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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.

  • May 30 2012: Thought provoking is the ability to create (or resolve) dissonance or disagreement. Ted is not saying this is true or false, but by censoring the talk, they belittle my opportunity to think for myself. If it is factually false, then I can see where they may not want to share the idea, but this is an opinion.
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      May 30 2012: this is not what thought provoking means. it is exactly the "headbutting" anderson wanted to avoid. thought provoking would mean to challenge the audience's beliefs. but that talk fails that on many levels. it actually reinforces some widespread views that are hard to back up with reasoning, namely that we should tax the rich and have fun.

      the fun part is that "trickle down" economics indeed bad science, but not for the reasons hanauer rakes together. the topic could be discussed in an interesting way. but this talk is not much else than slightly disguised political propaganda (aka lip service).
  • May 30 2012: Bravo (for the comment and conversation)... Censorship, by Ted, of opinions that may or may not be political, or popular... and the idea of Ted censoring anything thought provoking is just wrong. Are they protecting us from ourselves ? The Nick Hanauer talk is available (elsewhere) on line, and should be shared.
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      May 30 2012: exactly how that talk is thought provoking? what thoughts you had after watching it / reading it / reading about it that you didn't have earlier?
  • May 17 2012: I read the article concerning this on http://www.businessinsider.com/ and felt enough outraged to make an account here to express it. I regularly share TED videos on Facebook with my friends and family.

    I think what bothers me the most about the decision not to release the video is that Chris Anderson agrees with speaker's views. So what we have is TED censoring something they believe to be true, because it agrees with one political party and not another. Where's the integrity? If you would censor a view because you are afraid of the controversy it would generate, you are no better than partisan news media you are seeking to distance yourself from.

    The day academic integrity bows to political correctness is the day we throw academic integrity out the window.
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    May 24 2012: 1. "Corporate censorship is the process by which editors in corporate media outlets intervene to disrupt the publishing of information that portrays their business or business partners in a negative light,[3][4] or intervene to prevent alternate offers from reaching public exposure.[5]" -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship

    2. World English Dictionary@ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/censor
    censor (ˈsɛnsə)
    — n
    1. a person authorized to examine publications, theatrical presentations, films, letters, etc, in order to suppress in whole or part those considered obscene, politically unacceptable, etc

    3."Economic censorship is more difficult to define. The Roman essayist Cicero used the immortal phrase "Cui bono?" (Who Profits? -- the ancient version of our "Follow the money."). But numbers may tell only part of the story. In a situation where there is economic censorship, is it isolated or undertaken in conjunction with some type of political censorship? Is there a monopoly within a certain country that is threatened by competition, or a class of oligarchs that is threatened by the emergence of real economic opportunity for smaller firms? Is the economy in a locale more prone to monopolistic arrangements than to genuine competition and innovation?" @ http://gilc.org/speech/osistudy/censorship/

    4."To understand censorship, and the impulse to censor, it is necessary to strip away the shock epithet value that is attached to the word at first utterance. One must recognize that censorship and the ideology supporting it go back to ancient times, and that every society has had customs, taboos, or laws by which speech, dress, religious observance, and sexual expression were regulated. In Athens, where democracy first emerged, censorship was well known as a means of enforcing the prevailing orthodoxy." @ http://gilc.org/speech/osistudy/censorship/
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        May 25 2012: Hi Don,

        Thanks for the link!

        What is your take on this quote?

        "if the public ignores laws enacted by a democratically elected representatives, the system falls apart."
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          May 25 2012: Hey MItch, not sure if you are asking me or Don. I think it is a sticky wicket of a question, not knowing the rule of law in Canada. However, if I apply that here in the United States, I would have to first take some exception or analysis of our so called democratically elected representatives who then pass laws that fall outside of their constituents wishes or majority. Rule of law should inherently be law for the people not against the people even though in some cases they are there to protect people from people so to speak. I dont' think rule of law should ever be written in stone and should be subject to people's input, criticism, debate and discussion, while being updated and applicable to the times while not being used to curtail the freedoms of the general public. Such as the indefinite detention issues raised by the US NDAA act. If we always swallow the rule of law without appropriate room for civil dissent and discussion, we will quickly find ourselves surrounded by a fence of fascism with not only no room for dissent but harsh penalties for doing so. That begins to impinge on our rights to freedom of speech as the law or its penalties are unevenly applied and make citizens fearful to express themselves. Sorry--long and complex and I am surely no expert. This would be a good topic questions for another conversation starter to be sure! Thanks for bringing it up Don and Mitch.
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        May 25 2012: Thanks Barbara,
        I appreciate your analysis - I had my own ideas, but wanted to get perspective - from both you and Don (since the quote is from Don's link)
        I think it high-lights a large part of the issue of this thread. It's good because it covers both the content, and the context of rules, representation and discression.
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        May 25 2012: Hi Don,

        Many thanks - I appreciate your well considered reply.
        I asked because, in the past, I have had a great belief in the rule of law, but now I'm not so sure.
        The quote is, to me. clearly "spin" .. but it has seeds of real concern in it. I was not ready to discard the sentiment, but undersatnd what is the real motivation of the writer.
        Maybe, if the system is not shown to represent the public, then .. surely it should be fixed before it falls apart? I would dearly love to return my full support to the rule of law.
        I too feel something approaching, but the storm of words covers it. I try to retreat into science, but there it is again.
        In this thread, it is a bit lke the demonstrations in Canada - difference being that TED are not elected .. and the answer must be in how serious they are to give representation to the subscriber.
        In my country, if I have a question about the way my representative is representing me, I write directly to ask. I am always replied - whether I agree or not, and sometimes I am peasantly surprised. I will sign pettitions and such public demonstrations only as a second resort.
        But there seems a deep bifurcation between the reality of government and the awareness of issues in the comunity. My most urgent lobby is to get psych resources into the detention camps holding refugees. A couple of programs were started, but not much result is forthcoming. And in the media, it is all about assuming the worst of refugees and how they can be punished and villified more. So much so, that it becomes a major policy vote-winner to hurt these defenceless people more.
        Indeed - clobber over heal. Many of the comments under today's talk on bad laws underscores this .. this brings tears to my heart..
        My best best regards to you Don.
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        May 24 2012: If you would like to continue the discussion without taking up the people's time here about my or your style of posting here is my email. bbbell2@uncg.edu
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      Aja B.

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      May 24 2012: I realize this is somewhat ironic, given the topic under discussion, but we still need to follow the Terms of Use and refrain from personal insults, including calling each other censors and trolls. Sorry!

    • May 25 2012: @Barbara Bearden: Linking to all those reference sites on the meaning of "censorship" is pointless here. Reason: TED still has some rights to the video, as they were the ones who produced it. It is still available on Youtube. TED could have taken a hard stance against it, and either 1. not have posted the video in the first place or 2. (if they did not post it themselves) have it pulled from Youtube for copyright violations. Instead, Chris links to it on his blog.

      We have all seen the talk, and we may all watch it again, as many times as we wish, from wherever we are. TED is not doing anything to stop us from doing so. How is it censorship?
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        May 25 2012: I would beg to differ John, nothing is pointless in the pursuit of learning or discussion.

        I simply posted the definitions I found on several cites with the website link so one could go and view the article in its entirety and decide for themselves or to help add to the discussion of whether or not people feel it is censorship of a kind--there are many example of private censorship if you read the articles as well as others--as this part of the topic is a recurring theme with other posters as well. I did not add comment to the post to let them stand as they are written for people to read and continue the expanded topic of what is censorship in this light or not, along with the broader economic topics at play. Certainly you are entitled to your opinion but have you read them? The conversation was extended by TED so obviously they feel there is some point as well to the discussions.

        By all means add your points as to why you don't think it is censorship or how you feel about them not posting it or the merits of the economic points, Nothing is pointless--that is why we are here in the first place.

        Thank you.
        • May 25 2012: Sure. I can go into details of whether or not it was pointless. But before that, do you agree that this was not a case of censorship?
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        May 25 2012: John, again with all due respect, I was not asking you to go into whether it was pointless. That is your opinion about my post. Fine but I disagree with you and am not going to defend the posting, it stands on its own without comment for discussion. Why don't you go read them in the entirety and then post on why you feel this is not a case of censorship be it personal or corporate under some of those definitions. Then read through the entire thread to see what all of have said and you will likely find your answers there. After you have posted your thoughts about the issues we are discussing with out making personal remarks about the "value" of a posting, I would love to reply to your answers with discussions on our thoughts and opinions in a respectful manner. Until then...have a great weekend.
        • May 26 2012: I guess you misunderstood. I made no personal remarks. I made no value judgments either. I did make a judgment about its aptness... after I read the comments.

          I gave my reason already: We have all seen the talk, and we may all watch it again, as many times as we wish, from wherever we are. TED is not doing anything to stop us from doing so. How is it censorship?
  • May 28 2012: A petition, calling for ted to post Nick Hanauer's Talk.

    You may sign it here:
  • May 24 2012: TED should post the Nick Hanauer talk. Why the censorship?
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      May 24 2012: Hi Gilbert, There is no censorship. Please read Chris Anderson's response to this question on his blog: http://tedchris.posterous.com
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        May 24 2012: I quote from an article posted on Salon: "Because TED is for, and by, unbelievably rich people, they tiptoe around questions of the justness of a society that rewards TED attendees so much for what usually amounts to a series of lucky breaks. Anderson says he declined to promote the Hanauer talk because it was “mediocre” (that has never once stopped TED before, but we needn’t get too deep into that)but an email from Anderson to Hanauer on the decision was more a critique of Hanauer’s thesis than a criticism of his performance.

        Anderson cited, specifically, his concern that “a lot of business managers and entrepreneurs would feel insulted” by the argument that multimillionaire executives hire more employees only as a “last resort.”

        (The entire recent history of the fixation on short-term returns, obsession with “efficiency,” and “streamlining” of most American corporations escaped the notice of Mr. Anderson, apparently.) I can’t imagine this line-by-line response to all the points raised in a TED Talk happening for an “expert” on any subject other than the general uselessness and self-importance of self-proclaimed millionaire “job creators.” by ALEX PAREENE found @
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        May 24 2012: With all due respect: Given the above--that Mr. Anderson reportedly told Mr. Hanauer in an email his concerns--see above-- and my posts about what constitutes censorship from various sources (which is a broad and very charged label, I agree) and all the posts here, how can you further defend this position without more comment than just referring to his post over and over again. I think have all read it and it just does not really answers the questions still being discussed here. To continue to not allow the video--despite some media outlets saying it has been posted I cannot find it--is TED's right but it certainly is our right to question this as to the answers he gave for why it was not posted. The more we discuss, the more we confer, the more we read outside of TED about this topic, the more not posting it smacks of personal censorship in the form of withholding information such as the quote above, "In Athens, where democracy first emerged, censorship was well known as a means of enforcing the prevailing orthodoxy."

        The prevailing orthodoxy does not want these myths drug into the light of day for inspection and dialogue by the very masses they entomb.

        Does this mean TED is part of the prevailing orthodoxy?

        I think we all agree that it was not "too political" but rather offended the prevailing orthodoxy.
  • May 17 2012: I say we do something about this. I propose that we at least start a petition, demanding that this talk be published.

    And spread the word with the ted community.

