Dolphins are highly intelligent mammals, with an amazing ability to learn to understand our language. But as we gain more insights into their behaviour, we’re also coming to suspect that they might have their very own language — or at the very least a complex system for communicating with one another.
While I share dreams of interstellar travel, I find positive invocation of European colonialism profoundly problematic. If posthumans see themselves as Columbus, Cortes, Pizarro, and John Smith when they set off for the stars, expect very bad things. Let’s decolonize our desires, folks.
Can government be run like the Internet, permissionless and open? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can—and that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments—and their neighbors.
TED Fellow Lucy McRae is a body architect—she imagines ways to merge biology and technology in our own bodies. In this visually stunning talk, she shows her work, from clothes that recreate the body’s insides for a music video with pop-star Robyn, to a pill that, when swallowed, lets you sweat perfume.
Imagine playing a video game controlled by your mind. Now imagine that game also teaches you about your own patterns of stress, relaxation and focus. At TEDxToronto Ariel Garten shows how looking at our own brain activity gives new meaning to the ancient dictum “know thyself.”
When TED Senior Fellow Cesar Harada heard about the devastating effects of the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, he quit his dream job and moved to New Orleans to develop a more efficient way to soak up the oil. He designed a highly maneuverable, flexible boat capable of cleaning large tracts quickly. But rather than turn a profit, he has opted to open-source the design.
Our hive culture has established a hierarchical pyramid where we, the greatest of the great apes, have crowned ourselves on top of a conceptual food chain that is confused / mixed with a superiority chain…
Hello Africa illustrates cellphone culture in Africa. It shows images of contemporary Africa with focus on people’s lifestyles, popular culture, habits, activities and opinions in the context of mobile technology usage. The movie portraits individuals from all society: teachers, athletes, vendors, watchmen, musicians and many more. They all have in common that they are connected and have unique stories to tell.
How are we going to power the future? Energy is a huge concern, so lets examine recent advances in solar energy. It is difficult to discuss energy generation (solar in particular) without hearing the same tired objections. Therefore, a little myth busting is in order:
In the ongoing scandal about Barclays’ employees tampering with the “LIBOR,” or London interbank lending rate - which is to say, bank fraud - The Economist offers this brilliant cover. It’s not just the word “banksters,” or the fact that it shows bank executives dressed like the guys in Reservoir Dogs.
Ayesha Khanna has frequently been in the major media lately. On July 3rd the Washington Post interviewed her and her husband Parag Khanna about their new TED e-book, Hybrid Reality. On July 10, the IEET Fellow was interviewed again by SFGate.com, the online San Francisco Chronicle.
Medical ethicist Harvey Fineberg shows us three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving completely, to evolve naturally—or to control the next steps of human evolution, using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, better. Neo-evolution is within our grasp. What will we do with it?
Of course, no one can predict the future this far in advance with 100% accuracy, but if technologies continue to advance exponentially, which most experts predict they will; and we blend in a few scenarios that push the envelope, an amazing future begins to take form.
Since 9/11 the budget for the USA Special Ops has quadrupled. Under President Obama, the forces of the Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), which includes the Green Berets, Navy SEALS and Army Rangers, have been granted more latitude and greater autonomy, engaged in counter-terrorism, surveillance and reconnaissance in as many as 120 countries around the world.
“Is it okay if I totally trash your office?” It’s a question Elyn Saks once asked her doctor, and it wasn’t a joke. A legal scholar, in 2007 Saks came forward with her own story of schizophrenia, controlled by drugs and therapy but ever-present. In this powerful talk, she asks us to see people with mental illness clearly, honestly and compassionately.
When faced with a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s, most of us respond with denial (“It won’t happen to me”) or extreme efforts at prevention. But global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh sees it differently. She’s taking three concrete steps to prepare for the moment—should it arrive—when she herself gets Alzheimer’s disease.
It was said that it takes at least a decade to figure out the effects of a major war. It probably takes a lot longer. It took a few decades to figure out that Britain had lost its empire by winning World War II and only now are we beginning to see that Germany was not defeated after all.
When we become immortal, visiting “old friends” for nostalgic reminiscing will require an enormous amount of time. But - we’ll have eternity at our disposal… Here’s a short Science Fiction gem from a new contributor.
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