five talks you should watch this week

In my bumpy journey to find what makes life better, I’ve found this works: watching every now and then. I subscribe to their newsletter and save the ones I like. There is so much cheap opining out there; to watch people who actually know their shit humbly share their findings, is refreshing. I mention the site in my Sunday Life column this week and have had stacks of people ask me about it. I thought it best to explain the gist with a little list of some of my favourites.

1. Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

2. Psychology professor Dan Gilbert, author of  “Stumbling on Happiness”, explains just how badly human beings predict the things that will make us happy.

3. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of  “Eat, Pray, Love,” discusses creative genius and the source of inspiration.

4. Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” asks listeners to see the world from a plant’s eye view and asks, what if human consciousness were not the goal and highest point of evolution?

5. Malcom Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point” and “Blink,” searches in his 2006 talk for the counter-intuitive in everyday objects such as cookies, sneakers, and pasta sauce.

Last week announced they were starting a women’s version of TED. Why?! As it stands, only 20% of talks are by women. Which is crazy. Couldn’t they just up the quota? In the US, more than 50% of uni tenures go to women… there really is no reason for such low representation, nor for special treatment. Salon posted a very interesting take on TEDwomen. Worth reading, just to see how this kind of thing can be swung around and seen as a positive.

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