TED Studio

Rainn Wilson: Ideas worth dating

Filmed:

Being alone takes its toll. Feel like it's time to make a real connection? Third-wheel with Rainn Wilson (star of "The Office") as he dates some of the best ideas on TED.com and discover your perfect "idea mate" along the way.

- Actor, writer
Rainn Wilson is an actor, writer and co-creator of media and production company SoulPancake. Full bio

(Music)
00:01
Rainn Wilson: It takes
its toll, being alone.
00:06
I'm a little bit lost,
00:09
and it's finally time
to make a real connection.
00:11
Who am I?
00:14
(Drums)
00:16
I'm a single white male,
00:18
45 years of age.
00:20
I love animals.
00:22
Gainfully employed.
00:24
I'm a people person.
00:26
I keep fit.
00:29
Who am I looking for?
00:32
I'm looking for my idea mate.
00:34
Are you that idea
that matches with who I really am?
00:37
(Video) Ron Finley: How would you feel
00:40
if you had no access to healthy food?
00:42
Gardening is the most therapeutic
and defiant act you can do.
00:44
RW: Wow, we sure are getting
our fingers dirty for a first date, huh?
00:52
RF: Gardening is the most therapeutic
and defiant act you can do.
00:56
People in these areas --
they're exposed to crappy food.
01:00
I want people to know
that growing your own food
01:02
is like printing your own money.
01:05
RW: You're like a food superhero!
01:06
RF: Food is the problem
and food is the solution.
01:08
(Music)
01:10
Erin McKean: I'm a lexicographer.
01:12
My job is to put every word
possible into the dictionary.
01:13
RW: I love words, too --
01:17
just as much as any lexi-ta-tographer.
01:18
What if you love a word
that you've just made up,
01:22
like -- I don't know -- "scuberfinkles"?
01:24
Beau Lotto: Do you think you see reality?
01:26
RW: Well, I'm a little
nearsighted, but yeah.
01:28
BL: Well, you can't -- I mean,
01:31
your brain has no access to this world.
01:32
In fact, even the sensory information
that your eyes are receiving,
01:34
your ears are receiving,
01:38
is completely meaningless
because it could mean anything.
01:39
That tree could be a large object far away
01:41
or a small object up close,
01:44
and your brain has no way of knowing.
01:45
RW: Once I thought I saw Bigfoot
but it was just a German shepherd.
01:47
Isabel Behncke Izquierdo: Bonobos
are, together with chimpanzees,
01:51
your closest living relatives.
01:54
Bonobos have frequent and promiscuous sex
01:55
to manage conflict
and solve social issues.
01:58
RW: I'm just curious:
02:01
Do we have any conflict
that needs managing
02:03
or social issues to resolve?
02:05
IBI: Remember --
you're on a date with my idea,
02:07
not me.
02:10
Jane McGonigal: This is the face
of someone who, against all odds,
02:13
is on the verge of an epic win.
02:16
RW: An epic win?
02:18
JM: An epic win is an outcome
so extraordinarily positive,
02:19
you didn't even know it was possible
until you achieved it.
02:23
You're not making the face.
02:28
You're making the "I'm not
good at life" face.
02:32
RW: Arthur, I want to be
really honest with you.
02:35
I am seeing other ideas. OK?
02:37
I'm dating around.
02:39
That's the situation.
02:41
Arthur Benjamin: I'd say this:
02:42
Mathematics is not just solving for x,
02:44
it's also figuring out why.
02:46
RW: Do you want to get some pie?
02:49
AB: Pi?
02:51
3.14159265358979 --
02:52
Reggie Watts: If we're going
to do something,
02:56
we've got to just make a decision.
03:00
Because without a decision
we're left powerless.
03:01
Without power,
03:04
we have nothing to supply
03:06
the chain of those who are truly curious
03:08
to solve all of our current conditions.
03:11
RW: And, "If you choose not to decide,
03:14
you still have made a choice" -- Rush.
03:16
JM: Yes!
03:19
This is the face we need to see
03:20
on millions of problem solvers worldwide,
03:21
as we try to tackle the challenges
of the next century.
03:24
RW: So, are we going Dutch?
03:29
AB: 3846264338327950
03:30
28841...
03:35
971?
03:38
RW: One night, want to go
to a movie or something?
03:40
RF: Hell, no! Let's go plant some shit!
03:42
RW: Let's plant some shit!
03:44
Good, now what is this that I'm planting?
03:46
Bonobos!
03:48
IBI: Bonobos! (Laughs)
03:49
Bonobos.
03:51
RWatts: Um, interested much?
03:52
RW: I want to have your idea baby.
03:56
RWatts: Well, you know
what they say in Russia.
03:59
RW: Hm?
04:02
RWatts: "scuberfinckle."
04:03
(Bottles clink)
04:04

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About the Speaker:

Rainn Wilson - Actor, writer
Rainn Wilson is an actor, writer and co-creator of media and production company SoulPancake.

Why you should listen

Rainn Wilson is best known for playing Dwight Schrute on NBC's Emmy-winning show, "The Office." He has also acted in Super, CootiesJuno, Monsters vs. Aliens and The Rocker, among other movies.

Wilson co-founded SoulPancake, a media company that seeks to tackle "life's big questions." He's a board member of Mona Foundation and co-founded Lidè, an educational initiative in rural Haiti that empowers young, at-risk women through the arts.