Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists

TEDSalon NY2014

Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists

May 22, 2014


Many of the world's biggest problems require asking questions of scientists -- but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science Naomi Oreskes thinks deeply about our relationship to belief and draws out three problems with common attitudes toward scientific inquiry -- and gives her own reasoning for why we ought to trust science.

Billy Collins: Two poems about what dogs think (probably)

TED2014

Billy Collins: Two poems about what dogs think (probably)

March 20, 2014


What must our dogs be thinking when they look at us? Poet Billy Collins imagines the inner lives of two very different companions. It’s a charming short talk, perfect for taking a break and dreaming …

Lorrie Faith Cranor: What’s wrong with your pa$$w0rd?

TEDxCMU

Lorrie Faith Cranor: What’s wrong with your pa$$w0rd?

March 31, 2014


Lorrie Faith Cranor studied thousands of real passwords to figure out the surprising, very common mistakes that users -- and secured sites -- make to compromise security. And how, you may ask, did she study thousands of real passwords without compromising the security of any users? That's a story in itself. It's secret data worth knowing, especially if your password is 123456 ...

Shaka Senghor: Why your worst deeds don’t define you

TED2014

Shaka Senghor: Why your worst deeds don’t define you

March 20, 2014


In 1991, Shaka Senghor shot and killed a man. He was, he says, "a drug dealer with a quick temper and a semi-automatic pistol." Jailed for second degree murder, that could very well have been the end of the story. But it wasn't. Instead, it was the beginning of a years-long journey to redemption, one with humbling and sobering lessons for us all.

Jamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English

TEDSalon NY2014

Jamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English

February 12, 2014


Jamila Lyiscott is a “tri-tongued orator;” in her powerful spoken-word essay “Broken English,” she celebrates — and challenges — the three distinct flavors of English she speaks with her friends, in the classroom and with her parents. As she explores the complicated history and present-day identity that each language represents, she unpacks what it means to be “articulate.”

David Kwong: Two nerdy obsessions meet -- and it's magic

TED2014

David Kwong: Two nerdy obsessions meet -- and it's magic

March 21, 2014


David Kwong is a magician who makes crossword puzzles -- in other words, a pretty nerdy guy. And for his next trick ...

Avi Reichental: What’s next in 3D printing

TED2014

Avi Reichental: What’s next in 3D printing

March 13, 2014


Just like his beloved grandfather, Avi Reichental is a maker of things. The difference is, now he can use 3D printers to make almost anything, out of almost any material. Reichental tours us through the possibilities of 3D printing, for everything from printed candy to highly custom sneakers.

Pico Iyer: The art of stillness

TEDSalon NY2014

Pico Iyer: The art of stillness

August 12, 2014


The place that travel writer Pico Iyer would most like to go? Nowhere. In a counterintuitive and lyrical meditation, Iyer takes a look at the incredible insight that comes with taking time for stillness. In our world of constant movement and distraction, he teases out strategies we all can use to take back a few minutes out of every day, or a few days out of every season. It’s the talk for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the demands for our world.

Zak Ebrahim: I am the son of a terrorist. Here's how I chose peace.

TED2014

Zak Ebrahim: I am the son of a terrorist. Here's how I chose peace.

March 12, 2014


If you’re raised on dogma and hate, can you choose a different path? Zak Ebrahim was just seven years old when his father helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His story is shocking, powerful and, ultimately, inspiring.

Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices

TEDSalon NY2014

Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices

May 15, 2014


Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up -- or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

Anne Curzan: What makes a word "real"?

TEDxUofM

Anne Curzan: What makes a word "real"?

March 15, 2014


One could argue that slang words like ‘hangry,’ ‘defriend’ and ‘adorkable’ fill crucial meaning gaps in the English language, even if they don't appear in the dictionary. After all, who actually decides which words make it into those pages? Language historian Anne Curzan gives a charming look at the humans behind dictionaries, and the choices they make.

AJ Jacobs: The world's largest family reunion … we're all invited!

TEDActive 2014

AJ Jacobs: The world's largest family reunion … we're all invited!

March 20, 2014


You may not know it yet, but AJ Jacobs is probably your cousin (many, many times removed). Using genealogy websites, he’s been following the unexpected links that make us all, however distantly, related. His goal: to throw the world’s largest family reunion. See you there?

Uri Alon: Why truly innovative science demands a leap into the unknown

TEDGlobal 2013

Uri Alon: Why truly innovative science demands a leap into the unknown

June 13, 2013


While studying for his PhD in physics, Uri Alon thought he was a failure because all his research paths led to dead ends. But, with the help of improv theater, he came to realize that there could be joy in getting lost. A call for scientists to stop thinking of research as a direct line from question to answer, but as something more creative. It's a message that will resonate, no matter what your field.

Keren Elazari: Hackers: the Internet's immune system

TED2014

Keren Elazari: Hackers: the Internet's immune system

March 18, 2014


The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world.

Will Potter: The shocking move to criminalize nonviolent protest

TED2014

Will Potter: The shocking move to criminalize nonviolent protest

March 17, 2014


In 2002, investigative journalist and TED Fellow Will Potter took a break from his regular beat, writing about shootings and murders for the Chicago Tribune. He went to help a local group campaigning against animal testing: "I thought it would be a safe way to do something positive," he says. Instead, he was arrested, and so began his ongoing journey into a world in which peaceful protest is branded as terrorism.

