(Yes)today’s TED talks

For today, a couple of old TED talks I’ve revisited recently.

Dan Dennett/On Our Consciousness
I often don’t agree Dan Dennett says, but I always love how he says it. Here’s an old talk in which he discusses the degree to which we (don’t) have insight into our own consciousness. He also seems to take credit for predicting change blindness.

Peter Donnelly/How Stats Fool Juries
Here, Donnelly puts across some excellent material on our perception of random sequences. Heads and tails; adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine. He goes on to consider how our poor grasp of this sort of statistical reasoning can lead to genuinely terrible consequences.

I’m professionally indebted to Donnelly for his work on HapMap and with WTCCC. Interestingly, both Dennett and Donnelly open with jokes about being boring at parties.

Bobby McFerrin/The Pentatonic Scale
And finally, this wonderful piece from Bobby McFerrin.