3 Interesting TED Talks for IT Professionals and Web Designers

The following TED Talks have been viewed by millions and discuss topics related to technology and the internet and the humans who create and interact with these things. Although anyone could find these discussions interesting and educational, IT professionals and web designers will especially appreciate their content and questions.

Andrew Blum: What is the Internet, really?

When a squirrel chewed through a cable that disconnected Newsweek writer Andrew Blum from the web, it forced him to think about what the internet was really made of and if it had a physical form. In this 12-minute TED speech, Blum discusses the physical origin of the web and shares his journey to “see” it with his own two eyes. Although it is virtual, the internet does have a very material foundation. From underground (and even undersea) cables to data centers, the signals we depend on to bring us information are produced through a network of infrastructure that is very physical and industrial.

Clay Shirky: Why SOPA is a bad idea

Clay Shirky is an adjunct professor for New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Graduate Program. In this TED lecture, Shirky speaks with a clear voice to help listeners understand the serious implications of the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The 13-minute video packs a serious punch, explaining efficiently why these two bills will kill both creativity and freedom on the internet. The bills, which are being backed by lobbyists who represent major media companies, could potentially create an internet landscape that infringes on our basic rights to free speech and due process.

Sherry Turkle: Connected, butalone?

Sherry Turkle is director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. In this TED speech, she discusses the psychological aspect of the internet, especially as it relates to mobile technology. Turkle has done research to support her argument that we are using technology to give us companionship, without the demands of friendship. Although we don’t want to be alone, Turkle says that humans are ultimately uncomfortable with intimacy and that social media and mobile communication tools provide us with a way to stay connected without really getting to know one another on an intimate level. The discussion will force you to think deeper about your own relationship with technology and the people in your life.

Are you an IT professional or web designer? If so, what are your thoughts on the above TED Talks?

To view more TED Talks, or to learn about the TED initiative, please visit TED.com.

As a blogger for www.WebDesignSchoolsGuide.com, Rachel Sanders has a passion for helping potential and current web design students fulfill their education and career goals. Always looking for the latest and greatest in web design news and technology, Rachel also writes about education in general, computer technology and student life. Feel free to leave your comments and questions for her below!

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