More Favorite TED Talks, June 2013

RSS LogoMaybe the title of this blog post is misleading.  It's not that these TED Talks happened in June of this year; this is when I'm finally getting around to watching and writing about them.  Anyway, here are a few more TED talks worth watching.

(by the way, lately I've watched about 30 more TED talks, and I'm finding not many that I think are worth watching again or recommending.  I wonder if TED hit a dry spell in 2011,of if they just spread themselves too thin with the additional TED venues?  I'm not sure yet; I'm curious to see what happens with the 2012 batch of TED talks.)

David Byrne, the lead man for Talking Heads, gives a really interesting talk about the relationship between architecture and music composition styles.  He argues that architecture shaped the way music was composed.  As an example, gothic architecture with big, reverberant spaces, caused music to be composed in longer, slower tones because anything with fast sequences of notes would sound too muddied in that kind of space.  But there's a lot more examples than just this; he walks the audience through several hundred years of music, up to pretty much the present day, using headphones as the latest performance space.

I loved this talk by Sugata Mitra, talking about his experiments in watching children learn.  Here, he talks about how he mounted a computer into a wall in a public area in India, then told children it was there, then he left.  The children learned quickly how to use the computer, even though they had never seen one before.  Mitra explains his theory about what it all means, and he's an entertaining speaker.

Here's seven minutes that I think you'll find worthwhile and interesting: Julian Treasure talks about sound, the effect it has on us, and gives some simple tips on how to use sound to make our lives significantly more pleasant.  One tip: try to have these three kinds of sounds present a lot: WWB (wind, water, birds).

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