    Is anyone with me (Brian)?
  • May 30 2012: My tuppence ha'penny (or two cents as you might say): Love the fact that the audience response was 'mediocre' so at least I now know that all those apparent standing ovations which seem to be given at Ted talks like this one are actually a scramble for the toilet.
    The talk in question has been described as 'pointless' and 'partisan'. The last talk I watched on Ted was a nice old man demonstrating in real time how to use less paper towel. I suspect this could also be described as mediocre and pointless and imagine that if your livelihood involved the manufacture, distribution or marketing of paper towels it might also appear partisan.
    Ted, do please feel free by all means to practise quality control. Note, however, this doesn't have to be after the event. It could begin with the invitation to a speaker to expand on a topic they are known for, and might continue right up to a rehearsal preview of the talk in question.
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    May 26 2012: Others have given good reason why Nick Hanauer's talk is not posted on TED. All can judge the respect of Mr. Hanuaer's argument at:


    I would bet a majority would find Mr. Hanuaer's lecture of interest. How many agree with him and the level of agreement will vary by individual, ideology, religion, and locality. A media has the right to ban the visibility of a thought if the thought is contrary to the purpose of the media. TED has a financial purpose. What individuals have to say in this media can conflict with TED's purpose and potential for financial gain.

    The question should not be if Mr. Hanauer was censured and removed from TED's media, the question is what kind of media would bring demographic visibility to an argument revered by some and held in contempt by others? Mr. Hanauer's lecture may be worthy of the final draft, though someone else's argument may be measured as offensive because it lacks respect, it is incomplete, it has not been properly reviewed, the collateral effects are discounted, and/or it is factually incorrect. Could a new media provide opportunity and feedback to an author to improve an argument?

    Could there be a true public media? A media for the public and by the public. A media where quality and demographic visibility is determined from the measurement of the participants. A media where feedback motivates an author to improve the quality and respect for the argument. Is the thought posed in the following TED idea possible?

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      May 26 2012: who on earth ever said that the talk would be offensive?
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        May 26 2012: I suggest a more plausible reason Mr. Hanauer's lecture is not posted is because it is an attack against some financial contributors. The majority of TED viewers would "not" be threatened or find Mr. Hanauer's argument offensive. The majority would likely measure the lecture higher than mediocre.

        My argument is whether a media could be developed removed from the distraction of financial gain. Whether computer algorithms could utilize public measurement to steer who, when, where, and how an argument acquires visibility. Could such a media steer individuals to topics where contribution evolves into quality, coherency, respect, and solution instead of chaos, mayhem, disrespect, ignorance, bigotry, greed, as well as the other attributes of immoral behaviour.

        Mr. Hanauer identified what he saw as a problem. Hiding that thought reduces visibility to connect those wishing to participate in the solution. Maybe a new media should examine how to attract individuals willing to build a thought instead of tear it down.


        To answer Mr. Pintér query on "what argument do I have for publishing a mediocre and partisan talk?" Mediocre is a subjective measurement with little intellectual insight. TED is worthy of a better response. Here are my suggestions;

        What is the Do Good Gauge?

        A Better Way for Political Discourse

        This I Believe

        Plus the ability for readers to tag relative association to an author's argument and for the public to gauge that tag from highly relative and supportive to highly relative but counter supportive. Examples include quotations, fallacy, constitutionality, and prior legal decisions.

        This idea is copyrighted in the Creative Commons by a Share-Alike license. I hope those interested will keep me in mind
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          May 26 2012: nobody finds it offensive or threatening.

          the reasons given were: mediocre and partisan. not offensive.

          now what arguments do you have for publishing a mediocre and partisan talk?
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    May 22 2012: Hanauer:' We became enthralled with the view that wealth trickled down from the top and that if you poured money into rich people, sort of like an ingredient, prosperity and jobs would squirt out of them like donuts.

    And if you understand economies in the 19th century way that view is plausible and I think a lot of people accepted it.

    And look, lots of rich people accepted it because it's a super convenient thing to accept, right? What a great story that the less taxes I pay, the better off everyone else will be. This is a marvelously self-justifying viewpoint, but at the end of the day it hasn't worked.

    It's kind of been a catastrophe for everybody in the country except people like me and I think it's time for us all to sort of look up and reexamine these assumptions and go another way.'
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      May 23 2012: Tax is one thing. It is usually circumvented by operating living expenses within the corporate shelter - and then using the corporate shelter to attract subsidy from public funding.
      No one has mentioned the elephant in the room - it is more responsible for income disparity than unballanced taxation - it is usury, and it gobbles up more than half of every dollar earned or spent.
      It has mandated the dangerous practice of fiat currency and thrives on fractional lending - it demands unsustainable artificial exponential growth.

      I say - shoot the damn elephant before you stomp on the rats.
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        May 23 2012: Now you're talking Mitch! Where have you been?
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          May 23 2012: I have my own understanding of economy - and politics.

          The irony is that no rule is sufficient beyond the frame of its casting. It is good for the moment, and then it is obsolete.

          Everyone (including me) think they have nailed it - and we all go out to promote our vision. But it's not vision.

          Life is dynamic. it is the rule of "Maya" that all things percieved are wrong.

          The best we can do is adapt - and to do it we must treat our insights as past artifacts .. the older they get .. the less true they become - reality marches on .. we can do more than follow.

          I get stuck .. we all get stuck.

          This is why the great prophets preach forgiveness. Let us all do the best we can - that is more than enough.

          (edit: Joanne, I really should not even be spending time here in the TED forums .. I have no idea why I am so attracted. I should be in my workshop persuing my temporal mandate - to provide for me and mine. ANd yet, I cannot turn away. Perhaps this is a social meme that requires sustinence - I'm OK with that, perhaps it is a new form of life that we should promote as fathers and mothers? But the science tells me that this is no more than an adiction. And .. to what purpose does this adiction work? Perhaps as a venue for me and you to deliver our secret value? maybe, maybe not. There is something - I cannot see clearly enough beyond my desire to give. DOes that make me human? Maybe .. maybe not ..maybe the human I desire to be? If so .. well, at least I am not alone)
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        May 28 2012: Yes I have been accused of being a TED addict too. I too sometimes even enjoy a conversation when I should be doing other things...what can I say? I am weak and human. On the other hand, I have learnt a great deal, enjoyed discussing things I never normally get to talk about among my regular circle of friends, and I have met some wonderful, really wonderful people.

        In these times, we need hope. TED brings a sense of hope.
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      May 25 2012: Joanne! We need you back in the discussion to give us some balance! :)
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        May 28 2012: Hi Barbara. The question; whether or not removing the talk from TED was an act of censorship or not, rests on when and why the talk was posted on Youtube. This may have been done as a conciliatory measure, i.e damage control. If so, I applaud this but the talk should still be aired on TED. This is what we expect from our forum. This would be democratic and it would restore faith. I ask for this again.
  • May 21 2012: Chris Anderson (TED talk curator) wrote in his blog that Hanauer, "included a number of arguments that were unconvincing." Which arguments and in what way were they unconvincing? Also, how was it "explicitly partisan"?

    I'm seeking to understand.
  • May 17 2012: Censoring the important issues is not a civil way to do things. How much can you respect a company, which is supposed to bring up big questions, while censoring the most essential ones?

    Actually this is not the only case, There are many controversial TEDx speeches, which will not get to the "mainstream", though so many people have watched them. And it's virtually impossible to get them under translation.

    It's all about the money. TED is just a platform for certain areas of society. After these incidents, my respect for the whole money-driven company has gone down the drain. Keep the people misinformed, there are other choises too.
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      May 23 2012: Doing my slow best Don - and I thank you (once again).

      I still see a need to take the unpopular stance sometimes - if only to be proved wrong.
      I am sympathetic to the TED dilema, having been in it a time or 2.
      The dynamics of the politic is worth exploring for all concerned. Even to my detriment - the net value is not lost. .. a lesson indeed.
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    May 20 2012: Of course TED has a policy governing content. How could they not? If they exercise their right to not post something they must be prepared for the robust feedback which may follow. If they cannot justify their decision then a new dilemma arises. This is the best place on the internet for free-exchange of decent, respectful, and appropriate ideas because TED exercises control. If that control is unpopular or prejudicial then they will need to explain themselves.
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      May 20 2012: Very well said.
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      May 21 2012: HI Edward,

      Yes, I think TED was blind-sided by this and have not handled it as well as they might have.
      I agree that they should be a litte more explicit about their policy.

      That said, it remains that no matter how explicit any policy is framed, there will always be borderline decisions that can not cleanly fit into policy, and subjective factors will rule to the safe side of the line - and these will turn out right or wrong only after time has unfolded.

      Perhaps this issue will cause some revision .. but it cannot be published. Hanauer has made sure of that.
      Maybe TED will grow through the experience, but they cannot go beyond hardenning what policies they already have as a defensive measure. THey are bound to publish no more than what has already been stated. And now they will just sit tight and wait for teh novelty to fade.

      THeir only other alternative is go on the extreme offensive and drown Hanauer and everyone else criticising them in lawyers, but that's not their style.
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        May 21 2012: TED.com is funded by folks who have the desire and the mean$ to attend live conferences. Whatever appeals to those patrons is what site administrators will pursue and encourage. Whatever those patrons dislike will be discouraged and possibly banned. The Golden Rule says those who have the GOLD make the RULES. TED Conversations is a gift to us from those patrons and sponsors. They encourage the free spreading of ideas they deem worthy. They can take their marbles and leave if they want and we can go back to the seedy forums in the back alleys of the internet. I hope they choose to clarify this issue and put to rest any challenges of their integrity.
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          May 21 2012: And there lies the rub.

          A few good philosophers identify what you know .. and what you know that others know. The emperor's naked clothes yes?

          THe power of TED is in what the sponsors do not tell them.. That is not an easy road. They must exist in the space between the doubt.

          This is the nature of gold.

          We creep around a sleeping tiger.
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        May 21 2012: 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:
        Thank you!
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      May 21 2012: Before posting misleading comments about misunderstood issue, 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:
      Thank you!
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        May 21 2012: I have now read Mr. Anderson's explanation of this issue. It helped greatly and I apologize for not reading it sooner. Perhaps a brief explanation of my reluctance to read it will be helpful going forward. When my house is burning my sole concern is to save what means the most to me. If the Hanauer issue is the fire, the Anderson post was viewed by me as, most probably, a safety memo about fire safety in the home which I might read later, but right now let's get the fire out! Right or wrong I think many folks see it that way. TED should post the facts under a bold banner identifying it as a solution (extinguish the fire), not a defense argument (fire safety memo). TED chose to not post the talk on the basis that it was "not truly special"; that it was "needlessly partisan"; and that it was "unconvincing". Those are good reasons to not post it. I need to know that if someone produced the same content in a convincing, non-partisan, truly special talk you would post it.Thank you.
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          May 22 2012: Thank You, Edward for reading Chris Anderson's response. Indeed we have several talks on income equality, already posted on TED.com. You can see the list here: http://blog.ted.com/2012/05/17/playlist-the-roots-and-effects-of-income-equality/
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          May 22 2012: I disagree Edward. I read a transcript of the talk. Its uplifting. Conversely I found Chris's response defensive and unconvincing.

          '•Anderson previously stated "But I think a lot of business managers and entrepreneurs would feel insulted by that statement as given." This makes it clear that he wasn't as much concerned about the quality of Hanauer's argument as he was about how his friends would react to the talk.

