I’ve spent an hour or two today watching fascinating talks on a site I found called TED. I’m not sure what TED stands for, but it is a conference held each year where interesting people speak about their ideas. It is in a similar vein to Edge Magazine, which I mentioned earlier this year.
The TED website hosts many videos of talks given at their conferences over the last few years, from such people as Daniel Dennet, Stephen Pinker and a number of other people who I respect greatly as thinkers. Each week they post new talks to the website, and there is a feed for these talks.
I have watched two talks given by Dennet (Can we know our own minds?, Ants, terrorism, and the awesome power of memes), two from Pinker (A brief history of violence, The stuff of thought) and one from Jeff Raskin (Brain science is about to fundamentally change computing).
Dennet’s are about the philosopy of consciousness and thought; Pinker’s about how language can be used as a tool to explore how we think and how the world isn’t so bad as we imagine; Raskin’s is about his prediction theory of intelligence.
I recommend them all for being both interesting and inspiring. I especially recommend, however, the ones by Dennet: I find he reminds me about why I’m interested in the science and philosophy of consciousness in the first place; he can really express the mystery, expose how little we know and inspire one to learn more.
Here’s the first of Dennet’s talks; if you only watch one of them, this should be the one: