Eric McDermott

Temecula, CA, United States

About Eric

Bio

I have studied and conducted research in the US, the UK, and India. Most recently I returned from completing a Fulbright grant concerning qEEG Neurofeedback training in Bangalore at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. In general, I love thinking, learning, and our brains; TED combines all three. I also enjoy living life to the fullest, and I hope to travel the world. This world has so much to offer, but a step back from the daily chaos is necessary to appreciate most of it. "I'd rather have a mind opened by wonder, than one closed by belief" - Gerry Spence

An idea worth spreading

All things are connected in some way, be it sub-atomically, through the "zero-point-field", or even in dependance upon each other. We must realize this, understanding this fully is the key to a better future, as well as the link to our past. "Travel Light, Live Light, Spread the Light, Be the Light" - Yogi Bhajan

I'm passionate about

Life, Brains, Fractals, The Universe, Writing, Photography, Traveling. I also play volleyball in my spare time.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Eric McDermott
Posted almost 2 years ago
Robert Gupta: Between music and medicine
Robert, I thank you the beautiful music, and for the words. I appreciate your cause in utilizing music therapy, and I can only wish you the best in that endeavor. This talk was particularly relevant for me as I find myself at the crossroads between Neuroscience and Poetry. Perhaps one day I will reflect back on this very moment.
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Eric McDermott
Posted about 2 years ago
What are the arguments for and against philosophy in high school?
I believe on a very general level, Philosophy must be taught. A central idea behind Philosophy is that of questioning and analyzing. Personally, Philosophy has given me an acute sense of conversational direction and the ability to see to the core of a problem. Through the Descartes method of stripping something to the barest beginning, we can learn how something builds upon something else, and thereby delve into its underpinnings, increase problem solving skills, and facilitate innovations. Learning the Socratic method of questioning also has many benefits in expanding ideas and creating fuller understanding. I'll stop there with specifics but Philosophy in general, at the very least, is an excellent exercise in the adaptation and executive functioning of the brain. Without the ability to question on an intricate level, as Mankind, we would be a terrible loss. Needless to reaffirm, I am completing for the subject of Philosophy being taught in schools today.
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Eric McDermott
Posted about 2 years ago
Do you think there is a benefit in providing a percentage of courses within every college free and online?
Hey Jim, While you are correct in that the professors do need to be paid, the great thing about MIT OpenCourseWare is that they are video recorded lectures, syllabi, and notes that are simply put online for independent learners or people who were unable to go to a university for a multitude of reasons. It's great! Why would anyone pay for school then you ask? Well, the disadvantage of OCW is that you do not have contact with the professor for questions or explanations (generally). Completing courses 'independently' is not recognized in a certifiable way. It is also quite a different learning environment all together, you have to be strict on yourself to do the work, as no one will be checking it, there simply will be no grades. While avenues of ''free'' learning cover the most essential component in giving an opportunity to increase knowledge; they perhaps do not give the prestige or credibility that going to a university would, which might result in lesser potential to carry forward the knowledge in a corresponding subject-area job or in graduate study.
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Eric McDermott
Posted about 2 years ago
Do you think there is a benefit in providing a percentage of courses within every college free and online?
Yes. In fact, as listed below, there are some resources readily available and focused on independent learners! http://www.academicearth.org/ & www.http://ocw.mit.edu/ . I have found myself brushing up on certain subjects, as well as gaining perspective and insight on foreign subjects I would have otherwise not had the opportunity to explore. Perhaps the next step is to make independent learning viable in the workplace today, or perhaps it is the responsibility of the independent learner to utilize what they have learned themselves. As we live in this technological age, we have the great opportunity to expand the classroom from physical geological coordinates to the beautiful world wide web. TED.com itself has contributed greatly to this initiative! Let us feed the fire and keep it going!
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Eric McDermott
Posted about 2 years ago
Max Little: A test for Parkinson's with a phone call
This is simply brilliant! Thank you for the contribution to Parkinson's research. As I have been involved in research projects concerning the pre-symptomatic detection of Huntington's disease, I can appreciate the foundation this provides. With early detection, I hope Parkinson's researchers better understand the onset of the disease and then act in attempts to suppress the progression of the disease before it reaches detrimental degradation of the brain.
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Eric McDermott
Posted about 4 years ago
Peter Molyneux: Meet Milo, the virtual boy
I really enjoyed this demo it refreshed my look on where we stand with Artificial Intelligence. It is outstanding how the researchers and programers were able to integrate the responses to different situations with creating a potential shift on the personality and development of Milo. I can only imagine the progression of such technology, perhaps we will all one day have virtual therapists, who know just the right things to cheer us up or better our self-image and thought patterns. On the flip side of this, conversations programmed with a certain aim could encourage a more group-think outcome, which could hurt the creativity of humans. Regardless, this is a great breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence and I hope to see it utilized in many situations to come.
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Eric McDermott
Posted about 4 years ago
Craig Venter: Watch me unveil "synthetic life"
Wow. This is such a great leap. I can't wait to see what stems from this. I foresee huge movement in the medical field! I also can imagine this getting into the wrong hands and creating some not so nice things once the technology progresses.. let's hope it sticks in the beneficial category! Congrats Craig!
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Eric McDermott
Posted about 4 years ago
Jeff Bezos: What matters more than your talents
Jeff encourages risk taking, and in that, following your passion. I couldn't agree more, and would wish that everyone could get the courage to step out on that branch and try - attempt things in the face of failure. His message was spoken very clearly, and slowly, our lives are a choice, we can improve ourselves and the world around us - or merely watch it through the windows of these things we call eyes, and merely be pushed along.