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TED Tuesday: Ideas worth spreading for the week of 4/20

April 20th, 2010 Comments off

I’ve found that it’s easy to get a new feature on the site working and going when it involves just linking a couple of lectures from TED that I find worthwhile and commenting on them.  After a one week turn to entertainment, I return to the bread and butter of my interest in TED, science.  I kicked off and was inspired to start this feature by a few pieces on Science, Free-thinking and Religion.  This week I turn the post over to one repeat TED lecturer: David Deutsch.

Professor Deutsch is a mainstay in the physics department of Oxford University and at Clarendon Laboratories.  His book The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications just got added to my Kindle wish list for rocking (potentially). Anyone who’s read my blog knows I’m a fan of the multiverse theory and a person fascinated by things I don’t understand.  Nothing is more so than quantum mechanics, which is a key portion of the Theory of Everything that scientists like Deutsch seek out.

Anyway, at TEDGlobal2009, Deutsch went into how and why scientific discovery revolutionized and continues to revolutionize explanation and transforms the world.  His discussion of what truly is knowledge and scientific understanding is actually quite graspable, even for the layman.

There is something about those that arise from Oxford and their ability to reach out to the public.  Here is Deutsch doing just that.  July 2009, Oxford, England.

Another Deutsch lecture, after the jump. Read more…

TED Tuesday: Ideas worth spreading for the week of 4/13

April 13th, 2010 Comments off

A new feature I’m going to hopefully get going on the site is linking a couple of lectures from TED that I find worthwhile watching.  Last week, I featured a few pieces on Science, Free-thinking and Religion.  This week is significantly more light-hearted.

We lead it off with a brilliant nine-minute romp by poet John G. Rives, of Def Poetry Jam fame.  His TED2007 lecture, named 4 a.m., is a genius, witty and play-along journey through references to and the interconnectedness of that early morning hour.  March 2007, Monterey, CA.

More entertaining talks, after the jump. Read more…

TED Tuesday: Ideas worth spreading for the week of 4/6

April 6th, 2010 Comments off

A new feature I’m going to hopefully get going on the site is linking a couple of lectures from TED that I find worthwhile watching.  First up is going to be a few pieces on Science, Free-thinking and Religion.

The subject was  sparked for me by tuning in to a TED talk by Sam Harris two weeks ago on morality and religion, or rather taking morality from our understanding of science, instead of religion.  Filmed at TED2010 in February 2010, Long Beach, CA.

I will admit that I’m not 100 percent on board with Harris’s talk.  I think that the idea of scientific forces driving moral behavior has some validity, but it’s far from a universal truth.  On the converse side, one can also equally argue that religion has been at the forefront of both acts of kindness and true villainy.  Where Harris does hit home, however, is in the idea that science can guide what is good — or rather the affirmative answer to the question posed by Harris: can a fact about how reality is provide an idea of how something should be.  Harris will lose some fans in that he is elitist and somewhat dismissive of the more religious of the red states.

In any respect, Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer and Julia Sweeney, after the jump. Read more…