Prioritisation and cost analysis are the universally accepted first steps toward simplifying difficult, multivariate problems, but this talk takes them to an entire new level. Bjorn Lomborg posits that cold, hard cost-benefit analysis can save the world, which is difficult to disagree with, were it not for the apparent lack of sympathy for the human factor. Which is why the Sonic Youth/Wilco master axeman Jim O’Rourke makes the perfect accompaniment for this – his 2009 masterpiece The Visitor more than makes up for the talk’s rather minor flaw.
New year, new job and a new round of Ted X Beats. In the red corner we have the reputable Alex Tabarrok, economist extraordinaire and one of the masterminds behind Marginal Revolution. In the blue corner we have the Voodoo ghost of the venerable Jimmy Smith, bashing out a cracking live version of Root Down. The result ? I’d say it’s pretty special, but it’s not for everyone. Markets in everything, innit?
Matt Ridley VS Wackies by asenasen
The July installment of Ted,Upgraded takes on Matt Ridley‘s combinatorial innovation talk in the most literal sense – by combining it with some legendary cuts from Wackies’ ever-fresh catalogue. I hope you’ll agree that the ‘rational optimist’ has never sounded better.
Barry Schwartz VS Boredoms by asenasenIt has been a profoundly uninteresting month. I’ve been working really hard, and had no time to post anything of value, except for that Ray Bradbury lecture below. I did it hoping that it would compensate for my prolonged absence. Then I realised it is better than anything I have ever written.
Whatever. Welcome to the June installment of Ted, Upgraded. This time around we have American psychologist Barry Schwartz waxing lyrical about choice set against The Boredoms‘ sonic escapism. I think it would make for a terrific jogging soundtrack. Enjoy.
Boom! After a cantankerous few weeks, I got some time to put this bad boy together. The idea had been taking shape for ages – Bumps is basically Tortoise‘s rhythm section reduced to rough beats. Steven Pinker is one helluva linguist, and I am sure he would make a motherfucker of an MC, if he’d just loosen up a bit. All I was left with was the rather entertaining task of bringing these two extremes together. I had to exercise whatever sequencing sensibility I have, and I think I have done reasonably well. If you happen to disagree, then I am sure the mighty Internet’s got much more interesting things to offer. Obviously I’m just kidding. Please stay.
Philip Zimbardo VS Sunn O))) by asenasen
Deceptively downbeat, is how this installment of Ted, Upgraded is best described. Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus at Stanford, tells us about the dangerous permeability of the human mind and sheds light on some of the shadiest psychology research ever performed. I decided to set it against the backdrop of the beautifully atmospheric and impenetrably dark Sunn O))). Approach this with an open mind and be advised that Mr Zimbardo can be very, very persuasive.
Dan Gilbert VS. SND by asenasen
This one is all about the simple pleasures in life, like behavioural economics and beats. Dan Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard, known for his social psychology work, and book ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ paired up with SND‘s metronomic stylings.
The Brain in Love vs. Piece of Mind by asenasen
If the name of this blog ever confused you, this post should make it all clear. I always found TED talks interesting, but felt they lacked the replay factor that they truly deserve. So what better way to add value to some of the gems on TED than to accompany them with some tunes? I thought I’d rectify this horrible inequity by laying some beats over select talks. I like to think of this as Sesame Street for grown-ups. This first one is biological anthropologist Helen Fisher on love, paired up with an especially extended version of a sleazy tune by jazz drummer Idris Muhammad. Little did the dating specialist know they would make such a lovely couple. So wrong, yet so good.