It's time for TED!
And with those words, Chris Anderson opens the 25th TED conference.
He rightly starts off with a current picture of the economy - a blackscreen.
The key to managing crises is to keep an eye on the long term while you're dancing in the flames - sir Philip Hampton, Chair Royal Bank of Scotland.
Problems of leverage
-normal commercial bank leverage - 9x (for ever dollar in, 9 go out)
-investment bank - 15x
We've moved the date of entitlements being 100% of the US dollars the government takes in from about 2032 to 2017 based on today's economy).
Some short-term solutions:
-cap medical spending
-work 2-4 more years longer
-cut military 3% a year
-selective spending cuts
-reduce the size of government
The 225 top companies in Japan are now worth 1/4 what they were 18 years ago thanks to extended economic crisis dealt with through, in simple terms, bailouts.
Now on to advances in biology manipulation...growing human molars in the lab. Or a human windpipe...spray painted her stem cells on a donor trachea, it regenerated and was transplanted in her. We can grow ears and bladders now. One group took a heart, stripped it to cartilage, sprayed it with stem cells and the heart not only regrew tissues, it began to beat.
One group took skin cells and rebooted them into stem cells.
Now on to robots. Cool video of a 4-legged robot called Big (Boston Dynamics) -- what happens when you begin combining advanced robots with the ability to generate human biological features?
Homo Evolutis - were he thinks evolution is heading - the integration of robotics and biological manipulation. Scary and amazing. Shades of 6 million dollar man, eh?
Jill Sobule gets us going with a beautiful song with the refrain "something's gonna happen to change my world"
Peter Singer -
"Our unmanned systems don't just effect the how of warfighting, they effect the WHO." Mankind's 5000 year monopoly on warfare is breaking down before our eyes.
The future of war is not going to be purely an American one. We might be ahead, but there's no such thing as permanent first. Warfare has gone open source - you don't need a massive infrastructure to build this technology - it's DIY. You can build some of these drones yourself - impact on the future of terrorism is clear.
There are lots of videos of drones in action on YouTube - war porn. One was an explosion with bodies flying...set to "(I just wanna) Fly" by Sugar Ray. (That's pretty sick, actually.)
What is the message we are sending with these machines?? "It plays to our strength, they are scared of our technology" - one sr. Bush official. But is that what people think? He asked someone in Lebanon who said "This is just another sign of the coldhearted, cruel Israelis and Americans who send machines to fight us and are afraid, so we just have to kill a few more of their soldiers." (didn't catch it all)
What does the disconnect create? More war crimes? When you make war like a video game, people do things they wouldn't do in the flesh. I'm taken back to Philip Zimbardo's talk last year about the abuse of power at Abu Ghraib.
"Unmanslaughter" - accidental killing through misuse, misfiring of unmanned systems.
One military official told him "No ethics issue in robotic warfare unless it kills the wrong people repeatedly. Then it's a product recall issue."
That, my friends, is a very scary frame on the future of war.
And now Chris Anderson says "It reminds me that it's high time to move on to" basically brighter, lighter topics. Ugh. Not intentional, but still the words made me wince.
Yves Behar doing a 3 minute talk - he designed the Jawbone headset.
Naturally 7 is performing - "Some call it a capella but we call it vocal play. A capella is when you sing without instruments. Vocal play is when you use your voice to become the instruments and create a wall of sound." They have 2 albums available on iTunes!
"I hope I'm not in the reboot section because you sometimes have to reboot your computer and you associate that with me."
Cut childhood death from 110 mil to 10mil in a short number of time. Now the goal is to attack the small handful diseases that cause much of the 10mil, like malaria.
Paradox - because malaria is now concentrated in poor countries, it gets little money. More money is spent on baldness treatment than malaria. (He points out that rich men drive this -- makes me think of Viagra.)
How to really solve malaria = need not just scientists, but communicators to get the prevention messages out, drug companies, government cooperation.
"How do you make a teacher great?" Answer - we don't.
50% of minority children finish high school, only 25% of those get a college degree (more likely to go to jail).
How much variation is there between teachers - a top quartile teacher improves class test scores by 10% in a year. This would erase the difference between school performance in the US vs Asia.
Characteristics of top quartile - not senior (after teaching 3yrs, quality doesn't tend to improve), not highly degreed (nope, smallest impact BY FAR). But pay rewards seniority and advanced degrees. This goes right to the heart of why incentives often don't work - see the Made to Stick column in this month's Fast Company for more.
Work Hard. Be Nice by Jay Mathews - tells the story of KIPP, a Houston school that is making big advances in how to spread the impact of great teachers. (Bill is kindly sending this book to every TED attendee - I encourage people to give it to their local school boards!)