Emily Levine – “A Theory of Everything”

There’s one rule in theater games, you cannot deny another person’s reality.  Emily Levine thinks that this is a good ethic to follow in society.  She talks about the qualities of the trickster.   A trickster is a change agent who crosses boundaries through non-oppositional strategies, she says.   You have paradox where you allow more than one reality to exist.  The trickster has a mind that is prepared for the unprepared and the ability to hold to ideas lightly.  A trickster has to walk a fine line between prepared and unprepared.  Sometimes the trickster can tip over into beauty, but once you do probability collapses into one possibility.  The trickster doesn’t have a home, so is always on the road.

Her website is EmilyLevineuniverse.com.

Emily Levine’s bio from the TED talk page:

Humorist Emily Levine works a heady vein of humor, cerebral and thoughtful as well as very, very amusing. Oh, she’s got plenty of jokes. But her work, at its core, makes serious connections — between hard science and pop culture, between what we say and what we secretly assume … She plumbs the hidden oppositions, the untouchable not-quite-truths of the modern mind.

Her background in improv theater, with its requirement to always say “yes” to the other actor’s reality, has helped shape her worldview. Always suspicious of sharp either/or distinctions, she proposes “the quantum logic of and/and” — a thoroughly postmodern, scientifically informed take on life that allows for complicated states of being. Like the one we’re in right now.


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