Text by Maria Popova; artwork by Len Kendall; photography by James Duncan Davidson / TED
If you've been following the first two days of TEDGlobal 2010, you know the rapid stream of cerebral stimulation it delivers. So, in an effort to better keep up with the pace, we're doing something a bit different today, reporting Day 3 in photos and quotes.
Session 7: Creatures Great and Small | "There are a billion people in the world today malnourished and another billion obese." ~ Adrian Dolby
Session 7: Creatures Great and Small | Dutch artist Christien Meindertsma of the brilliant PIG 05049 project demonstrates the countless everyday products using various pig parts.
Electronic music pioneer Thomas Dolby: "The American heartland gets a bad rap, but it's given us some fantastic music."
Session 7: Creatures Great and Small | Wildlife behavioral biologist Toni Frohoff: "Whale songs are just one of a myriad expressions of intelligence." Frohoff coined the term "humality"—the notion of treating other species with humility and humanity. "For the first time in the history of this planet, one species threatens the survival of all."
Session 7: Creatures Great and Small | Ecological optimologist Marcel Dicke: "Of all animal species, 80 percent walk on 6 legs." Dicke made a curious and compelling case for eating insects for protein as a safer and cheaper—ecologically and economically—alternative to meat.
"The paradigm of global governance doesn't serve us well anymore." ~ Peter Eigen of Transparency International | Session 8: Adventures in Fairness
Session 8: Adventures in Fairness | Kiva founder Jessica Jackley: "The way we participate in each others' stories is of deep importance."
Pat Mitchell and Chris Anderson announce TEDWomen, to be held December 7-8, 2010
Session 8: Adventures in Fairness | Labor rights activist Auret van Heerden: "Human rights comes to a very simple proposition: Can I give this person their dignity back?"
As a system glitch causes all equipment to shut down, temporarily reducing TED to ED, an impromptu performance from an audience member—jazz-opera singer extraordinaire Genevieve Thiers—fills the technical void with pure human talent. And, because this is TED, she also happens to be a successful entrepreneur.
Session 9: The Unknown Brains | Optogeneticist Gero Miesenböck: "Life is a string of choices, creating a constant pressure in deciding what to do next."
Session 9: The Unknown Brains | "Cooking is what made us," proclaims food scientist Heribert Watzke, suggesting we should move from "Cogito ergo sum"—I think, therefore I am—to "Coquo ergo sum": I cook, therefore I am.
Session 9: The Unknown Brains | MIT computational neuroscientist Sebastian Seung peels away at the fascinating connectome, a detailed map of neural connections in the central nervous system. "The connectome is where nature meets nurture. It has one million more times information than your genome has letters."
Session 9: The Unknown Brains | "We treat plants as some sort of low-level organisms," frowns plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso, pointing out perceptional fallacies like the fact that the blue whale is not, in fact, the largest living creature on the planet—the magnificent sequoia is.
Session 10: Who's The Teacher? | "If children have interest, then education happens," asserts educational researcher Sugata Mitra, showing remarkable work in rural India that demonstrates the power of self-organized learning environments.
Session 10: Who's The Teacher? | Mathematician Conrad Wolfram makes a case for rewriting math curricula in a way that has computers doing the calculus, allowing students to spend more time conceptualizing problems, making high-level math integral. "I want to see a renewed math curriculum built from the ground up."
Session 10: Who's The Teacher? | Videogame designer Tom Chatfield reveals the scale of the gaming industry – worth $50 billion dollars today, estimated to reach $84 billion by 2014 – but counters this economy with a psychological observation: "What really excites us about gaming isn't money, it's peers watching us and interacting with us."
Session 10: Who's The Teacher?, TED curator Chris Anderson gives his own first TED talk about "crowd-accelerated innovation" – the concept of using the web to improve collective skill by first improving individual skills through peer learning, using a three-pronged approach of locating a "crowd" or community, insuring visibility, and creating a reward or feedback system that motivates desire. "The notion of the individual 'eureka moment' is misleading. We're a social species, we spark each other."
Coverage of the final day of TEDGlobal 2010 coming tomorrow—stay tuned.
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, Big Think and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.