Cool stuff on TED

This blog page is intended to archive my favorite TED lectures. Don’t know what TED is? Then go to www.TED.com. Is an annual gathering of some of the most fascinating people who talk on Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED).
.
NOTE: The latest posts are at the bottom, not the top as is tradition.

.

For starters, here’s a very thought provoking commentary on the effects of having too many choices.

Breaking with the paradigm of “top most recent”, I’ll be appending below the “for starters” entry above with more of my favorite TED lectures.

.

Next up, I’d like to share Carl Honore’s observations about how to slow down and the benefits from taking time to read stories to children and pausing to think, play, and enjoy.  I certainly need to follow some of this advise.

.

Some secrets of success from Richard St. John.  This is a short 3min talk that rings true in many ways…..

.

This is funny, and damned truthful!

.
What is happiness? Here’s an interesting take on being happy.


.

Gever Tulley about teaching kids practical things that may sometimes hurt, but when used responsibly, can open new horizons and teach responsibility.


.

Here’s a favorite with David Pogue performing a 4-min melody about the web….

.
Paul Romer talks about Charter Cities, but what I find fascinating is the discussion on population density on the planet (15min into the talk)…. not as dire as the popular press would lead us to all believe.

.
Here’s an inspiring story of a young boy who taught himself physics and english via Physics library books, then built his own windmill and changed his entire life!!

.

Jeff Bezos with a very interesting history on the electrification of America.

.
Rory Sutherland – brilliant observations about advertising, and darned funny too!

.
Dave Eggers on a wonderful way to engage students with tutors in a one-on-one way outside the school. This is funny, pragmatic, and seems to work really well. This is a parallel to the concept of the Rochester Toy Library and their play room.

.

Here is a most inspiring talk neuroBrain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor.  During her own stroke event, she was able to study her own brain as the stroke was happening.  She describes the left/right brain separation, and how the right brain seems to exhibit pure joy, especially as her left brain was shutting down from the stroke.  Very interesting.

.
Dan Meyer has a great TED lecture on a better way to teach math….

More about ways to teach math. Conrad Wolfram with a very interesting perspective on how to teach math. I’ve always wondered why we teach “calculation” and “computation” as part of basic math curriculum instead of how to apply math to everyday problems. Even for engineering, while it’s important to understand what calculus is and does, along with limits and number sets, computing is not as valuable as knowing how to apply the computing. Watch this TED lecture and you will better understand this perspective.

Next up, Tom Wujec describes how to use an astrolabe. I’ve always admired old, brass astronomical instruments and wondered how to use some of them. This is a short TED talk, and not only describes how to use the astrolabe, but also the context of how our technology sometimes can shield us from our global environment. He describes how even young children of the time (13th century) knew how to use them because they had keen awareness of star and sun positions. The astrolabe – a power computer in it’s day.

Charlie Todd shows some very, very funny bits from his group Improv Everywhere. My favorite is having a large group of people go into Best Buy wearing a blue polo shirt and khaki pants, just like the employees. But as the police said when called, there’s nothing illegal about wearing a blue polo and khaki pants!

Michael Norton has some interesting studies that explain how money can indeed buy happiness.  Well, it’s not really buying happiness, but being happier by spending your money differently than you might normally do.

 

While not usually a fan of “soft words and pretty pictues”, I have to admit that the Louie Schwartzberg film on gratitude did touch me. You don’t need to listen to the entire talk – the key part of the film starts at approx 4:40 minutes into the TED presentation. I hope you enjoy it.

 

More to come….

Leave a Reply