.

  • You know what I'm saying?

  • Aight? In the future or the present. Yeah.

  • Enjoy the rest of it.

  • Okay, next question.

  • What do you got?

  • "How many of your organs have been 3D printed?"

  • (Laughter)

  • Well I have to say that I don't know about

  • how many of my organs

  • have been 3-D printed as such,

  • but I can tell you that it is so challenging to me,

  • kind of thinking about this concept of the future

  • and that, you know, all around the world

  • parents are kind of telling their small children,

  • please, you have to eat that, you know,

  • I have slaved over a hot 3D printer all day

  • so that you can have this meal.

  • You know, that kind of thing.

  • And of course now that we have changed, you know,

  • from the global South, there is this total

  • kind of perspective shift that is happening around the --

  • You can't just say to them,

  • well, there are starving children.

  • Well, it is the future.

  • Nobody is starving anymore, thank God.

  • But as you can tell I have kind of that optimism,

  • and I do hope that we can continue

  • to kind of 3D print,

  • well, let us just say I like to think that

  • even in the future we will have the publication,

  • kind of, you know, all the food that's fit to print.

  • But everybody, please do enjoy that,

  • and again, I think that you do throw

  • a cracking good party here at TED.

  • Thank you.

  • Next question. (Applause)

  • What has changed? Okay, it's like,

  • I have to think about that.

  • "What has changed now that women run the world?"

  • First of all,

  • I really, like, I just want to say,

  • and my name is Bella,

  • I just want to, like, identify myself,

  • that, like, as a feminist,

  • I, like, I really find that, like,

  • because I was born in the '90s,

  • and, like, there were a lot of women who were

  • as far as feminism was concerned,

  • like, maybe they didn't understand that, like,

  • a feminist like me, like,

  • I don't think it's required that you have to have

  • a certain kind of voice,

  • or, like, a certain way of presenting yourself

  • to be feminist, because I think that, like,

  • feminism can be really hot,

  • and I think actually that it's really vital and important.

  • Like, the quotation I'm wearing is from, like,

  • Gloria Steinem,

  • and, like, I'm named Bella for, like, Bella Abzug,

  • who's, like, obviously, like, a really important feminist from, like, history,

  • and like, I just think that those women, like,

  • really represent, like, that you can, like,

  • be vital and, like, amazing,

  • like, a-mazing,

  • and you don't have to wear, like,

  • an Eileen Fisher caftan,

  • just to, like, prove that you are a feminist.

  • Like, not that there's anything wrong with that,

  • but my mom, she's like, like,

  • why do you have to wear pants that, like,

  • objectify your body? I like my pants.

  • Like, I like my voice.

  • Like, she's like, why do you have to talk like

  • Talk like what? Like, I'm expressing myself,

  • and I think that we have to, like,

  • reach out, like, not only across, like,

  • the different generations of feminists,

  • but also across the, like, vocal ranges,