How languages evolve – Alex Gendler
“Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past. “
The Good Place – The Trolley Problem
The Trolley Problem takes a dark turn.
Soon We’ll Cure Diseases With a Cell, Not a Pill | Siddhartha Mukherjee | TED Talks
How are models used in medicine? How does a faulty or limited model negatively impact our approaches to treating the human body? Really great TED talk about these questions
Current medical treatment boils down to six words: Have disease, take pill, kill something. But physician Siddhartha Mukherjee points to a future of medicine that will transform the way we heal.
The surprising pattern behind color names around the world
“In 1969, two Berkeley researchers, Paul Kay and Brent Berlin, published a book on a pretty groundbreaking idea: that every culture in history, when they developed their languages, invented words for colors in the exact same order. They claimed to know this based off of a simple color identification test, where 20 respondents identified 330 colored chips by name. If a language had six words, they were always black, white, red, green, yellow, and blue. If it had four terms, they were always black, white, red, and then either green or yellow. If it had only three, they were always black, white, and red , and so on. The theory was revolutionary — and it shaped our understanding of how color terminologies emerge.”
How to spot a misleading graph
“When they’re used well, graphs can help us intuitively grasp complex data. But as visual software has enabled more usage of graphs throughout all media, it has also made them easier to use in a careless or dishonest way — and as it turns out, there are plenty of ways graphs can mislead and outright manipulate. Lea Gaslowitz shares some things to look out for.”
How a dictionary writer defines English
Some interesting insights in this short video.
What is the purpose of a dictionary?
What are the criteria a word must meet to be included in a dictionary?
How is language like a child?
What is the difference between a prescriptivist and a descriptivist approach to language?
TED Talk: Naomi Oreskes: Why Should We Believe In Science?
“Many of the world’s biggest problems require asking questions of scientists — but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science Naomi Oreskes thinks deeply about our relationship to belief and draws out three problems with common attitudes toward scientific inquiry — and gives her own reasoning for why we ought to trust science.”
TED Talk: Paul Knoepfler: The ethical dilemma of designer babies
“Creating genetically modified people is no longer a science fiction fantasy; it’s a likely future scenario. Biologist Paul Knoepfler estimates that within fifteen years, scientists could use the gene editing technology CRISPR to make certain “upgrades” to human embryos — from altering physical appearances to eliminating the risk of auto-immune diseases. In this thought-provoking talk, Knoepfler readies us for the coming designer baby revolution and its very personal, and unforeseeable, consequences.”
TED Talk: Isaac Lidsky: What reality are you creating for yourself?
“Reality isn’t something you perceive; it’s something you create in your mind. Isaac Lidsky learned this profound lesson firsthand, when unexpected life circumstances yielded valuable insights. In this introspective, personal talk, he challenges us to let go of excuses, assumptions and fears, and accept the awesome responsibility of being the creators of our own reality.”