          •As cited in the National Journal article: "TED officials told Hanauer initially they were eager to distribute it. 'I want to put this talk out into the world!' one of them wrote him in an e-mail in late April. But early this month they changed course, telling Hanauer that his remarks were too 'political' and too controversial for posting." The video was planned to be posted and it was Anderson who shut it down.

          •The idea that TED doesn't post controversial or political videos is also not true. "Other TED talks posted online veer sharply into controversial and political territory, including NASA scientist James Hansen comparing climate change to an asteroid barreling toward Earth, and philanthropist Melinda Gates pushing for more access to contraception in the developing world."

          •At several points in the ongoing discussion, Anderson suggests that Hanauer's talk is either based on bad logic or that its conclusions don't make sense. He doesn't offer any evidence to back up the claim, though, and a view of the talk makes it seem quite clear that the conclusions Hanauer reaches are not only pretty solid and backed by evidence, but so obvious as to border on common sense.'
  • May 20 2012: I agree with Chris Anderson that a number of claims made by Mr. Hanauer could be challenged as untrue. However, the talk rings true. It captures something that has been chafing me for some time now.

    The right-wing politicians and media outlets that lean right have increasingly adopted a new language to describe the rich. They are job creators. Progressive taxation is bad because it invariably punishes job-creators, and thus job creation. Mr. Hanauer's talk is the first I've heard that demolishes the myth. And, he executes it all in five minutes. That is astounding.

    Mr. Hanauer emphasises the importance of customers for job creation, but he does not suggest that we should now start calling customers job creators. That would be foolish. Mr. Hanauer also does not suggest customers be given special previleges for their role in the job creation cycle. All he is saying (as I understand it), and this I approve whole-heartedly, is that the rich have been accorded tax benefits that has contributed to rising inequality, which hurts everyone, rich and poor alike, from business perspective.

    Prof. Wilkinson showed us why inequality could be bad for society; Mr. Hanauer has illustrated why it is bad for business, as well.
    • May 20 2012: Hmm... I have managed to view the talk elsewhere, and I am really curious what claims you think were even subject to debate. He made it quite clear which parts represented his opinions and most of his research was well known to me. I'll have to reread Chris Anderson's comments, but they struck me quite unfavorably. I think that TED has been captured by the big money donors. That actually makes me believe this is clearly censorship and suspect that it's cowardice, too.

      For what it is worth, I think we could do better by using donation models similar to Kickstarter. I actually proposed something similar called "reverse auction charity shares" for small donors before I ever heard of Kickstarter, but I haven't been in a position to implement my version. I do think Kickstarter is mostly good, but I think it needs more support for project management, both in preparing the project proposals and in evaluating them afterwards.
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      May 19 2012: Hi Varian,
      To get the true story, you can read Chris Anderson's response on his blog: tedchris.posterous.com

      Thank you.
  • May 17 2012: "I can't speak for anyone else, but I see the decision as an act of cowardice reflecting on the organization as a whole."

    You can speak for me as one.

    I agree fully with you, Brian.

    (P.S. here's the article, regarding the issue posted on Yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/income-inequality-apparently-too-touchy-subject-ted-205812322.html)
  • May 17 2012: I'm seeding the meme about how nice it would be nice to hear this recorded as a podcast or in a Youtube video.

    I am disconcerted that something like this would not be released to the public. Since discovering TED I have eaten many meals to a TED talk because I really enjoy the data driven ideas and innovation. This is bad for the freedom of ideas. I recommend a talk about the puppetry of our political system and the need for systematic change to make it less of an endorsement for a party and more about change. Both parties could then relate to "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" and everyone would go home happily ever after everything got fixed.
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      May 29 2012: How do you motivate participation in ideas? It could be done. Though it is too easy to distract with ignorance, fear, bias, chaos, and mayhem. You point out three focal points of analysis. What form of media could steer analysis in the direction of solution or betterment?

      Internet technology will inevitably allow more to participate in social topics. Whether the discussion brings vision to a higher good is to be questioned.

      Thank you Mr. Wesley for the quotations. I've been collecting them for a tool of association. A tool allowing readers to tag an author's thought from a post, essay, or thesis. Once the tag is made future readers can grade the tag from highly relative and supportive to highly relative and counter supportive. The tool is still in the idea phase.


      iGoogle Do Good Gauge Quote Randomizer
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    May 24 2012: Jonathan Smart +2Reply
    1 day ago: A petition, calling for ted to post Nick Hanauer's Talk.

    You may sign it here:
  • May 22 2012: A petition, calling for ted to post Nick Hanauer's Talk.

    You may sign it here:
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    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:
    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.
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      • +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:
      Thank you!
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        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),
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          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?
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      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.
  • May 21 2012: To the TED Conversations Admin; I appreciate your prompt response, thank you. However, just because two conversations have duplicate subject matter does mean that they are duplicate conversations. The other thread had some provocative thoughts and ideas, which is what I thought TED was supposed to be about. Perhaps I'm mistaken. I understand that TED is a private company and reserves the right to publish what it wants, sometimes what you may have the right to do is not always the right thing to do.

    In the original video by Mr. Hanauer, I understand that TED deleted it because they felt that it wasn't a very good talk and they wanted uphold standards. That's a little disingenuous when in the video Hanauer got several laughs and a standing ovation from the audience. The crowed present during the talk obviously disagreed with the TED hierarchy. This leaves us who are paying attention to this act of censorship, as TED having an agenda as well, or just being a tool to their benefactors. I leave it to you to decide which.
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      Aja B.

      • +1
      May 21 2012: Hi again Alex,

      It's really just a housekeeping issue. We get a lot of "duplicate" conversation topics (not just on this subject), and we need to keep them consolidated if we're going to have any real conversations around them. Otherwise it gets super fragmented. What we can do in the future is be better about "moving" these comments to the original conversation before removing the duplicate, something that we haven't had a good technical handle on until recently.

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    May 19 2012: I read Chris Anderson response and I can't honestly believe that partisan politics had anything to do with choosing this speech to not be posted. Richard Wilkinson's : How economic inequality harms societies, is one of my favorite TED talks, I've posted it on social networking and actually brought friends and family into the TED talk through that video. Nick Hanauer's speech was no more controversial than Wilkinson's excellent talk on income disparity and inequality in relation to happiness and satisfaction of a population. Though it was similar in nature, the shorter length of Hanauer's talk makes it preferable for posting on social media, and the issue of taxation and jobs isn't really the focus of Wilkinson's talk, though Hanauer covers those issues excellently. And a mediocre response? I watched the talk, which Chris Anderson linked on youtube ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI&feature=youtu.be ), there was an awful lot of applause for an audience who felt "eh" about the way the content was presented. Whether this was censorship, choosing to post less controversial talks, or choosing higher quality talks is debatable I suppose, but at this point why not post it to the site and let people choose for themselves. I'm not trying to say that TED should have to get bullied into posting talks of people who try to smear it's name to the mainstream media when they feel their talks were censored, but now you have a huge amount of people discovering TED in a biased negative way as a, "pseudo-progressive media outlet that censors the poor in favor of the wealthy like nearly every other media organization". I'm not saying that's what TED is at all, please understand this, it's probably my favorite website, fills my entire netflix watched recently, and is always one of my top five apps on kindle. I'm just concerned that this story will skew public perception of the majority to that belief.
  • May 19 2012: I've listened to the talk and I've read Chris Anderson's response to criticism on Posterous. Anderson claims: "The talk tapped into a really important and timely issue. But it framed the issue in a way that was explicitly partisan. And it included a number of arguments that were unconvincing, even to those of us who supported his overall stance." Frankly, I'm amazed at the last two sentences. Hanauer's main thesis, that the middle class, not "the rich," create jobs by demanding products and services is so obvious that I can't imagine it being considered "explicitly partisan" or "unconvincing." As a business consultant for more than 30 years, I can personally attest to the fact that hiring people is ALWAYS the last resort for companies. In fact, they've paid me and the firms I've worked for millions of dollars to develop processes and systems that allowed them to produce more goods and services with the same or fewer employees. NO business or businessman "creates" more jobs than they absolutely must, and the overwhelming reason they must is to respond to increasing demand. It's just obvious to anyone who's been in business. So it's the people who buy things, not the business owners, who create jobs. The corollary is that the people who buy the most things per capita is the middle class, not the rich. So we need to encourage the stability and health of the middle class if we want to create jobs. And it's just obvious again, that people able to buy things is good for them, it's good for the businesses they buy them from, and it's good for the owners of those businesses -- "the rich." It's Economics 101.

    So I'm left to wonder if a TED speaker gave a speech on how evolution works. Would he/she be considered "partisan," since so many fundamentalists believe in creationism? Would he/she be considered not worth publishing because fundamentalists in the audience weren't convinced? Does TED allow religion to triumph over fact? Answer that, Mr. Anderson!
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      May 20 2012: I agree with your post and the term "explicitly partisan" goes a stretch further beyond plain partisan. What is partisan about gaining a truth that everyone in the general economic world that we see on TV or the internet seems to be trying to discredit or withhold from the average guy trying to figure this mess out. This smoke and mirrors game is the very thing that Mr. Hanauer is speaking of and furthers the entrenched myth by calling it partisan. Call it many other things, and you can still decide not to post it but "explicitly partisan"? Seriously. Your example of evolution if a perfect choice to illustrate the partisanship in their choice. Let's see what they chose to post instead! My real beef now is that viewers are clamoring for this to be posted and if that is not an idea worth spreading...what is?
  • May 19 2012: I did read it. It wasn't much of an explanation. TED is quite relevant, it was emotional to say it isn't. But I'm still disappointed with Chris Anderson. I didn't see anything political with Hanauer's talk. He simply states an economic reality; industry is dependent upon consumers buying products... consumers are what creates jobs, and if the consumers don't have jobs and money then the economy falls apart. It's an economic ecosystem. It's a better strategy to support the middle class with tax breaks than the upper class, but politics isn't based in reason. THAT is the point Hanauer is pointing out. It's a simple message that needs to be said again and again until somebody starts to believe it.
  • May 18 2012: I have always considered TED to be an open marketplace of ideas. I wasn't aware that the boundaries of this marketplace were so narrow as to exclude ideas which are regarded as "political." I can understand why TED would spurn talks which are overtly partisan. However, there's a huge difference between the partisan and the political.The fact that a particular idea has more adherants in one political party than another does not convert an open discussion of the idea into a partisan discourse. The dialogue taking place between TED's Translator, Krisztian, and Sarah Wolf demonstrates that Mr. Hanouer's thesis is likely to provoke an exchange of views which is not partisan in nature. TED should post the Talk!
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    May 18 2012: I am disappointed in Chris Anderson's response to Nick Hanauer's Talk. Nick's talk was an important "idea WORTH sharing" and comes at a crucial time to share it. In Europe the austerity programs have caused unemployment to reach 25% in some countries with 50% unemployment among the youth. Rhetoric is everywhere. Where does truth get a platform if not by Ted Talks? Nick did not engage in sassy "back biting squawk” as we see every day on Fox. What is wrong with a voice of sanity from a billionaire more than qualified to present a truth what could help our economy?
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      May 18 2012: really? can you show me how austerity leads to unemployment? what is the logical link?
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        May 18 2012: Paul Krugman would make a good read on this. Also Thom Hartman.
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          May 19 2012: paul krugman is the biggest enigma of the century. how can such an intelligent man believe in such stupid theories.
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          May 19 2012: I think the same thing about you Krisztian.
    • May 17 2012: I take a break to get some work done... and this happens?
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      May 19 2012: You can read Chris Anderson's response on his blog: tedchris.posterous.com

      Thank you.
  • May 17 2012: It might be legitimate censorship, but it still is censorship and it still is a bad decision.
    • May 17 2012: Ultimately, I agree with you. It's a bad move.
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      May 19 2012: Hi Adam

      To get the real picture, you can read Chris Anderson's response on his blog: tedchris.posterous.com

      Thank you.
  • May 23 2012: Hi Brian,
    Would you be interested to modify your conversations question post to link to some related to talks in order to bring the idea to the attention of more people? I feel this conversation should appropriately be embedded in relevant talks before the conversation time closes at the end of this month.

