A global culture to fight extremism Maajid Nawaz on TED.com

The second TEDTalk posted from TEDGlobal 2011, happening now in Edinburgh: Why do transnational extremist organizations succeed — where democratic movements have a harder time taking hold? Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamist extremist, asks for new grassroots stories and global social activism to spread democracy in the face of nationalism and xenophobia. A powerful talk … Read more

Trial, error and the God complex Tim Harford on TED.com

The third TEDTalk posted from TEDGlobal 2011, happening now in Edinburgh: Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems — and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. In this sparkling talk from TEDGlobal 2011, he asks us to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes. (Recorded … Read more

Video TEDGlobal 2011 timelapse

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/26467679 w=525&h=294] Starting on Saturday night, an army of workers began to build TEDGlobal 2011: The Stuff of Life. Music: “Tidal,” from the wonderful Imogen Heap. Photos and timelapse: James Duncan Davidson. Source: blog.ted.com

Fighting viruses, defending the net Mikko Hypponen on TED.com

Fresh from stage at TEDGlobal 2011, last week in Edinburgh: It’s been 25 years since the first PC virus (Brain-A) hit the internet, and what was once an annoyance has become a sophisticated tool for crime and espionage and a global problem. Computer security expert Mikko Hypponen tracks down the authors of Brain-A, tells us … Read more

SmartBird drone flies into a flock of seagulls

[flickr video=5946922159 secret=ef69a57e7b w=525 h=394] What do you do with a giant robot seagull? Fly it into a flock of real seagulls, obviously. This video was shot by Flickr user ldrose two hours after the live demo of SmartBird inside the auditorium at TEDGlobal. Festo engineers brought the bird outside to Holyrood Park, in central … Read more

Time to end the war in Afghanistan Rory Stewart on TED.com

British MP Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan after 9/11, talking with citizens and warlords alike. Now, a decade later, he asks: Why are Western and coalition forces still fighting there? He shares lessons from past military interventions that worked — Bosnia, for instance — and shows that humility and local expertise are the keys to … Read more

The surprising math of cities and corporations Geoffrey West on TED.com

Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities — that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city’s population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for … Read more

The origins of pleasure Paul Bloom on TED.com

Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists — that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July … Read more

TED Books hit Apples iBookstore

Great news: TED Books are now available on Apple’s iBookstore. It’s an exciting time for publishing, and we’re glad to work with Apple to make TED Books available to as many readers as possible. TED Books, which launched earlier this year, are an imprint of short nonfiction works designed for digital distribution. Shorter than traditional … Read more

Talk and survey Are we seeing the demise of guys? Philip Zimbardo on TED.com

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, “Why are boys struggling?” He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, higher rates of unemployment) and suggests a few reasons — and challenges the TED community to think about solutions. (Recorded at TED2011, February 2011, in Long Beach, California. Duration: 4:47.) [ted id=1206] Watch Phil Zimbardo’s talk on TED.com, where you … Read more