This Week's TED Talk Recommendations

Okay folks, here are a few more TED Talks that I've listened to via the TED Talks podcast and find worth listening to again.

  1. Mark Bittman talks about how what we've eaten has changed over the last hundred years or so, to our detriment.  We've heard this case from several people before, and his presentation sounds a little like he's reading, but it's still interesting and a little scary.  But he also has simple answers about what we can do to help ourselves be more healthy.
  2. Robert Full is a biologist at UC Berkeley; this talk is a ton of fun if you like robots and maybe small animals.  He talks about how his research group learns from insects and geckos and applies those concepts to robotics that can navigate much more complex terrain than they previously could.  You gotta watch this one; it's not nearly as cool without the visuals.
  3. Clay Shirky talks about how to produce the best output from a group of people, the economic cost of trying to get the most output from a group, and two ways of doing it.  One is the traditional way we've come up with (creating institutions that people belong to), and a newer way that's less about rigid institutional control and more about loose coupling.  In short, coordination and communication over control.  I like that sort of thing, so I found the talk interesting.  Also, Shirky speaks in plain English, so it's pretty straightforward to understand the point he's trying to make.

Enjoy!  And as always, if you've got podcasts you enjoy and feel are worth sharing, gimme a shout in the comments of this blog entry.  I'm always looking for new, interesting stuff to listen to.

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