Wesleyan Thinks Big (and Stuff): A Liveblog

For you cool kids on campus who haven’t heard, Wesleyan Thinks Big, a Ted talk meets a magical bundle of hope and wonder, is happening tonight. If you can’t be at the actual event, fear not. There is a screening in PAC 001 at the same time (8pm) and you can even get the event livestream from the comfort of your own dorm room or first floor Usdan couch.

We, the trusty crazed internet fanatics bloggers of Wesleying, will also be liveblogging away in the chapel.

Read after the jump to hear our commentary on these professors’ commentary. 


waynesworld December 4, 201210:00 PM

Out to late night, yo.

hermes December 4, 20129:52 PM

All right, time to actually seriously really sign off of this liveblog.
Out, bros.
Enjoy your delicious cheese and crackers.
And someone bring me Sour Patch Kids.

hermes December 4, 20129:49 PM

Another opportunity will arise, young grasshopper.

waynesworld December 4, 20129:46 PM

I had so many things that I wanted to put on the liveblog….

hermes December 4, 20129:42 PM

Chapel wifi = sub sub-par.

waynesworld December 4, 20129:41 PM


hermes December 4, 20129:31 PM

Great speakers!

hermes December 4, 20129:30 PM

Well, everything seems to be winding down. Thank you for tuning in to this sketchy liveblog. If you fix the wifi, I will pay what I offered.
Also shout out to waynesworld and Zach for their contributions.

hermes December 4, 20129:27 PM

Too much science talk. Way over my head.

hermes December 4, 20129:23 PM

Shiggins is still wearing his ankle brace from his fall last week. Feel better Shiggins!

hermes December 4, 20129:21 PM


hermes December 4, 20129:20 PM

Jason Shatz ’14 asks a question. Woot.

Zach December 4, 20129:19 PM

Ten minutes for questions, but I’m tuning out.

Zach December 4, 20129:19 PM

Done. Applause. Whoo!

Zach December 4, 20129:19 PM

“The market forces are howling outside the windows.” YES THIS IS ALWAYS HOW I IMAGINE ECON PROFESSORS TALK.

Zach December 4, 20129:19 PM

Skillman has been speaking for about 14 minutes. His talk will conclude in 2049.

Zach December 4, 20129:17 PM

“Think, friends, about the meaning of the endowment,” says Skillman. Wesleyan Thinks Big — until now. [THANK YOU THANK YOU I’M HERE ALL NIGHT PRETTY MUCH LITERALLY]

Zach December 4, 20129:16 PM

“Getting read of the nexus(?) between teacher and scholar.”

Zach December 4, 20129:15 PM

“We could use those new technologies to complement what we do.”

hermes December 4, 20129:15 PM

*if. Pardon my iPhone typing errors.

Zach December 4, 20129:14 PM

Unsurprisingly, Skillman connects this to financial aid: “As you know, financial aid has quadrupled as total budget and doubled as a percentage of the budget.”

Zach December 4, 20129:13 PM

Talking about an increase in online learning: “Not only has the technology gotten better, but we’ve gotten more used to that learning.” Stuff that would’ve been “crazy by the standpoint of 20 years ago.” But Skillman isn’t talking about where it’ll be at in 2050.

Zach December 4, 20129:11 PM

“We have a cost disease,” says Skillman.

hermes December 4, 20129:11 PM

Last chance: I will steal Skillman’s purple sweater vest is someone fixes the Wifi.

Zach December 4, 20129:10 PM

“Having a Wesleyan degree does produce, as we know, economic benefits.” We hope…

Zach December 4, 20129:09 PM

This talk is like a nine-minute reminder that I’m (soon) graduating from Wesleyan without taking an Econ class.

Zach December 4, 20129:09 PM

He is saying the word ‘rationality’ so many times.

Zach December 4, 20129:08 PM

“The common purpose of what we do here is for the teachers to impart the methods and habits of critical inquiry on the part of people for whom this” okay, definitely didn’t catch the end of that sentence.

Zach December 4, 20129:07 PM

“Wesleyan is, as advertised, an essentially economically a-rational place. There’s something not even vaguely subversive or suspicious about what we do here.”

Zach December 4, 20129:06 PM

“I’m an economist. And therefore a student, nominally, of these market-forces I want to dissect in terms of their implications for what we want to do here.”

hermes December 4, 20129:06 PM

“I’m a long-term INMATE of this institution…”

Zach December 4, 20129:05 PM

It’s a bummer Brian Glenn ’91 isn’t here, cuz it probably means he and Skillman won’t bang on the table and scowl at each other like at the faculty panel last month.

Zach December 4, 20129:05 PM

“Second confession: I’m not sure I have any big ideas. A little troubling.

Zach December 4, 20129:04 PM

“First confession: there’s nothing special about the year 2050 in what I’m going to say.” Wait, so when are they gonna have the hoverboards like in Back to the Future?

