Currently viewing the tag: "TED"

When TED asked Bill Gates to curate a list of his favorite talks, his first response was “there are too many to pick, really.”

However, he’s whittled it down to 13 essentials and here is the first of them, by Hans Rosling.

You’ve never seen data presented like this.

With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, the statistics guru debunks myths about the so-called « developing world. »

 Stats that reshape your worldview

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Rory Sutherland stands at the center of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing cutting-edge, interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment.

 

From unlikely beginnings as a classics teacher to his current job as Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group, Rory Sutherland has created his own brand of the Cinderella story.

He joined Ogilvy & Mather’s planning department in 1988, and became a junior copywriter, working on Microsoft’s account in its pre-Windows days. An early fan of the Internet, he was among the first in the traditional ad world to see the potential in these relatively unknown technologies.

Inspiring and insightful TED talk:

 

Some of my favorite quotes:

“When you place a value on things like health, love, sex and other things, and learn to place a material value on what you’ve previously discounted for being merely intangible… you realize you’re much, much wealthier than you ever imagined.”

“The circumstances of our lives actually matter less to our happiness than the sense of control we feel over our lives.”

“Google understood that if you’re just a search engine, people assume you’re a very, very good search engine.”

“When you can’t smoke, if you stand and stare out of the window on your own, you’re an antisocial, friendless idiot. If you stand and stare out of the window on your own with a cigarette, you’re a philosopher.”

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Top 4 – Greg Gage

Greg Gage is a Neuroscientist and co-founder of Backyard Brains, an organization teaching kids and amateurs neuroscience through hands-on experiments to see and hear brain signals from living neurons and also via robotic control of ordinary cockroaches. He’s also a TED Fellow.

The way he reveals neuroscience to school kids is through the SpikerBox, a small rig that helps kids understand the electrical impulses that control the nervous system. He’s passionate about helping students understand how our brains and our neurons work, because as he says, we still know very little about how the brain works — and we need to start inspiring kids early to want to know more.

The inspiration for Greg’s work as an educator came from a realization that the advanced equipment he used as a PhD student could be made at home for a fraction of the price, in less than a day.

 

 

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Top 3 – Andrew Keen

Andrew Keen is a British born entrepreneur and author. His book The Cult of the Amateur sets out his views of user-generated content websites such as YouTube and Wikipedia.

Keen’s view is that by worshipping the amateur individual – bedroom filmmaker or prolific blogger, part time Flickr photographer or war tourist tweeter – we’re losing sight of carefully considered media production techniques that have evolved over decades, along with the intelligent professionals who operate in far flung places to bring us the news.

 

Keen reckons Wikipedia is the online home of inaccuracy and crowdsourced content can never be as reliable as pre-digital information channels. He argues fluently for media literacy, challenging the mantra of the digital generation, the user is not king.

 

 

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Top 2 – Doctor Alan Greene

Pediatrician and father of four, Dr. Alan Greene completed his pediatric residency program at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Northern California and served there as Chief Resident. In 1995, while at ABC Pediatrics in San Mateo, California, he launched DrGreene.com, cited by the AMA as « the pioneer physician Web site ».

He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the TODAY Show, the Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Magazine. In 2010, Dr. Greene founded the WhiteOut Now movement aimed at changing how babies are fed starting with their first bite of solid food. In 2012 he launched a worldwide campaign aimed at changing the practice of Immediate Cord Camping To Optimal Cord Clamping or TICC TICC.

Dr. Greene received the Healthy Child award for Prevention and was named the Children’s Health Hero of the Internet by Intel.

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This Monday I have been lucky enough to attend the TEDxBrussels 2012 Conference at BOZAR Museum.

I use the term lucky as it was an incredible « concours de circonstances » (just unsuccessfully tried to Google-Translate this term, so if you do not speak French, « tant pis pour vous! ») that led me to have a VIP ticket from Accenture, won on internet by a high school friend from Solvay Business School (Merci Philip!).

An unfortunate turn of events later and over dinner he tells me he cannot go, has to stay at work on Monday, and cannot find anyone interested in his ticket. So there I was, sending a last minute email to my boss on a Sunday afternoon, « could I please please please take my day off tomorrow and assist to the conference »!

« Bref », 8am the next morning, there I am, sitting on the first row of the BOZAR theater, waiting for Steve Wozniak to open the day. Classic. Can’t believe there was a time when I hated Mondays!

