One of America’s first professional public speakers, Ralph Waldo Emerson was a rock star on the lecture circuit back in the 1850s. ┬áHe would have been a natural on the stage of TED.

More than a century and a half after Emerson’s day, TED is delivering professionally produced talks and entertainment to millions of people. ┬áHere is an interesting article in the New Yorker blog about the transition from Emerson’s public lectures to TED’s slick digital offerings, with links to five essential TED talks.

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