Tamara Pesik has the coolest job at Microsoft. She arranges for cool speakers to come on campus as part of her efforts over in Microsoft Research. Today she had Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga over to talk to Microsoft employees (here's a picture of her introducing Markos, left, and Jerome, middle). They wrote an excellent book (yes, I have read it, thanks to Raines Cohen for giving it to me at SXSW) about the state of politics (from the progressive view) in America. Those who don't recognize these names might not know that Markos started the "Daily Kos" site. Very popular. Gets half a million visits per day. Jerome started MyDD political site that gets more than 50,000 visits a day and they both worked on Howard Dean's campaign.
I didn't realize that many of these talks are put onto the "ResearchChannel" site. If you visit there you'll see all sorts of technical talks given by leading experts around the world with a few business and political talks (Malcolm Gladwell has a talk up there, for instance) interspersed. There's a ton of talks there done by computer scientists (most of whom don't work for Microsoft) that you might find interesting too.
Tamara says that the talk today should be on the site in a few weeks, so I'll point that out when it appears. In the meantime there's a treasure trove of good stuff to watch.
Oh, and if you want to see Jerome or Markos, they'll be giving two more talks in the Seattle area. One tonight, one tomorrow. Details are on their book site.
They worked on Howard Dean's campaign and have many interesting insights about the state of American politics. If you care about that topic, this is a "don't miss."
Markos was on the Colbert Report last night, the CrooksAndLiars blog has links to the video.