Data can be a great storytelling tool, as Google’s Aaron Koblin explains in his 2011 TED Talk. However, it’s the interface, and how we get to comprehend and massage the data that determines how useful it can be.
19th century culture was defined by the novel, 20th century culture by cinema, 21st century culture will be defined by the interface.
Is the beloved paper dictionary doomed to extinction? In this infectiously exuberant talk, leading lexicographer Erin McKean, CEO and co-founder of Wordnik, looks at the many ways today’s print dictionary is poised for transformation.
[TED Talks] Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we’re wrong about that? “Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5’ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.
Mike Rowe, the host of “Dirty Jobs,” tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Listen for his insights and observations about the nature of hard work, and how it’s been unjustifiably degraded in society today.
Susan Blackmore studies memes: ideas that replicate themselves from brain to brain like a virus. She makes a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology — and invents ways to keep itself alive.
Aphorism enthusiast and author James Geary waxes on a fascinating fixture of human language: the metaphor. Friend of scribes from Aristotle to Elvis, metaphor can subtly influence the decisions we make, Geary says.
The news that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been detained by authorities has prompted significant concern here at TED HQ. We had shown a film of him at last month’s conference, an unexpected and courageous statement about his treatment by the government, social change, the power of the web, and his hope for the future of China. The film, which was shown as Ai Weiwei himself watched live over the web in the middle of the night, prompted a huge standing ovation from the TED audience.
TED is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical organization, and we understand the Chinese authorities’ concern at anything which might provoke social unrest. But for anyone who believes in the power of ideas, of human imagination, it is heartbreaking to see one of the world’s great artists shackled in this way. We will be tracking developments carefully.