Zach December 4, 20129:04 PM

The moderator is talking up Skillman’s musical chops.

hermes December 4, 20129:03 PM

Person near me: “Dar Williams needs to be the president of this motherfucking university.”

Zach December 4, 20129:03 PM

Speaking of small towns, just remembered Dar Williams graduated from my boring suburban high school. Wonder if she’s ever been back.

hermes December 4, 20129:02 PM

Skillman is up!

Zach December 4, 20129:02 PM

“You have really earned, in my opinion, the right to find more positive proximity.”

Zach December 4, 20129:01 PM

Recommending a normal social interaction space that allows interaction between faculty and students. I agree — and shout-out to Daniel Family Commons.

Zach December 4, 20129:00 PM

References to need-blind and the development on Washington Street. Williams pays attention.

Zach December 4, 20129:00 PM

“Etsy is Brooklyn for ‘craft.'”

hermes December 4, 20129:00 PM

“A disco offers more strange…ambiguous…proximity…”

Zach December 4, 20128:59 PM

“Speaking of music, I would definitely recommend a disco of some time.”

Zach December 4, 20128:59 PM

Whoah, she’s talking about WILD Wes. “I think there should be more WILD Wes stuff, maybe some guerrilla offshoots.”

Zach December 4, 20128:58 PM

“It’s a goodness that grows.”

Zach December 4, 20128:57 PM

After hearing this talk, I’m less surprised that William assigns so much SOC reading on her syllabus this semester (for what I’ve seen on Wesmaps).

hermes December 4, 20128:57 PM

Dar is such a Wes kid. Love it.

Zach December 4, 20128:57 PM

“The word I came up with, that really anchors all of these building blocks, is translation.”

hermes December 4, 20128:55 PM

“I love bombers.”

Zach December 4, 20128:54 PM

Food is important within Williams’ theory of “Positive proximity.” She’s talking about farmers’ market and how “people connect over food.”

Zach December 4, 20128:53 PM

Just realized my mom would probably tackle Hannah Vogel ’13 for the chance to see Dar Williams ’89 speak right now.

Zach December 4, 20128:53 PM

Positive proximity: when people took the proximity of being next to each other and “made the most out of it.”

hermes December 4, 20128:52 PM

I will steal Dar Williams’ voice if someone fixes the Wifi.

Zach December 4, 20128:51 PM

“I was really loving this sense I had that there was a lot of life and interaction in these towns and centers.”

Zach December 4, 20128:51 PM

Williams’ talk is basically my thesis, except she’s a famous touring musician and I’m not.

hermes December 4, 20128:50 PM

*towns. My b.

Zach December 4, 20128:49 PM

Well, she’s getting the cheers.

Zach December 4, 20128:49 PM

Oh, and apparently she has “defined the American acoustic scene.” And she’s Visiting Professor of Public Policy, which cool.

hermes December 4, 20128:49 PM

Dar Williams is up with a talk titled, “Positive Proximity” about her adventures touring 500 cool American tows

Zach December 4, 20128:49 PM

I’m watching the livestream. It’s spotty as fuck. They’re introducing Dar Williams ’89. Did anyone else not know she majored in Theater and Religion?

hermes December 4, 20128:47 PM

The USTREAM guy is hard at work. Friends, let me know if it’s actually working.

hermes December 4, 20128:46 PM

Someone get me some Sour Patch Kids. Liveblogging from my phone is stressful.

hermes December 4, 20128:45 PM

Waynesworld is desperately trying to make the Wifi on his iTouch work. Such a dedicated journalist.

hermes December 4, 20128:44 PM

Voth rocks.

hermes December 4, 20128:41 PM

I would post a video of the Jimmy Neutron theme song, BUT OH WAIT THE FUCKING WIFI DOESN’T WORK.

hermes December 4, 20128:39 PM

The dude who is trying to USTREAM the event is now sitting in front of me. Too bad there’s no Wifi in this crazy motherfucker.

hermes December 4, 20128:37 PM

Wifi suggestions accepted. I will steal Voth’s particle accelerator videos.

hermes December 4, 20128:36 PM

Greg Voth is up with a speech titled, “The Paradox of Modern Physics.”

hermes December 4, 20128:35 PM

“In ‘The Matrix,’ Neo says ‘there is no spoon.’

hermes December 4, 20128:34 PM

“I’ll end with quotations, because that’s profound…”

waynesworld December 4, 20128:33 PM

“Art is something for fighting the blasé.”

“Being an artist means to astonish and excite.”

