TED2014 – The Next Chapter, Session 8 – Hackers, March 17-21, 2014, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Randy Korgum’s highly anticipated TED talk last week got off to a surprisingly rough start. The first seven minutes were spent dealing with some unfortunate technical difficulties perhaps best described by Korgum in the moment as, “lemme just pull up the PowerPoint file from my flash drive real quick. Oh, damn — it says it’s corrupted. That’s okay, I emailed it to myself—where’d it go? It’s not in my inbox… not in sent mail, either. All right, I’ll do a quick search. Wait, what did I title the email? Um, never mind. I think I’ve got a version on Google Slides.”

But even this brief spot of hope at the end of his monologue was dashed by the realization that, he “’needs permission to view?’ Oh, I’ve gotta log out of the TED account and then log back in as myself. What the hell is my password? I’m just so used to having it log me in automatically — sorry about this guys, it’ll just be a minute. ‘Forgot my Password’… oh Jesus Christ, I don’t fucking remember my first pet’s name right now. Can I reset it through my email? There we go. All right, so I’m logged in — shit. Looks like this is an earlier version of the presentation than the one I wanted to use, but that’s okay, I can just describe some of the pictures I put in at the end. So let’s just let this load.”

Korgum, having overcome many obstacles with admirable tenacity, finally began his presentation on “The Importance of Eating Chips Quietly,” a subject whose research has yielded significant but controversial results. “I’m just going to start us off with a short video here — ah, fuck. I think I embedded it wrong, or the link is broken. Can I pull it up on YouTube? I… no, it looks like it got taken down by a copyright claim. Alright, I think I saw another version on Vimeo. Let me just find it real quick — there! Oh, it’s pretty low quality, but it’ll do. Here we go. Oh holy nutballs  that’s loud! Lemme turn the speakers down — no, that’s the mute. That’s better. Sorry about that.”

Once Korgum finally hit his stride, he was able to explain that, “I know this color gradient on the background really isn’t the best—I swapped it out for something better on the PowerPoint, I swear. Green and yellow don’t really mix well, huh? And there’s some clipart where I put in some real pictures later. Oops, haha. Wait, what was that? Sounds like I have thirty seconds left folks. Uh, sorry for the technical difficulties today. That doesn’t usually happen. Just, um, don’t eat chips too loud, okay? It messes up my digestion. Thank you.”

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