Looks like some more great talks will be posted on TED from the Edinburgh conference.
By the end of World War II, the United States military had spent $1.5 billion on the Norden bombsight, a device that promised to be so accurate it was said a plane could drop a bomb in a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet, according to author Malcolm Gladwell.
Speaking Friday on the last day of the TED Global conference, Gladwell said the device, designed by engineer Carl Norden, indeed could allow bombers to hit their targets -- but only under perfect conditions, such as a cloudless sky. In the real world, the sight often failed to find its mark.
Today, the U.S. military has a bomb-delivering device that truly can achieve great accuracy -- the drones firing missiles to attack militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Yet Gladwell argued that drones aren't necessarily accomplishing more than the flawed World War II-era bombsight; he said suicide attacks against Western targets have increased.