>TED was born in 1984 out of the observation by Richard Saul Wurman of a powerful convergence between Technology, Entertainment and Design. The first TED included the public unveiling of the Macintosh computer and the Sony compact disc, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines with his newly discovered fractals and AI guru Marvin Minsky outlined his powerful new model of the mind. Several influential members of the burgeoning ‘digerati’ community were also there, including Nicholas Negroponte and Stewart Brand.
The TED Conference 2006 videos are very entertaining. My favorites so far (I haven’t watched them all yet):
- David Pogue – very funny talk on usability and design. One inteteresting point that he makes is that computers used to be used by experts alone. That has changed and everyone uses a computer now. Interfaces must be designed simply and intuitively for multitudes to use.
- Sir Ken Robinson – Another funny talk with dry British wit about our schools and how we are ceasing to teach creativity. I think that he has a very good point. I am an I.T. Architect. I am also an artist – I paint and draw, and a designer. I have the ability to think about spaces and forms and shapes and interconnections. My art skills formed parts of my brain which are important to my work as and I.T. Architect. My abilities to visually represent complex systems (modelling), to see larger patterns and to find connections. What happens when our children lack these creative skills? Will they be able to think of creative solutions to the issues that world faces?
- Larry Brilliant – I’ll quote the TED site: “TEDPrize winner Larry Brilliant is an epidemiologist who led the successful WHO campaign to eradicate Smallpox.” His talk is rather amazing. Scary but amazing. It makes you want to quit your job, sell everything and take off to save the world. It is wonderful that we have people like Mr. Brilliant on this planet.
- Han Rosling – this is an amazing talk. Mr. Rosling has developed software – Gapminder – that brings epidemiological and global census data to life in wonderful and creative animations. Absolutely marvelous. I wondered at the software and I learned a lot about the complexity of world.
The TED talks are a marvelous resource. Go and enjoy some of the best and brightest.