TED: Ideas worth spreading
(Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a conference run each year which brings together a mix of scientists, entrepreneurs, performers and thinkers of all types who trade in the fundamental currency of ideas. They get some terrific speakers in to wax lyrical for twenty minutes or so about what’s on their mind, and for the last few years the best talks have been put online. It’s hard to choose which ones to watch, but some of the ones I found worthwhile are:

Jeff Bezos: After the gold rush, there’s innovation ahead
Bezos is the founder of Amazon and someone who knows a thing or two about fluctuations in the fortunes of the web. He begins by connecting the dramatic boom and bust of the web to the rise and fall of the American gold rush. Switching analogies, he goes on to liken the enabling effects of the introduction of the web to the introduction of electricity into people’s homes.
Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy?
Fascinating talk on the nature of human happiness, our “psychological immune system” and how parts of our brains have evolved to be able to simulate experience and fake happiness when required. Also discusses the pyschology of choice: how having less options will generally result in happier people.
Jeff Han: Unveiling the genius of multi-touch interface design
Before all the hoopla about the iPhone‘s touch-sensitive screen, there was Jeff Han, and one of the best technology demos I’ve ever seen.
Seth Godin: Sliced bread and other marketing delights
Marketing master Seth Godin on the requirement that a product or service be not just “very good”, but remarkable to succeed, and why early adopters are the most important group to market to.
Malcolm Gladwell: What we can learn from spaghetti sauce
Writer and master of the cross-disciplinary insight, Malcolm Gladwell (of The Tipping Point fame) illustrates the fallacy of designing anything for the “average user”.

(via Aaron & Mike.)

Hello ruby in the dust
Has your band begun to rust?