TED Talk every day for June

In a Schumpeter article in The Economist back in March, it was noted that some people find the TED conferences “ludicrous”, “sinister”, and even “a recipe for civilisational disaster”. A little harsh, no?

To me the TED talks are exactly what the organizers claim them to be: ideas worth spreading. Most of the time the ideas really are worth spreading far and wide. They provide much food for thought, in coffee break length, sharply delivered, easily accessible and ultimately … free.

“TED has done more to advance the art of lecturing in a decade than Oxford University has done in a thousand years”, – The Economist.

Some might argue that TED is a marketing machine for authors to sell more books – but even so, I don’t mind having a great book brought to my attention through a great talk, in fact that’s exactly the way I’d appreciate it.

The only problem I have is not watching enough of the talks. Time to ramp it up. So for June I’m going to watch a TED talk every day. Bam.

Below is a list of the 30 talks I watched. For each one I made some notes about the talk, more for personal reminders rather than a proper summary. Not all of the talks are good, in fact some are pretty bad, so I’ve marked with a * the ones I think are really worth the time.

I’m a huge fan of Richard Dawkins and Sir Martin Rees for example, but their talks at TED just don’t bring across their usual brilliance. Whereas Ray Kurzweil, Sam Harris and Hans Rosling are brilliant and captivating, talks that I could watch again and again.


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