Peoples Archive

Burt “TM” Humburg sent me a link to the Peoples Archive, a site that collects videotaped interviews with scientists, philosophers, artists, moviemakers… essentially the people who have demonstrated that they have something to say to the world that is worth listening to. These interviews are divided up into discrete short “stories”. You can use your computer to play the QuickTime clips (assuming that you have version 6 or later of QuickTime installed).

I’m listening to Nobel Laureate Gerald Edelman giving a synopsis of his theory of neuronal group selection, or Neural Darwinism. For those sensitive biologists out there, the binding is {neuronal group} selection, not neuronal {group selection}. Edelman’s work is a terrific counter to antievolutionists who claim that science hasn’t done anything to try to explain consciousness and higher cognitive function. Mostly, they don’t even know who Edelman is, and they certainly don’t come into the discussion with a good basis in knowledge of Neural Darwinism.

Anyway, there’s some very good content available on this site, so check it out.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

4 thoughts on “Peoples Archive

  • 2006/06/18 at 2:33 pm
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    This is very good stuff indeed. Thanks for pointing it out.

    That said, I do want to take exception to the idea that “scientists, philosophers, artists, moviemakers…” are “essentially the people who have demonstrated that they have something to say to the world that is worth listening to.” If that was a rhetorical or hyperbolic statement, stop reading here; otherwise…

    I think blogging clearly demonstrates quite the opposite: hearing the voice of the people who live and work this life without excessive recognition helped me understand many of those “common folk” have critically important, insightful, and intelligent things to say that demonstrate a collective of many is more important than a collective of a select few, and this is true by orders of magnitude. I know you’ve seen that as well and suspect I’ve just embarrassingly overreacted, but isn’t that the joy of this digital medium? The abruptness, I mean.

  • 2006/06/18 at 4:39 pm
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    Yeah, I could have phrased that better. Worthwhile-ness is not exclusive to the famous, and certainly is not necessary for fame, either. The racks of tabloids at the supermarket checkout stand prove that fame can be invested in the vacuous as well as the gifted.

  • 2006/10/30 at 10:36 am
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    But don’t you think it’s fascinating to hear the guys who created nuclear warheads talking about it, and talking about their remorse at the devastation caused?

    Hans Bethe and Edward Teller are particularly interesting!

    But it’s not all doom and gloom science. I see that they have Quentin Blake soon. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about his professional relationship with Roald Dahl!

    I agree that some blogs can be very interesting but hearing about how our world was irrevocably changed, by the people who did it, is simple awesome! I love Peoples Archive, I just wish there were more people on it!

  • 2011/10/27 at 4:58 am
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    Hello there,

    I stumbled across this post you made about People’s Archive some time ago. Since you last viewed the site it became re-branded to Web of Stories and now has over 100 of the greatest scientists, chemists, artists… of our time, talking about their life and career.

    In response to Jason’s comment, Web of Stories now offers the public a chance to tell their story also. They can now record their videos using a webcam in the comfort of their own home. Everyone has a story to tell, and we want people to share theirs with the world.

    I hope this helps and I hope you continue to enjoy the stories available at Web of Stories.

    Best Regards,
    Web of Stories team

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