    Personally I think that it should be related to the following:
    Jessica Jackley: Poverty Money and Love
    Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies
    Jacqueline Novogratz on patient capitalism
    David Cameron: The next age of government
    Yasheng Huang: Does democracy stifle economic growth?
    Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

    Everyone should watch Nick Hanauer on youtube (from watchextravideo) as it has been posted there by TED and already has 500,000 views in just 4 days.
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    May 22 2012: Not to keep repeating the issue but to keep targeting the larger issue at play in the decision not to post this talk. Here is another pesrspective from John Cook at GeekWire.com @ http://www.geekwire.com/2012/controversial-ted-post-nick-hanauers-talk-taxing-rich/

    About John Cook: http://www.geekwire.com/author/john/

    This is an excerpt but the whole article can be found a the link above:

    "We asked Hanauer about the decision not to distribute his talk, and here’s what he had to say:

    'Although I am disappointed in Chris’s decision not to run my talk, I certainly accept his decision. He owns TED and it is up to him to decide what they share. I have great respect for him and the entire TED organization.

    But I do disagree that my talk was too political or controversial to run. I got a sensational reaction to the talk at the conference itself, including a big standing ovation.

    Even the people who I spoke to who disagreed were intrigued and moved by the eco-systemic argument. And many of the talks at the conference and on the TED website are similarly controversial. That’s what makes them interesting.

    Further, if it was too political, why have me do it in the first place? They knew months in advance what I would speak about and I gave the talk word for word.

    My arguments threaten an economic orthodoxy and political structure that many powerful people have a huge stake in defending. They will not go easily.' ~Nick Hanauer

    These last two lines seem to be at the heart of the matter and why we continue to discuss this and ask it to be posted. To not post it now, is to further cement the conspiratorial ideas that the economic elites don't want us, the average guy, to know the truth of these perpetuating Myths. Myths I run up against while trying to talk to people who are not the 1% but have heard this so long it becomes a part of their own rhetoric in defense of policies. It is a house of cards that needs to come down. TED should help illuminate it not squelch
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    May 21 2012: Storm in a tea cup. From what I understand there may be hundreds of talks on the cutting-room floor. Why isn't a fuss being made about all of those? Might it be because those speakers didn't make a hue and cry about it and don't expect to be published as a right?
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      May 22 2012: Maybe you are right and this is the tip of the iceberg and there are many good talks on the cutting floor that we should be making a fuss about as well, we will never know. We do now know about this one and it seems a majority of posters and participants in this process of TED would like to see this particular talk posted as it is extremely timely and of broad scope and impact despite it concise and straightforward presentation. TED could cull the storm by just posting it. Even if posting it here on conversations, but yet, as far as I can tell, they have not. Certainly their decision to make but ours to dispute in their provided format. Thank you for you post and participation.
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      May 22 2012: Hi Lesley, P lease 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:
      Thank you!
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    May 21 2012: I am imagining a nightmare in which billionaires (not just Hanauer, the billionaire at the center of this controversy, but other billionaires who might follow) can approach TED to demand that their stuff be published "or else."
    I value what TED offers and would hate for it to become a victim from now on of such gambits by powerful people.
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        May 23 2012: None can truly know the story - it is at the mercy of what we know from experience.

        THere is value in being there. All else is politics . nothing wrong with that.

        My beutiful father in law once said: "in the war, many died .. the rest made speaches".
  • May 21 2012: Chris Anderson (TED talk curator) wrote in his blog that Hanauer, "included a number of arguments that were unconvincing." Which arguments and in what way were they unconvincing? Also, how was it "explicitly partisan"?

    I'm seeking to understand.
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      May 22 2012: Its up to us to decide what is convincing and unconvincing Chris. We do not need your help with that. Thanks though.
  • May 21 2012: Not only has TED not posted the original talk but now they are censoring these posts. I wrote a reply to a post, where I criticized TED, accused them of kowtowing to their wealthy benefactors and that they find this kind of talk threatening. Well they deleted not only my response but the whole thread. They will probably censor this whole conversation as well. Don't be surprised if all of this gets deleted.

    Here is the title to the talk that has been removed:

    See what else is happening with the conversation "Is TED censoring talks as too partisan such as Nick Hanauer's TED talk on income inequality and job creation myths? If so, why?":
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      May 21 2012: Alex, when duplicate conversations are created, we remove them and ask the authors to instead join the original conversation. Nothing sinister intended. :)


      Aja B.
      TED Conversations Team
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    May 19 2012: Is TED censoring talks as too partisan such as Nick Hanauer's TED talk on income inequality and job creation myths? If so, why?

    I have read several articles discussing the appearance and accusation that TED talks censored Nick Hanauer’s TED talk about income inequality and the myths of job creation by the super rich. This is a very timely issue with important social and economic impact that hits each on of us, in some fashion, right where we live. The fact that Mr. Hanauer is ultra rich, a businessman who made his money through the capitalist system, which places him in a unique position to give his perspective on some facts. Facts and a perspective that bust some long entrenched arguing points by the status quo or at the very least open them up for debate and discussion. The issue of censoring on this type of format is astounding in its hypocrisy. The fact that TED chose to decide for its viewers what was "too partisan" reeks of blindingly ironic partisanship. I have also looked up discussions started about this topic and they have evidently also been removed. TED has thrived on reader participation for its growth and popularity based being open to the spread of new ideas. This censorship should be an affront to everyone. I would like to hear from TED and see the talk posted for discussion. I am not an economist but this talk is very well presented and should be posted and open to discussion. I can't believe politicians for my information, who are usually also not economists. This speaker seems to have no real agenda for his presentation other than to help enlighten the rest of us. The debate on his points can take place and the viewers can decide for themselves, not TED. I will be posting to FB and we will see if it gets posted on TED.

    “....National Journal's Jim Tankersley introduced us to Nick Hanauer, a venture capitalist from Seattle, whose speech at the TED University conference was deemed "too politically controversial to post on their web site."
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      May 20 2012: Hi Barbara,
      To get the true story, you can 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:
      Thank you!
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        May 20 2012: I have but evidently the messages posted here are not getting through the one way mirror. While I appreciate his response and some of his points, I feel he also tried to blame Mr. Hanauer for taking the matter into his own hands after being denied on those grounds. Partisanship seems a very, very flimsy excuse for not posting this talk. TED could have had other arguments and did have some more valid but finer points but that one does not hold water. Even though there have been other talks on inequality, it is such a broad topic depending on where you are starting and where you are ending up that most people without an economic or political science degree may not get as much out of it as it seem most everyone did with this talk. It spoke to us, the readers, your viewers on a level that you are not being responsive to and that is the bigger matter at play now after the fact. So now with your viewers speaking, it appears that a majority would like to have the talk posted. Why not just post it and let the viewers debate the ideas and the presence or absence of partisanship within the talk? More importantly, allow the viewers and participants to enjoy what we seem to be saying about this talk--it makes sense and should be up for discussion. The whole issue of how this played out is "good" discussion and certainly TED has seen a rise in viewership as we discuss these issues. That can't be bad for business, no?
  • May 19 2012: Hello TED administration,

    Thank for your response. But why censor Mr. Hanauer? Sure you have had people of color talk about the problems of inequality. Sure you look at the scholarly effect of inequality. But what about the specifics. Why has inequality increased over the last 30 to 40 years. Why the the mantra we consistently hear--the rich create jobs is not addressed in the media? As a lawyer for almost 50 years I know the effect of the tax laws and how they have effected the middle class. It is not only the tax laws, but the whole political and media system which is corrupted by money and Mr. Hanauer (a capitalist) addressed some of the problems and you shut him and all the middle class from getting out this important message. I question TED's integrety or it's courage. This is why the occupy movement and people throughout the world are in the streets-their message and pain are not being heard. I know it must be difficult to change your mind but put MR. Hanauer on TED. This issue of inequality both economic and political is the the center of our world debate. This debate can only make our world better especially if the debate is carried in halls like TED rather than in the streets.
    • May 20 2012: As far as I can understand, Ted did not CENSOR Hanauer. They just didn't choose his speech. He needs to get over the sour grapes.
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      May 20 2012: Hi Richard,
      You can read Chris Anderson's response to this question on his blog: http://tedchris.posterous.com
  • May 19 2012: After watching the 5 minute intervention of Nick Hanauer on youtube, which just points out arguments that are too evident and very linear, with millions of people unemployed, suffering the effects of neoliberal policies, I really don't see any reason for this censorship of TED Talks.

    In fact, no better publicity could be made to this intervention. A capitalist telling that «enough is enough», and that this policy compromises the very essence of capitalism - to make profit from consumers. If you destroy the middle class you destroy those that can buy. It's cristal and clear!

    So, what's the big fuss! Very narrow minded decision fom TED Talks!

    Much deeper thought on political theory and the financial crisis has been produced by academics and activists like Susan George. It's worth revisiting an interview of 2010 - http://youtu.be/auuAOYATApI
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    May 19 2012: From Nick Hanauer's Talk: 'Significant privileges have come to capitalists like me for being perceived as "job creators" at the center of the economic universe, and the language and metaphors we use to defend the fairness of the current social and economic arrangements is telling. For instance, it is a small step from "job creator" to "The Creator". We did not accidentally choose this language. It is only honest to admit that calling oneself a "job creator" is both an assertion about how economics works and the a claim on status and privileges.

    The extraordinary differential between a 15% tax rate on capital gains, dividends, and carried interest for capitalists, and the 35% top marginal rate on work for ordinary Americans is a privilege that is hard to justify without just a touch of deification.

    We've had it backward for the last 30 years. Rich businesspeople like me don't create jobs. Rather they are a consequence of an eco-systemic feedback loop animated by middle-class consumers, and when they thrive, businesses grow and hire, and owners profit. That's why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.

    So here's an idea worth spreading. In a capitalist economy, the true job creators are consumers, the middle class. And taxing the rich to make investments that grow the middle class, is the single smartest thing we can do for the middle class, the poor and the rich.'
  • May 19 2012: I clearly understand why TED refused to post Nick Hanauer's talk. His talk hit the nail on the head and those from whom TED seeks financial support does not want to offend that nail. I always looked to TED talks because they addressed the important issues of the day and to refuse to post this short very perceptive analysis was foolish. Mr Anderson has proved that the Occupy movement is correct-those in power do not want to hear the 99%. Fortunately, Mr. Anderson's decision will have the opposite affect, this talk will go viral
  • May 18 2012: Mr. Anderson: I would like you to reverse your decision and post Nich Hanauer's talk.
  • May 17 2012: There is no excuse for this censorship.

    Everything is political, if a fact is political then so be it, let facts change politics.

    It makes me feel outraged that TED chose to not publish this. Seeming as it is so important and clarifying.

