You no longer have to attend expensive conferences or tune in to a live broadcast to experience the intelligence and expertise of the world's brainiest economists, reporters, authors and entrepreneurs. Below are five recent talks that will enrich your mind from the comfort of wherever you and your computer are sitting.
1. Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers: The Story of Success
The author of "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" returns with "Outliers," an inspiring look at how upbringing, personality, fate and thousands of hours of hard work commingle to create the world's most successful people. This lecture is that book in a nutshell.
2. This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money
In audio rather than video format, this talk between This American Life producer Alex Blumberg and NPR's business and economics correspondent Adam Davidson is credited around the Web as one of the best explanations of the subprime mortgage crisis and how it connects to Wall Street's recent failures.
3. The New Yorker Festival: The Next Generation of Fashion
At the 2008 New Yorker Festival, three top graduates from three design schools talk about their own work, their inspiration, and the future of fashion.
4. TED Conference 2008: Samantha Power: Shaking Hands With the Devil
At the 2008 TED Conference, Power, who heads Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights, gives a lecture on genocide based on her book about Sergio Vieira de Mello, a UN diplomat who worked with dictators to protect human rights and was killed in a bombing in Iraq in 2003.
5. FreedomFest 2008: Charles Murray: "Real Education"
Murray, author of "Human Accomplishment" and "The Bell Curve," discusses his book about the American education system, including proposals about how to improve it.