I have two very interesting intranet sites if you like to listen to interesting lectures on interesting ideas. The first, which I’ve posted about to my Facebook friends at least is TED. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. It’s annual conference brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). Tickets are, well, expensive and sell out a year in advance. But — you can view many of the speakers that attend the TED conference (and twin conference) for free. The speakers range from the most influential politicians of both to the elite More than 200 talks from TED are available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted. Trust me, you’ll find something that is interesting, informing, entertaining and probably mind-blowing. It’s a lot better than most of to stuff on Discovery Channel and the History Channel (and I like
The other is a site called Academic Earth. More and more of these sites (and similar pod-casts from leading Universities) are popping up, giving people access to interesting lecturers — and in some cases whole courses — from prominent academicians and Universities. These are kind of like auditing a university class. One that I started was a series of lectures on the current economic crisis. I’m going to, sometime this year, do the Intro to Astrophysics class. I’m sure it’ll be over my head in a profound way — but I’ll tell you how it goes.
I have to say that the TED presentations are more interesting and lighter fare. If you didn’t like college, Academic Earth isn’t for you. But the quality of most of the ones I’ve seen on Academic Earth are really good. The TED stuff is pretty mind-blowing and condenced.
Check it out — keep learning!!!