Thursday, June 12, 2008

At this time, I've seen about 80 of the 242 TED Talks that are currently posted online. They beat the crap out of television. Here are short notes ones on the talks that I think are, um, noteworthy.

theme: the oceans
- David Gallo shows underwater astonishments (05:21)
- Robert Ballard on exploring the oceans (18:19)

If I ran the zoo, I would eliminate NASA's manned space programs and give the money to saving and exploring the oceans.

theme: food
- Mark Bittman on what's wrong with what we eat (20:08)
- Michael Pollan gives a plant's-eye view (17:31)

These two individuals have probably made more impact on how the chattering classes think about food than anyone else. Because of these talks, I now eat and garden differently.

theme: our only hope in slowing global warming

- Craig Venter is on the verge of creating synthetic life (32:52)
- Juan Enriquez wants to grow energy (18:16)

In general, I don't hold much hope in magic bullets but in the case of global warming, I have more hope in these potential technologies than the possibility in the developed world voluntarily reducing their carbon output. Speaking of global warming, the first 2 minutes of Larry Brillant's talk astounded me. We've known about global warming for 50 years now dammit!

theme: Africa and mathematics
- Ron Eglash on African fractals (16:51)
- Neil Turok makes his TED Prize wish (23:59)

Admit it, you've never thought of a connection between Africa and mathematics until now. If that's the case, you should listen to these talks.

theme: technology that impressed
- Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks (05:40)
- Robert Full on animal movement (19:36)

theme: biology that impressed

- Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world (17:44)
- Jill Bolte Taylor's powerful stroke of insight (18:44)

theme: rethinking development
- Paul Collier shares 4 ways to help the "bottom billion" (18:55)
- Ernest Madu on world-class health care (16:50)
- Jaime Lerner sings of the city (15:42)

theme: art that I actually enjoyed

- Alison Jackson looks at celebrity (17:37)
- Amy Tan on creativity (22:52)
- Arthur Ganson makes moving sculpture (15:44)

theme: something to remind you about all the people not represented at TED
- Isabel Allende tells tales of passion (18:01)
- Wade Davis on the worldwide web of belief and ritual (19:12)

random facts that I learned from TED:
- if we all started using hybrid cars, our carbon output would only reduce by 4%
- BMI was first established as a service that broadcasted music from the public domain
- the launch of Sputnik was originally perceived as something beautiful by the American public

No comments: