TED2008: Days 3 and 4 in Quotes

Posted by:

Photos: Andrew Heavens

“Imagine Martin Luther King saying, ‘I have a dream … But I don’t know if the others will buy it.’” – Boston Philharmonic conductor Ben Zander, on the importance of persuasive leadership

“Human progress depends on unreasonable people. Reasonable people accept the world as they meet it; unreasonable people persist in trying to change it. Well, I’m Bob and I’m an unreasonable person. And if TED is anything, it is the olympics of unreasonable people.” – Musician and activist Bob Geldof (above)

“Why are we ignoring the oceans? Why does NASA spend in one year what NOAA will spend in 1600 years? Why are we looking up? Why are we afraid of the ocean?” – Ocean explorer Robert Ballard

“I think it’s the dopamine.” – Anthropologist Helen Fisher, explaining to Chris Anderson why she’s still optimistic about love, despite understanding its chemical and biological basis

“Relative to the universe, it’s just up the road.” – Physicist Brian Cox, after referring to Chicago as ‘just up the road’ from Monterey, CA

“If you think half of America votes badly because they are stupid or religious, you are trapped in a matrix … Take the red pill, learn some moral psychology and step outside the moral matrix.” – Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis

“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.” – Jonathan Haidt, quoting Sent-ts’an, from 700CE China

“The job of the C is to make the B sad.” – Boston Philharmonic conductor Ben Zander, deconstructing a piece by Chopin

“How do we give credible hope to the billion poorest people in the world? It requires compassion to get ourselves started, and enlightened self-interest to get serious… If economic divergence continues, combined with global integration, it will build a nightmare for our children.” – Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion

“In order to solve the climate crisis, we need to solve the democracy crisis.” – Al Gore, urging citizen involvement not only on a personal level, but also on a political level

“How dare we be pessimistic? Maybe the future is better than it used to be.” – Peter Schwartz, co-founder of the Global Business Network

“It’s important to leave the security of who we are, and go to the place of who we are becoming. I encourage you to let yourself out of any prison you might find yourself in. Because we have to do something now. We have to change now.” – Environmental advocate John Francis (below), who went 17 years without speaking