My 10 Favorite TED Videos

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This was one of the first videos I watched on TED. Paul Romer, a Stanford economist, has a radical idea for boosting world growth and liberating struggling economies trapped in a system of bad rules. His solution is the ‘Charter City‘, an urban conglomeration that is managed by a coalition of nations – benefiting the residents while providing opportunities for the managing governments to explore ties.


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Jonathan Harris is a web-based artist who collects stories from around the world using emotions expressed by users on social networking sites. His fascinating project, ‘We Feel Fine‘, tells a story in itself by putting these emotions together and gauging the mood of the world. If you visit the website, the clean infographics will blow your mind away.


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Murray Gell-Mann won the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles. He also discovered strangeness in quarks and, in close collaboration with Feynman, co-created the theory of quantum chromodynamics. This TED appearance of his, in 2007, saw him explain physics in layman’s terms and speculating on elegant equations being on target more often than twisted ones.

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JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, working with the electrical engineering and computer science departments at UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara) unveiled the AlloSphere: the ultimate integration of media, the arts and technology. Projections of known scientific data onto an opaque dome, coupled with near-perfect surround-sound acoustics, enables anyone who steps inside the dome to “dive into the brain, feel electron spin, hear the music of the elements… and detect previously unseen patterns that could lead to new discoveries.”


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Vilayanur S. Ramachandran speaks on the recently discovered mirror neurons, cellular components of the brain that influence social behavior to such a large extent that they may well have shaped human civilization.


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Another V. S. Ramachandran video, this TED talk, recorded in 2007, describes the famed Indian neurologist’s experiments and what they revealed about the connection between cerebral tissues and the human mind. That a group of military hospitals tested his discoveries amongst 22 patients with a +95% success is a testimony to the innate brilliance they reflect.


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Diagnosed with autism as a child, Temple Grandin realized early on that she could think through pictures. Propounding that the world needs all kinds of minds – including those annoyingly geeky ones – Grandin stresses on the importance roles that will be played by visual, pattern and verbal thinkers in the future to come. Her story has spawned an award-winning miniseries as well.


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David Pogue is an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS and a columnist with NYT. In this talk, he ridicules those who get interface-design abhorrently wrong and provides examples of those who get it pretty damn right – with song.


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Emily Levine is that rare philosopher with a sense of humor – and a good one at that. Curiously piecing together concepts in science, mathematics, languages and society, she talks about her theory of everything by poking holes through our imagination and weaving a resplendent fabric of thought.


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The visionary co-founder of outsourcing giant Infosys, Nandan Nilekani talks about India’s future in the global market and the four brands for growth it has the option of exploring. His ideas range from the microeconomic to the radical – and they are all fascinating.

Note: The reason Pranav Mistry’s appearance at TEDIndia did not feature in this list is because his development of the Sixth Sense technology has a greater impact in the form of an independent appearance and not as a video. The videos in this list do not expound on inventions or discoveries (if any) but focus on the work that went behind them.

0 thoughts on “My 10 Favorite TED Videos

  1. Pingback: My 10 Favorite TED Videos (via Psychic Defense) | Chicago Mac/PC Support

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