Slacking Off: Totally TED

TEDLately I’ve taken to watching TED talks in the evening.  They’re thought-provoking, usually entertaining, and, best of all when watching late at night, short.  I have to control myself though, I could spend hours jumping from one great topic to another.  Really, I should probably watch something less thought-provoking right before bed, like the Rockford Files.  Anyway, as my Happy Friday gift to you, I thought I’d recommend a few that have I’ve found particularly interesting.

Susan Cain: The power of introverts.  After reading the book Quiet, which I’ve mentioned previously, I had to watch this talk.  The subject of introversion and society’s obsession with the extrovert ideal is both fascinating and frustrating to me.  Susan talks about it in a very engaging manner.

Michael Sandel: The Lost Art of Democratic Debate.  From flutes to golf to same-sex marriage, Sandel discusses how we’ve forgotten the core of democratic debate, which is to define the essential nature of an issue or activity.

Ze Frank’s nerdcore comedy.  He starts with a standup routine and then moves into what he does, which is create web tools to help people create and interact with one another.  What’s so awesome is his obvious passion for it.

Sir Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity.  “Shakespeare was in someone’s english class.”  Robinson believes that you don’t grow into creativity, you grow out of it, and we need to stress and value creativity in schools like we stress algebra and grammar.  My favorite quote:  if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never create anything original.

If you’re not familiar with TED talks, check them out.  But do it when you’ve got some time to burn: they’re highly addictive.  If you’re already familiar with TED, feel free to recommend your favorite talk(s) in the comments.

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