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The paradox of choice
Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.
Starting with the simple tale of an ant, philosopher Dan Dennett unleashes a devastating salvo of ideas, making a powerful case for the existence of memes -- concepts that are literally alive.
How bad architecture wrecked cities
In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.
The case for collaborative consumption
At TEDxSydney, Rachel Botsman says we're "wired to share" -- and shows how websites like Zipcar and Swaptree are changing the rules of human behavior.
The voices of China's workers
In the ongoing debate about globalization, what's been missing is the voices of workers -- the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world. Reporter Leslie T. Chang sought out women who work in one of China's booming megacities, and tells their stories.
How pig parts make the world turn
Christien Meindertsma, author of "Pig 05049" looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.
Joseph Pine on what consumers want
Customers want to feel what they buy is authentic, but "Mass Customization" author Joseph Pine says selling authenticity is tough because, well, there's no such thing. He talks about a few experiences that may be artificial but make millions anyway.
Human trafficking is all around you. This is how it works
Behind the everyday bargains we all love — the $10 manicure, the unlimited shrimp buffet — is a hidden world of forced labor to keep those prices at rock bottom. Noy Thrupkaew investigates human trafficking – which flourishes in the US and Europe, as well as developing countries – and shows us the human faces behind the exploited labor that feeds global consumers.
Wearing nothing new
Designer Jessi Arrington packed nothing for TED but 7 pairs of undies, buying the rest of her clothes in thrift stores around LA. It's a meditation on conscious consumption -- wrapped in a rainbow of color and creativity.
Tough truths about plastic pollution
Artist Dianna Cohen shares some tough truths about plastic pollution in the ocean and in our lives -- and some thoughts on how to free ourselves from the plastic gyre.
"Success is a continuous journey"
In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business' rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson -- when we stop trying, we fail.