Tag: TED.com

How To Start A Movement In 3 Minutes And Be The Next Messiah

Tormented by corruption? Feeling Overwhelmed? Depressed? Frustrated? Fed up to f’ing here with the state of the world?  Bedeviled with angst?

Have a great idea? The best idea ever hatched in a human mind in all of recorded history? You’ve been to the mountaintop and he spoke to you and only you, man?

Are you the one the world has been waiting for all these millenia?

Are you Morpheus, man? Have you got THE ANSWER? The WAY?

The ONE TRUE PATH to world peace and justice for all but you’ve also had it up to f’ing here with all the morans in the world who are simply far too thick and obtuse to know what’s good for them and to comprehend your unique brand of genius and won’t get off their fat lazy asses and follow you?

Do you have a movement you’d like to start that you know in your heart will sweep the world like a planet scouring tsunami brushing all in it’s path aside if only you could find your first follower?

Here’s your one chance for a free lesson in becoming the next messiah. Grab this incredible opportunity while it’s hot. It may never present itself to you again.

Denialism Is A Virus And Viruses Are Contagious

Crossposted from Antemedius

Michael Specter is a staff writer for the New Yorker. His new book, Denialism, asks why we have increasingly begun to fear scientific advances instead of embracing them.

Specter recently spoke at the TEDGlobal2010 Conference, held over the course of four days in Oxford, England to explore “the shocking undercurrent of good news just below the surface of today’s troubling headlines — new ideas, new science, new technology, new social and political thinking, new art and a new understanding of who we are”.

While I don’t agree with everything Specter says here and I don’t disagree with a lot of it, one of the things that I cannot deny is that I’m not always wrong in my opinions. I doubt that you can either.

But nor am I always right.

Why Michael Specter is worth listening to:

Michael Specter’s new book, Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives, dives into a worrisome strain of modern life — a vocal anti-science bias that may prevent us from making the right choices for our future. Specter studies how the active movements against vaccines, genetically engineered food, science-based medicine and biotechnological solutions to climate change may actually put the world at risk. (For instance, anti-vaccination activists could soon trigger the US return of polio, not to mention the continuing rise of measles.) More insidiously, the chilling effect caused by the new denialism may prevent useful science from being accomplished.

Specter has been a writer for the New Yorker for more than a decade; before that, he was a science writer and then the Moscow bureau chief for the New York Times. He writes about science and politics for the New Yorker, with a fascinating sideline in biographical profiles.

Denialism is a virus and viruses are contagious.” — Michael Specter

Spend sixteen and a half minutes with Michael Specter here, and see if he doesn’t challenge some of your ideas that you might be wrong about. Or some you might be right about.

Recorded at TEDGlobal2010 – February 2010

The Red Pill or the Blue? Moral Psychology, and Whose Team Are You On?

TED.com member (from his TED profile) and Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies morality and emotion in the context of culture. He asks: Why did humans evolve to have morals — and why did we all evolve to have such different morals, to the point that our moral differences may make us deadly enemies? It’s a question with deep repercussions in war and peace — and in modern politics, where reasoned discourse has been replaced by partisan anger and cries of “You just don’t get it!”  

Haidt asks, “Can’t we all disagree more constructively?” He suggests we might build a more civil and productive discourse by understanding the moral psychology of those we disagree with, and committing to a more civil political process. He’s also active in the study of positive psychology  and human flourishing.

Rather than me comment on it and perhaps skew responses or seed expectations, I’ll just let you watch and listen and take whichever pill you prefer.

This video is a TED talk Haidt gave last year. If you want hear more of his ideas and thinking, this year, posted today, Haidt spoke to the TED Blog about the moral psychology behind the healthcare debate in the United States.