This Week's TED Talks I've Enjoyed
Okay, so now that you know what podcasts I listen to on a regular basis, here is an update of some TED talks I've watched and really enjoyed. Again, there are plenty of TED talks I watch and don't really get much from, and others I watch and think "Okay, that was fine to watch once but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to others, and I wouldn't take the time to watch it again." These talks, in my opinion, are definitely worth watching again.
Jamie Oliver did a TV show focusing on what's wrong with food habits in America and his proposal for changing it. I saw the show, which was filmed in Huntington, West Virginia. It was a pretty good show, and in this TED Talk Oliver talks about some of the problems we are dealing with in feeding children (and ourselves), and what we can do to fix it. He's a passionnate guy, and I like his message and how he delivers it.
Hans Rosling does a talk at TED India; the topic is when India's economy will become the dominant economy on earth. It's a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but once again he uses the Gapminder software and lots of statistical historical data to show the dramatic rise in India's overall economic health. As usual, Rosling is entertaining and interesting.
Bill Gates presents at TED about the necessity of what he calls "innovating to zero", the "zero" meaning zero carbon dioxide emissions. He first makes the case why it's not enough simply to reduce CO2 emissions by a fair amount, why it needs to be pretty much complete eradication of CO2 omissions. Then he goes through different approaches, and ends with discussing a new type of nuclear power and makes the case for supporting it, as well as some renewable energy sources. He has a nice way of presenting a fairly complex topic in a fairly simple, straightforward way.
I just loved this talk by Itay Talgam, where he talks about six great musical conductors of the 20th century and their conducting / leadership styles with symphony orchestras. The guy is funny and engaging, and I think you'll like the talk even if you don't enjoy symphony music. You certainly don't need to understand music much in order to enjoy this talk; you just need to understand people a little bit. Check it out.
I am amazed that we are already at a point where we have the technology to grow any human organs at all; that blows me away. Don't believe me? Check out this talk by Anthony Atala who describes the state of the technology and where it's going next.
Here's a quick one: the secret to starting a movement is to be the first follower, not the leader. This TED talk describes how by use of a short video plus Derek Sivers's narration.
Kevin Bales brings an economic approach to the argument for eradicating slavery. I have to admit: I haven't thought much about the issue of slavery since leaving school, so watching his talk really brought the point home both that slavery is shamefully cheap, and it's also possible to eradicate it world-wide fairly cheaply as well. Interesting approach to the topic.
The other Dan Barber talk I've watched and loved (you might recall me mentioning his talk about the farmer in Spain who grows the world's best foie gras), is his story about how he fell in love with a fish. The story isn't just about the fish, but about the farmer who raises these fish and how really that's part of an integrated ecosystem that also feeds flamingos who fly in from over a hundred miles away every single day just to eat what this farmer has. It's a beautifully-told story, and I like the message Barber has for how integrated ecosystems have so many benefits for us besides just the primary purpose we intended.
My wife and I went on vacation in India this May; as it turned out, it was smack dab in the middle of the IPL (India Premiere League) cricket season. I have seen a tiny bit of cricket before, but we happened to watch a lot of cricket during this trip because we would be in a bar or with friends at their houses while the league was in full swing. This is T20 cricket, it was a ton of fun to watch (and as much as we watched, you learn the game pretty quickly), and when we got home I happened to stumble into this TED Talk about the new rise of cricket's popularity due to the innovation that is T20 cricket. (basically, a change in format of the game to make games shorter and easier to consume by audiences) I personally really enjoyed Harsha Bhogle's talk about the history of T20 cricket, even though he gets a little bit hyperbolic. Hey, the guy's Indian; what do you expect?
Elizabeth Pisani talks about sex, drugs, and HIV. What I found interesting about her talk is how she points out that both lawmaker and addicts are coming at the problem (trying to stop drug use, trying to continue using drugs) from rational points of view. She shows how, from either party's side, their point of view is completely rational. Once we understand that, only then can we really make any progress in changing our current situation of putting humans at risk of contacting fatal diseases, to name but one benefit of changing the current conditions.