David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?

TED2014

David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?

March 18, 2014


Our consciousness is a fundamental aspect of our existence, says philosopher David Chalmers: “There’s nothing we know about more directly…. but at the same time it’s the most mysterious phenomenon in the universe.” He shares some ways to think about the movie playing in our heads.

Renata Salecl: Our unhealthy obsession with choice

TEDGlobal 2013

Renata Salecl: Our unhealthy obsession with choice

June 13, 2013


We face an endless string of choices, which leads us to feel anxiety, guilt and pangs of inadequacy that we are perhaps making the wrong ones. But philosopher Renata Salecl asks: Could individual choices be distracting us from something bigger—our power as social thinkers? A bold call for us to stop taking personal choice so seriously and focus on the choices we're making collectively.

Nicholas Negroponte: A 30-year history of the future

TED2014

Nicholas Negroponte: A 30-year history of the future

March 19, 2014


MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte takes you on a journey through the last 30 years of tech. The consummate predictor highlights interfaces and innovations he foresaw in the 1970s and 1980s that were scoffed at then but are ubiquitous today. And he leaves you with one last (absurd? brilliant?) prediction for the coming 30 years.

Karima Bennoune: When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism

TEDxExeter

Karima Bennoune: When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism

March 24, 2014


Karima Bennoune shares four powerful stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities — refusing to allow the faith they love to become a tool for crime, attacks and murder. These personal stories humanize one of the most overlooked human-rights struggles in the world.

Joi Ito: Want to innovate? Become a "now-ist"

TED2014

Joi Ito: Want to innovate? Become a "now-ist"

March 14, 2014


“Remember before the internet?” asks Joi Ito. “Remember when people used to try to predict the future?” In this engaging talk, the head of the MIT Media Lab skips the future predictions and instead shares a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission or for proof that you have the right idea. This kind of bottom-up innovation is seen in the most fascinating, futuristic projects emerging today, and it starts, he says, with being open and alert to what’s going on around you right now. Don’t be a futurist, he suggests: be a now-ist.

Margaret Gould Stewart: How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too)

TED2014

Margaret Gould Stewart: How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too)

March 19, 2014


Facebook’s “like” and “share” buttons are seen 22 billion times a day, making them some of the most-viewed design elements ever created. Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s director of product design, outlines three rules for design at such a massive scale—one so big that the tiniest of tweaks can cause global outrage, but also so large that the subtlest of improvements can positively impact the lives of many.

George Takei: Why I love a country that once betrayed me

TEDxKyoto

George Takei: Why I love a country that once betrayed me

June 11, 2014


When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a “security" measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.

Paul Bloom: Can prejudice ever be a good thing?

TEDSalon NY2014

Paul Bloom: Can prejudice ever be a good thing?

January 15, 2014


We often think of bias and prejudice as rooted in ignorance. But as psychologist Paul Bloom seeks to show, prejudice is often natural, rational ... even moral. The key, says Bloom, is to understand how our own biases work -- so we can take control when they go wrong.

Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?

TEDSalon Berlin 2014

Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?

June 23, 2014


It's an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local—say, a bank lending out too much money—now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advisor Simon Anholt has dreamed up an unusual scale to get governments thinking outwardly: The Good Country Index. In a riveting and funny talk, he answers the question, "Which country does the most good?" The answer may surprise you (especially if you live in the US or China).

Chris Domas: The 1s and 0s behind cyber warfare

TEDxColumbus

Chris Domas: The 1s and 0s behind cyber warfare

October 10, 2013


Chris Domas is a cybersecurity researcher, operating on what’s become a new front of war, "cyber." In this engaging talk, he shows how researchers use pattern recognition and reverse engineering (and pull a few all-nighters) to understand a chunk of binary code whose purpose and contents they don't know.

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

TEDGlobal 2013

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

February 27, 2013


Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.

Ge Wang: The DIY orchestra of the future

TEDxStanford

Ge Wang: The DIY orchestra of the future

May 10, 2014


Ge Wang makes computer music, but it isn’t all about coded bleeps and blips. With the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, he creates new instruments out of unexpected materials—like an Ikea bowl—that allow musicians to play music that’s both beautiful and expressive.

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.