Every weekday, TED Talks Daily brings you the latest talks in audio. Join host and journalist Elise Hu for thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world's leading thinkers and creators. With TED Talks Daily, find some space in your day to change your perspectives, ignite your curiosity, and learn something new.
Writing, comedy and storytelling in a messed-up world | Maeve Higgins
On a list of the least funny topics imaginable, the global refugee crisis, border disputes and questions of citizenship are probably close to the top. And yet comedian Maeve Higgins has spent her career finding ways to make jokes about (and make sense of) the ways we draw lines across the globe. She's a stand-up comedian and writer who speaks from the point of view of an Irish immigrant in the United States. In this excerpt from How to Be a Better Human, a TED Audio Collective podcast hosted by Chris Duffy, Maeve talks about ways we can find funny and eye-opening vantage points to look at the realities and borders of the world, our place in it and how imagination and laughter can help us through tough times. We asked Chris to select a book that he thinks explores these topics more deeply, and he selected "There There" by Tommy Orange. Listen for his recommendation and why he thinks it's "like the best action movie and one of the smartest sociological and historical essays paired together." This episode is part of the TED Talks Daily summer book club, a series featuring talks and interviews to inspire your next great read.
The bittersweet joy in longing | Susan Cain
Have you ever wondered why you like sad music? Do you find comfort or inspiration in rainy days? In this profound, poetic talk, author Susan Cain invites you to embrace the feeling of longing -- or the place where joy and sorrow meet -- as a gateway to creativity, connection and love. Accompanied by the splendid sounds of violinist Min Kym, Cain meditates on how heartache unexpectedly brings us closer to the sublime beauty of life. Afterwards, hear a sneak peak from a conversation with Cain on Amanda Palmer's podcast The Art of Asking Everything, where they discuss her new book "Bittersweet." This episode is part of the TED Talks Daily summer book club, a series featuring talks and interviews to inspire your next great read.
Storytelling in a data-hooked world | The TED Interview
Jennifer Egan is a journalist and writer whose novel "A Visit from the Goon Squad" won both the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Using a unique format -- including a whole chapter told through PowerPoint -- Egan nimbly explores the mystery and complexity of human life in the digital age. Her newest book, "The Candy House," poses similar questions around technology, memory and authenticity. In this excerpt from The TED Interview, the author talks candidly to host Steven Johnson about her creative process, considers the role of the novelist in a tech-driven world and makes an argument for how fiction can shift our consciousness. This episode is part of the TED Talks Daily summer book club, a series featuring talks and interviews to inspire your next great read.
Being You: A New Science of Consciousness | Anil Seth
Who are you, really? In conversation with TED science curator David Biello, neuroscientist Anil Seth lays out his fascinating new theory of consciousness and self, centered on the notion that we "predict" the world into existence. From sleep to memory and everything in between, he explores the reality we experience in our brains -- versus the world as it objectively might be. After the talk, stick around for a conversation between Elise and Anil about his new book "Being You: A New Science of Consciousness." This episode is part of the TED Talks Daily summer book club, a series featuring talks and interviews to inspire your next great read.
The Island of Missing Trees | Elif Shafak
"From populist demagogues, we will learn the indispensability of democracy," says novelist Elif Shafak. "From isolationists, we will learn the need for global solidarity. And from tribalists, we will learn the beauty of cosmopolitanism." A native of Turkey, she has experienced firsthand the devastation that a loss of diversity can bring -- and she knows the revolutionary power of plurality in response to authoritarianism. In this passionate, personal talk, she reminds us that there are no binaries, in politics, emotions and our identities. After the talk, stick around to hear a conversation between Elise and Elif about her new novel, "The Island of Missing Trees," an intergenerational story about forbidden love. Elise and Elif discuss how fiction creates empathy and how to avoid "falling into the trap of tribalism," even when the world might push us that way. This episode is part of the TED Talks Daily summer book club, a series featuring talks and interviews to inspire your next great read.
How will Icelandic survive the digital age? | Far Flung
Today, an episode of Far Flung with Saleem Reshamwala, another podcast from the TED Audio Collective. Icelandic is an ancient and iconic language that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien when he wrote "The Lord of the Rings." But with the digital age, and the strict rules surrounding its grammar, Icelandic is losing ground all over the country -- specifically to English. Now Icelanders are split, using English for social and online interactions and Icelandic for more formal conversations. Listen to why some Icelanders are concerned about this linguistic tug-of-war and why others are celebrating this new, multi-language way of communicating. Saleem also sits down with Elise to give us a book recommendation that dives deeper into these ideas: "Gold Diggers" by Sanjena Sathian. This episode is part of the TED Talks Daily summer book club, a series featuring talks and interviews to inspire your next great read.
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