Five TED Talks I watched during Spring Break

I told one of my friends’ parents about TED about a year and a half ago, and have since heard him tell various groups of people that “if you participate in no other mental exercise during the course of a week, spend twenty minutes to watch these things called TED Talks…

Regardless of whether or not he credits me with first telling him about the site – he never does – I have to agree that making the time to watch one TED Talk tends to yield the Lays Potato Chip Effect of one-becoming-at-least-five, and is an economical means of filling one’s imagination with the ideas shaping today into tomorrow.

Here are five TED Talks I enjoyed this week (you can subscribe to TED podcasts, RSS, and other materials here):

Robert Gupta | Music is Medicine, Music is Sanity

“This was the very essence of art, this was the very reason why we made music: that we take something that exists within all of us at our very fundamental core, our emotions, and through our artistic lens, through our creativity, we are able to shape those emotions into reality, and the reality of that expression reaches all of us, and moves us, inspires and unites us.” Robert Gupta

Shekhar Kapur | We are the Stories We Tell Ourselves

“We tell our stories, and a person without a story does not exist. So Einstein told a story and followed his stories and came up with theories and came up with theories and then came up with his equations. Alexander had a story that his mother used to tell him, and he went out to conquer the world. We all, everybody, has a story that they follow. We tell ourselves stories. So, I will go further, and I say, I tell a story, and therefore I exist. I exist because there are stories, and if there are no stories, we don’t exist. We create stories to define our existence.” Shekhar Kapur

Sam Harris | Science can Answer Moral Questions

“So, this, I think, is what the world needs now. It needs people like ourselves to admit that there are right and wrong answers to questions of human flourishing, and morality relates to that domain of facts. It is possible for individuals, and even for whole cultures to care about the wrong things. Which is to say that it’s possible for them to have beliefs and desires that reliably lead to needless human suffering. Just admitting this will transform our discourse about morality.” Sam Harris

Temple Grandin | The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

Chris Anderson: Thank you so much for that. You know, you once wrote, I like this quote, “If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the Earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave.” Temple Grandin: Because who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. And if you were to get rid of all the autism genetics there would be no more Silicon Valley, and the energy crisis would not be solved. Temple Grandin

Jane McGonigal | Gaming Can Make a Better World

“An epic win is an outcome that is so extraordinarily positive you had no idea it was even possible until you achieved it. It was almost beyond the threshold of imagination. And when you get there you are shocked to discover what you are truly capable of. That is an epic win. This is a gamer on the verge of an epic win. And this is the face that we need to see on millions of problem-solvers all over the world as we try to tackle the obstacles of the next century. The face of someone who, against all odds is on the verge of an epic win.” Jane McGonigal

2 thoughts on “Five TED Talks I watched during Spring Break

  1. Having little time to read newspapers and journals in paper format, I love the TED talks and thanks to you as well, Bryan, have become an addict but of the right kind I believe. A few words of inspiration and new learning filled with humour and memorable bits and pieces. So I give credit where credit is due. I usually watch them during my weekends or occasionally during my work preps. It has been one of the greatest ways of professional development for me this past year. They keep me in touch with making sense of the world in insightful ways and new learning galore. Thanks Bryan.

    PS. Watched four of the five you watched and a few more.


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