The latest talk about TED.

March 2nd, 2012

My hairdresser tells me he watches TED Talks online most nights before bed. My brother attended a local TEDx event in San Diego a few months ago. And in last year’s Muppets movie, Kermit’s former assistant Scooter now works at Google and is going to a TED conference.

For anyone who might ask “Who’s Ted?” it’s four-day TED conferences of short talks on innovative and inspiring ideas that have gone viral in popularity online via And TED is at the heart of a feature story by Brooklyn journalist and author Benjamin Wallace in this week’s New York magazine, titled “Those Fabulous Confabs.”

Wallace, who notes his own Taste3 talk is posted on, gives a complete albeit sardonic perspective of the smart-talk conference phenomenon and poses some questions that challenge its meaning and future. It’s a good read that includes this list of TED’s most popular conference talks.

1. Ken Robinson on Creativity
“By the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost the capacity to take a chance. They have become frightened of being wrong. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth: for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t serve us.”

2. Jill Bolte Taylor on Her Own Stroke
“In the course of four hours, I watched my brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process all information. At first I was shocked to find myself inside of a silent mind. But then I was immediately captivated by the magnificence of the energy around me.”

3. David Gallo on Underwater Life
“Today we’ve only explored about 3 percent of what’s out there in the ocean. And in a place where we thought there was no life at all, we find more life, we think, and diversity and density than the tropical rain forest, which tells us that we don’t know much about this planet at all.”

4. Arthur Benjamin on Mathemagics
“I combine my loves of math and magic to do something I call ‘mathemagics.’ I know as a magician we’re not supposed to reveal our secrets. [But] without any more stalling, here we go. Now, 57 times 68 is 3,400 plus 476 is 3,876, that’s 38,760 plus 171, 38,760 plus 171 is 38,931 … ”

5. Hans Rosling on Stats
“I would like to compare Uganda with South Korea with Brazil. You can see that the speed of development is very, very different, and the countries are moving more or less at the same rate as money and health, but it seems you can move much faster if you are healthy first than if you are wealthy first.”

There are more than 900 TED Talks now available online. If you were to give a TED Talk, which of your ideas do you think is most worth spreading? Can you guess mine?



Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “The latest talk about TED.”

  1. Jjohn Tarney says:

    Way to go Julie – raising awareness of TED is like espousing exercise and nutrition for one’s health.

  2. Julie Tarney says:

    TED Talks just might be my favorite brain-food buffet.