16 Inspiring and Thought-Provoking TED Talks

These are some of my picks for Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) talks that truly made an impact in the way I think about the world, engineering, technology, design, energy, sustainability, language, society, and the future of humanity. I found out about TED about a year ago, and have been keeping up with the new talks that they release time to time through these video streams. By no means are these the "top" or the "best" ones. Check out TED for more.

  1. Hans Rosling reveals new insights on poverty
    Hans Rosling reveals new insights on poverty Statistics from countries around the world from a few centuries back to present times. See how nations develop and how priorities change their makeup, and how world events (wars, famine, outbreaks) affected their development. Are terms like third-world really appropriate?
  2. Hans Rosling: Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen
    Hans Rosling: Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen We have pre conceived ideas about the world that are simply incorrect. The information he shows is something that the average person cannot guess by simply observing current events or reading history. This talk is a prequel of the talk above, but it is still very informative. In his presentations, he just like an enthusiastic weatherman in a sportscaster's world.
  3. Steven Pinker on the myth of violence
    Steven Pinker on the myth of violence Has society really become more violent, or is it an illusion? Recent violent events fresh in our memories tend to be perceived as more tragic than those that happened earlier in history.
  4. Erin McKean: Redefining the dictionary
    Erin McKean: Redefining the dictionary The dictionary and how it defines what is a word and what is not. A fresh idea on what a dictionary should be. Do we really need to cringe at made-up words? Is it a hindrance in the evolution of language?
  5. Dan Dennett: Can we know our own minds?
    Dan Dennett: Can we know our own minds? The human, a conglomerate of 100 trillion robots, of which none have any idea about the being they form. How does the mind work? Dan Dennett explains in a philosopher's way of explaining things.
  6. Theo Jansen creates new creatures
    Theo Jansen creates new creatures See what some tubes, bottles and the wind can do on the beach. It's just amazing how he implemented logic into these very simple, day-to-day objects to enable the machines to make decisions. More of these machines can be seen on his website: www.strandbeest.com
  7. Jeff Hawkins: Brain science is about to fundamentally change computing
    Jeff Hawkins: Brain science is about to fundamentally change computing Intelligence. What is it? Is it a measure of how fast we can think, how much we can memorize, or do we need a better definition for the word? This talk focuses on looking at the human brain for inspiration about creating artificial intelligence. We really don't know a whole lot about our brains. We have a lot of observations and results, but not an adequate theory of how it really works.
  8. Mena Trott: Building a friendlier world through blogs
    Mena Trott: Building a friendlier world through blogs Blogs are wealth of information. Imagine if, back then, people or even your relatives had blogs when they were alive, and talked about their daily lives. What kind of a connection will your blogging create between you and your family's future generations?
  9. Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth
    Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth This can make screen resolution a little less relevant. These ideas are so elegant and definitely more intuitive and useful than the constricted user interfaces available on most photo software packages.
  10. Jeff Han: Unveiling the genius of multi-touch interface design
    Jeff Han: Unveiling the genius of multi-touch interface design Package this with Photosynth, shown in the above video, and photo organization will never be the same for me. Multi-touch is such an intuitive way of interaction.
  11. Ze Frank: What's so funny about the Web?
    Ze Frank: What's so funny about the Web? The web is a funny place. His talk opens as one of the funniest or most deceiving things you can encounter in the web. What's your Google search result count?
  12. John Doerr: Seeking salvation and profit in greentech
    John Doerr: Seeking salvation and profit in greentech We're not doing enough! An outcry and a perspective on the scale of our world-saving efforts in comparison to an overall world view. One company is not enough. One state is not enough. One country is not enough.
  13. Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
    Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? Should education be the way it is today? Are schools conforming students to shed their creativity? Why is creativity under-appreciated and under-nurtured?
  14. Ross Lovegrove: The power and beauty of organic design
    Ross Lovegrove: The power and beauty of organic design Products, especially tech-related ones, have a tendency to be so inorganic and bland, and that is because of the design that goes behind products. Everything looks the same. Avoid the tendency by looking outward to nature for inspiration. Watch the street-lamp-car concept.
  15. David Pogue: When it comes to tech, simplicity sells
    David Pogue: When it comes to tech, simplicity sells User interfaces should be simple. Make your technology simpler, and it will sell. He tells his stories about technical support horror/humor along with some piano.
  16. Amy Smith: Simple designs that could save millions of childrens' lives
    Amy Smith: Simple designs that could save millions of childrens' lives 2 million children die from fumes that results from indoor fire for cooking. What alternatives can these developing countries use for cooking?

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Comments

Meir Warcel
Sep 28, 2007 2:24 AM
Meir Warcel Hey Carlo, good choice although my list would be somewhat different. I discovered TED also approximately 1 year ago and have been checking up on them every week for the new talks. It's amazing that all this is available for free, everyone go check TED out if you don't know it yet.
Justin (pusha)
Sep 29, 2007 3:43 PM
Justin (pusha) Thanks for dropping by my site:) I think Theo Jansen is amazing. I was going to feature him on my blog but his website is amazingly terrible! I have to admit though, he is a genius.
Carlo
Sep 30, 2007 5:05 PM
Carlo Yeah, I went to his site and there isn't much there.

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