Poltical Ted Talks

tedThis week I decided to share some interesting Ted Talks1 having to do with politics.  These are short videos that are interesting, informative, and sometimes humorous.  I have chosen the following for you to enjoy:

(videos are embedded further down the column)

1) Jonathan Haidt: How common threats can make common (political) ground–  He  speaks about how nothing pulls people together like a common threat or attack.  He uses asteroids as his example and then goes on to tell you what our political asteroids are. He also addresses party polarization amongst voters and in congress. (20 min)

2)  Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy– He identifies seven barriers that keep us from taking part in our communities and local politics. (7 min)

3) Mark Forsyth: What’s a snollygoster? A short lesson in political speak– He speaks about how and why politicians choose their words.  The talk ends with this great line: (7 min)

“Politicians try to pick words and use words in order to shape reality and to control reality, but in fact reality changes words far more than words can ever change reality.”

4) Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do– He talks about leaders and the invisible forces that motivates everyone’s actions.  There is a surprise moment when Al Gore makes a quip from the audience and then gets a high five from Tony Robbins.  This happens soon after the 5:00 min mark. Maybe this video can help us understand why our political leaders act the way they do. (20 min)



Ted talk:  Jonathan Haidt: How common threats can make common (political) ground

If an asteroid were headed for Earth, we’d all band together and figure out how to stop it, just like in the movies, right? And yet, when faced with major, data-supported, end-of-the-world problems in real life, too often we retreat into partisan shouting and stalemate. Jonathan Haidt shows us a few of the very real asteroids headed our way — some pet causes of the left wing, some of the right — and suggests how both wings could work together productively to benefit humanity as a whole.


TedTalk:  Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy

Local politics — schools, zoning, council elections — hit us where we live. So why don’t more of us actually get involved? Is it apathy? Dave Meslin says no. He identifies 7 barriers that keep us from taking part in our communities, even when we truly care.


TedTalk: Mark Forsyth: What’s a snollygoster? A short lesson in political speak

Most politicians choose their words carefully, to shape the reality they hope to create. But does it work? Etymologist Mark Forsyth shares a few entertaining word-origin stories from British and American history (for instance, did you ever wonder how George Washington became “president”?) and draws a surprising conclusion. (From TEDxHousesofParliament in London)   


Tedtalk:  Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row





1 TED Talks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from TED conferences, TEDx events and partners — anywhere the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. The TED Talks series is widely credited with creating a new category in online media, and we continue to innovate at every step.
TED Talks began as a simple attempt to share what happens at the TED Conference with the world. Under the slogan “ideas worth spreading,” talks were released online beginning in June 2006. They rapidly attracted a global audience in the millions — in a reaction so enthusiastic that the entire TED website was reengineered around TED Talks, with the goal of giving everyone on-demand access to the world’s most inspiring voices.
At the end of 2006, TED Talks had been watched 2 million times; by the end of 2009, that number jumped to 200 million, establishing TED as an important platform. As of November 2012, TED Talks have been viewed one billion times.


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