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.
The problem with plastics -- and how they're changing the environment | Patricia Villarrubia-Gómez
Plastics are everywhere -- they're in our favorite electronic devices, they package our food and insulate our homes. Today, the total mass of plastic is twice the total mass of all living organisms on the planet, and it's starting to change the processes that allow the Earth's climate system to work. Plastic pollution researcher Patricia Villarrubia-Gómez breaks down the consequences of producing all of this plastic at every stage, from fossil fuel extraction to the disposal of single-use plastics in landfills and oceans. The first step to breaking free of our plastic problem is admitting we have one.
What it takes to make change | Jacqueline Novogratz
What can you do to build a better world? Sharing stories from her pioneering career dedicated to tackling poverty, Jacqueline Novogratz offers three principles to spark and sustain a moral revolution. Learn how you can commit (or recommit) to creating big, positive change in your lifetime -- and give back more to the world than you take from it. "It is in the darkest times that we have the chance to find our deepest beauty," Novogratz says.
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.