Monday, May 23, 2011

TED Talk Picks

Lately I've been watching a lot less television.  Instead I've been
listening to various podcasts and watching stuff via the internet.  One
particularly rich source of interesting and instructive content is TED:
"Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world"
"TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out
(in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds:
Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever

Here's a selection of TED talks I've enjoyed watching recently...

1. "Benjamin Zander on music and passion"
"Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and
helping us all realize our untapped love for it -- and by extension,
our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new
BTW the piece featured is Chopin's Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28 No. 4.

2. "Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation"
"Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with
a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional
rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating
stories -- and maybe, a way forward."

3. "Barry Schwartz: Using our practical wisdom"
"In an intimate talk, Barry Schwartz dives into the question 'How do we
do the right thing?' With help from collaborator Kenneth Sharpe, he
shares stories that illustrate the difference between following the
rules and truly choosing wisely."

4. "Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow"
"Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, 'What makes a life worth living?' Noting
that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and
lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of 'flow.'"

5. "Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success"
"Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and
questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success
always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move
beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work."

6. "Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy?"
"Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that
we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our 'psychological
immune system' lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as

7. "Clifford Stoll on ... everything"
"Clifford Stoll captivates his audience with a wildly energetic
sprinkling of anecdotes, observations, asides -- and even a science
experiment. After all, by his own definition, he's a scientist: 'Once I
do something, I want to do something else.'"