The Internet is the new Academy

Posted by – November 19, 2008

Some interesting presentations I’ve watched of late:

Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel on why societies collapse (18:21).

Martin Seligman, psychologist, on the state of psychology and especially the “psychology of happiness” or how to make people happier (23:41). If you’re interested in finding out whether you’re really happy you may want to do some of Seligman’s questionnaires (registration unfortunately required).

Barry Schwartz, psychologist, on the paradox of choice or why more choice isn’t always a good thing (1:04:07). If this is too long for you there’s also a 20:23 TED talk by the same guy on the same subject.

This was perhaps the most interesting one to me personally: Luis von Ahn on human computation (51:31). You really have to watch it to understand what it is. I’ve tried to get some of the old fogeys at the language technology department to watch this but they haven’t been interested; it’s truly their loss.

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