    It makes you think is TED is so cowardly due to its corporate sponsors....
    • May 17 2012: I think Krisztian is right that censorship is the wrong word. We may be able to define the act as censorship loosely, but it carries all the wrong connotations: we don't have a right to view this information since it is property of TED, but as an audience and members of the TED community we can certainly voice disapproval and request TED releases the video.
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        May 19 2012: Censorship is the right word. Perhaps the phrase 'political censorship' is even more appropriate.
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        May 19 2012: Will the free dictionary do? 'the practice of examining documents and removing information which the authorities do not wish to be made public for political reasons.'
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      May 19 2012: Hi Adam,
      You can read Chris Anderson's response on his blog: tedchris.posterous.com

      And if you're interested in TEDTalks on income inequality, check out this playlist:

      Thank you.
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    May 17 2012: 1. TED can not censor anything. they either put up some material or not. it is their own website, they can arbitrarily select videos to put up, and it is not censorship. using such loaded words does not help understanding.
    2. none of your examples are political.
    3. you have the right to disagree to their policy, and question how they shepherd their own public image. you also can suggest.

    for example here is my suggestion. why TED does not create a dedicated site for talks that did not make it to the main website. it could be called TED backyard or TED basement. subtitle: stuff that did not fit in the exhibition room. proceed with care.
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      May 17 2012: The posted question (in bold text) does not mention censoring. It simply asks why the talk has not been posted. Apparently the subject of the talk is relevant. It seems appropriate, necessary even, that TED would offer further explanation why they exercised their absolute right to not post the talk. If TED claims the talk is "too political" then other questions become important. Thanks for your wise observations Krisztian.
    • May 17 2012: By censoring (unfortunately, yes, I did use the term) I guess I mean selectively screening an issue of importance and great interest. Perhaps censoring was the wrong word. But I think all of those examples are inherently political: hot button issues like contraception, climate change, and religion are all sensitive political issues that are starkly divided along party lines at least here in the U.S. And the fact that they've had a talk on the exact same subject before makes it strange that they refuse to post this talk. I don't mean to sound conspiratorial, but it almost makes TED seem to have a political motive themselves to not post this talk.
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        May 17 2012: i would say TED does not want to take sides, nor they want to participate in debates they find not "high" enough. TED wants to be above such every days politics. you don't have to like it. personally i don't like many practices of them, like advertisements barely disguised as conversations (and throughly shepherded by admins). i think it is lame, and it is okay to bash them for it.

        but hey, it is their stuff, so they can screw it up as they please. don't make it look like your rights where violated or something.
        • May 17 2012: I understand that the video is their property, and you're right: it really is their decision not to post it. However I do disagree with the notion that the topic is not important enough to post. Income inequality, as Wilkinson demonstrated, harms societies. Why not allow further discussion? For now I can only voice my disapproval. I would've thought TED to be a little more open to this issue; I've always perceived TED as a haven or beacon for the presentation and discussion of ideas regarding important scientific, political, moral, and social issues. This most recent action though is contrary to that view and tears down what I thought the company stood for. I suppose I'm a bit of a naive idealist when it comes to this.
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      May 19 2012: 'TED can not censor anything. they either put up some material or not. it is their own website, they can arbitrarily select videos to put up'...ah they have specifically said the reason for not posting the talk was because it was politically 'too partisan'. That means (see dictionary definition above) the talk was not used as part of a process of political censorship. If they had said instead they pulled it due to timing constraints or because the material was not 'high' enough, then you would have a point. As it stands, you do not.
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    May 26 2012: Is Chris Anderson a qualified person for being the TED manager?

    This question reminded me of another question:

    Is Henry Ford a qualified person for being the Ford manager?

    Is Steve Jobs a qualified person for being the manager of ….
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      May 26 2012: Hi Mohammad:>)
      In my humble perception, the people you mention were/are ALL very qualified, and many times, some folks don't agree with the way things are managed:>)

      In the years I've been involved with TED, I've always found Chris Anderson, and staff members to be very responsive to members complaints and concerns, which they have been again for this issue:>)
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        May 26 2012: Hi Colleen
        Thank for your response..
        And, one thing more…I don’t know exactly who Mary is in TED organization...
        But, regarding her emails, she is really kind and polite...
        I am sure she is not related to this Nick Hanauer issue…
        ..i am kidding..
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          May 26 2012: In my experience, when anyone from TED contacts us they always identify themselves. If someone is sending you e-mails, and you are not sure who it is....ask:>)
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    May 22 2012: Brian Adam, can you extend your conversation?
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      May 22 2012: I concur! Brian! Where are you? Thanks for getting such a great discussion going, let's keep it going!
  • May 21 2012: Alright, here is the finished petition, for calling for ted to post Nick Hanauer's Talk.

    You may sign it here:
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      May 22 2012: Signed! You may want to repost the link at the top of the conversation, if that is "allowed" so people will see it rather than having to look for it? Thanks for getting it started!
      • May 22 2012: No problem :).

        The best way of thanking would be to make this aware to as many fellow TEDsters as possible.

        Because I believe that if they become aware of this, they will act.

        (I'll do my best to start a separate 'conversation' around this petition, pending if ted won't keep removing it and I'll let you know where to find it, if you want).
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      May 23 2012: I signed too, thanks Jonathan.
      • May 23 2012: No, thank you :).

        You too, the best way of thanking would be to make this aware to as many fellow TEDsters as possible.

        Because I believe that if they become aware of this, they will act.

        (I'll do my best to start a separate 'conversation' around this petition, pending if ted won't keep removing it and I'll let you know where to find it, if you want).
      • May 24 2012: I'm coing to place the petition at the top of the conversation again.
      • May 28 2012: Yes.

        At least, if I attempt to start a separate discussion, around the petition, un-surpisingly the ted staff promptly removes it citing that "this discussion already covers the subject" so there is no need for any other discussion regarding the issue.
  • May 20 2012: I too am a new member like Brian Adam. I too have watched and enjoyed TED for years. I too am very puzzled by the decision to not post this video. I must wonder about Mr. Anderson's decision to not air the video. Has it something to do with sponsors? Rich sponsors?? Really rich sponsors??
    This topic is, in my mind, as relevant and important in today,s society and economy as anything on TED..I think Warren Buffett would agree.
    I have never done it and don't know how exactly to do it but would like to start a petition for persuading Mr. Anderson ant TED decision makers to reconsider this> Any Ideas???
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      May 21 2012: Welcome Dale,
      You've fallen for a PR stunt, with respect, but to see and judge for yourself, please read Chris Anderson's response on his blog: tedchris.posterous.com.


      TED Conversations team.
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        May 21 2012: Hi TED conversation team. Hmmm...now with all due respect how is it that we have fallen for a PR stunt if you invited Mr. Hanauer for a talk, reviewed the talk, then later decided not to publish in on the site for various reasons, some of which we are discussing and debating the merits of here. That feels like a rather partisan statement seeing as the stunt only became a stunt in as much as not publishing it created a stir and continuing to not publish it for the sake of discourse on those very reasons besides the content and the viewer requests. If you have the right, as you do, to make this decision, then does Mr. Hanauer not have the right to his feelings and actions taken, whether you agree or not? As for publicity, it certainly has gotten both of you that in equal amounts with debate for and against on either side. How is this a publicity stunt, if you please? Thank you very much.
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    May 20 2012: TED is a private website that curates material to display what the owners believe fit in with their vision of what they are offering. This might include wanting a breadth of topics and points of view. They may sometimes feel that they are starting to get redundant stuff and don't want too much sameness.

    If TED decides not to display something because they believe they already have higher quality material on the same topic expressing the same position, this is not at all saying any of the staff believes it isn't "worth posting on the internet." TED is not the internet. If I don't paint my house yellow, it does not mean I don't think yellow is good enough for people to paint their houses. It only means I don't prefer yellow when I can have green.

    Big Think also curates articles and videos from all over rather than accepting everything.

    Online magazines do this also.

    Bloggers often have guest bloggers on their sites and choose who to invite. They do not invite everyone. I know a life coach who really wanted to be featured on a popular site, but the owner said it did not meet her quality standards. I know someone else whose work has been returned to her as too academic in style for a site.

    Stores decide which merchandise to put on their shelves. They not only decide on the sort of merchandise but also the brand. Some stores have a quality threshhold.

    Let's look at stores for a moment. Think of an upscale store or a downtown boutique. They will have quality threshholds as well as sorts of styles they may want to feature. I wouldn't know whether the buyers for these stores publish a policy that details their criteria. It is assumed private firms will have criteria for how they use the space they are paying for, but I don't know that they maintain up-to-date articulation of it.

    I am a little confused why TED should be required to post everything submitted to it.
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    May 19 2012: Hey all -- you can read Chris Anderson's response to this question on his blog: http://tedchris.posterous.com
    It's been truly heartening to see how many people are interested in the topic of inequality and injustice.
    If you're interested in TEDTalks on income inequality, start with this playlist of talks and blog posts:
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      May 19 2012: I have read Chris's response. I still would like to hear Nick's talk. I have read (and posted a partial) transcript. It looks on the surface at least, that the real reason for not playing the talk is because the message contradicts so clearly, the lies which are being sold to the American people by some rich and powerful people. Its not that the talk is about equality at all, that is not the issue. You insult us by trying to fob us off with some other talks on equality.

      Chris, to bake a decent cake, you have to break some eggs. Post the talk...please.
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        May 19 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI

        I have to agree with TED's take on this.
        • May 20 2012: It is quite remarkable how many people are whining about censorship when nothing at all has been censored.
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        May 20 2012: Schwarzenegger was not responsible by any metric. This is the same guy who left the budget far worse than when he arrived, not to mention the affairs in his personal life, which indicate his irresponsible behavior on everything.

        If you can’t see why Schwarzenegger is not germane to Austrian economics I can’t explain it to you.

        Since I’m in Calif and Schwarzenegger’s betrayal of Calif has cost Calif plenty with for example his version of cap and trade regulation named AB32. If you don’t get that I can’t explain it to you.
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        May 20 2012: You were using the technique of conflating to discredit Austrian economics, I was pointing out the specious nature of this technique.

        I was also pointing out the irresponsible nature of Schwarzenegger and the fact that he betrayed Calif citizens costing them billions of dollars.
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          May 23 2012: No Pat, I meant what was the topic of the post, not what is your unsolicited opinion of my techniques and of The Terminator. I think the topic is why the Hanauer talk has been snubbed by TED. Do you have an opinion about that?
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    May 19 2012: Discovery of such censorship of ideas within TED has me feeling naive and a bit of a fool to have believed in TED as a forum for ideas so blindly.

    With regard to Hanauer's talk (which I'll seek out to hear in its entirety for have not as yet) I have this to offer. It is the confluence of resources that makes an economy run: people are a fundamental resource from which all else flows. Lest we forget, however, it is also people who seem to have trouble getting that. Intellectual capital (capacity, relationship and the infrastructure that utilizes these) has a value beyond financial resources. Money is a natural by-product of intellectual capital management, not the other way around. At least some are seeking ways to measure it as a point of reference in economics...my own interest is in recognizing and harvesting it through effective management. A resourceful, financially poor population may be far better off than a prosperous one without the capacity to sustain that prosperity.

    Surely we learn more through unfamiliar, even uncomfortable ideas. It was a huge mistake to shut that down. I must say, however, that if this had not happened, I would more easily have been led. I am grateful for the wake up call.
  • May 18 2012: Chris Anderson's explanation of the event contains a sentence that we need to 'find a way of framing the issue that is convincing and avoids being needlessly partison'.

