The Higgs Boson, breaking the sound barrier, Occupy Wall Street, oh my! — 9 TEDx Talks to remember 2012
2012 saw major advances in science, remarkable feats of human achievement, and sea-changes in politics, international conflict, and human relations. These nine talks should help you frame the essential ideas that shaped events this past year.
The Higgs Boson: What You Don’t Know: Dr. Dan Hooper at TEDxNaperville
Earlier this year, CERN uncovered overwhelming evidence pointing toward the discovery of the elusive Higgs-Boson particle — providing experimental backing for some of the most fundamental theories in physics. Dan Hooper explains what makes this discovery so special. (Filmed at TEDxNaperville.)
STRATOS - The longest free fall in history: Dr. Jon Clark at TEDxUSC
On October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner lept off a ledge 39,045 meters in the air, broke the sound barrier, and landed safely on the ground. Dr. Jon Clark worked on the suit that helped Felix survive. Watch the talk to find out how he did it. (Filmed at TEDxUSC.)
The aftermath of Occupy: Naomi Colvin at TEDxHousesofParliament
Last year, the Occupy Wall Street movement spread like wildfire across the globe. This year, members have struggled with critics who dismiss the campaign for its inability to articulate specific demands. Naomi Colvin thinks they miss the point entirely; that the protests were not about rushing into specific negotiations based on conventional principles, but about disrupting the way we reform altogether. In this reflective talk, she lays out a new vision of political identity. (Filmed at TEDxHousesofParliament.)
Be optimistic about the US and China: Geoffrey Garrett at TEDxSydney
When, in April of this year, civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng fled from house arrest to seek asylum at the US embassy in Beijing, the US and China faced a delicate situation that challenged both countries’ policies and basic ethics. Geoffrey Garrett believes that because the issue was resolved with relative ease — he can outline a vision of the future where these codependent superpowers can peaceably exist. (Filmed at TEDxSydney.)
What are your universal rights?: Philippe Sands at TEDxHousesofParliament
In addition to leaving thousands and countless homeless, the ongoing conflict in Syria has tried international stability — forcing every nation to reflect on its philosophy of intervention. In a call for consistent international conduct, Philippe Sands reframes intervention as a moral issue. He makes the case that no government should be free to abuse its citizens, that the rights of individuals supersede those of the state and that those rights must be protected by a powerful international force. (Filmed at TEDxHousesofParliament.)
Fixing election coverage: Jay Rosen at TEDxColumbiaEngineering
In November, America re-elected Barack Obama. But before they could do that, they were inundated with a barrage of press coverage, most of which, according to Jay Rosen, wasn’t very helpful. In this talk, he lays out the problems with the press’s election coverage and offers a simple fix. (Filmed at TEDxColumbiaEngineering.)
How Curiosity Changed My Life, and I Changed Hers: Adam Steltzner atTEDxNewEngland
Aside from representing a major achievement in science, engineering, and the exploration of space, the Curiosity rover is simply, incredibly cool. Adam Steltzner, landing lead for the Curiosity rover, explains how NASA got a 1-ton SUV onto Mars. (Filmed at TEDxNewEngland.)
Hate Speech Beyond Borders: Nazila Ghanea at TEDxEastEnd
In September, a hate-filled video posted to YouTube sparked a slew of violent protests across the Arab world and left serious questions about how cultures of free speech can peaceably coexist with cultures of censorship. Oxford professor of International Human Rights Law, Nazila Ghanea, gives us a look into the wider international picture of contemporary hate speech and the nature of the violence it incurs. (Filmed at TEDxEastEnd.)
A History of Violence: Steven Pinker atTEDxNewEngland
Several times this year, headlines described traumatic, violent events. But, through it all, it’s essential to remember that we live in the least violent time in history, says philosopher Steven Pinker. In this talk, he breaks down the numbers behind the decline of violence and lays out his expectations for the future of conflict. (Filmed at TEDxNewEngland.)
With Americans electing their president tomorrow, we revisit our playlist from last week—10 TEDxTalks every American should watch before voting:
As a New York Times article put it this morning, “The presidential campaign entered a delicate phase on Tuesday, suddenly becoming a sideshow to the hurricane.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it’s hard to remember that in just a week, Americans will be heading to the polls and, with their presidential selection, answering big questions about the future of the economy, education and their country’s place in this world.
In these 10 TEDxTalks, a global selection of speakers suggest altogether new ways of looking at these questions.
Scott Shay is a small banker with a big idea: No more big banks. The way he sees it, the bigger they are, the harder they fall and the bigger the global disaster they can leave in their wake. At TEDxWallStreet, he appeals for a massive break-up — spreading out the risk, diversifying the field, lowering the dependency, and creating a more secure financial system overall.
Americans are unsure what the future of China means for them. Many are apprehensive about it’s policies and even fearful of the competition escalating into a perilous rivalry. Geoffrey Garrett thinks the US-China relationship is better than ever. At TEDxSydney, he outlines a vision of the future where codependent superpowers can peaceably exist.
A fresh start: From the Revolutionary war to westward migration and the history of immigration — it’s an idea emblazoned onto the American psyche. Now, nations across Africa and the Middle East are looking for new ways to start over for themselves. In this powerful talk from TEDxKhartoum, Tarig Hilal tells the story of a hopeful generation of Sudanese that are coming to terms with their past and setting a new direction for their country’s future. A story that can remind Americans what it means to be start from scratch.