Steven Pinker: What our language habits reveal

TEDGlobal 2005

Steven Pinker: What our language habits reveal

2,168,697 views

Readability: 5.2


In an exclusive preview of his book The Stuff of Thought, Steven Pinker looks at language and how it expresses what goes on in our minds -- and how the words we choose communicate much more than we realize.

Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence

TED2007

Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence

2,515,165 views

Readability: 5


Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence.

Erin McKean: The joy of lexicography

TED2007

Erin McKean: The joy of lexicography

1,140,953 views

Readability: 3.3


Is the beloved paper dictionary doomed to extinction? In this infectiously exuberant talk, leading lexicographer Erin McKean looks at the many ways today's print dictionary is poised for transformation.

Andrew Mwenda: Aid for Africa? No thanks.

TEDGlobal 2007

Andrew Mwenda: Aid for Africa? No thanks.

930,197 views

Readability: 4.9


In this provocative talk, journalist Andrew Mwenda asks us to reframe the "African question" -- to look beyond the media's stories of poverty, civil war and helplessness and see the opportunities for creating wealth and happiness throughout the continent.

Patrick Awuah: How to educate leaders? Liberal arts

TEDGlobal 2007

Patrick Awuah: How to educate leaders? Liberal arts

1,492,250 views

Readability: 4


A liberal arts education is critical to forming true leaders, says university head Patrick Awuah -- because it builds decision-making skills, an ethical framework and a broad vision. Awuah himself left a career at Microsoft in the US to found a liberal arts school in Africa: Ashesi University, in his home nation of Ghana. A passionate talk about dreaming, doing and leading.

Chris Abani: Telling stories from Africa

TEDGlobal 2007

Chris Abani: Telling stories from Africa

628,239 views

Readability: 3.9


In this deeply personal talk, Nigerian writer Chris Abani says that "what we know about how to be who we are" comes from stories. He searches for the heart of Africa through its poems and narrative, including his own.

William Kamkwamba: How I built a windmill

TEDGlobal 2007

William Kamkwamba: How I built a windmill

1,952,837 views

Readability: 4.4


When he was just 14 years old, Malawian inventor William Kamkwamba built his family an electricity-generating windmill from spare parts, working from rough plans he found in a library book.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Aid versus trade

TEDGlobal 2007

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Aid versus trade

588,443 views

Readability: 3.2


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former finance minister of Nigeria, sums up four days of intense discussion on aid versus trade on the closing day of TEDGlobal 2007, and shares a personal story explaining her own commitment to this cause.

Allison Hunt: How to get (a new) hip

TED2007

Allison Hunt: How to get (a new) hip

608,607 views

Readability: 3.2


When Allison Hunt found out that she needed a new hip -- and that Canada’s national health care system would require her to spend nearly 2 years on a waiting list (and in pain) -- she took matters into her own hands.

Rives: The  4 a.m. mystery

TED2007

Rives: The 4 a.m. mystery

3,831,263 views

Readability: 4


Poet Rives does 8 minutes of lyrical origami, folding history into a series of coincidences surrounding that most surreal of hours, 4 o'clock in the morning.

Deborah Gordon: The emergent genius of ant colonies

TED2003

Deborah Gordon: The emergent genius of ant colonies

1,046,487 views

Readability: 3.5


Deborah Gordon studies ant colonies in the Arizona desert to understand their complex social system. She asks: How do these chitinous creatures get down to business -- and even multitask when they need to -- with no language, memory or visible leadership? Her answers could lead to a better understanding of all complex systems, from the brain to the Web. Thanks, ants.

Jonathan Harris: The Web's secret stories

TED2007

Jonathan Harris: The Web's secret stories

1,092,803 views

Readability: 3.9


Jonathan Harris wants to make sense of the emotional world of the Web. With deep compassion for the human condition, his projects troll the Internet to find out what we're all feeling and looking for.

Bill Stone: Inside the world's deepest caves

TED2007

Bill Stone: Inside the world's deepest caves

1,957,822 views

Readability: 4.3


Bill Stone, a maverick cave explorer who has plumbed Earth's deepest abysses, discusses his efforts to mine lunar ice for space fuel and to build an autonomous robot for studying Jupiter's moon Europa.

Hans Rosling: New insights on poverty

TED2007

Hans Rosling: New insights on poverty

3,432,242 views

Readability: 3.1


Researcher Hans Rosling uses his cool data tools to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He demos Dollar Street, comparing households of varying income levels worldwide. Then he does something really amazing.

Stephen Lawler: Tour Microsoft's Virtual Earth

TED2007

Stephen Lawler: Tour Microsoft's Virtual Earth

320,437 views

Readability: 4.5


Microsoft's Stephen Lawler gives a whirlwind tour of Virtual Earth, moving up, down and through its hyper-real cityscapes with dazzlingly fluidity, a remarkable feat that requires staggering amounts of data to bring into focus.

Ethel: A string quartet plays "Blue Room"

TED2006

Ethel: A string quartet plays "Blue Room"

406,511 views

Readability: 0

No Transcript

The avant-garde string quartet Ethel performs the third movement from Phil Kline's four-part suite "The Blue Room and Other Stories." Searching melodic lines show off the deep, emotional musicality of these passionate players.

Anand Agarawala: Rethink the desktop with BumpTop

TED2007

Anand Agarawala: Rethink the desktop with BumpTop

1,501,418 views

Readability: 3.1


Anand Agarawala presents BumpTop, a user interface that takes the usual desktop metaphor to a glorious, 3-D extreme, transforming file navigation into a freewheeling playground of crumpled documents and clipping-covered "walls."

Robert Thurman: We can be Buddhas

TEDSalon 2006

Robert Thurman: We can be Buddhas

1,757,812 views

Readability: 3.2


In our hyperlinked world, we can know anything, anytime. And this mass enlightenment, says Buddhist scholar Bob Thurman, is our first step toward Buddha nature.