Yes, The Human Race Does Tons of Dumb Stuff But We Also Overcome The Impossible All The Time

It’s really hard not to come away from TED inspired. One of the speakers was a blind guy who fell out of a third story window and is now in a wheelchair. Instead of quitting on life, he’s becoming a cyborg and is going to find a cure for paralysis.

Another speaker was an Indian woman who wanted to open up a bank for women in India. After a guy rejected her application, citing the totally-accurate and completely reasonable “fact” that women are illiterate and can’t do math, she laughed in his face and challenged all of his men to solve math problems faster than her women. His guys could even pick the problem and the women wouldn’t use calculators.

She now has her bank.

There were a million stories like this, and a million macro stories about how to solve big, global problems facing the entire human race. From building AI safely, to rethinking our justice system, to inventing our way out of climate change, it was inspiring to see, as clear as day, the human capacity for ingenuity and aspiration.

There were also a few amazing artists, musicians, movie directors, and other creative folks who put together creative pieces that demonstrated just how far the human imagination can reach.

Yes, humans are capable of unspeakable stupidity and cruelty, but we’re also capable of doing pretty great things. Amongst other things, TED is a baseball bat designed to beat an ounce or two of cynicism out of the world.

Photo: TED's Flickr account.

Photo: TED's Flickr account.