    Arguement 1:

    You reach a critical mass at which your level of influence is self-reinforcing. For instance - the day will come when brain power is augmented with hardware. If you can afford the best hardware, you have an advantage, which allows you to afford even better hardware. This is futuristic (not very), but its easy to find analogies in business, real estate, politcal contributions etc. Education also offers a direct analogy.

    Eventually, you are no longer affiliated with any society of any kind. Your power is not constrained to borders and does not recognize them. You can simple move from one political system (nation) to the next. Plunder one while another recovers from your prior plunder, then plunder it again.

    Arguement 2:

    One common response from the fabulously rich is 'my money works for me'. In fact, money is a representation of stored human effort. Money can only be used to purchase mechanical effort of some kind.

    So, when someone tells me 'I don't have to work. My money works for me (therefore I am not a parasite on society), I counter with this thought experiment.

    Take 1 billion dollars. Bring it with you, alone to a deserted island. Lay it down in the middle of a field and tell it to grow you some food, build you a house, and make you some clothing. At that point you will realize that your money does not work for you. People work.

    This is not an empty analogy. It has real, economic depth. It represents a simple logical unit from which all of our enconomic discussions can be structured.
  • May 18 2012: I've always considered TED to be a champion for intellectual expression and inspiration. Hanauer's talk is nothing we don't already know and it's very sad that TED would consider it controversial at all. I'm so depressed by this. I've lost all respect for TED and Anderson. Did you really think this wasn't going to get out? The question is, can TED even be considered relevant anymore (in the light of this)? Is TED really going to tether itself to that sinking ship? It seems to me that the answer is no to the first question and yes to the second, and that is painfully disappointing.
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    May 17 2012: You let Niall Ferguson talk about the value of a propertied class, a talk that was HUGELY biased in what it omitted from its causation argument—a seriously politically-conservative talk.


    I thought it was a flawed talk on merits, and was surprised—but eventually gladdened—to see that at least TED was offering a variety of viewpoints and allowing the talks to stand on their own merits.

    So what gives with Nick Hanauer's talk?

    Let it stand as the presentation of information from one man on its merits, and let it stand as the interpretation from us all as to its political aspect.
  • May 17 2012: Excuse the typos, please.
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    May 24 2012: They preceding definitions and sources cited, seemed to have offended a person. My apologies. I am accused of working magic or something like that--if only! :)

    However, I will state these are definitions posted in the name of furthering discussion---which has now been labeled by thsi person as a way to hide behind the issue??

    These are others definitions, not mine, and I offer them up in the spirit of the continuation of this thread for 6 more days and to help expand the discussion to the larger issues at play that have been brought up. I am simply a contributor that has been attacked on a personal level by what I consider trolling to intimidate contributors to leave the discussion.

    If the discussion if finished, fine, but if not, let's keep the ball in the air, despite the naysayers. Thanks to everyone for their participation in this forum TED provides. Does not mean they are excluded from the discussions. If my posts have been perceived as personal attacks, them please accept my most humble apologies, they were never intended as such.
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    May 21 2012: This is for the attention of Criss Anderson:

    You, as a man who rarely fails - I give you this, I hope it helps. I have identified the nuance that you missed in your handling of the Hanauer talk:

    The Hanauer talk was a subset of what Willkinson revealed in his talk. Very well. Willkinson proposed 2 different ways in which cultures have achieved reduction in income disparity - the Nordic taxation solution and the Japanese cultural solution. Hanauer has chosen to go forward strongly with the Nordic model. Nothing wrong with that.

    Now, TED has an obligation to provide exposition, not imposition. It is the role of partisan players to do imposition. And you have rightly chosen to de-link yourself from Hanauer's war horse.

    However - here is your mistake.

    TED previews talks - you would have previewed Hanauer's talk - why did you not recognise your exposure at that point? Why did you not advise Hanauer to remove threats to TED from his talk?

    Was it that you were too busy or too tired? Did you not understand that Hanauer is a master player? And that you should have been far mor vigilant?

    This is human to be tired or distracted .. at the wrong moment that will bring challenges that will be detriment to your vision.

    I advise you to take more rest and find good people to share your load.
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    May 21 2012: I also dissagree sometimes with TED posting and censorship policy.

    Something like half of my discussion threads have been removed.
    The discussions I post are usually well thought out questions on issues that I need to explore.
    However, a lot of these are potentially confronting to some sectors of the community, and I expect the right of TED to protect itself and its mission by refraining from inviting attacks against it. This is a necessarily conservative function that will make error on the "false positive" side. It cannot be any other way.

    Personally, I totally agree with the Hanauer statement on income disparity and the fallacious assumptions regarding the taxation of the rich. However, his talk is framed within other false assumptions that he does not challenge. e.g. the artificial definitions of jobs and employment, the desirability of growth in consumerism, and perhaps more if I look harder.

    Hanauer is on a personal mission to promote his economic policy position. There is nothing wrong with that, but he would know very well, that external attacks on an organisation's policy cannot be accepted by that organisation. They are placed in a position that if they acceed to external pressures then they will lose governance of their own mission. Hanauer knows very well that TED cannot back down, but persists anyway. WHy?
    My guess is that Hanauer is harnessing the flame war on this topic to gain better profile for his owm mission - he will be well aware of teh damage he is causing TED, and I, for one, will not support the underlying destructive cynicism of his manoeuvre. And neither should TED.
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      • +2
      May 21 2012: Hi Mitch,
      If you respect TED.com terms of use, your posts will not be deleted. https://www.ted.com/pages/conversations_terms
      We welcome differing opinions as long as they are expressed in constructive and respectful manner.
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        May 21 2012: Yes, but you also have problems with humour and irony.

        You give yourself a large margin of discression that results in a narrowness that I often find abrasive.

        But this is TED you are what you are, you provide a brilliant service.

        If the world were TED, it would be grey and oppressive place. A nice place to visit if you like rigid cleanliness.

        You have your place.
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    May 20 2012: Most posters in this thread are focussed on the Hanauer talk.
    This is looking too close.
    This issue is not about the talk - it is about the governance of valuable resource.
    Mr Anderson has made a borderline value judgement on behalf of TED.
    That is his duty and function.
    Here you dissagree with one of his value decisions - does that also mean that you dissagree with the rest?
    It is a factor of leadership that the leader is allowed to lead.
    If the leader is not permitted to lead then leadership fails.
    Perfection is not prerequsite to leadership - vision is the key factor.
    The future is never fully seen.
    Is Chris blind?
    I think not.
    Is it your duty and function to make these difficult decisions?
    Are you willing to sit comfortably passing idle judgement?
    Which of you are now prepared to follow up your judgement and offer your service as Chriss' replacement?
    None of you.
    Am I wrong?
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      May 21 2012: Mitch, Thanks for your ideas and thoughts. I agree with you on some areas to some degree about Mr. Anderson's role and decision making parameters and responsibilities. Ultimately, he does get to decide and we have to live with that. However, I do disagree with your questioning of the inherent ability to discuss our collective displeasure and to debate the in and outs of the issues in its various levels and intricacies. That is the reason there is such discussion forums as this in the first place or else this would just be a blog with no room for comments. It would be one person's thoughts on what is good media to post. That is great but don't promote yourself in the way TED does as the spreading of ideas because along with that comes some bumps in the road but that is part of the process, a very vital part of the process. No one is saying he or his decisions have to perfect, but we are, I think, saying we want to discuss this and it troubles us particularly in such a format at TED.
      That should not be discouraged so Yes, you are wrong, in my opinion. But that is the beauty of this process--we can agree to disagree!
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        May 21 2012: Hi Barbara,

        I welcome your criticism in a big way!

        And I thank you!

        I saw an imballance of focus in the discussion and did my best to widen the arena of discussion to include what I know as a leader and forum administrator in the past.

        The wider politic must be recognised to advance this issue.

        I now have the insight whereby I can give Chriss some value for his mission.

        I will post that separatly, and I thank you for your honesty and engagement!

        Edited to ask - are you applying for Anderson's job? If so - send me your CV and I will decide whether or not you are the better person for the job. If I see it .. I will support your attack.

        We are talking about destroying a man's entire life's work. If you are the better man . well, so be it. But this is a cruel undertaking.
        Edit again: how about you offer your services to help anderson? He needs it. Have you more than words?
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      May 22 2012: You are wrong this time Mitch.

      Chris explicitly says the talk was 'too partisan' that has nothing to do with quality control or any of the other issues you discuss, he has openly says it was an act of political censorship.

      We, the TED public are justifiably dismayed and outraged by this. TED is a source of hope for many of us, an open forum that allows free dialogue. Some of us even hope however idealistically, that it can even become a vehicle for positive change.

      Now we begin to see that it too is affected by the greed machine's dirty underbelly of lobbying and purchasing power, the same rot that has crept into all our societies,undermining our freedom and democratic rights.

      If a group or individual has applied pressure to have that talk pulled because it was 'too partisan', that is a serious breach of our trust in TED and a sorry day for us all. I believe that is exactly what happened and I call Chris to account for it. So far I am dissatisfied with his response. The only thing that would restore my faith in this 'free speech' forum, and cheer me up for the week, would be to see the talk run.

      Will that happen? No. Instead TED will wait until Brian's conversation closes and hope it blows over. Business as ususal.
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        May 22 2012: Thumbs up!
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        May 22 2012: I am happy to be wrong - and thank you!

        So the intrinsic violation is between TED's published mission statement and the actual practice of it?

        I have observed that Chris and TED are now in a political lock that prevents them from backing down - that's unfortunate.

        Personally, I think Chris just failed to see his danger.

        If the TED organisation can only exist by corporate sponsorship, then it becomes a fine line to tread: publish and be destroyed? Or not publish and survive to take the battle into an arena you can win? Fight or flight?

        I still maintain that Hanaeur's talk is selectively framed to preclude criticism of the capitalist myth. THis is a political crusade to influence taxation policy - thus making it the problem of the government/people while allowing the corporation impunity from any real structural reform.
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    May 20 2012: There IS a policy. And it is not bout TED, but any mass-media... I think there most be a policy...
    I think this issue is not as important as it seems to be...

    Perhaps some body/organization(s) is/are going to advertise on it... To take advantage of it...
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    May 20 2012: "Anderson previously stated "But I think a lot of business managers and entrepreneurs would feel insulted by that statement as given." This makes it clear that he wasn't as much concerned about the quality of Hanauer's argument as he was about how his friends would react to the talk." taken from "TED's Chris Anderson Offers Up Tepid Defense for Blocking Hanauer Video" By Kenneth Quinnell. May 19, 2012 06:32 AM. http://crooksandliars.com/kenneth-quinnell/teds-chris-anderson-offers-tepid-

    View article at Crooks and Liars @ http://crooksandliars.com/kenneth-quinnell/teds-chris-anderson-offers-tepid-


    http://www.marketplace.org/topics/wealth-poverty/nick-hanauer-ted-talk-income-inequality-controversy has an interview with Kai Ryssdalfrom Friday May 18th with Nick Hanauer about the general controversy. It is noted at the end that Chris Anderson of TED was contacted but "didn't want to talk".
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      May 22 2012: '•Anderson's claim that the talk was 'explicitly partisan' couldn't possibly be further from the truth. Hanauer makes one comment in the entire talk that can even remotely be connected to a political party. This is it: "This idea is an article of faith for Republicans and seldom challenged by Democrats...." That's it. That is not only not an 'explicitly partisan' statement, it's scrupulously bipartisan in its condemnation of parties. And that's the only statement Hanauer makes that is even remotely party-oriented.

