I’m happy to admit that I love TED talks, despite the fact that my business partner feels the need to point out that the are pretty high on the list of stereotypical stuff that white people like. TED originally stood for “Technology, Entertainment and Design” but has since expanded its theme to a more general concept of “ideas worth spreading.” (If nothing else, I am pleased to see that at least some of economics falls under the heading of ideas worth spreading. ) There are almost 1,000 TED talks available online on a variety of subjects, and you can see a comprehensive list of them here. I find the talks to be helpful as a 20-or-so minute introduction to a topic so that I can decide whether or not to follow up with the speaker’s book or whatnot.
One of the most recent TED talks to be posted online is by Tim Harford, Financial Times columnist and author of books such as The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life. Harford is taking a bit of a new direction with his talk, which outlines the importance of trial and error:
Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems — and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. In this sparkling talk from TEDGlobal 2011, he asks us to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes.
Not surprisingly, this talk coincides with the release of Harford’s new book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure. I would just like to let Mr. Harford know that I make awesome mistakes, thankyouverymuch. After all, practice makes perfect, right?