You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2007.

I am no potterhead. Nevertheless, Potter fans’ angst with the New York Times seems reasonable to me. First, a review of the latest Potter book 2 days before the book officially went on sale. Next, the Times excludes the book ever appearing on its bestsellers list by categorizing it as a children’s book. Ouch!

If you convince yourself that you’re amongst the elite or that you alone are privy to the eternal truths about how to govern, then you can become a very dangerous person.

From an interview in Salon with Simon Blackburn, on his recent book on Plato’s Republic. Of particular interest is the context in which the above statement is made.

Two other talks at TED that I felt were worth watching – Debunking third world myths and New insights on poverty and life around the world. The speaker, Hans Rosling, is a professor of global health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Using his data visualization software called Gapminder, Dr. Rosling presents statistics and insights in a manner far more interesting than I have encountered before. In these videos, he uses visual statistics to demonstrate the narrowing gap between the so called developing and industralized countries over the years, in terms of family size and per capita income among other indicators. These examples emphasize the importance of this new way of visualizing data, and the insights that one can gain from such a visualization.

Having watched the first video, I wondered if the second one could be any more interesting. You’ve got to wait until the end of the second video before you decide.

A talk worth heeding on an interesting topic interspersed with well-delivered doses of humor – Sir Ken Robinson on Do schools kill creativity at the 2006 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference.

Link via e-mail from Kaviyesh.

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