Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.
Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.
Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation
About Dan Pink
Bidding adieu to his last “real job” as Al Gore’s speechwriter, Dan Pink went freelance to spark a right-brain revolution in the career marketplace. Full bio and more links
Hans Rosling unveils new data visuals that untangle the complex risk factors of one of the world’s deadliest (and most misunderstood) diseases: HIV. He argues that preventing transmissions — not drug treatments — is the key to ending the epidemic.
In this hilariously lively performance, actress Sarah Jones channels an opinionated elderly Jewish woman, a fast-talking Dominican college student and more, giving TED2009 just a sample of her spectacular character range.
Sarah Jones: One woman, eight hilarious characters
TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts.
Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he’s come up with an elegant machine that may form a new bond between animal and human.
Joshua Klein: The amazing intelligence of crows
Bill Gates talks about malaria and he says, “I brought some here so you can experience this and we’ll let those roam around the auditorium a little bit. There’s no reason only poor people should have this experience.” He then proceed to opening a jar of mosquito slightly and letting some mosquitoes out! You can see it somewhere at 5:10 of the video. The TED organizers quickly responded confirming the mosquitoes are malaria-free. Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world’s biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy. In a passionate and, yes, funny 18 minutes, he asks us to consider two big questions and how we might answer them.
Bill Gates: How I’m trying to change the world now
It’s a good speech. But what a badass! Haha!
Anand Agarawala presents BumpTop, a user interface that takes the usual desktop metaphor to a glorious, 3-D extreme, transforming file navigation into a freewheeling playground of crumpled documents and clipping-covered “walls.”
Anand Agarawala: BumpTop desktop is a beautiful mess
Can’t wait for these things to materialize in every day computing. When I’m bored I start moving icons around in the desktop, drawing marquee rectangles selecting and unselecting them and so on. With this new desktop, I can sense my boredom cured. Totally.
I been to a couple of tech talks before. I shan’t named them but they haven’t exactly been very entertaining. The food, the food, the food is – erm – more interesting than some of the speakers.
Here we have Hans Rosling at two TED talks, both are entertaining. As a doctor and researcher, Hans Rosling identified a new paralytic disease induced by hunger in rural Africa. Now the global health professor is looking at the bigger picture, increasing our understanding of social and economic development with the remarkable trend-revealing software he created. (Stole it from here)
I embedded both his videos here. His data visualizations are really good. It’s an animated and playful presentation too.
Hans Rosling: New insights on poverty and life around the world (2007)
The software demonstrated was later purchased by Google in March 2007. Rosling met the Google founders at TED. Continue reading “Tech talks can actually be very entertaining”