Looking for REALLY GOOD speeches/lectures/talks
November 16, 2017 2:56 PM   Subscribe

I've noticed I enjoy listening to talks online. I want to find more good ones.

I'm looking for the golden nuggets of lectures and talks. I have some down time coming up and would like to use this time for some self-learning/improvement. I know TEDTalks is the go to for this kind of thing, but I'd like to find more variations. Also accepting links to good university lectures if anyone know of any amazing professors that record their classes for free. Topics can vary from self-helpy things to politics to philosophy to personal stories to whatever else, but I will admit my attention span is not the best and if it gets too dense I will probably zone out. Examples of things I've liked are Brene Brown and Ta-Nehisi Coates videos.
posted by monologish to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
This is a far shot, but I do speak mandarin and would like to practice it more, so if anyone's got suggestions for good mandarin talks/speeches to listen to, I would love those too.
posted by monologish at 3:14 PM on November 16, 2017

Robert Sapolsky's Stanford lectures - Intro to Neurobiology - are online.
posted by theora55 at 3:58 PM on November 16, 2017

Teresa McCarty delivers the 12th Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research, October 22, 2015.

It was just stunning.

You could've heard a pin drop.

Her slides are here, but the way she weaves them into her spoken words is fabulous, so I suggest watching as well as listening.
posted by jgirl at 4:02 PM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

The BBC'S Reith Lecture archive is online.
posted by tavegyl at 4:32 PM on November 16, 2017

Whenever 3 Quarks Daily posts a talk, it's well worth listening to. 3 Quarks Daily is a long-running blog, maintained by multiple editors, that curates interesting/challenging stuff from a wide range of disciplines. I can't find a tag for videos they've linked to, but you could always search "talks" in the search bar.

May I recommend my very favourite thing on Youtube—Examined Life (with Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor), a short video in which the two walk around the city and talk about disability, interdependence, and community care. Judith Butler is a philosopher/theorist, but the video is very accessible!
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 4:42 PM on November 16, 2017

The London School of Economics's Public Lectures and Events series has some interesting presentations from their own and visiting academics and authors. There is also a podcast feed.
posted by sagwalla at 8:47 AM on November 17, 2017

I recently attended a lecture by Michael Ignatieff, and was rivetted. He is a fantastic speaker. Cant link from from phone but he is easy enough to google, he is the president and rector of CEU Budapest.
posted by 15L06 at 9:23 AM on November 17, 2017

The In Our Time podcast/radio show is a panel of professors/experts on a topic moderated by the curmudgeonly Melvin Bragg. It's awesome and the range of topics is quite impressive.
posted by dawkins_7 at 9:49 AM on November 17, 2017

I adore this conversation between William Gass and Michael Silverblatt. Every time I watch it I get something new out of it.
posted by holmesian at 10:56 AM on November 17, 2017

If you're interested in physics, Richard Feynman's lectures are available as text for free, some videos on youtube, and entire lectures (audio) are also available from a variety of sources.
posted by porpoise at 10:58 AM on November 17, 2017

The Long Now Foundation's Seminars About Long Term Thinking series is 80% great. They're not nearly as in-depth as university course, but they're far more detailed and less scripted than TED talks.
posted by eotvos at 8:44 AM on November 18, 2017

Tracee Ellis Ross's speech at her Glamour Woman of the Year award ceremony is the best speech I've heard recently. You can find it here.
posted by spindrifter at 9:27 AM on November 19, 2017

If you're really looking for professors recording their classes (or similar), I strongly suggest you check your local library for Great Courses from The Teaching Company. A lot of libraries have various courses, so you might find My Favorite Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Medieval Heroines, or any of the music appreciation courses by the ridiculously prolific Robert Greenburg.

There is also, of course, a ton of audio at video at MIT's Open Courseware, including the Walter Lewin physics lectures.
posted by kristi at 6:08 PM on November 20, 2017

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