TED Blog: 11 Talks That Freaked Us Out in 2012

Paranoia fodder from TED, just in time for the new year!

Vicki Arroyo’s hometown is New Orleans, and after Hurricane Katrina struck, she knew firsthand the looming threat of climate change. In this eye-opening talk from TEDGlobal 2012, “Let’s prepare for our new climate,” Arroyo reveals the startling truths about droughts, rising water levels and natural disasters — that they may only get worse.

In 2012, we have seen the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the ravaging floods and monsoons of the Philippines, as well as the Sahel Drought that spanned across eight African nations and affected 18 million people. But we may find, in the coming years, that these disasters become more common than ever before – and Arroyo tells us just how we can prepare.

While many TED Talks are hopeful for the future, some take hard looks at sobering realities. And so the TED staff was asked: What talk from 2012 made you feel just a little gulp about the future?

“Marc Goodman’s vision on crimes for the future. I mean, 3D printed guns? Scary!” Jennifer Gilhooley, Partnership Development

“I’ve been so excited this year thinking about the potential for personalized medicine. But Marc Goodman popped that bubble, pointing out that if medicine can be targeted to an individual, so could a biological attack. Still, his talk is so important. Just because new technology can be used for evil doesn’t mean we should change course. We just have to think about how to weight it toward use for good.” —Kate Torgovnick, Writer

“Frank Warren’s ‘Half a million secrets.’ It’s a gorgeous talk, one of my all-time favorites.  But there’s something about the intensity of the secrets people share on his website that freaked me out. One was ‘everyone who knew me before 9/11 thinks I’m dead.’” Ben Lillie, Writer/Editor

“Generally speaking, I exhibit a positively optimistic demeanor. However, I think it’s important to be reminded that the world is not always an ideal place. Lisa Kristine’s ‘Photos that bear witness to modern slavery’ alerted me to some injustices that exist, and apart from freaking me out, it made me thankful for where I am and what I have. It also challenged me to give myself to causes that are making a good change.” —Jordan Reeves, TED-Ed Program Facilitator

“If I had any remaining hopes that anything I said or did was private, they were gone by the end of this talk by Malte Spitz. I feel grateful that Verizon doesn’t (yet) seem to be selling my secrets to the highest bidder, but I’m hoping we can agree on some new laws and social practices that address our surveillance vulnerability in meaningful ways.” —Morton Bast, editorial assistant

“Malte Spitz completely scared me. He talked about the data that our mobile phone company keeps, and how very much it conveys about our lives and habits. I worry about the end of privacy, and specifically about how that might compromise activists around the world.” —Shanna Carpenter, Community Engagement Manager

Sherry Turkle’s talk, about how technology is changing the way we relate to other people. She quotes one young boy who says: ‘Someday, I want to learn how to have conversations.’ The idea that people could one day forget to have a normal conversation? That’s disconcerting.” —Becky Chung, Customer Support Specialist

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4 Comments on "TED Blog: 11 Talks That Freaked Us Out in 2012"

  1. Tchoutoye | Dec 28, 2012 at 4:54 am |

    Propaganda alert.

    Marc Goodman’s TED talk ends with a question for us to take home: what can we do as citizens to help the state against terrorism? His talk is BS misinformation, so typical of “terrorism experts”, about the nature of terrorism, that it’s “terrorism of a few individuals against the state” rather than, as more often is the case, state terrorism.

    Case in point: Goodman’s story about the “home made” information center run by the terrorists of the Mumbai attack (which echoes BS stories on Fox News about Bin Laden’s Elaborate Underground Base in a Tora Bora mountain.) In reality, the Pakistani ISI (government secret service) was involved in the Mumbai attack, as explained in this highly revealing story: The inside story of the CIA-ISI immunity deal:

    The State Department informed a New York federal court on December 19 that the ISI and two of its former director generals enjoyed immunity and cannot be tried in the Mumbai terror attacks case.

  2. The “New Climate” speech is the most is he most terrifying!

  3. The “New Climate” speech is the most is he most terrifying!

  4. Tired Educational Doctrines, as it’s now called.

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