Daily Archives: January 24, 2008

James Nachtwey: TED Prize wish: Share a vital story with the world

Accepting his 2007 TED Prize, photojournalist James Nachtwey talks about his decades as a war photographer. A slideshow of his photos, beginning in 1981 in Northern Ireland, reveal two parallel themes in his work. First, as he says: “The frontlines of contemporary wars are right where people live.” Street violence, famine, disease: he has photographed all these modern WMDs. Second, when a photo catches the world’s attention, it can truly drive action and change. In his TED wish, he asks for help gaining access to a story that needs to be told, and developing a new, digital way to show these photos to the world.

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Hopeful Monsters and Hopeful Models

A hopeful monster is a mutant born with a genetically determined and large novel trait (compared to its parents) which confers enhanced fitness on that individual. This enhanced fitness increases the likelihood that the new mutant gene that determines this trait will be passed on and spread throughout the evolving population, so in a single generation a rapid process of speciation is initiated. For example, a fish with a mutation that causes both its eyes to grow on one side of its head could become the flounder of a new generation of flatfish. Well, just for the halibut, it might be fun to further examine this notion. Continue reading Hopeful Monsters and Hopeful Models