Wael Ghonim over video at #TED. Before the Egyptian revolution everyone was scared except a few and those were beaten up.  We are not happy when we see some Egyptians eating trash while others steal millions. The Egyptian uprising started with a Facebook page honoring man tortured and killed by Mubarak. First demonstration was thousands of people in Alexandria, a silent stand. The regime attacked them regardless of how peaceful they were. But people kept protesting, and Tunisia came.  Wael was detained for 12 days, blindfolded, handcuffed, he says he does not want to talk about how he was treated.  I assume he was tortured.  Then he was let go and when he did he saw a changed world.  When he saw that he wrote “we are going to win because we don’t understand politics”.  We are going to win because we are willing to stand up for our dreams. Egyptians felt freedom approaching.  The power of the people is much stronger than people in power.

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Salman Khan, extracted from a video about the ...

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First Sal Khan’s bio according to Wikipedia. Then his product, the Khan Academy.  The Khan Academy is a collection of 2100 videos that Sal Khan started while in his spare time when he was working for a hedge fund.  Sal comes across as a very intelligent, well educated, funny educator.  The ultimate educator, the teacher we all want to have.  And over a million do.  Because over a million watch his academy on Youtube.  And so should you.

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At first he shows a picture of polio patients in iron lungs. Speaks about the polio vaccine. The last polio case was in 1980 in USA. Polio still exists in some parts of Africa, India, Pakistan and Afganistan. And in 2 countries that had not had polio for a long time polio came back. In Russia they got polio again. But epidemics is being controlled. We need to completely erradicate polio. Polio can only survive in people so we have to make people polio free. We are doing a global partnership to erradicate polio.  Disease erradication os the venture capital of public health, great risks but great rewards.  Smallpox erradication was an incredibly successful investment, it pays off every 26 days again and again.  Same would be true with polio. But the polio vaccine is very fragile and deteriorates in warm climate. And as opposed to smallpox that is so easy to see because of the rash, polio does not show itself when it first strikes, you can’t see the enemy.

To erradicate polio we have to create a 20 million people social movement. They are vaccinating half a billion children every year. It is oral and easy to administer but the problem is to reach all children of the world in the worst places and conditions.  They have to operate in war conditions. This is foreign aid at its most heroic.  Rotary international is doing this, with over i million volunteers.  Results are good.

Polyo Type 2 has been totally eradicated.  There’s been 99% reduction 1000 kids in the whole world now, a lot but nothing compared to 20 years ago.  But even with 1000 now if we don’t eradicate the disease in 2030 we will have 300K kids again with polio again. A new polio vaccine was developed, old one was 50 years old.  New vaccine is much better.  Northern India is the perfect storm when it comes to polio. Sanitation is terrible. But with the new vaccine not a single got polio.

Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria, Brasí...

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Nigeria has 150 million people, 70 million are poor.  20% of all Africans are Nigerians.  There are the milenium development goals. MDG, 8 goals. First erradicate poverty, 2 universal primary educations, 3 gener equality, reduce child mortality, improving maternal health, combat hiv, aids, malaria, sustainable environment, lastly a global partnership for development.

in 2000 20% of children died in Nigeria before reaching 5 mostly of malaria. schoold had 100 kids in a class, half of Nigerians had no access to clean water, on top of this huge government corruption. In all this President Obasanjo got debt relief.  Saved $1bn per year and used it for MDG.  Amina Az Zubair was put in charge. She used that money to build results based partnership.  Great auditing job as there is tremendous corruption but she argues they succeeded mostly. That most help went to those who needed it.

Amina gives a great deal of statistics that show how infant mortality has fallen and goes MDG one by one and how they are addressing them in Nigeria, she paints an optimistic vision of what is going on in Nigeria but she recognizes that there are still a lot of goals not achieved.

She argues that corruption is on the decline, that democracy is strengthened and that Nigeria is on track to achieve MDG by 2015.

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Bill Gates is guest curating at #TED. He sees this as an opportunity to pick four people who inspired him. He is in a way doing the same job as Chris Anderson, it’s a coup to get him I guess. First one is professor David Christian.

David Christian teaches Big History at TED

David Christian first shows scrambled eggs in reverse to illustrate 2nd law of thermodynamics, entropy.  Yet what we see around us is staggering complexity. So how is it possible to create complexity? He calls paradigm shifts threashold moments in history.  Thresholds increase complexity. He shows timeline with the whole history of the universe.  13.7bn years ago universe starts. Big Bang. From blur to distinct things.  380,000 years after the Big Bang, H and He appear. Gravity starts compacting clouds of H and He. Then 10 million degree temperature cross and then stars are formed. From 200 million years after the BB we get stars.  Stars create all elements when they extinguish themselves. Our solar system starts around 5bn yrs ago.  Rocky planets are born. More diverse environments.  The next big thing is living organisms. Chemistry needs energy but not too much nor too little, not the center of a star, not intergalactic space.  Life needs liquids. Life can’t grow in solid or gas. Our early earth was mostly water and heat coming from the oceanic vents. So first we have the right chemicals and then we have DNA to stabilize the chemistry of life.  DNA is most of the time perfect and occasionally errors.  Errors lead to evolution.  Erros that suceed, very few of them. 800 million yrs ago multicellulars.  65 million yrs ago meteorite in Yucatan dinosaurs wiped out but mammals flourish.  Humans is another threshold. What makes human different is that we are the only species that passes on learning to offspring and collective memory.  Rats learn to, but can’t teach other rats what they learn, they don’t build a civilization.  Humans are unique in that we have collective learning.  We colonize the whole planet while learning how to cope with it.

10K years ago human learns to farm. 500 years ago humans began to link up globally.  Now we are like a single global brain of 7bn.  We discovered fossil fuels and those help complexity. He argues that it is not clear that humans are in charge of collective learning. We have nuclear weapons, we are using up fossil fuels. He is building an online syllabus in Big History.

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