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TED talks September 25, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in economics, ideas, videos.

Let me use this post to post links to some of better talks I have watched in a while. These videos arent the funny videos, or bloopers, or the like – most of these are stimulating mostly in an intellectual way without ofcourse being too technical, with a couple of exceptions.

Hans Rosling’s talk on global health and economic development – one of the most engaging talks in his use of graphics to represent data and make a point. Who says using electronic media for presentations can be boring. No matter what kind of a person you are, what your likes and dislikes are, even if cant follow Swedish accented English, and – to hell with it – even if you cannot understand English, watch the first 10 minutes of this one !

Dan Dennette’s talk on evolution and religion – why religion is cool and hot at the same time and why we must study religion in its evolutionary context.

Jimmy Wales on why Wikipedia works and how. Simply amazing !

Helen Fisher on why women are different, and men too.

Malcolm gladwell on something (apparently) too trivial to be named here but engaging talk nonetheless.

Steven Levitt of Freakonomics fame. Will simply say – brilliant narrative !

David Pogue’ s talk on smart and simple design of everyday things – NYTimes personal technology columnist who has some cool demos – especially his use of speech recognition in his work – and some, hold your breath, making-use-of-piano-to-parody-microsoft-and-apple !

In my opinion the most stimulating of them all – Oxford professor Richard Dawkins who says that the middle world is the narrow range of reality that we judge to be normal as opposed to the queerness that we judge to be very small or very large. Our brains have evolved to help us survive within the scale and orders of magnitude within which we exist. We think that rocks and crystals are solid when in fact they were made up mostly of spaces in between atoms.

Think about it – in reality, we are just empty spaces. So next time you feel really empty on the inside, you are probably right 🙂

There are infact many more than these – they can all be streamed/downloaded here.



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