So, as TED is all about sharing, I am going to post here my top-5 speeches from TEDxBrussels.

Top 1 – Zoe Laughling

Artist and maker Zoe Laughlin is a co-founder/director of the Institute of Making and the Materials Library project. She holds an MA from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and obtained a PhD in Materials within the Division of Engineering, King’s College London.

 

Working at the interface of the science, art, craft and design of materials, her work ranges from formal experiments with matter, to materials consultancy and large-scale public exhibitions and events with partners including Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery, the V&A and the Wellcome Collection. Her particular areas of interest are currently The Sound of Materials, The Taste of Materials and The Performativity of Matter, with outputs ranging from theatrical demonstration lectures to the making of instruments and features on both radio and television.

 

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A day in the deep future ! Let’s go !!

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Haha. Just read an article on Wired: « Press Ctrl+Alt+O for Orgasm », and I have to give you (some extracts and) my thoughts!

It made me think about this TED talk I saw @TEDxBrussels last year, Tan Le (co-founder of Emotiv, a neuro-engineering company) presented a breakthrough interface technology for digital media, taking inputs directly from the brain.

We had this live demo (you can watch the video here), the idea is that you wear some kind of helmet full of electrodes, think about an action (in this case, lift something up) and the activity in your brain is recorded so that the next time your brain has a similar activity, the helmet understands the action and is capable to reproduce it.

Applications for this interface span an amazing array of potential industries, eg disabled being able to « act » with their brains.

So, now we know cerebral activity can be recorded and understood by a machine, could we turn the process upside down and imagine that a machine could actually input stuff in your brain to make you think you are actually doing it (being hot, feeling nervous…)

If we take the assumption that in a few years, machines will be able to make you (or actually, your brain) believe you are feeling/doing something. Then it comes to mind quite easily: people want pleasure.

That’s when the Wired article comes in and here are some extracts:

Pearson describes a future (by 2030) where sensors will be sophisticated enough to detect and map the collection of stimuli that create certain sensory experiences – be it someone shaking your hand, hugging you, or having sex with you. The idea is that by stimulating your nervous system in exactly the same way – with the appropriate pressure, warmth and motion — you can recreate the experience. People might use this sort of technology when they are separated from their partners or, more likely, when they don’t have one.

(Which, really, would make this story more about the future of masturbation than sex!)

Further down the line, Pearson believes that you would be able to cut out the need to stimulate the nerve endings and implant a chip into the brain that could recreate the sensations.

« Then it might be as easy as Ctrl-Shift-O for an orgasm, » he explains.

Yeah, right. So after reading this (and although the idea seems… interesting), I had a weird feeling of déja-vu, and after a few minutes of Googling, I found out why:

The pleasure center was discovered in the 1950s by two brain researchers named James Olds and Peter Milner who were investigating whether rats might be made uncomfortable by electrical stimulation of certain areas of their brain, particularly the limbic system. In the experiment, an electrical current was given to rats if they entered a certain corner of a cage, with the hypothesis that they would stay away from that corner if the effect was uncomfortable. Instead, they came back quickly after the first stimulation and even more quickly after the second. In later experiments, they allowed the rats to press the stimulation lever themselves, to the effect that they would press it as much as seven-hundred times per hour. This region soon came to be known as the “pleasure center”.

Rats in Skinner boxes with metal electrodes implanted into their nucleus accumbens will repeatedly press a lever which activates this region, and will do so in preference over food and water, eventually dying from exhaustion. In rodent physiology, scientists reason that the medial forebrain bundle is the pleasure center of rats. If a rat is given the choice between stimulating the forebrain or eating, it will choose stimulation to the point of exhaustion.

(Read the full explanation here)

So get this Ctrl+Alt+O thing on the market, and it’s the best solution to the planet’s overcrowding/lack-of-food problems !!

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Ron Gutman nous présente dans cette vidéo ses études sur le sourire, et nous révèle des résultats surprenants. Saviez-vous que votre sourire peut être prédicateur de combien de temps vous allez vivre – et qu’un simple sourire a un effet mesurable sur votre bien-être?

Préparez-vous à vous étirer un peu les muscles du visages (oui les filles tant pis pour vos rides), et a en apprendre davantage sur ce comportement évolutif et contagieux! Enjoy

:D (big fat smile)

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