Tag Archives: TED

Are You Happy, Or Just Remembering Wrong?

Here is another great TED talk, this one from TED last month in California. Are you happy? Here’s the TED summary:

Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy — and our own self-awareness.

If you don’t see the embedded video here, you can click this link to go to the source at the TED.com site.


Just to get you interested, here are a few quotes:

  • “Time has very little impact on the story.”
  • “We don’t choose between experiences. We choose between memories of experiences.” And for the future, we think about the anticipation.
  • Question: “How much do we consume our memories?”
  • “We do not attend to the same things when we think about life and when we actually live it.”

On Cities, Food, History, and Future

In honor of Blog Action Day, the video here is a 15-minute TED talk by Carolyn Steel, author and architect. Among the startling things she says here:

  • We lose about 47 million acres of rainforest every year. And at the same time, we lose about 50 million acres of farm land to salinization and erosion.
  • Half the food produced in the USA is thrown away.
  • A billion of us are obese while another billion starve.
  • 80% of global trade in food is controlled by five corporations.

How did we get here, and what are we going to do about it? It’s a short talk, but she tries to answer the first question and ask the second. It’s fascinating.


If you can’t see the video here, you can click here to go to the original on TED.com

The Web as Random Acts of Kindness

Researchers put a cute-looking cardboard robot on the streets of New York. It could only go forward but it had a note asking people to help it to its destination. It got there quickly with the help of 43 people. They asked for nothing in return.

A teenager got caught on YouTube with a humiliating video that spread like wildfire. Editors at Wikipedia make a point of keeping his name off of the story.

The Wikipedia itself is a marvelous example of people helping people, for free, because they want to.

People helping people, asking nothing in return. In the TED talk here, Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain talks of the web as random acts of kindness. Node by node, computers are shared. Volunteers run the soft spots and correct problems. There’s a very refreshing optimism here, a reminder that technology isn’t necessarily making us all more lonely and isolated.


(If you don’t see the video here, you can click here for the original on the TED site.)

Here is more on Jonathan Zittrain from the TED site:

He is an investigator for the OpenNet initiative and co-founder of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, has long studied the legal, technological and world-shaking aspects of quickly morphing virtual terrains. He performed the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia in 2002. His initiatives include projects to fight malware (StopBadware) and ChillingEffects, a site designed to support open content by tracking legal threats to individual users.

(Photo credit: that’s a screen shot from the video of the talk, about 17 minutes in.)

Stewart Brand’s 4 Environmental Heresies

I’ve been a reader of, and kind of a fan of, Stewart Brand for just about 40 years now, since the first Whole Earth Catalog came out while I was in college. To me he stands for the long-term component of so-called “hippie” values that have since become mainstream, because they make sense. Among them, caring for the environment.

So that makes it more interesting to me when he comes out in a TED talk with some surprisingly new thoughts on the environment, now and in the future, and how we need to change behavior to solve major problems.  For an amazing 30-second video clip, a train cohabiting the slums with people, make sure you get to the seventh minute in the presentation below.


This is a 16 minute talk. If you can’t see the video here, then you can click this link to get it at the main TED site.

Which — going to the source site — might be a good idea, regardless; there are some very interesting, informed comments below that video. These are important topics, not to be taken lightly, not obvious in any way.