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New playlist: What does the future look like?

TED Blog


TED playlists are collections of talks around a topic, built for you in a thoughtful sequence to illuminate ideas in context. This weekend, a new playlist is available: What does the future look like?

It’s the question none of us is sure how to answer: What will the world look like in 20 years? And in a hundred years, will our lives be recognizable? Is the future going to be so bright we gotta wear shades, or will we descend into dystopia? In this selection of talks, hear 11 visions for the future – on everything from cars to the Internet to the human species.

Watch this playlist, which includes talks by Juan Enriquez, Nicholas Negroponte and Danny Hillis.»

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How to pick the charity that’s right for you

TED Blog

In 1994, Dan Pallotta created the AIDS Rides – a series of long-distance fundraising cycling journeys that netted $108 million for HIV/AIDS research and services within the space of eight years. Later, his Breast Cancer 3-Day walks netted $194 million in an even shorter period of time. Both had their best years ever in 2002. But then, after a spate of bad press criticizing the management of the organization, both were shuttered.

[ted_talkteaser id=1688]“350 employees lost their jobs because they were labeled overhead,” says Palotta in today’s talk, given at TED2013. “This is what happens when we confuse morality with frugality.”

This wasn’t just a problem for the newly unemployed or Pallotta’s wounded sense of pride. As he explains in this talk, the real issue is that everything we have been taught to think about charity is wrong. In particular, the single yardstick generally used to measure the worthiness…

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7 talks about fruit flies

TED Blog

Fruit-Fly“Raise your hand if you think that basic research on fruit flies has anything to do with understanding mental illness in humans,” David Anderson begins today’s talk, given at TEDxCaltech.

[ted_talkteaser id=1689]While few hands shoot in the air, Anderson goes on to explain the connection – that research conducted by manipulating brain chemicals in fruit flies is giving us valuable insight into the brain circuitry of emotions and mental illness. And these neural underpinnings are more complex than many think.

“We tend to believe – and the popular press aids and abets this view – that [psychiatric disorders] are a chemical imbalance in the brain,” says Anderson. “As if the brain were some kind of bag of chemical soup full of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.”

The brain circuitry of mental disorders are complex, and yet the medications we’ve used to treat them for the past two decades work…

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This week’s best questions, ideas and debates from TED Conversations

TED Blog


TED Conversations is a unique space where any member of this community can get feedback on an idea, pose an interesting question, or start a fascinating debate with fellow TEDizens from around the globe. This week, dozens of new conversations were started — from “What are the ethics of spending money?” to „Are we on the brink of creating a human-like digital mind?” Here, a sampling of the highlights from this week.

From Nina Tandon’s class at Cooper Union, student George Holevas posed a thought-provoking question: Do you believe the human brain will continue to increase its capabilities? He writes:

According to neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran’s TED Talk, „The neurons that shaped civilization”, a sudden emergence and rapid spread of a number of skills that are unique to human beings occurred 75k to 100k years ago. These defining skills include the use of tools, fire, shelter and language, and the ability…

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