Ted Talks
March 15, 2015 4:18 PM   Subscribe

People always talk a lot of shit about Ted Talks, but there must be some that are fantastic. What are they? What are the Ted Talks that are outstanding?
posted by josher71 to Education (32 answers total) 235 users marked this as a favorite
 
Outstanding is subjective, but I tend to pay attention to the ones that actually cover new, groundbreaking projects rather than the motivational "look at how awesome I became" talks.

Also, avoid the TEDx bush league stuff.
posted by Abon Sapi at 4:27 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


I like these three in particular:

Hans Rosling, The Best Stats You've Ever Seen
Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice
Brené Brown, The Power of Vulnerability
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:31 PM on March 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


My personal favorite:
Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds
posted by GeekDad at 4:38 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


How To Use A Paper Towel is the TED talk that has had the most direct impact on my life. I don't always use the technique, but when I do, I feel smugly together.

Less flippantly, The Danger Of A Single Story is fantastic.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 4:38 PM on March 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


These two never fail to move with me with their strikingly wondrous intelligence and deep humanity:

Carolyn Porco: This is Saturn

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:52 PM on March 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


Johanna Blakley, Lessons from Fashion's Free Culture.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:53 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seconding The Danger of the Single Story. I always show it to my sophomores to talk about why we study world literature, and it so, so good.
posted by Alexandra Michelle at 4:55 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


David Chalmers, the rock starish Australian philosopher, provides a very lucid explication of the problem of consciousness: http://n.pr/1BOkTE0.
posted by Kevin S at 4:57 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


At a delicate time in my creative career, I found Elizabeth GIlbert's Your elusive creative genius tremendously helpful. I think about it often, even now.
posted by Andrhia at 5:04 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Jackson Katz' "Violence against women--it's a men's issue" TED Talk is very, very good.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:17 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Bonnie Bassler on bacteria. Fascinating science, charismatic presentation.

Any talk by Hans Rosling. In addition to what's been linked above, try The Magic Washing Machine.
posted by maudlin at 5:26 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]




I love Cameron Russell's Looks Aren't Everything. Believe Me, I'm a Model. It's not super groundbreaking or surprising, but I love the delivery and it's something that I show my class every year when we discuss rhetorical analysis.
posted by littlegreen at 5:57 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher beat me to it recommending Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight. A truly amazing talk.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:58 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie gave a very lovely TED talk about learning how to truly listen.
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 6:19 PM on March 15, 2015




Joshua Klein: The Intelligence of Crows
posted by Little Dawn at 6:53 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Antonio Damasio
Neuroscientist, presents the latest in consciousness research and the brain.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:02 PM on March 15, 2015




+1 on the Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown.

I also enjoyed Dr Terry Wahls TED talk. It might have been censored at one point.
posted by Neekee at 7:41 PM on March 15, 2015


One of my favorites is Mikko Hypponen's "Fighting viruses, defending the net" from 2011. The best part is when he went to find the authors of the first PC virus - Brain - in Pakistan.
posted by gemmy at 7:58 PM on March 15, 2015


Also, keep in mind that people talk shit on TED Talks because people love to crab pot.

Wikipedia, the most fantastic encyclopedia the world has ever known, suffers from the same slings and arrows.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:04 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bonnie Bassler's on microbes. Classic.
posted by Toddles at 8:43 PM on March 15, 2015


Jane Goodall's two talks. And seconding Elizabeth Gilbert on the changeful history of the concept of "genius".
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 9:20 PM on March 15, 2015


I love Benjamin Zander's talk the transformative power of classical music. He's dynamic and charismatic, and I honestly think this talk enhanced my enjoyment of classical music.
posted by superlibby at 10:55 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anything by Michael Shermer, Daniel Kahnemann, Steven Pinker, Dan Dennett, Dan Gilbert, Ken Robinson, Amy Cuddy, Dan Ariely, and Elizabeth Gilbert
posted by kschang at 11:26 PM on March 15, 2015


I enjoyed Mary Roach's 10 Things You Didn't Know About Orgasm talk, because she's wonderful.
posted by neushoorn at 1:55 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Recently deceased Stella Young's I'm Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much challenges society's habit of turning disabled people into "inspiration porn."
posted by kinetic at 2:55 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I enjoy a good TED talk, and yet, I also enjoyed this TEDx talk.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:02 AM on March 16, 2015


I watched this Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy on body language before a job interview. Priceless!
posted by islandeady at 6:00 AM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ze Frank's from 2010 is great fun, and more.
posted by Dolley at 6:11 AM on March 16, 2015


I just want to second the talk about paper towels. Changed my life. I do it every time now, even at home with cloth towels.
posted by kostia at 9:53 PM on March 16, 2015


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