Top 10 TED Talks

Here are the top 10 most-viewed TED Talk videos from June 2006 to May 2008)

Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight

Jeff Han's touchscreen foreshadows the iPhone and more

David Gallo shows underwater astonishments

Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth

Arthur Benjamin does "mathemagic"

Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen

Tony Robbins asks why we do what we do

Al Gore on averting a climate crisis

Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks

You can also watch the Top 10 TED talks highlights video.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. @gladeye

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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:

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 …

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

  12. 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. 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.

  14. > #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?

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