Top 5 TED Talks – March 2021

It’s been a while, but here are my top picks for the month. All it takes is 15 minutes (usually less) to open a whole new line of thinking or reinforce existing ones. TED is literally one of the world’s best creation. I could fan girl over TED talks for the next many paragraphs, but I’ll let you get on with watching these instead.

  • Inside the massive (and unregulated) world of surveillance tech | Sharon Weinberger: In this talk, Weinberger answers the question of – what is a weapon in today’s age? Over the course of the month, I’ve been increasingly aware of the extent of data that the internet collects and its various applications. I’ve also realized how difficult it is for me to disengage and reduce the amount of information the internet holds about me. Yet, organizations are selling these ‘weapons’ to countries. In hands of the wrong authoritarian government, there’s no knowing what they will use the information for.
  • Fossil fuel companies know how to stop global warming. Why don’t they? | Myles Allen: Here’s one way to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius – decarbonize fossil fuels. To stop global warming, we need to stop dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Since 85% comes from fossil fuels, we can either ban fossil fuels (which is unlikely) else we can decarbonize it. The equation is surprisingly simple and something organizations and governments know how to do. Yet, it isn’t as simple as that, is it?
  • TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat — and the rise of bite-sized content | Qiuqing Tai: Do not get me started on TikTok and Snapchat. While I refuse to keep up with the many new platforms that are emerging, there is no denying the power of bite-sized content. TikTok has provided the house with many recipes, plant tips and dance inspiration. If the Uffizi gallery can get on-board the trend, maybe I need to accept that tiny videos are here to stay and must be engaged with. Does this mean I am installing TikTok? Hell no!  
  • I let algorithms randomize my life for two years | Max Hawkins: I am endlessly inspired by people who take up challenges like saying yes to everything for a month, 100 days of kindness or even letting algorithms randomize their lives. It exposes me to the boxes I confine myself in. Maybe April will be the month where I randomize my life. I believe it will be the experiment of a lifetime. Should we? April is right here.
  • How to avoid catching prickly emotions from other people | Jessica Woods: Guilty! Just last week I caught prickly feelings from one manager I was in a meeting with. I was a mirror for his emotions and needless to say, the meeting escalated quickly. So much so that I spent all week fixing it. I am going to attempt these tricks. Anything helps, even if it is only acknowledging the jumping cholla effect.
  • (Bonus) Why there’s no such thing as objective reality | Greg Anderson: I couldn’t leave this one out. This month more than any other, I have engaged in endless heated debates on the ultimate purpose of life, the social structure, capitalism, the model nations (EU apparently). These conversations have exasperated, triggered and annoyed me. But they also exposed me to drastically unique point of views, facts and information. Maybe that is why I resonated with this talk more than I expected. Also, when he uses the word ‘arrogance’, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

That’s the round up folks. I hope you enjoy it. We’re a quarter of the year in now.

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