Top 10 TED Talks


32 Responses to “Top 10 TED Talks”

  1. immerbeta says:

    I love Erin McKean’s talk on redefining dictionaries, it really changes my perception of this language tool.

    PLus, we are doing Chinese translations for some of the best rated tedtalks. It is an ongoing project, through which we hope the idea of TED could be heard in other languages other than English.

  2. avoision says:

    For those interested in seeing some of these TED talks on your TV (versus sitting in front of your computer screen), Adrian McEwen compiled a series of TED talks that you can burn onto a DVD. Check out his site for info and instructions. Via MetaFilter Projects.

  3. iamcantaloupe says:

    I blogged about the “Stroke of Insight” talk a while back, if only so that I could point out the striking similarities between her description of experiencing a stroke and my experiences tripping on psychedelic mushrooms.

  4. dunnright says:

    I’m sending the Sir Ken Robinson talk to my wife, as we are “Unschoolers”.

  5. ankh says:

    > #22 posted by Avi Solomon
    > June 27, 2008 10:47 AM
    > I’m looking forward to see Peter Ward’s talk

    Me too, haven’t found it. Anyone have a link?

  6. Phelyan says:

    I’ve recently added all TED feeds to my Miro, and have been watching quite a lot of them. Quite a few nights with too little sleep, but so many new things learnt…

  7. travelina says:

    I liked the demonstration of Photosynth by Blaise Aguera y Arcas. You can see more about Photosynth and the depth of the 3-D experience it offers on the National Geographic site, which produced a Photosynth of Stonehenge with 3,000 photos taken over two days. It’s a “cross between a slide show and a gaming experience” that gives you the feeling of wandering at will among the stones:

  8. TEDTALKESatNING says:

    My personal favourite is the Dan Gilbert’s talk in 2004.

    See my TOP 10 here:

    Or make your own here:

  9. sprockety says:

    TED is great, obviously,
    but I wondered how you could leave out the Adrian Bowyer talk on the REP RAP. And THEN I realized that that was Poptech.Org

    Which is also fantastic.

    Adrian Bowyer Talk:

  10. fnc says:

    Stupid left brains, such downers they are.

    I watched “Stroke of Insight” and, while fascinating and moving, my left brain is forcing me to ask if this experience can’t solely be the result of an attempt to understand inputs without the tools with which to format them. I could attach voltmeters to the various pins on the connector on the back of my computer’s video card, but while watching some needles dance I would be completely unable to see in that flow of numbers to the image a monitor ultimately produces. So nirvana could be an individual’s -perception- of reality, of the unimaginable amount of input our brains process every moment without the left brain’s filtering applied. But then again, the regular mundane world is just a product of perception too.

    What’s curious to me is that individuals who have had these “one with the universe” experiences always talk of the peace and compassion and happiness and all the other happy feely stuff they find there. But for me, I have seen zero evidence that the universe prefers peace to the alternative. Indeed, for “the Universe with a capital U” kind of connected consciousness these people describe, maybe left brain created concepts like peace and war melt away, and there is only “existence”.

    At any rate, I don’t think I’ll ever know one way or the other.

  11. Man On Pink Corner says:

    anyone got ted invite, kthx
    will trade for

  12. Bonnie says:

    My favorite of the TED talks features producer and director J.J. Abrams as he talks about the best elements of the unseen mystery — the heart of “Alias,” “Lost,” and Cloverfield — back to its own magical beginnings. He brings up his own obsession with making things, magic and his own unopened Mystery Box.

  13. mendokusai says:

    Brian Cox’s LHC lecture is pretty good:

    He goes over some high-level physics in an easy-to-understand way in like 15 minutes.
    He makes everything seem happy and shinny!

    (as opposed to black hole-inducing…)

  14. GregLondon says:

    Anyone who says Al Gore doesn’t have a sense of humor needs to watch the Tony Robbins clip. Al Gore is in the audience and about half way through throws out a one liner that is hilarious.

  15. alisong76 says:

    Bookmarked for later, as I am heading out for work, but truer words were never spoken than “school kills creativity”. Not to mention taking all the joy out of everything it touches and sapping one of the will to live.

  16. kgb says:

    Hans Rosling > *

  17. MrAwesome says:

    Here’s another excellent one. He is easily the greatest speaker that I have ever had the pleasure of hearing in person.

  18. junecohen says:

    Now keep in mind, this is a list of the most POPULAR talks, as opposed to an editorial take on which ones are BEST. That said, I’ve been utterly enjoying this thread, and we at TED are filing your suggestions away for a future list of “hidden gems.”

    Perhaps I shouldn’t play favorites, but, well, my favorite is National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis’s talk from 2004, on the beauty and wonder of the world’s cultural diversity. It’s passionate and persuasive and wildly articulate, with quotes like “Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind.”

    The original 2004 talk:

    His 2008 talk, also great:

    June Cohen
    Executive Producer, TED Media

  19. Mitch Tishmack says:

    I liked this one the most, just because Craig Venter is an awesome speaker. The subject is also one of the coolest things I have heard of.

  20. agraham999 says:

    Kinda surprised the JJ Adams one isn’t up there…I thought it was outstanding.

  21. UrinalPooper says:

    Hans Rosling was the first TED talk I had ever watched and I showed to everyone I knew who was interested in geopolitics.

    I’m upset with myself for enjoying the Tony Robbins speech as much as I did.

  22. Avi Solomon says:

    I’m looking forward to see Peter Ward’s talk

  23. Takuan says:

    ditto Wade, thanks,

  24. Anonymous says:

    I see your Tony Robbins and raise you Robert Wright.

    Emily Oster’s talk is also a top 10.

    Just wait till they ask Robin Hanson to talk about terrorism prediction markets . . .

  25. jbelkin says:

    By all means, let’s watch people who like to hear themselves talk about insights they achieved on the can and re-sell to us at $5,000 a pop … man, we are idiots to pay to listen to them talk and or treat them like oracles …

  26. Antinous says:

    The guy who has the gun to your head, forcing you to watch the free videos – give him the thumbs up.

  27. gladeye says:

    Alrighty, I’ll be the one to ask then. What is TED?

  28. Takuan says:

    really cool lectures

  29. coaxial says:


    If you had clicked one of the links, you’d know. Instead, you posted a comment. A much better use of your time.

  30. coaxial says:

    I’m surprised that
    James Howard Kunstler’s “The tragedy of Suburbia” didn’t make the list.

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