TED2007: Day one wrap-up

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Quotes of the day:

Cassini imaging team head Carolyn Porco: "So there are possibly liquid water, organic materials and excessive heat on Saturn and its moons. Which means that Saturn could be a place were life is possible. If we can demonstrate that Genesis has happened not once (Earth) but twice (Saturn)  then we can infer that it has happened hundreds of thousands of times across the solar system. If we can demonstrate that Genesis has happened not once [on Earth] but twice [including Saturn] in the solar system, then by inference that means it has occurred a staggering number of times across the universe in its 13.7 billion year history".

Nobel prize of physics Murray Gell-Mann: "In fundamental physics, beauty is a very successful criterion for choosing the right theory".

Psychologist Steven Pinker: "The truth is that our ancestors were far more violent that we are, and today we are probably living in the most peaceful times in history".

Computer scientist Jeff Han: "We basically have to un-teach people what they have learned so far about computing, and convince them that they can use several fingers, that several people can work on the screen at once".

Architect Philippe Starck: "I believe in general that my job is absolutely useless; but now, after Carolyn and these guys, I feel like shit".

Statistician Hans Rosling: "Bring me my sword!" (Rosling is a serious demographer but he is also — another deadly serious activity — one of the few sword-swallowers active in Sweden, and he ends his speech swallowing a Swedish bayonette).