Nuclear weapons policy is boring. At least, until I watched this video.
It turns out there is a massive sea-change in policy thinking going on,
led equally by conservatives and Republicans, to *eliminate nuclear
weapons from the planet.* This has been a far-left utopian dream for
generations and now with Obama's help it may get started. Watch this
dynamic and annimated talk and see what it's all about, things are
really changing and it's more than just talk.
Very very interesting talk about how the brain works and new insights on
what makes a "healthy mind." This talk inspired me (along with Norman
Fischer's talk below) to take up meditation. Or at least initially to
buy Siegel's book and see the practical advice on how to get started. If
nothing else this video is worth watching for its explanation of how the
brain is structured using ones hand as a model.
Excellent summation of the Iraq War 2006-2008 (near present). Dispells a
lot of common myth. Ricks probably knows more about the war than any
reporter. Ricks is a very good speaker and credible. This is a sequel to
his better known Fiasco, one of the canonical books about the
Trevlor Paglen takes an academic approach to discovering what can be
learned about top secret world of the US military which has an annual
budget in the 10s of billions. Similair to how astronomers learn about
the universe through looking at invisible forces such as gravity, Paglan
finds where the "Dark World" intersects with the real world and uses
deductive logic to infer what it means. Part science, part spy thriller,
part art, this is a neat lecture with a fresh approach that transcends
the rediculous old "Area 51" type conspiracy theorists.
Otherwise normal middle class British guy walks solo to the North Pole, only the third person ever to accomplish - it's been called 10 times harder and more dangerous than Everest. Interesting lecture and slides, sound and video technical problems but not insurmountable for the intrepid armchair traveler.
Author Sean Carroll gives an passionate overview of what we know about the Universe. It's technical enough to be challenging but accessable enough to feel a sense of learning something new and staying up to date with the latest theories about dark matter and energy, multiple dimensions.
Peter Reinhart is the leading artisian bread baker in the US, with
best-selling books, restaurants and schools to his name. In this
lecture, starting about 1/3 in, he describes the 12 steps of bread
making. It's spiritual and deep and worth watching even if you have no
interest in bread, it transcends food. He gave a similar talk at TED
Reinhart: The art of baking bread which is a little shorter at 15
mins. The Authors@Google talk is much longer and goes into more detail.
Tragedy of the anti-commons is the opposite of tragedy of the commons -
it's when too many owners create grid-lock, nothing can get
accomplished. It exists everywhere from copyright law, tech patents,
music industry, airport runway expansion, medicine, etc.. it is
pervasive across all aspects of modern capitalist societies. The
concept was coined by Professor Michael Heller who published a book in
2008 called The
Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops
Innovation, and Costs Lives. In an excellent Authors@Google
video, Michael Heller explains what it is and how it undermines
capitalism, in particular over the past 30 years with increased
The lecture starts out slow and is a little technical but is rewarding.
Towards the end it becomes clear how important the emerging science of
telometric DNA will be in the future. Blackburn is a pioneer in the
field (Time Magazine's most influential people in the world 2007). It's
possible that many diseases, even aging, can be explained by telemerase
health. There is no magic pill or food, but stress is the biggest
factor. Important and fascinating stuff. Blackburn is a gentle and
pleasant speaker. Nice introduction to telomese research. Update:
(Oct 5 2009) Blackburn awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for
Dean Karnazes is an inspirational athelete sort of the same calibur as
Lance Armstrong, but lesser known outside the world of marathon and long
distance endurance runners. He's a little tweaked, and that makes him a
lot of fun to listen to - uplifting and fun lecture.
Filkins is a New York Times reporter who spent the last 8 years in Iraq
and Afghanistan. In this lecture he has just returned to the US, just
off the boat for only a week. He's a good speaker and has great slides
and stories, but most interesting is to watch his obvious culture shock.
Half way through the lecture he seems to break down, taking off his
jacket and hair standing on end.. the sense of someone who has lived his
life on the edge and still in Iraq with his life on the line is clear.
Fascinating first-hand account.
Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz did a study showing the cost of
the Iraq War as being around 3 to 5 trillion. Much of the cost is
hidden intentionally. This is a fascinating lecture with mind blowing
"wow" stories one after the next about the incredible mis-management of
money surrounding the Iraq War and the Bush Administration.
Devlin is an animated, energic and fascinating speaker. In this
stimulating talk he combines world history with mathematics for a
general audience, speculating that there have been three times in human
history when mathematics fundamentally changed human perspective on the
Zimbardo (President of the American Psychological Association) presents
a new model of psychology based on how one percieves the past, present
and future. Zimbardo is a charismatic speaker and the model is
compelling. He argues it is one of the most compelling factors that
influences people, and even nations.
Norman Fischer is one of the most senior Zen teachers in America.
Fischer has a contagious sense of deep relaxation. The lecture seems to
be targeted towards the skeptical secular person and I found it really
persuasive that we all need some religion, at some time in our
lives, whatever religion it is, to see us through the difficult periods.
Very insightful and relaxing lecture.
is the first look into the everyday lives of the migrant factory
population in China. China has 130 million migrant workers - the largest
migration in human history. In Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang, a former
correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing, tells the story of
these workers primarily through the lives of two young women, whom she
follows over the course of three years as they attempt to rise from the
assembly lines of Dongguan, an industrial city in China's Pearl River
This is a light but fascinating talk by a US reporter who researched
what exactly happened in the 4 or 5 days of the Cuban Missle Crisis. In
the end he discovers mostly a lot of mis-communication and unknowns. In
the big picture it seems a miracle nuclear war didn't happen and is a
lesson about how easily things could have turned out differently. Good
speaker with good slides and new discoveries using Google Earth.
Ferran Adria is generally recognized as one of the best Chef's in the
world because of his totally new methods of cooking using high tech
tools, known as "molecular gastronomy." This video shows what the
avant garde food
looks like and how it's made. Required viewing for any foodie. What a
blast. Note: This 600-page book with 30-recipes costs