The Bizarre Economics of Tax Havens and Pirate Banking: James S. Henry at TEDxRadboudU 2013

James S. Henry introduces a hot topic: offshore banking. The G8 and G20 are planning meetings to discuss it. Even the Netherlands is a tax haven for certain types of companies. The huge amount of numbers and graphs tells us that we are confronted with nothing less than a global tax haven industry. For example, Apple makes 100 billion dollars a year of tax free profits because of the games private bankers know how to play.

In medieval times people couldn’t hide their wealth when tax collectors came to inventory it. Nowadays they can. It is said that 64 percent of the global profits are parked offshore, for an important part by multinationals from the first world.

The third world is the victim of this practise. An example from the banana industry: exporting a banana from the Cayman Islands costs 13 pence. When it arrives in the UK to be consumed, the costs have grown to 60 pence. All of this money goes to other parties than the Cayman Islands.

Because of the tax havens, countries from the Third World are not able to receive the tax incomes they are entitled to. Henry even concludes that the debt problem of the third world is not a debt problem, but a tax problem. Both amount to almost the same.

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In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Charmian Gooch: Meet global corruption’s hidden players

When the son of the president of a desperately poor country starts buying mansions and sportscars on an official monthly salary of $7,000, Charmian Gooch suggests, corruption is probably somewhere in the picture. In a blistering, eye-opening talk (and through several specific examples), she details how global corruption trackers follow the money — to some surprisingly familiar faces.

How to escape education’s death valley | Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

What We Don’t Know About Europe’s Muslim Kids and Why We Should Care | Deeyah Khan | TEDxExeter

Aged 17, Deeyah fled from Norway confused, lost and torn between cultures. Unlike some young Muslims she picked up a camera instead of a gun. She now uses her camera (and her superpower) to shed light on the clash of cultures between Muslim parents who prioritise honour and their children’s desire for freedom. She argues that we need to understand what is happening to fight the pull to extremism.

Video Production Chromatrope (http://chromatrope.co.uk/)
Production Manager Andy Robertson (http://www.youtube.com/familygamertv)

Deeyah Khan is a critically acclaimed music producer and Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director. Her work highlights human rights, women’s voices and freedom of expression. Her skill as a multidisciplinary artist led her to film and music as the language for her social activism. Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry, the experience of living between different cultures, both the challenges and the beauty, dominates her artistic vision.

Her 2012 multi-award winning documentary Banaz: A Love Story chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod. Her second film the Bafta-nominated Jihad involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis.

Deeyah is the founder of social purpose arts and media production company, Fuuse which works to create intercultural dialogue and understanding by confronting the most complex and controversial topics, and sharing alternative views and excluded voices.

Kenneth Cukier: Ted Talks: Big Data is Better Data

Self-driving cars were just the start. What’s the future of big data-driven technology and design? In a thrilling science talk, Kenneth Cukier looks at what’s next for machine learning — and human knowledge.

07:29

So what is the value of big data? Well, think about it. You have more information. You can do things that you couldn’t do before. One of the most impressive areas where this concept is taking place is in the area of machine learning. Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence, which itself is a branch of computer science. The general idea is that instead of instructing a computer what do do, we are going to simply throw data at the problem and tell the computer to figure it out for itself. And it will help you understand it by seeing its origins. In the 1950s, a computer scientist at IBM named Arthur Samuel liked to play checkers, so he wrote a computer program so he could play against the computer. He played. He won. He played. He won. He played. He won, because the computer only knew what a legal move was. Arthur Samuel knew something else. Arthur Samuel knew strategy. So he wrote a small sub-program alongside it operating in the background, and all it did was score the probability that a given board configuration would likely lead to a winning board versus a losing board after every move. He plays the computer. He wins. He plays the computer. He wins. He plays the computer. He wins. And then Arthur Samuel leaves the computer to play itself. It plays itself. It collects more data. It collects more data. It increases the accuracy of its prediction. And then Arthur Samuel goes back to the computer and he plays it, and he loses, and he plays it, and he loses, and he plays it, and he loses, and Arthur Samuel has created a machine that surpasses his ability in a task that he taught it.

12:54

There is another problem: Big data is going to steal our jobs. Big data and algorithms are going to challenge white collar, professional knowledge work in the 21st century in the same way that factory automation and the assembly line challenged blue collar labor in the 20th century. Think about a lab technician who is looking through a microscope at a cancer biopsy and determining whether it’s cancerous or not. The person went to university. The person buys property. He or she votes. He or she is a stakeholder in society. And that person’s job, as well as an entire fleet of professionals like that person, is going to find that their jobs are radically changed or actually completely eliminated. Now, we like to think that technology creates jobs over a period of time after a short, temporary period of dislocation, and that is true for the frame of reference with which we all live, the Industrial Revolution, because that’s precisely what happened. But we forget something in that analysis: There are some categories of jobs that simply get eliminated and never come back. The Industrial Revolution wasn’t very good if you were a horse. So we’re going to need to be careful and take big data and adjust it for our needs, our very human needs. We have to be the master of this technology, not its servant. We are just at the outset of the big data era, and honestly, we are not very good at handling all the data that we can now collect. It’s not just a problem for the National Security Agency. Businesses collect lots of data, and they misuse it too, and we need to get better at this, and this will take time. It’s a little bit like the challenge that was faced by primitive man and fire. This is a tool, but this is a tool that, unless we’re careful, will burn us.

15:46

Be suspicious of stories | Tyler Cowen | TEDxMidAtlantic

Tyler Cowen occupies the Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics as a professor at George Mason University and is co-author of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution. He currently writes the Economic Scene column for the New York Times and writes for such magazines as The New Republic and The Wilson Quarterly. Cowen is also general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

The danger of AI is weirder than you think | Janelle Shane

The danger of artificial intelligence isn’t that it’s going to rebel against us, but that it’s going to do exactly what we ask it to do, says AI researcher Janelle Shane. Sharing the weird, sometimes alarming antics of AI algorithms as they try to solve human problems — like creating new ice cream flavors or recognizing cars on the road — Shane shows why AI doesn’t yet measure up to real brains. The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know. For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), submit a Media Request here: http://media-requests.TED.com