“All art astonishes…”

“Art is perceptually rich.”


hermes December 4, 20128:32 PM


hermes December 4, 20128:31 PM

SHiggins church joke count: 4.

hermes December 4, 20128:29 PM

Dear chapel wifi: YOU SUCK.

hermes December 4, 20128:26 PM

If another person texts me asking why the USTREAM is not working, I will run up on the stage and steal SHiggins’ jacket.

hermes December 4, 20128:25 PM

What keeps you up at night?
“It’s either sushi or crippling self-doubt.”

hermes December 4, 20128:23 PM

What keeps you up at night?
“It’s either sushi or crippling self-doubt.”

waynesworld December 4, 20128:23 PM

“How to prevent the inevitable in bed is to imagine nuns.” – Scotty

hermes December 4, 20128:22 PM

“Sooooo…speaking of sex….”

hermes December 4, 20128:22 PM

“Thanks for inviting me to the annual ‘Professor-Off.'” — Shiggins

waynesworld December 4, 20128:21 PM

Scott Higgins is THE MAN.

hermes December 4, 20128:21 PM


hermes December 4, 20128:21 PM

“If you think about it, marriage seems to do the exact opposite of what it sets out to do.”

waynesworld December 4, 20128:21 PM

“Be Wesleyan weird.”

“Fight for everybody.”

Words of wisdom from Lim.

waynesworld December 4, 20128:19 PM


hermes December 4, 20128:18 PM

“Self-love can be quite gratifying…and I’ll stop there…”

hermes December 4, 20128:18 PM

Lim just made a South Park reference.

hermes December 4, 20128:17 PM

“Why can the state privilege one relationship over another?”
“…We, and the state, should not be in charge of allowing one relationship over another.”

artemiswins December 4, 20128:17 PM

update: the livestream is like kinda not working

waynesworld December 4, 20128:16 PM

PUH-REACH it, Prof. Lim.

hermes December 4, 20128:14 PM

“You cannot legislate morality; one man’s virtue is one man’s vice.”

hermes December 4, 20128:14 PM

Why “consent” and “no harm” are not good arguments for same-sex marriage: the same arguments are possible for many other types of relationships.
Prof. Lim turns to “twincest,” his choice word for incest.

waynesworld December 4, 20128:13 PM

“Incestuous same sex marriage, or twincest.” – Prof. Lim

waynesworld December 4, 20128:13 PM

Elvin Lim has his own website.

hermes December 4, 20128:12 PM

“First of all, I want to thank the organizers of this event for giving me 9 minutes to offend you.” — Prof. Lim

hermes December 4, 20128:11 PM


hermes December 4, 20128:11 PM

Professor Lim (lots of “whoops” from the audience) will be speaking first with a talk titled “The Case Against Marriage.”

waynesworld December 4, 20128:11 PM

Miranda Haymon ’16: “Think of how many things you can do in 9 minutes.”

waynesworld December 4, 20128:10 PM


hermes December 4, 20128:09 PM

Ohhhhh she’s making jokes about ISTREAM USTREAM.

hermes December 4, 20128:09 PM

Professor Rubenstein takes the stage.

waynesworld December 4, 20128:08 PM

In case of an emergency, DANCE!

hermes December 4, 20128:08 PM


hermes December 4, 20128:08 PM

There are three guys sitting a couple rows behind me who look like they could be in a boy band.
Not kidding.

waynesworld December 4, 20128:08 PM

Word hermes.

hermes December 4, 20128:06 PM

Dearest Memorial Chapel,
Your wifi is spottier than all 101 Dalmatians.

hermes December 4, 20128:04 PM

Maeve Russell ’14  is a beautiful blonde goddess sent to us from the mythical Ithaca.

waynesworld December 4, 20128:04 PM

Someone just shouted huge dick. Wesleyan DOES think big.

hermes December 4, 20128:03 PM

There are so many good @OverheardatWes comments being made in this room.
Like OMG.

hermes December 4, 20128:02 PM

Grant Tanenbaum ’15 just gave me an enthusiastic wave. What a champ.

hermes December 4, 20128:01 PM

Mari Jarris ’14 saves the day.

hermes December 4, 20128:01 PM

Hold on…Wayne needs a computer charger…

hermes December 4, 20128:00 PM


hermes December 4, 20127:59 PM

Waynesworld is about to make a shameless plug to all of you in the audience.

hermes December 4, 20127:59 PM

ERMAHGAWD I think this event might start (relatively) on time.

waynesworld December 4, 20127:59 PM

I love Ariel Lesnick ’14.

hermes December 4, 20127:58 PM

I write posts for a lot of the event submissions that Ariel Lesnick ’14 sends to Wesleying.

Meeting WesCelebs. Casual Tuesday evening.

waynesworld December 4, 20127:55 PM

Miranda Haymon ’16:  “This should be catered.”

hermes December 4, 20127:53 PM

This chapel is so…chapel-y.

waynesworld December 4, 20127:52 PM

WHOA WHOA WHOA, who’s the professor with the long luscious locks?

hermes December 4, 20127:51 PM

This is probably the only time the majority of Wes students are early for an event.

waynesworld December 4, 20127:50 PM

waynesworld here, waddup

hermes December 4, 20127:50 PM

Hermes here. Waynesworld where ye at?