      •Anderson claims that the audience gave it 'mediocre ratings.' But the end of the video shows that the crowd mostly gave Hanauer a standing ovation. And even if it he did get poor ratings from many in the audience, that should be expected, since he's explicitly criticizing both himself and the elite audience, many of whom are the supposed 'job creators' the talk discusses. Anderson didn't release any ratings, so we have to take his word for it and his other comments make that very questionable.

      •Anderson's claim that the Hanauer talk was avoided because it "descend[ed] into the same dismal partisan head-butting people can find every day elsewhere in the media," is nonsensical, since the talk does nothing even remotely related to this statement. '
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    May 20 2012: Q :Why ?
    Ans : Please refer to TED Term of Use # 7

    I mostly agree with your concluding sentence of your post above
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    May 19 2012: I can't see the issue here.

    Not all talks get posted - the one talk per day rule precludes it.
    There has to be some criteria about what can be posted - when making these kind of decisions there will always be a boundary - that boundary will be determined in a totally subjective fashion. This cannot be helped, and maybe it will be nothing more than a toss of the coin.

    What I CAN see is that someone has taken umbrage at being excluded by an essentially passive process that infers no personal judgement.
    So Mr Hanauer feels a sense of rejection? That's understandable, but what does he do about it? He mounts a public campaign to gain preference obove those who actually made it into the playlist? .. ah OK .. personally that seems soaked with agressive pretention more based on personal assertion of ego .. we can determine much of the man's character by this.
    What would you say, then, to the person who's talk got bumped off the list in favour of Hanauer?
    Hanauer talks about inequality, but his actions speak louder - he is clearly part of the problem, and demonstrably a hypocrit.
    I would look very closely at his talk to identify the personal advantage he is seeking to propogate .. look at the numbers, look at the unsupported assertions - where is the research?
    The talk by Richard Wilkinson is far more telling, far more ballanced and has the numbers to prove it.
    If I were TED, I would be careful about "flaming" the forums - you can see how this post has run?
    My wife once created an online social capital forum for young mothers .. let me tell you, everyone thinks they know better, but jelousy and manipulative advantage become big issues if you do not control them. They end up wrecking the value.

    And personally, as someone whos posts are often censored, one begins to get a feel for the careful balance the TED staff have to walk.. Sure it hurts to be censored, but there are larger issues that TED faces to keep this fabulous resource alive .. I applaud them.
    • May 20 2012: Agreed. Thank you for saying it. Now I don't have too.
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    May 19 2012: I tried to post a comment but cannot find it. I had started a conversation about fundamentally the same thing but based on an article in THE ATLANTIC posted in May 17th. I searched for a thread but came up with nothing initially until a kind poster directed me this way. However, I now cannot find my post at all along with Nick Hanauer name producing no initial results. Makes me feel things are still being censored or else I am just, as a first time poster, not putting it in the right place. That being said, in the interest of continuity I am attempting to repost my conversation here. It will repeat in some areas so please don't troll me for it. I am also asking, as had been discussed why and how talks or censored which brings up the whole credibility of TED. The original post will follow this comment.
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      May 21 2012: That happened to me too once on a thread about gun control. It began to get heated and then it was wiped out completely. I wrote to TED, they claimed they had no record of the talk and claimed they did not know what had happened to it. I assumed it had gotten too volatile so they pulled it. Censorship.
  • May 19 2012: Ok, I've made the login details for the petition site (http://www.gopetition.com).

    If anyone in the group wants access to it, just give me a holler and I'll provide the details for you via e-mail.

    Now, if anyone wants to contribute to the drafting of the petition, please let me know within 2 days time (til 21.5.).
    After which point I'll begin drafting independently and submit it for the members to sing.

    That would cover phase 1, at that point.
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    May 19 2012: From Nick Hanauer's Talk: 'If it were true that lower tax rates and more wealth for the wealthy would lead to more job creation, then today we would be drowning in jobs. And yet unemployment and under-employment is at record highs.

    Another reason this idea is so wrong-headed is that there can never be enough superrich Americans to power a great economy. The annual earnings of people like me are hundreds, if not thousands, of times greater than those of the median American, but we don't buy hundreds or thousands of times more stuff. My family owns three cars, not 3,000. I buy a few pairs of pants and a few shirts a year, just like most American men. Like everyone else, we go out to eat with friends and family only occasionally.

    I can't buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans can't buy any new clothes or cars or enjoy any meals out. Or to make up for the decreasing consumption of the vast majority of American families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages.

    Here's an incredible fact. If the typical American family still got today the same share of income they earned in 1980, they would earn about 25% more and have an astounding $13,000 more a year. Where would the economy be if that were the case?'
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    May 19 2012: Yes I can really see why we should not talk about this: From Nick Hanauer's Talk: 'Anyone who's ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a capitalists course of last resort, something we do only when increasing customer demand requires it. In this sense, calling ourselves job creators isn't just inaccurate, it's disingenuous.

    That's why our current policies are so upside down. When you have a tax system in which most of the exemptions and the lowest rates benefit the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.

    Since 1980 the share of income for the richest Americans has more than tripled while effective tax rates have declined by close to 50%. If it were true that lower tax rates and more wealth for the wealthy would lead to more job creation, then today we would be drowning in jobs. And yet unemployment and under-employment is at record highs.'
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      May 19 2012: The issue is not the veracity or correctness of Mr. Hanauer. Why it was deemed not fit to print is the issue.
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        • +2
        May 19 2012: Hi Edward,
        You can read Chris Anderson's response on his blog: tedchris.posterous.com
        And if you're interested in TEDTalks on income inequality, check out this playlist:

        Thank you.
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          May 19 2012: I think you should listen to your people TED and play the talk. Its a credibility issue for us now. Everyone makes mistakes, suck it up, admit it was an error of judgment, prove you are not afraid of the right wing greed machine and play the talk.

          After all, you have the Nial Ferguson talk, and the T Boone Pickens one too which go to prove representation on TED is about the broader political spectrum.
  • May 19 2012: @Krisztian Pinter:

    Hmmm. Well I'm not an economist. I understand the extreme difficulty of getting valid experimental results in this area, because the real-world economy is such a complex system. It does seem to me, however, that historically, when we've had lots of government spending that sent cash to ordinary people (like the New Deal, WWII) the economy has usually responded well, and whenever we've had austerity, the results have been less than spectacular. I understand that this is a *very* imperfect experiment, given the complicating factors of the real world, but it still seems like something worth considering.

    I will, however, look into the sources you mentioned.
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      May 19 2012: i recommend you *not* to subscribe to theories. follow your own logic. the very problem we have today is a belief that even if we don't get it, it must be reasonable some way. sorry, it is not.

      have you ever heard the great depression of 1919? it was a depression of similar magnitude of the great depression. why you have never heard of it? because it solved itself in 18 months. as all the other depressions. this is the normal recovery time. so why the great depression lasted decades? that is a question wanting answers.

      we, austrians claim that we need actual understanding, rather than statistical data. we look into the essence of things. we use logic. i recommend to check it.
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        May 19 2012: During that 18months during which the great depression 'solved itself' how many people died? How many babies were stillborn because of malnutrition? How many were displaced and homeless? I love the way you skip through periods of human suffering as if its a meadow of cornflowers but I think the people who might actually have had to survive those times, might not feel the same way.

        Your style of economics Krisztian, (dont bother to study it Sarah, its more like a religious philosophy than 'science') means big catastrophic events, like the one we had in 2008. I prefer my economies safe and stable thanks. I like babies to be fed and then educated.
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          May 19 2012: good questions. then also ask what caused that depression (which were not the great one, it lasted decades, killing and crippling much more). it was caused by credit expansion, which were created by legal fraud called fractional reserve banking.

          ron paul, probably the best known libertarian, warns about the housing market and the related financial market problems since 2003 or so. blaming it on us is weird at least.
      • May 19 2012: I'm going to reply specifically to your statement that "we need actual understanding, rather than statistical data. we look into the essence of things. we use logic. i recommend to check it."

        I've spend a great deal of time working in labs, and in the hard sciences, the best sounding theories are often wrong. Look at quantum mechanics - it is ridiculous, it makes very little sense to our primate minds, but it holds up experimentally, so we must to choose it over the (seemingly much more sensible) Newtonian mechanics. And this is not the only example. When we are working with incredibly complicated systems that we don't fully understand, we must take our own intuitions with a grain of salt - evidence is king, and it has to be. I think economics is similar to fields like biology, chemistry, and physics in this respect.

        Sure, if something sounds reasonable and makes sense to us, that is a point in its favor, a reason to pose it as a hypothesis - but in the end, we have to look at the evidence, the "statistical data" you urge me not to pay much attention to.

        I apologize if I have misinterpreted the intent behind your statement, but that's my $0.02.
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          May 19 2012: but there are fields in which experimenting is not possible and data is scarce. a scientist must work with the material at hand. economics is about human behavior. we can not model human behavior good enough to model the economy. it is questionable if we ever will. but now, we can't.

          austrian economics, which you don't want to follow up on, works with statements like: exchange with mutual consent benefits both parties, otherwise would not happen. we don't need to experimentally prove this.

          but for those who need data, austrian economics has a very good record in foretelling things. mises predicted the great depression and also the eventual fall of the soviet union (in 1920), peter schiff and ron paul predicted the 2008 financial crisis.
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        May 19 2012: Are you referring to Schwartzeneggarian Economics? I'm pretty sure Gov. Arnold would post the Hanauer talk. Aren't you?
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          May 19 2012: what the hack is that?
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          May 19 2012: Krisztián

          Schwarzenegger is proven cheat on many things so Edward is trying to "conflate" Austrian economics with a negative Austrian.

          Sorry Eddy they are two very different subjects to conflate the two is quite obtuse.
  • May 18 2012: @Krisztian Pinter:

    Thanks for your well thought-out reply.

    However, you say that "the economy can only be boosted by creating capital" - I agree that capital is necessary to get production going, start a business, etc., but - you have yet to convince me that it is the only way to boost the economy. Sure, maybe capital is another necessary "ingredient" I missed in my above thought process, but it seems to me that it would still fit with my "limiting reagent" way of looking at things. Thus, in my line of thought, availability of capital would only start to make a difference in an economy where it is relatively scarce compared to demand and entrepreneurship. I don't think we currently live under those conditions. In a historical context, wealth is extremely concentrated at this time, and yet... the economy is stagnant.

