Ping-pong and the riddle of victory


Growing up in England, Pico Iyer was taught that the point of a game was to win. Now, some 50 years later, he’s realized that competition can be “more like an act of love.” In this charming, subtly profound talk, he explores what regular games of ping-pong in his neighborhood in Japan have revealed about the riddle of winning — and shows why not knowing who’s won can feel like the ultimate victory.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

Pico Iyer · Author
Novelist and nonfiction author Pico Iyer writes on subjects ranging from the Cuban Revolution to Islamic mysticism, from Graham Greene to forgotten nations and the 21st-century global order.

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