Best videos inspiring first interest in rationality or the singularity

byAcademian8y13th Apr 201125 comments


When faced with a decision that might be really important — if say, the life of a loved one may be at risk — many people, though unfortunately not all, are moved to a sense of responsibility whereby they suddenly care more about being right than about looking right, feeling right, or even feeling good. It's when we have something to protect that many of us are most motivated to transcend our usual desires to "win the debate", "uphold our beliefs", or "have faith", and instead actually try to become right ... to have the best shot we can at saving the day with the decisions we make.

The upcoming technological singularity — an event where the lives of all our loved ones may or may not hang in the balance — is for many people a great inspiration to become more rational. Also, most of us want to convince others to be more rational, and videos are a powerful way to reach people, so I want to know:

What do you think is the online video that best inspires a strong initial interest in rationality or the singularity?

Please upvote each comment that contains a video that you approve for this purpose, not just your favorite; I want to use approval voting here so we get a robust ordering on the videos. Also to this end, please post at most one video per comment.

If you don't already have a favorite but want one, a place to start looking is the Singularity Summit videos at Vimeo allows you to like/dislike videos, so that's another way you can donate information.

Some things to consider when voting:

  • Public appeal --- is this a video you'd want sent out on a mailing list to a bunch of random but educated people? (We want people in positions of intellectual or political influence to promote rationality.)
  • First exposure --- if this is someone's first exposure to thinking about rationality or the singularity, will it keep their interest?
  • Video quality --- is the camerawork respectable, or does it make people want to stop watching?
  • Speaker personality --- will people be annoyed at the speaker and lose attention, or be inspired?
  • OMG factor --- does the video have enough punchlines that make people say "oh my gosh I want to be more rational"?

I will periodically update this post with a list of links and their ratings, so we all have an easily accessible source of high-quality presentations we can send to our friends and colleauges to inspire rationality :)

List of videos; last updated April 17, 2011.

  1. (11 points since April 13, 2011; vote here) Open-Mindedness, by QualiaSoup.  
  2. (3 points since April 14, 2011; vote here) What is the Singularity?  
  3. (3 points since April 13, 2011; vote here) Why didn't anybody tell me?  
  4. (2 points since April 13, 2011; vote here) Reaching the stars is easy...  
  5. (2 points since April 13, 2011; vote here) Hans Rosling: No more boring data: TEDTalks  
  6. (1 points since April 15, 2011; vote here) What is "rationality"?