TED TALK #1 – DISTANT TIME AND THE HINT OF A MULTIVERSE
Posted May 2011
Cosmologist Sean Carroll attacks — in an entertaining and thought-provoking tour through the nature of time and the universe — a deceptively simple question: Why does time exist at all? The potential answers point to a surprising view of the nature of the universe, and our place in it.
Website: Sean Carroll’s homepageBlog: Cosmic Variance
A physicist, cosmologist and gifted science communicator, Sean Carroll is asking himself — and asking us to consider — questions that get at the fundamental nature of the universe. Why you should listen:
Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at Caltech in Pasadena, California, where he researches theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation — exploring the nature of fundamental physics by studying the structure and evolution of the universe.
His book on cosmology and the arrow of time, From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time, was published in 2010. He keeps a regular blog at Cosmic Variance.
What others say
“For anyone who ever wondered about the nature of time and how it influences our universe, [From Here to Eternity] is a must read. It is beautifully written, lucid, and deep.” — Kip Thorne
TED TALK #2 – THE LONG REACH OF REASON
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein WITH Steven Pinker
Philosopher and writer
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein writes novels and nonfiction that explore questions of philosophy, morality and being. rebeccagoldstein.com
Here’s a TED first: an animated Socratic dialog! In a time when irrationality seems to rule both politics and culture, has reasoned thinking finally lost its power? Watch as psychologist Steven Pinker is gradually, brilliantly persuaded by philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein that reason is actually the key driver of human moral progress, even if its effect sometimes takes generations to unfold. The dialog was recorded live at TED, and animated, in incredible, often hilarious, detail by Cognitive. Why you should listen
In her latest book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein makes the case for the importance of philosophy — even as neuroscience tells us more about our brains, and connective technologies teach us more about the world around us. It’s written in the form of a Socratic dialog, a form that Goldstein is passionate about teaching and exploring.
Meanwhile, her novels, from The Mind-Body Problem (Contemporary American Fiction) to 2011’s 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction (Vintage Contemporaries), use techniques of fiction to untangle philosophical questions, such as: How should we balance heart and mind? What should we have faith in?
In 1996 Goldstein became a MacArthur Fellow, receiving the prize popularly known as the “Genius Award.” She was designated Humanist of the Year 2011 by the American Humanist Association. She’s also the author of Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity, a combination memoir, and history.