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David Rothkopf: How fear drives American politics

Does it seem like Washington has no new ideas? Instead of looking to build the future, it sometimes feels like the US political establishment happily retreats into fear and willful ignorance. Journalist David Rothkopf lays out a few of the major issues that US leadership is failing to address — from cybercrime to world-shaking new tech to the reality of modern total war — and calls for a new vision that sets fear aside.

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How fear drives American politics | David Rothkopf

Does it seem like Washington has no new ideas? Instead of looking to build the future, it sometimes feels like the US political establishment happily retreats into fear and willful ignorance. Journalist David Rothkopf lays out a few of the major issues…

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BJ Miller: What really matters at the end of life

At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life.

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What really matters at the end of life | BJ Miller

At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life.

The way we think about work is broken | Barry Schwartz

What makes work satisfying? Apart from a paycheck, there are intangible values that, Barry Schwartz suggests, our current way of thinking about work simply ignores. It’s time to stop thinking of workers as cogs on a wheel.

A “living fossil” spotted in the South Pacific, a machine that vomits + poetry that rethinks assumptions about inmates

The TED community has news to share. Read on for highlights. The rarest animal on Earth, spotted once again. Peter Ward hadn’t seen his “old friend,” the Allonautilus scrobiculatus, since 1984. But he recognized its hairy, slimy, golden shell instantly. Ward wrote about his rediscovery of this creature — alongside its more-common relative, the nautilus, []

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A rare interview with the mathematician who cracked Wall Street | Jim Simons

Jim Simons was a mathematician and cryptographer who realized: the complex math he used to break codes could help explain patterns in the world of finance. Billions later, he’s working to support the next generation of math teachers and scholars. TED’s Chris Anderson sits down with Simons to talk about his extraordinary life in numbers.

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Elizabeth Nyamayaro: An invitation to men who want a better world for women

Around the world, women still struggle for equality in basic matters like the right to drive and to marry when they choose. But how to enlist everyone, men and women, as allies for change? Meet Elizabeth Nyamayaro, the inventor of the #HeForShe Twitter campaign, which created 1.2 billion conversations about a more equal world. She invites us all to join in as allies in our shared humanity.

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An invitation to men who want a better world for women | Elizabeth Nyamayaro

Around the world, women still struggle for equality in basic matters like access to education, equal pay and the right to vote. But how to enlist everyone, men and women, as allies for change? Meet Elizabeth Nyamayaro, head of UN Women’s HeForShe initiative, which has created more than 2.4 billion social media conversations about a more equal world. She invites us all to join in as allies in our shared humanity.

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Wendy Freedman: This new telescope might show us the beginning of the universe

When and how did the universe begin? A global group of astronomers wants to answer that question by peering as far back in time as a large new telescope will let us see. Wendy Freedman headed the creation of the Giant Magellan Telescope, under construction in South America; at TEDGlobal in Rio, she shares a bold vision of the discoveries about our universe that the GMT could make possible.

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Remembering Oliver Sacks

Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks died on Sunday, August 30, at age 82. He’d announced in February that he was in the final stages of terminal cancer, and wrote a beautiful essay in the New York Times about what that meant to him: Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life []

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The music of sign language, a computer of water drops: 21 TED Fellows share ideas that swim against the tide

Tides are strong. They move swiftly, sweeping all toward the shore. But TED Fellows refuse to simply drift with the water. They are innovators, advocates and artists who challenge the status quo and work in the spaces between disciplines. At the second TED Fellows Retreat — held from August 25-28, 2015, and themed “Swimming Against the Tide” — about []

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Yves Morieux: How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done

Modern work — from waiting tables to crunching numbers to dreaming up new products — is about solving brand-new problems every day, flexibly, in brand-new ways. But as Yves Morieux shows in this insightful talk, too often, an overload of processes and sign-offs and internal metrics keeps us from doing our best. He offers a new way to think of work — as a collaboration, not a competition.

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These robots come to the rescue after a disaster | Robin Murphy

When disaster strikes, who’s first on the scene? More and more, it’s a robot. In her lab, Robin Murphy builds robots that fly, tunnel, swim and crawl through disaster scenes, helping firefighters and rescue workers save more lives safely — and help communities return to normal up to three years faster.

How quantum biology might explain life’s biggest questions | Jim Al-Khalili

How does a robin know to fly south? The answer might be weirder than you think: Quantum physics may be involved. Jim Al-Khalili rounds up the extremely new, extremely strange world of quantum biology, where something Einstein once called “spooky action at a distance” helps birds navigate, and quantum effects might explain the origin of life itself.

A journey through the mind of an artist | Dustin Yellin

Dustin Yellin makes mesmerizing artwork that tells complex, myth-inspired stories. How did he develop his style? In this disarming talk, he shares the journey of an artist — starting from age 8 — and his idiosyncratic way of thinking and seeing. Foll…

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Christopher Soghoian: A brief history of phone wiretapping — and how to avoid it

Who is listening in on your phone calls? On a landline, it could be anyone, says privacy activist Christopher Soghoian, because surveillance backdoors are built into the phone system by default, to allow governments to listen in. But then again, so could a foreign intelligence service … or a criminal. Which is why, says Soghoian, some tech companies are resisting governments’ call to build the same backdoors into mobile phones and new messaging systems. From this TED Fellow, learn how some tech companies are working to keep your calls and messages private.

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Christopher Soghoian: How to avoid surveillance … with the phone in your pocket

Who is listening in on your phone calls? On a landline, it could be anyone, says privacy activist Christopher Soghoian, because surveillance backdoors are built into the phone system by default, to allow governments to listen in. But then again, so could a foreign intelligence service … or a criminal. Which is why, says Soghoian, some tech companies are resisting governments’ call to build the same backdoors into mobile phones and new messaging systems. From this TED Fellow, learn how some tech companies are working to keep your calls and messages private.

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Manuel Lima: A visual history of human knowledge

How does knowledge grow? Sometimes it begins with one insight and grows into many branches. Infographics expert Manuel Lima explores the thousand-year history of mapping data — from languages to dynasties — using trees of information. It’s a fascinating history of visualizations, and a look into humanity’s urge to map what we know.

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A visual history of human knowledge | Manuel Lima

How does knowledge grow? Sometimes it begins with one insight and grows into many branches; other times it grows as a complex and interconnected network. Infographics expert Manuel Lima explores the thousand-year history of mapping data — from languag…