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The MIT Compton Lectures 精选

已有 3944 次阅读 2018-10-8 04:17 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

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The MIT Compton Lectures

On October 1 2018, my favorite NYT columnist, Thomas Friedman, was invited to give the MIT Compton lecture https://compton.mit.edu/thomas-l-friedman. In his typical fashion, he starts off with a small personal incident but leads to and ends with a grand sweep of the world view, our civilization, and our times. The talk also dealt with his latest best-selling book “Thank You For Being Late” in which he recommends each of us to take time to pause and reflect, to continue with lifelong learning, and to survive various kinds of “climate change”. The talk, including the Q&A, is mesmerizing and at the same time emotionally moving – well worth investing one hour plus of your time and watch it repeatedly. Since this lecture is recorded and available at the above website, I won’t repeat the content except urge readers to watch it since it is really good (By the way, this site also has available all the past MIT Compton Lectures by other celebrities. I trust this MIT site is not blocked in China like You Tube which features my earlier recommendation about NYT collections of Science videos http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-747139.html).

However, it is worthwhile to comment on the style of presentation. Friedman is excellent in giving a talk without visual aids and notes (although a bit fast and uses terms that sometimes may not be familiar with non-US audiences). However, when the talks get to discussing/mentioning FACTS and DATA, he does resort to slides (remember a picture does worth a thousand words). This is a distinction of giving an OP-ED talk versus a Science/Engineering technical talk. My articles earlier about “how to give talks (I-III) http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-1083069.html ” are mostly concerned with giving the latter kind of presentations.

Finally, even though this talk is local to my area, I choose to watch it later on line since it conflicts with another talk at Harvard at the same time by Dr. Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of Britain and former President of the Royal Society, on the subject of “The Future of Humanity” which I’ll report in another article. Such are the embarrassment of riches in the Boston area.




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