Wednesday, April 27, 2016

“The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance”- Hugh Herr

Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.


“My Stroke of Insight” – by Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.


“A 12-year-old app developer” by ‘Thomas Suarez’

Most 12-year-olds love playing videogames — but Thomas Suarez taught himself how to create them. After developing iPhone apps like "Bustin Jeiber," a whack-a-mole game, he is now using his skills to help other kids become developers.


“Why work doesn't happen at work” – ‘Jason Fried’

Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. He calls out the two main offenders (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make the workplace actually work.


“The danger of a single story” by ‘Chimamanda Adichie’

"Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding"


“The Art of Asking” by ‘Amanda Palmer’

Amanda Palmer, singer and one half of the band, Dresden Dolls, gives an inspirational talk, "The art of asking", about how to engage with the audience and making music pay - but without making the fans do so. Palmer tells the audience of her journey from street performer to her Kickstarter campaign to get funding her music by simply saying to fans: please donate what you want. "I don't see these things as risk. I see them as trust. Now, the online tools to make the exchange as easy and as instinctive as the street, they're getting there. But the perfect tools aren't going to help us if we can't face each other and give and receive fearlessly, but, more important, to ask without shame,”


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Susan Cain - The Power of Introverts

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Dan Pink - The Puzzle of Motivation

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Back to Cuba: End of last remnants of Cold War

Old Havana from street level, with the Capitolio in the background.
Photograph by 'Christophe Meneboeuf', using under CC-BY-SA License
Last week I was watching 'Thirteen Days' - a movie about Cuban missile crisis and its handling by JFK and his team. Movie was good. It may be ironic that I watched the movie at a time when Cuba - US relations are going through a rapprochement path. If they truly reconcile, then it will mark an end of last remnants of Cold war era political tensions.

Visiting Cuba and accelerating reconciliation process may be the most important thing Obama did during presidential term as far international relations are concerned. Relationship is not going to change overnight; but it will certainly set a lot of things in motion and eventually set the stage for full normalization.

Raul Castro’s government also deserves appreciation for this new chapter in US-Cuba relations. Let's hope for the best...