May 1st, 2013
Over the past few centuries, Western cultures have been very good at creating general prosperity for themselves. Historian Niall Ferguson asks: Why the West, and less so the rest? He suggests half a dozen big ideas from Western culture — call them the 6 killer apps — that promote wealth, stability and innovation. And in this new century, he says, these apps are all shareable.
History is a curious thing, and Niall Ferguson investigates not only what happened but why. (Hint: Politics and money explain a lot.)
April 7th, 2013
There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That’s the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.
December 9th, 2012
When asked how I managed to shed 80 pounds in nine months my first response is always: I stop eating junk food. Watching Emily Bazelon’s presentation on girls with Autism lead me to this quote from Clifford Nass: Our research shows a link between face-to-face contact and good relationships because that’s the best way to [...]
November 30th, 2012
People aren’t just cooking anymore — they’re cooking, texting, talking on the phone, watching YouTube and uploading photos of the awesome meal they just made. Designer Paolo Cardini questions the efficiency of our multitasking world and makes the case for — gasp — “monotasking.” His charming 3D-printed smartphone covers just might help.
August 13th, 2012
What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TEDSalon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.
August 10th, 2012
I haven’t watched or posted any TED Talks for a very long time, but over at Civic Commons we’re having a discussion about civil conversation — see the ticker to the right — and in my emails this morning I got my weekly TED Talk listing of a half dozen or so videos under the [...]
August 10th, 2012
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
January 1st, 2012
0645: Antonio Damasio on the quest to understand consciousness
December 1st, 2011
Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles — researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system. Call it distributed DIY. And the results? Delicious.
August 26th, 2011
As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation.
February 10th, 2011
When Jungian analyst Inge Missmahl visited Afghanistan, she saw the inner wounds of war — widespread despair, trauma and depression. And yet, in this county of 30 million people, there were only two dozen psychiatrists. Missmahl talks about her work helping to build the country’s system of psychosocial counseling, promoting both individual and, perhaps, national healing.
February 9th, 2011
Christien Meindertsma, author of “Pig 05049″ looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.
February 8th, 2011
Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever TED debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that’ll make you think — and might even change your mind.
February 7th, 2011
In his home of Namibia, John Kasaona is working on an innovative way to protect endangered animal species: giving nearby villagers (including former poachers) responsibility for caring for the animals. And it’s working.
February 6th, 2011
Democracy thrives on civil debate, Michael Sandel says — but we’re shamefully out of practice. He leads a fun refresher, with TEDsters sparring over a recent Supreme Court case (PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin) whose outcome reveals the critical ingredient in justice.
February 5th, 2011
People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.
February 3rd, 2011
Caroline Phillips cranks out tunes on a seldom-heard folk instrument: the hurdy-gurdy, a.k.a. the wheel fiddle. A searching, Basque melody follows her fun lesson on its unique anatomy and 1,000-year history.