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February 7, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Google's answer to TED talks has gone live. Solve For X, a "forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork," currently contains links to YouTube videos from the likes of Neal Stephenson, Rob McGinnis, and Privahini Bradoo. Videos range from 10 to 20 minutes in length.

From the site:

"There are three important questions that distinguish a Solve for X talk. [from a TED talk, presumably... s.]
- Does it highlight a huge problem?
- Is there a concrete solution that could make a radical impact?
- Does it explain breakthrough science and technology that could enable this solution?"
posted by sutt (28 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
at least there's no chance they'll sell it and try to localize the app
posted by parmanparman at 12:29 PM on February 7, 2012


No RSS feed that I can find.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:38 PM on February 7, 2012


I'm assuming Neil Stephenson's talk doesn't have a conclusion, just a riot breaks out in the audience and the thing comes to an abrupt end.
posted by Legomancer at 12:41 PM on February 7, 2012 [29 favorites]


Oh god. So "moonshot" is the new "seachange." That's what I get from this. I hate English.
posted by jph at 12:45 PM on February 7, 2012


I think the difference is that they'll be taking user submissions someday, somehow, eventually. Which is pretty cool. Though it looks like they'll require it to be something that was presented in front of an actual audience.

Or, well, a green screen and some spliced in audio of people clapping. They won't know the difference.
posted by XerxesQados at 12:47 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The moon shot was a paradigm shift.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:49 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This website will be a perfect storm.
posted by goethean at 1:02 PM on February 7, 2012


'moonshot thinking'... so Google is endorsing Newt 'To the Moon, Alice' Gingrich?
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 1:15 PM on February 7, 2012


Y'all just jealous that only Americans have walked on the moon. Everyone's changing the seas.
posted by zippy at 1:25 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Google's answer to TED talks

Did someone ask this question?
posted by chavenet at 1:25 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


I use Google search everyday. I use gmail everyday. I use Google Reader everyday (via an iOS app mind you). I use Google Maps as needed and count on it when I do.

Everything else Google does is pretty meh for some reason.
posted by datter at 1:41 PM on February 7, 2012


Neal Stephenson's head is so highly reflective that in the linked vid, he looks like a translucent alien Professorbot.
Or a cross between Walter White and Mister Freeze.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:46 PM on February 7, 2012


No RSS feed that I can find.

You can get a feed for their YouTube user account. But you wouldn't know that from their main site or their YouTube page. I think they want you to circle their page instead.

I understand that RSS feeds are hard to monetize or even explain to the non-nerds. I just wish that someone would try and solve that problem instead of pretending that twitter or google+ are adequate replacements.
posted by Gary at 2:04 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


'moonshot thinking'... so Google is endorsing Newt 'To the Moon, Alice' Gingrich?
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 1:15 PM on 2/7
[+] [!]


I think it's more of a JFK thing
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
posted by Bwithh at 2:06 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is Stephenson still going on about space travel? We have reached the point of diminishing returns, the next part will play out over thousands of years, not 40.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:11 PM on February 7, 2012


Stephen's talk was just like his books: simultaneously incredibly exciting and incredibly boring.

he's still my favorite writer, tho :)
posted by rebent at 2:53 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like this. I mean, the other day I found out there's a TED talk on tying your shoes; seems like TED and its many bastards have jumped the shark...
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:01 PM on February 7, 2012


I think it's more of a JFK thing
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard...


If you only know that famous quote, read the whole speech, which has to be one of the most amazing presidential speeches ever. JFK was reacting to the Soviet space program, but that speech is one of the most audaciously hopeful speeches I've ever heard.

In that speech, JFK quickly reminds us of the entire history of humankind. Then he basically says that we're at a pivotal moment where humankind will jump forward, and that we should be a part of that. So we're going to the fucking moon! (I'm paraphrasing.) And it happened!

I think people might be getting ready for a similarly forward-looking message. The Republicans can't deliver it, because you can't look forward when you have your head stuck up your ass. Maybe Obama can deliver the message, being the Hope Guy and all. But Google is just going ahead and doing it.

Google for President 2012!
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:03 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know what's an awesome way to present complicated but important ideas? Fucking text.
posted by No-sword at 3:53 PM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Google for President 2012!

If you don't vote for us, we'll know.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:56 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know what's an awesome way to present complicated but important ideas?

Fucking text.


Do you have a youtube link that explains that thesis by any chance?
posted by sammyo at 4:26 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know what's an awesome way to present complicated but important ideas? Fucking text.

I rarely click on informational videos for a variety of reasons, including:

1) I'm usually at work when I want to learn about the something the video's about.
2) I anticipate frustration from loading times and buffering problems.
3) I find context-switching from reading words to listening/watching jarring.
4) I anticipate having to wait for whoever's talking to please get to the fucking point already. (Even with long-winded text, it's easy to visually scan-ahead and get a sense of where the meat of it is).
5) If there's stuff I want to reference later, there's no convenient way to quote/highlight.

The only exceptions I can think of at the moment are the Khan Academy videos.

/crankyoldguyrant
posted by treepour at 5:35 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't like the format.
posted by chance at 7:13 PM on February 7, 2012


I really prefer reading things too... stuff like TED (and now Solve For X) get on my nerves sometimes because the topic might sound interesting but I would really prefer to read it at my own leisure than spend several minutes watching a video.

Does anybody know if there's something similar to TED, but is provided in text format instead?
posted by destrius at 7:27 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anybody know if there's something similar to TED, but is provided in text format instead?

I have a snarky answer . . .
posted by jeremias at 7:56 PM on February 7, 2012


Thanks for the RSS feed.
posted by stbalbach at 10:11 PM on February 7, 2012


I'm not sure why google has to have an answer to everything.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:01 PM on February 7, 2012


Much like his novels, Stephenson's talk had a great build-up but then there is very little there there. "I have seen the best minds of my generation working on spam filters." He wants people to go into space to the moon and to mars. I'd like that too but it seems crazy to me to have that at the top of the list right now. His point about the nuclear power plants being 50 years old is a good one.

The Mary Lou Jepsen talk is really great. (High resolution brain scans)
posted by bukvich at 8:54 AM on February 11, 2012


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