Stop Watching TV - My Favorite TED Talks This Month

in life •  last year 

I am currently in the process of possibly starting a little business, which is taking up a good bit of my time. Additionally, I took up a job at a factory, which also takes up some time. Then there are my daily walks and my preparations for my next round of university educations. In short, I cannot post as regularly as I wanted to this summer. I have been watching a few TED talks these last few weeks and I think I have found some gems. Today I want to give you a list of TED talks that I found very entertaining and enlightening.

Inside The Mind of a Master Procrastinator - Tim Urban


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This one has been on my list since writing my bachelor thesis earlier this year. I wanted to listen to it, and then forgot about it, reading about microfibrillated cellulose instead. It was not until @egotheist suggested this talk in a comment to @sco that I remembered watching this talk. I procrastinated watching a video about procrastination. We all know this feeling. There is an assignment that we have to finish, but there still is so much time left. We make a plan to finish small parts each week and spread out the workload evenly. But then we get invited to the beach. A week passes, and then another and then DAMN! The assignment is due tomorrow. Tim Urban describes what goes on in his mind when he has an assignment do. His talk is very entertaining and intriguing. It is humourus as well as insightful. It is also helpful to know that others are just as guilty as you are. Learn what a monkey, a monster and a steering wheel have to do with procrastination! Here is a link to the talk: Inside The Mind of a Master Procrastinator

This Is What Happens When You Reply To Spam Email - James Veitch


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This was by far my favorite comedy performance. I have not laughed this sincerely in a very long time. We all have received spam email at least once in our lives. Personally, I have always been scared of it. Opening one meant a virus, which meant losing computer rights (my parents were very sceptical of the internet when it came to prominence). James Veitch, however, has done what we all thought about doing: what happens if you reply? In his talk he shares a conversation he had with a guy who called himself Solomon. This Solomon had a business proposal for James Veitch, who replied that he was intrigued by Solomon´s email. Prepare to be laughing hard as James Veitch shares his adventure of replying to spam email. Also, learn about the mystery of the Golden Nugget and a huge Hummus investment. Once you have finished this talk, I would recommend two more TED talks by James Veitch. Here are the links:
This Is What Happens When You Reply To Spam Email
More Adventures in Replying to Spam
The Agony of Trying to Unsubscribe

What If You Could Trade a Paperclip for a House? - Kyle MacDonald


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I was scrolling through some eBay local offers to see if I can find some copper wire for a windmill-run electrical generator I am building. Trading always sounded interesting to me. Then, during a lazy afternoon I stumbled upon this TED talk. Kyle MacDonald retells the story that started when he found a red paperclip in his desk drawer. He went out on a journey on which he traded his paperclip for a pen and other, more valuable things. On his journeys, he meets celebrities, trades curiosities for big events and meeting with stars. In the end, Kyle MacDonald gets a house. The first thing he does is celebrate his journey, and all the people he met. This talk will make you feel like you should go and use something useless to you, to experience something invaluable to you. Here the link: What If You Could Trade a Paperclip for a House?

Why You Should Make Useless Things - Simone Giertz


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Did you play with Lego as a child? Did you build traps? I do not know whether Simone Giertz has, but she has taken the creativity of a child and combined it with the skill and knowledge of an electrical engineer. She builds robots. Not the useful type of robot, but the one that is very bad at being functional. Her robots are exceptionally well at being shitty and she is proud about it. Her fans call her the queen of shitty robots. This passion of hers has created her own little nieche, and a job. Her YouTube channel is very successful (I recommend checking it out - but beware, she curses a lot) and she works together with Adam Savage from Mythbusters in San Francisco. She even became royalty, as the first Queen of Shitty Robots. Shortly before giving this talk she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which has since been successfully removed. Her story shows that following your passion can bring great joy. She is a hilarious person and I highly recommend her talk and her channel. Here the link to the talk: Why You Should Make Useless Things

The Best Stats You´ve Ever Seen - Hans Rosling


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Even with colors, stats are usually pretty boring. But not with Hans Rosling. To him statistics are like a sporting event, something that will become very obvious when you watch this talk. Hans Rosling is a professor at the renowned Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. He talks about several statistical myths and paints a much more optimistic image of the state of the world. There are still many poor people but the wealth around the globe is growing and more and more people reach the middle class. This talk will show you how statistics are being misunderstood by many and that some of our knowledge is really just a preconceived idea. Here is the link: The Best Stats You´ve Ever Seen


I really enjoy watching TED talks because you always learn something new or get a new perspective. It is, without a doubt, better than most of the crap they play on TV. TED is giving experts a stage and we should listen to them more. I hope you decide to watch some of these videos and I hope that you find them as interesting as I did.

As always,
Cheers @lesshorrible!

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I found this post after reading your blog about cherries. The Ted talks sound intriguing, but I was more impressed by your opening paragraph. It's been many years since I had to come to terms with work stealing time I used to think was mine. This hard reality hit me the first summer I committed to a job that wasn't part time or temporary.

My university degree was in sight. "School", as a profession, was over. I realized I had crossed a threshold into adulthood and the realization was brutal. The innocence of youth had been defined by summers off.

I hope your business becomes a success and you can leave the factory job behind. Better to decide your own hours than to be obliged to fit your life into someone else's schedule.