This is a Big Think video by Lawrence Summers, economist and former President of Harvard and Secretary of the Treasury. The first 20 minutes or so is an impressive defense of ideas, period, and could almost be a defense of the humanities. Here's the blurb about it:
What will historians say about our time 250 years from now? In this final video of our Floating University playlist, Lawrence Summers, economist, professor, former president of Harvard University, and economic adviser to President Barack Obama, asks this question in a thought-provoking lecture about the evolution of ideas and the critical importance of education in an increasingly multifaceted world.
What is it that we do that seems natural to us today that will seem barbaric 100 years from now? This question is all the more important given the rapid rise of globalization, the explosion of human interconnectedness, and an accelerating technology curve. This will be a moment in history when the world evolved from a world governed by the idea of authority to a world governed by the authority of ideas and Summers tells you how to become a part of the next great revolution.