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Lessons from death row inmates
What happens before a murder? In looking for ways to reduce death penalty cases, David R. Dow realized that a surprising number of death row inmates had similar biographies. In this talk he proposes a bold plan, one that prevents murders in the first place. (Filmed at TEDxAustin.)
We need to talk about an injustice
In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are
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Laws that choke creativity
Larry Lessig, the Net’s most celebrated lawyer, cites John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights and the "ASCAP cartel" in his argument for reviving our creative culture.
The case for anonymity online
The founder of 4chan, a controversial, uncensored online imageboard, describes its subculture, some of the Internet "memes" it has launched, and the incident in which its users managed a very public, precision hack of a mainstream media website. The talk raises questions about the power -- and price -- of anonymity.
We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That's the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and
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The lost art of democratic debate
Democracy thrives on civil debate, Michael Sandel says -- but we're shamefully out of practice. He leads a fun refresher, with TEDsters sparring over a recent Supreme Court case (PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin) whose outcome reveals the critical ingredient in justice.
Lessons from fashion's free culture
Copyright law's grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry ... and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. At TEDxUSC 2010, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion's free culture.
A vision of crimes in the future
The world is becoming increasingly open, and that has implications both bright and dangerous. Marc Goodman paints a portrait of a grave future, in which technology's rapid development could allow crime to take a turn for the worse.
The Web as random acts of kindness
Feeling like the world is becoming less friendly? Social theorist Jonathan Zittrain begs to difffer. The Internet, he suggests, is made up of millions of disinterested acts of kindness, curiosity and trust.
How the Internet will (one day) transform government
The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub -- so why can’t governments? In this rousing talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.
Making global labor fair
FLA head Auret van Heerden talks about the next frontier of workers' rights -- globalized industries where no single national body can keep workers safe and protected. How can we keep our global supply chains honest? Van Heerden makes the business case for fair labor.
How I beat a patent troll
Drew Curtis, the founder of fark.com, tells the story of how he fought a lawsuit from a company that had a patent, "...for the creation and distribution of news releases via email." Along the way he shares some nutty statistics about the growing legal problem of frivolous patents.
How YouTube thinks about copyright
Margaret Gould Stewart, YouTube's head of user experience, talks about how the ubiquitous video site works with copyright holders and creators to foster (at the best of times) a creative ecosystem where everybody wins.
Does the world need nuclear energy?
Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever TED debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even change your mind.
Why eyewitnesses get it wrong
Scott Fraser studies how humans remember crimes -- and bear witness to them. In this powerful talk, which focuses on a deadly shooting at sunset, he suggests that even close-up eyewitnesses to a crime can create "memories" they could not have seen. Why? Because the brain abhors a vacuum.
Addiction is a disease. We should treat it like one
Only one in nine people in the United States gets the care and treatment they need for addiction and substance abuse. A former Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli is working to end this epidemic and treat people with addictions with kindness, compassion and fairness. In a personal, thoughtful talk, he encourages the millions of Americans in
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Yochai Benkler on the new open-source economics
Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization.
The power of the informal economy
Robert Neuwirth spent four years among the chaotic stalls of street markets, talking to pushcart hawkers and gray marketers, to study the remarkable "System D," the world's unlicensed economic network. Responsible for some 1.8 billion jobs, it's an economy of underappreciated power and scope.
HIV -- how to fight an epidemic of bad laws
There is an epidemic of HIV, and with it an epidemic of bad laws -- laws that effectively criminalize being HIV positive. At the TEDxSummit in Doha, TED Fellow Shereen El-Feki gives a forceful argument that these laws, based in stigma, are actually helping the disease spread.
Let's simplify legal jargon!
Tax forms, credit agreements, healthcare legislation: They're crammed with gobbledygook, says Alan Siegel, and incomprehensibly long. He calls for a simple, sensible redesign -- and plain English -- to make legal paperwork intelligible to the rest of us.
How to stop torture
Political prisoners aren't the only ones being tortured -- the vast majority of judicial torture happens in ordinary cases, even in 'functioning' legal systems. Social activist Karen Tse shows how we can, and should, stand up and end the use of routine torture.
The laws that sex workers really want
Everyone has an opinion about how to legislate sex work (whether to legalize it, ban it or even tax it) ... but what do workers themselves think would work best? Activist Toni Mac explains four legal models that are being used around the world and shows us the model that she believes will work best to keep sex workers safe and offer greater self-determination. "If you
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How the US should use its superpower status
Americanization and globalization have basically been the same thing for the last several generations. But the US's view of the world — and the world's view of the US — is changing. In a fast-paced tour of the current state of international politics, Ian Bremmer discusses the challenges of a world where no single country or alliance can meet the challenges of global
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The problem with race-based medicine
Social justice advocate and law scholar Dorothy Roberts has a precise and powerful message: Race-based medicine is bad medicine. Even today, many doctors still use race as a medical shortcut; they make important decisions about things like pain tolerance based on a patient's skin color instead of medical observation and measurement. In this searing talk, Roberts lays
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Behind the lies of Holocaust denial
"There are facts, there are opinions, and there are lies," says historian Deborah Lipstadt, telling the remarkable story of her research into Holocaust deniers — and their deliberate distortion of history. Lipstadt encourages us all to go on the offensive against those who assault the truth and facts. "Truth is not relative," she says.
The risky politics of progress
Global problems such as terrorism, inequality and political dysfunction aren't easy to solve, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying. In fact, suggests journalist Jonathan Tepperman, we might even want to think riskier. He traveled the world to ask global leaders how they're tackling hard problems — and unearthed surprisingly hopeful stories that he's distilled
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Why gun violence can't be our new normal
It doesn't matter whether you love or hate guns; it's obvious that the US would be a safer place if there weren't thousands of them sold every day without background checks. Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, makes a passionate, personal appeal for something that more than 90 percent of Americans want: background checks for all gun
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Making law on the high seas
Kristina Gjerde studies the law of the high seas -- the 64 percent of our ocean that isn't protected by any national law at all. Gorgeous photos show the hidden worlds that Gjerde and other lawyers are working to protect from trawling and trash-dumping, through smart policymaking and a healthy dose of PR.