Pesco's talk from TEDxSoMa: The World as a Wunderkammer

Last month, I was honored to speak at TEDxSoMa along with some very interesting and smart people like Nathan Shedroff, Nicole Lazzaro, and my IFTF colleague Jason Tester. My talk was titled "The World as a Wunderkammer: Curiosity, Citizen Science, and the Maker Culture," based on an essay I wrote for the book "What Are You Optimistic About?: Today's Leading Thinkers on Why Things Are Good and Getting Better." If you're interested, you can watch my presentation above. I hope you enjoy it! And don't miss the other talks too!


  1. This is awesome! Here at work I’ve got a collection of wonders in a bookshelf, and for a very similar philosophy. It contains…

    1. What a terrific collection! I envy your Mirage! When I was little, I wanted one so badly. They sold them at Spencer Gifts but they were (gasp) $40!

      1. Thank you!

        Each item has a personal story of how and where I acquired it; your talk definitely resonated with me, as it clarified some of the thoughts behind my own collection.

        I’d caution that, should you pick up a Mirage, be very careful dusting the reflective coating. It’s so thin, I accidentally erased a small portion and now have a faint spot in the illusion.

        Oh, and a better picture of my Thing in a Jar. I’m rather partial to it. :)

  2. Great job, David! I’m going to post it on MAKE.

    Mousey the Junkbot even makes a guest appearance. Woot!

  3. Great talk. My wife is doing a service on “Wonder” for our church which is very focused on the natural world. This will help me explain some of the wonder I feel in man made objects.

  4. Enjoyed your talk!
    Since I can remember, I have always been attracted to the beauty of nature as well as its strange dark side.You have explained my view of the world and how it influences my own artwork in a nutshell…and don’t get me started on my own odd collections!

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