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Class 11: The Tyranny of Choice

Page history last edited by Ian D Goddard 10 years, 8 months ago

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice - 2006

TED About this talk:  “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.” 

Comment by Al Mozzam on TED Comments: “It seems to me the basic premise of this talk is totally contradictory to another TED Talk I heard: "What we can learn from spaghetti sauce" - Malcolm Gladwell. If you listen to the two talks back to back, they'd give you totally different messages. Maybe there should be a debate??”  So, let’s debate!


Malcolm Gladwell: What we can learn from spaghetti sauce - 2006

“Malcolm Gladwell searches for the counterintuitive in what we all take to be the mundane: cookies, sneakers, pasta sauce. A New Yorker staff writer since 1996, he visits obscure laboratories and infomercial set kitchens as often as the hangouts of freelance cool-hunters -- a sort of pop-R&D gumshoe -- and for that has become a star lecturer and bestselling author.”

Notable books: The Tipping Point, and Blink.


Arthur Benjamin: Lightning calculation and other "Mathemagic" - 2007

“Arthur Benjamin makes numbers dance. In his day job, he's a professor of math at Harvey Mudd College; in his other day job, he's a "Mathemagician," taking the stage in his tuxedo to perform high-speed mental calculations, memorizations and other astounding math stunts. It's part of his drive to teach math and mental agility in interesting ways, following in the footsteps of such heroes as Martin Gardner.”


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