"What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist
monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted
his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced
by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind: We
can train our minds in habits of happiness. Interwoven with
his talk are stunning photographs of the Himalayas and of
his spiritual community."
"Why do people see the Virgin Mary on cheese sandwiches or
hear demonic lyrics in "Stairway to Heaven"? Using video,
images and music, professional skeptic Michael Shermer
explores these and other phenomena, including UFOs and
"Author Robert Wright explains "non-zero-sumness," a game-
theory term describing how players with linked fortunes
tend to cooperate for mutual benefit. This dynamic has
guided our biological and cultural evolution, he says --
but our unwillingness to understand one another, as in the
clash between the Muslim world and the West, will lead to
all of us losing the "game." Once we recognize that life is
a non-zero-sum game, in which we all must cooperate to
succeed, it will force us to see that moral progress --
a move toward empathy -- is our only hope."
"Novelist Amy Tan digs deep into the creative process,
journeying through her childhood and family history and
into the worlds of physics and chance, looking for hints
of where her own creativity comes from. It's a wild ride
with a surprise ending."
"Susan Blackmore studies memes: ideas that replicate
themselves from brain to brain like a virus. She makes
a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind
of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology
-- and invents ways to keep itself alive."
"Anthropologist Wade Davis muses on the worldwide web of
belief and ritual that makes us human. He shares
breathtaking photos and stories of the Elder Brothers, a
group of Sierra Nevada indians whose spiritual practice
holds the world in balance."
"Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values
that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're
left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he
pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives
tend to honor most."
"Philip Zimbardo knows how easy it is for nice people to
turn bad. In this talk, he shares insights and graphic
unseen photos from the Abu Ghraib trials. Then he talks
about the flip side: how easy it is to be a hero, and how
we can rise to the challenge. "
"Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth
living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks
to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in
activities that bring about a state of flow."