Climate Crisis, the Happiness Conundrum & the Evolution of Religions: TED Talks on YouTube

Once upon a time we told you about TED Talks, the annu­al con­fer­ence that brings togeth­er the world’s “thought-lead­ers, movers and shak­ers.” These talks have been avail­able on iTunes in both audio (iTunesFeed) and video (iTunesFeed). And now you can appar­ent­ly find some on YouTube. Below we high­light a few.

First up, Dan Gilbert, a Har­vard psy­chol­o­gy pro­fes­sor who recent­ly wrote Stum­bling On Hap­pi­ness, a book that uses psy­chol­o­gy, cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science, phi­los­o­phy and behav­ioral eco­nom­ics to show how our imag­i­na­tion — our unique abil­i­ty to pre­dict the future — usu­al­ly inter­feres with our basic abil­i­ty to be hap­py. Here you get some ker­nels of thought from the best­selling book, and some insights into why a para­plegic is often as hap­py as a lot­tery win­ner. Good stuff here.

Next, we give you Al Gore doing a lit­tle stand-up com­e­dy (no kid­ding) and speak­ing on glob­al warm­ing, much as he does in An Incon­ve­nient Truth. No oth­er intro­duc­tion is need­ed.

Last­ly, we give you Dan Den­nett, Direc­tor
of the Cen­ter for Cog­ni­tive Stud­ies at Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty
and the author
of Break­ing the Spell: Reli­gion as a Nat­ur­al Phe­nom­e­non. With this clip, Den­nett takes on Rick War­ren, author of The Pur­pose-Dri­ven Life, and makes the clever argu­ment that while the the­o­ry of intel­li­gent design may hold no water, reli­gions have them­selves been intel­li­gent­ly designed. More on that here:

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