TED Conversations

Brian Adam

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Why is the Nick Hanauer talk not posted?

I haven't been a member for long, but I've been watching TED talks for years now consistently checking in for new videos. Frankly, the talks have gotten a little bland in the past few months. Then I hear through the grapevine of Nick Hanauer's lecture and how Mr. Anderson has decided to censor it. I'm extremely disappointed in the decision. This is an issue on the mind of many people in America and those interested in American politics and economics. It's an something that deserves to be heard by many more people than the elite TED audiences, and what better way to spread this worthy idea than posting the lecture online, sooner rather than later. The cited reason for omitting the lecture was that it was "too political." I have to say that is a terrible excuse. When has TED attempted to remain apolitical? Speakers have discussed societal ills like poverty and war; Jonathan Haidt has put forth an explanation of the psychological differences between the Republicans and Democrats; Sam Harris proposed science can substitute religion as a source of morality, and very early on in TED's history Richard Dawkins was allowed to promote militant atheism; other hot button political issues like contraception and climate change have been discussed here (often more than once); and all of these speakers had the video of their quite political talks posted. All of a sudden we can't view here a perspective on the issue of income inequality from Mr. Hanauer? I seem to remember Richard Wilkinson discussing a very similar topic posted back in October 2011. Mr. Anderson, I think a more substantial explanation is in order regarding your decision not to post Mr. Hanauer's talk online other than it being "too political." I can't speak for anyone else, but I see the decision as an act of cowardice reflecting on the organization as a whole. It suggests that we, the public, have lost TED as a forum for intellectual discussion and consideration regarding important issues, political or otherwise.

+130
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 21 2012: I agree. Why not post the Nick Hanauer talk and let the public decide?

    I, like many other avid TED fans, am perplexed by the decision not to show the Nick Hanauer talk on ted.com. Link to YouTube video for those who haven't seen it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bBx2Y5HhplI Why censor it? Why not put it out there and let the community decide if it's an "idea worth spreading." What's interesting is the naiveté that TED and Chris Anderson demonstrate by not doing so. In an era of social media and online engagement such as now, acting like broadcasters and media folks of the past who control the spread of ideas via their narrow agendas, channels and mediums is just silly. And, perhaps I was mistaken, but I thought TED Talks were meant to spur discussion and debate, as well as inspiration. And, it looks like he got a standing ovation from most of the room present when the talk was recorded. I'm confused.

    And, ironically, this talk could likely end up becoming one of the most-watched talks *ever* precisely because of its having been censored. It's already nearing half a million on YouTube and spawned this on time.com:
    http://business.time.com/2012/05/18/was-nick-hanauers-ted-talk-on-income-inequality-too-rich-for-rich-people/
    and there is a change.org petition (that I just signed) here: http://www.change.org/petitions/ted-talks-publish-nick-hanauer-s-ted-talk.

    Here's to hoping you sort this out sooner rather than later, TED.
    • thumb

      TED 10+

      • +2
      May 22 2012: Hi Chris,
      please read Chris Anderson's response to this question on his blog: http://tedchris.posterous.com
      If you're interested in TEDTalks on income inequality, start with this playlist of talks and blog posts:
      http://blog.ted.com/2012/05/17/playlist-the-roots-and-effects-of-income-equality/
      Thank you!
      • thumb
        May 22 2012: Thanks, TED Conversations Admin! That's helpful. IMHO, Hanauer's talk belongs on that page. But, you guys run the show. Incidentally, I wasn't aware that all TED Talks weren't archived somewhere on the site. Good to know. I can understand the reasoning behind not featuring a particular talk or one over another but any reason not to archive them all and let the world browse these ideas and decide for themselves which ideas are worth spreading?

        Cheers (and still a diehard TED fan),
        Chris
        • thumb
          May 23 2012: Hi Chris,

          TED via Chris Anderson has conceded that the redacted talks should all be posted at arm's length in an archive should anyone be motivated to look.

          THis seems to me as a very major concession without actually losing political advantage.

          And what is this thread? THis thread is a study in politics - it has not been censored. If TED had been unresponsive didacts, this thread would have been long gone.

          What does that tell you?

          What can you tell by the action of admins repeatedly spending their time to post thier stallwart message - a repetition .. like posts in a rampart .. a fence of defiance.

          Have you gotten their message yet?'

          I have been accused of being a habitual "nasty" guy .. but there is good reason for that in a world that still cannot discern between value and advantage. So be it - my message is to be even more circumspect - but never lose the passion. Hey - learn from the masters (those better than me)?

          I will allow myself to be nailed on every man's cross until they realise that crosses are like full-stops. Statement is made - so what? It does not stop anything - except the guy who errected the cross.

          Who in this is trying to crucify who?

          And what do you think/feel about that?
    • thumb
      May 22 2012: ...and from that Time article by Dave Futrell you shared with us, the parting sentence states:

      "Whatever your stand on the issue, this is certainly a topic worth debating. You would think that TED would want to be part of the conversation." --that is the real crux of the matter as it stand now.

      Read more: http://business.time.com/2012/05/18/was-nick-hanauers-ted-talk-on-income-inequality-too-rich-for-rich-people/#ixzz1vZzOUHEB
      • May 22 2012: Well it's good that the video is available to watch. Now the next step is to get it posted in ted.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.