Stella Young: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much

TEDxSydney

Stella Young: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much

April 26, 2014


Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society's habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”

Yoruba Richen: What the gay rights movement learned from the civil rights movement

TED2014

Yoruba Richen: What the gay rights movement learned from the civil rights movement

March 13, 2014


As a member of both the African American and LGBT communities, filmmaker Yoruba Richen is fascinated with the overlaps and tensions between the gay rights and the civil rights movements. She explores how the two struggles intertwine and propel each other forward — and, in an unmissable argument, she dispels a myth about their points of conflict. A powerful reminder that we all have a stake in equality.

Ray Kurzweil: Get ready for hybrid thinking

TED2014

Ray Kurzweil: Get ready for hybrid thinking

March 20, 2014


Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud.

Robert Full: The secrets of nature's grossest creatures, channeled into robots

TED2014

Robert Full: The secrets of nature's grossest creatures, channeled into robots

March 18, 2014


How can robots learn to stabilize on rough terrain, walk upside down, do gymnastic maneuvers in air and run into walls without harming themselves? Robert Full takes a look at the incredible body of the cockroach to show what it can teach robotics engineers.

Stephen Burt: Why people need poetry

TEDGlobal 2013

Stephen Burt: Why people need poetry

June 20, 2013


"We're all going to die -- and poems can help us live with that." In a charming and funny talk, literary critic Stephen Burt takes us on a lyrical journey with some of his favorite poets, all the way down to a line break and back up to the human urge to imagine.

Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self

TED2014

Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self

March 18, 2014


"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.

Kwame Anthony Appiah: Is religion good or bad? (This is a trick question)

TEDSalon NY2014

Kwame Anthony Appiah: Is religion good or bad? (This is a trick question)

May 15, 2014


Plenty of good things are done in the name of religion, and plenty of bad things too. But what is religion, exactly — is it good or bad, in and of itself? Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah offers a generous, surprising view.

Sting: How I started writing songs again

TED2014

Sting: How I started writing songs again

March 18, 2014


Sting’s early life was dominated by a shipyard—and he dreamed of nothing more than escaping the industrial drudgery. But after a nasty bout of writer’s block that stretched on for years, Sting found himself channeling the stories of the shipyard workers he knew in his youth for song material. In a lyrical, confessional talk, Sting treats us to songs from his upcoming musical, and to an encore of “Message in a Bottle.”

Kitra Cahana: A glimpse of life on the road

TED2014

Kitra Cahana: A glimpse of life on the road

March 17, 2014


As a young girl, photojournalist and TED Fellow Kitra Cahana dreamed about running away from home to live freely on the road. Now as an adult and self-proclaimed vagabond, she follows modern nomads into their homes -- boxcars, bus stops, parking lots, rest stop bathrooms -- giving a glimpse into a culture on the margins.

Wes Moore: How to talk to veterans about the war

TEDSalon NY2014

Wes Moore: How to talk to veterans about the war

January 16, 2014


Wes Moore joined the US Army to pay for college, but the experience became core to who he is. In this heartfelt talk, the paratrooper and captain—who went on to write "The Other Wes Moore"—explains the shock of returning home from Afghanistan. He shares the single phrase he heard from civilians on repeat, and shows why it's just not sufficient. It's a call for all of us to ask veterans to tell their stories — and listen.

Chris Kluwe: How augmented reality will change sports ... and build empathy

TED2014

Chris Kluwe: How augmented reality will change sports ... and build empathy

March 11, 2014


Chris Kluwe wants to look into the future of sports and think about how technology will help not just players and coaches, but fans. Here the former NFL punter envisions a future in which augmented reality will help people experience sports as if they are directly on the field -- and maybe even help them see others in a new light, too.

Jon Mooallem: How the teddy bear taught us compassion

TED2014

Jon Mooallem: How the teddy bear taught us compassion

March 19, 2014


In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt legendarily spared the life of a black bear -- and prompted a plush toy craze for so-called "teddy bears." Writer Jon Mooallem digs into this toy story and asks us to consider how the tales we tell about wild animals have real consequences for a species' chance of survival -- and the natural world at large.

Andrew Solomon: How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

TED2014

Andrew Solomon: How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

March 12, 2014


Writer Andrew Solomon has spent his career telling stories of the hardships of others. Now he turns inward, bringing us into a childhood of adversity, while also spinning tales of the courageous people he's met in the years since. In a moving, heartfelt and at times downright funny talk, Solomon gives a powerful call to action to forge meaning from our biggest struggles.

Stephen Friend: The hunt for "unexpected genetic heroes"

TED2014

Stephen Friend: The hunt for "unexpected genetic heroes"

March 18, 2014


What can we learn from people with the genetics to get sick — who don’t? With most inherited diseases, only some family members will develop the disease, while others who carry the same genetic risks dodge it. Stephen Friend suggests we start studying those family members who stay healthy. Hear about the Resilience Project, a massive effort to collect genetic materials that may help decode inherited disorders.

Jackie Savitz: Save the oceans, feed the world!

TEDxMidAtlantic 2013

Jackie Savitz: Save the oceans, feed the world!

October 25, 2013


What's a marine biologist doing talking about world hunger? Well, says Jackie Savitz, fixing the world's oceans might just help to feed the planet's billion hungriest people. In an eye-opening talk, Savitz tells us what’s really going on in our global fisheries right now — it’s not good — and offers smart suggestions of how we can help them heal, while making more food for all.