Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond

“How Societies Can Grow Old Better,” a talk by scientist and author Jared Diamond, will be the first of four recent TED Talks streamed over the Internet and projected on the “big screen” in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy Building beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 29).

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, was founded in 1984 to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.”

The four TED talks to be presented Wednesday at Academy Village are:

  • In “How Societies Can Grow Old Better,” Diamond discusses an irony behind the latest efforts to extend human life: It’s no picnic to be an old person in a youth-oriented society. Older people can become isolated, lacking meaningful work and low on funds. In this talk, Diamond looks at how different societies treat their elders – some better, some worse – and suggests we all take advantage of experience.
  • “The Voice of the Natural World,” by natural sounds expert Bernie Krause, who has been recording wild soundscapes – the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the subtle sounds of insect larvae – for 45 years.  This is a surprising look at what we can learn through nature’s symphonies, from the grunting of a sea anemone to the sad calls of a beaver in mourning.
  • “Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents’,” by James Flynn, a New Zealand-based moral philosopher.   It’s called the “Flynn effect” – the fact that each generation scores higher on an IQ test than the generation before it.  Are we actually getting smarter, or just thinking differently? In this fast-paced spin through the cognitive history of the 20th Century, Flynn suggests that changes in the way we think have had surprising (and not always positive) consequences.
  • “My Glacier Cave Discoveries,” by Ed Cartaya.  “Snow Dragon.” “Pure Imagination.” “Frozen Minotaur.” These are the names Cartaya and his climbing partner Brent McGregor gave three glacier caves they were the first to explore.  A ranger at Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, Cartaya not only solves cave crimes – he also explores the ever-changing system of caves within Mount Hood’s Sandy Glacier.

Submitted by H. Deon Holt, Academy Village Volunteer

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Senior Academy to Feature Selected TED Talks: Jan. 2014
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