    Your reasoning also seems to not fit with Keynesian economic theory, which, I think, is fairly well substantiated and supported by many respected, well-credentialed economists. Can you produce any sort of experimental/ real-world data to support your position? Just to clarify, are you more or less endorsing supply-side economic theory?
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      May 18 2012: as i have said, consumer and worker is the same person, it is the two sides of the same coin. desire to consume is never a limiting factor, we can happily consume as much as we have access to. production is limited by workforce, but workforce is more or less constant, it is the population. the only thing that can grow limitless is the factor between a work hour and the product of it. that is, capital.

      there is no such thing as scarce capital vs abundant capital. there is no such thing as enough capital or optimal amount of capital. simply the more the better. since the beginning of civilization, capital and thus production is multiplied by a factor of 100? 1000? more? and we see no reason why should it stop.

      keynesian economics is a failure. it is from the beginning. it is on logical level, and it is on practical level. when it comes to economic policy making or forecasting, keynesian economics has a pathetic track record of being 100% wrong. i would not parade around with such a record. and it is especially hilarious when keynesians refer to data. you should now, with scientific background, that the data they using is laughable by any real scientific standards. nobody could publish such weak data in a chemical journal.

      i'm not endorsing any such oversimplifications as supply-side economics. i follow the teachings of the only economic theory that follows a rigid logic that pleases real scientists as well: austrian economics. disclaimer: don't try to get information from wikipedia. an anti-austrian zealot took over the article, and it is now thoroughly misleading. instead, look up some introductory materials on the mises institute or the mises wiki.
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        May 19 2012: 'there is no such thing as enough capital or optimal amount of capital. simply the more the better. since the beginning of civilization' Krisztian, you cannot support this idea at all, its just silly. What do you mean by 'enough'? enough for what? To feed everybody? To people need to 'feel' they have enough? If so, you are talking about psychology. This is not something that is fixed, it can change and be manipulated. What about real terms instead?

        Now we are advocating 19th century profit-equals-progress austrian economics. For those of you who don't know, its worse than a failure, never been tried, never has occured naturally around the world, except in a few horribly brutal communities, where life is cheap and human suffering inconsequential.
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          May 19 2012: don't add new parts to my statements, and then question the result. it does not make sense. i exactly said that there is no such thing as enough capital. period. end of sentence.

          the rest does not deserve a reply.
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        May 19 2012: ok try this then Krisztian. 'exchange with mutual consent benefits both parties, otherwise would not happen. ' This is the perfect philosophical pearl upon which the great theory is balanced. Unfortunately though, in the real world, exchanges never occur in a vacuum. No exchange is ever perfectly even, one side will always have more power, even if it is slight or imperceptible. Only if exchanges are mutual and perfectly even, can they work in the mutually beneficial way you suggest. As soon as some advantage benefits one side of the exchange over the other, you have the beginnings of monopolisation and exploitation. That is why your theory can never ever work, not even on paper.
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          May 19 2012: how would that change the fact that voluntary exchange must be mutually beneficial, otherwise would not happen?
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        May 19 2012: I do not try to change this idea. Re read my comment. I say instead, there is no such thing as perfect mutual exchange because there is always a power differential in the equation. This is the problem with your economic 'theory', and it is why it cannot work. If there is a power differential in the equation, the exhange is no longer equal, the trajectory toward monopolies, exploitation and explosive economic situations is set.
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          May 19 2012: "there is no such thing as perfect mutual exchange because there is always a power differential in the equation"

          can you translate this to plain english?
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        May 20 2012: Let me put it in other words; when a power structure exists between the participants in a mutual exchange, then the exchange cannot be truly voluntary, but must include an element of coercion.

        For example, if you could choose not to pay rent, you would not pay it. You often only pay your rent because you fear the consequences if you dont pay. Therefore, you do not 'freely' pay your rent, instead you are forced to pay your rent. You and your landlord are not on an equal playing field, the landlord has more power in the transaction than you. This is a simple example, but actually there is always a power structure in any transaction, sometimes its not obvious, nevertheless, its effect is real. This imbalance can and is always capitalised on.
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          May 20 2012: so your point is that if the exchange is not voluntary, then voluntary exchange is not necessarily beneficial to both parties? what kind of logic is that? my claim was about voluntary exchange. you can't dismiss that analyzing non-voluntary exchanges. i didn't say all exchange is voluntary. i didn't say nonvoluntary exchange benefits both parties. so who do you argue with here? btw it is good that you finally understood how important the voluntary nature is. that's why i promote free markets as opposed to state. free market is based on voluntary exchanges, the state is not.

          i'm still in shock that you are having problems getting this very simple case of renting. i believe it is a non-problem for like ... everyone? you are the only one i've ever saw dwelling on the ethics of it. rent is based on voluntary exchange. you can choose to rent a flat or house and pay, or you can choose not to. the owner also can decide if he wants to rent it to you or not. if you agree, a deal is made. if not, you walk off. where is the question here? where is the moral problem?
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        May 20 2012: You are in shock? Ok. I use this simple example again and again in order to try to get you to think out of the box just a little. the things you take for granted, property rights, ownership, a contract, are only powerconstructs, social paradigms like money itself. The principles behind such power constructs lie a little further a field and when we talk about the root of these things we begin to discuss the real nature of humanity. On this level, anarcho capitalism is just an ugly blight, a social idea based on dominance and violence.

        Coming back to your main 'thesis', 'voluntary exhange'. I did show you, but you are still unable to accept it, that there IS NO SUCH THING as a purely voluntary exchange in a society based on dominance. There must always be some kind of power construct inherently within. The accumulation of capital itself is an act of dominance, one that I agree to under certain conditions. Orlando and other more peaceful, optimistic people, who call themselves anarchists, do not.
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          May 20 2012: holy cow. i just realized that you don't even try to refute what i'm saying. you just don't like it. it is okay, but please don't present it like counterargument. this is confusing.

          if your moral opposes property, it is fine. i disagree. if you think that voluntariness is absent when need is present, it is fine too, it is just a matter of definition. these questions are non-questions for me. i'm not interested in debating any of these. if you can convince anyone that property is immoral, or nothing is voluntary, go ahead, good luck with it.

          but that does not, in any way, affects the validity of the austrian economics. you probably don't get the difference between libertarianism and austrian economics. what you are saying here goes against libertarian teachings, but not austrian views. the latter is just a collection of logical statements, like the one i cited. these can't be refuted.
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        May 22 2012: Are you capable of questioning the premises upon which your 'logic' is based? Then we may have a decent conversation. Everything can be refuted. Everything.

        It's the framework that any logical idea is built upon that must be examined. I think you should be willing to do this for one reason alone. Austrian economics were conceived worlds ago in the 19th century. The view of our world, for thinking people anyway, has evolved, even revolutionised to use a more emotive word. Your intellectual feet still wear 19th century concrete shoes.
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          May 22 2012: lemme see.

          IF (premise) people voluntarily engage in exchange

          THEN (conclusion) they are both benefited.

          how could that logic be refuted? show me.

          mechanics were conceived in the 1600's. guess we should through it out too.

          and then there is that remark "for thinking people anyway". can you please elaborate what do you mean by that? i can only hope you are not implying that i'm not a thinking people, do you? because it would be very bold from you, considering that you still didn't manage to understand the simple logical structure above.
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        May 23 2012: Clunk...clunk....clunk...clunk...CLUNK!
  • May 18 2012: I'll wait for the reply till tomorrow (19.5.).At which point I'll interpret a non response, a "make the password and username for us, and tell us after".

    Then I'll proceed to make sign up to the sight for the group, and pass on the details to the rest of interested participants.

    (Have 5 days before this discussion closes).
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    May 18 2012: FYI, Chris Anderson has a post on his blog about this: http://tedchris.posterous.com/131417405
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      May 18 2012: haha, i'm glad to see that the seed of my backyard idea fell on fertile soil.
    • May 19 2012: My simple response to that is, if it so low merit that it might not convince anyone of its arguments.

      Why not post it, to enable good people like Krisztian to confirm it?

      That is no excuse in my book, I suggest TED to "swallow it up", live up to what they preach and bring it to bear for the public to condemn it, if it truly is partisan and has no merit. The people are not stupid. And it's not ted's job to serve as a censoring nanny regarding these issues.
  • May 17 2012: It is an interesting topic though: who creates the jobs? Let's look at it in the abstract.

    Of course, a functioning economy needs both consumers and entrepreneurs. In the two extreme cases, it is easy to see what will happen: 1) if there is an infinite variety of desirable products on sale, but ordinary people have $0 discretionary money, the economy will not function. 2) if ordinary people have lots of discretionary money to spend, but there are no desirable products on sale, economy will not function. The relevant question, then, is what happens in the middle?

    My training is in chemistry, and in introductory chemistry courses they teach you about limiting reagents. A reaction that follows the formula A + B --> C requires both A and B, but it is the ingredient in least abundance that determines the rate - you can have all the B in the world, but if you only have a little A, your reaction won't go very fast, and A will determine the rate of the reaction. I think we can apply similar logic to our question.

    What would an economy look like in which entrepreneurs were the "limiting reagent" of the economy? Ordinary people would have relatively high wages, and have money to spend, but have a hard time spending it all due to scarcity of products. Something like this actually happened during WWII, with rationing. It was hard to buy products because most raw materials were dedicated to the war effort, so most families accumulated money. In such an economy, the entrepreneurs drive transactions, and thus create jobs.

    What would an economy look like in which consumers were the "limiting reagent"? There would be lots and lots of desirable products on sale - more desirable products than the median income family could afford to buy, but would if they could. Here, the most efficient way to increase transactions is by giving ordinary consumers more to spend. Companies can then hire to meet that demand, and a positive cycle ensues. Here, consumers are the "job creators".
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      May 18 2012: i'm sorry to disappoint you, but you've got it wrong some places.

      the very basis of, that we have this consumer + entrepreneur = fun is incorrect. for the core essence of the economy is not consumption but production. "job" and "consumption" are the sides of the same coin. without cooperation, we would consume the fruits of our own labor, what we hunt or grow in our garden. in a modern economy, we work for each other, one man's job is the other man's consumption, and vice versa. it does not make sense that people work, but can't consume, because there is not enough stuff to consume. nor it makes sense that we have too much stuff, but not enough consumers to buy them. at any point, we have exactly the amount of stuff we have produced for each other, at the given level of technology and productivity. everyone consumes proportionally to his contribution.

      so stuff is proportional to work, and the factor between the two is given by the current stock of capital. capital is the means of production, tools, machines, vehicles, half-done materials, etc. capital comes from underconsumption or overwork. that is, more production than consumption. we work not only to cover consumption, but to create more or better tools. entrepreneurs are just shepherds of capital. they own capital, and they decide how to use it best.

      it is visible from this analysis that the economy can not be boosted neither from the "job" side nor the "consumer" side. these are the same things, and they are dependent on capital. the economy can only be boosted by creating capital.

      unfortunately, our economies today are not functional. entrepreneurs can't find ways, and capital is not increasing. the reason for it is the state, and its economy-choking regulations, ridiculously high taxes and many other interventions. in such circumstances, the best way to boost the economy is to remove these obstacles, and let people do their things.
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        May 19 2012: ...and then along came a MONOPOLY followed by EXPLOITATION....
  • May 17 2012: Also, for anyone reading this who isn't exactly sure what we're talking about, here are a few news stories about it:


    I personally doubt that censorship is what Chris had in mind when he made his decision, but that is the way it is being perceived by the wider population, and it is making TED look much more political than simply posting the talk would have. If the organizers feel that Mr. Hanaeur's thesis (that consumers create jobs) is incorrect, then they can have a speaker on next time to make the case for why entrepreneurs create the jobs - that way, TED can still claim neutrality, and the public will feel that nothing is being kept from them.
  • May 17 2012: Here's the petition website (http://www.gopetition.com/features.php?gclid=CN_JquLTh7ACFYhM4AodkEQbmw).

    I can volunteer to draft the petition for the group, in which case I would ask is there a particular way others here would like the petition to address or a way the petition is presented?

    Or we could all sign-in to the site with a password and user name agreed by everyone in the group and so we can all participate in the drafting process of the petition.

    What do you all think?
    • May 17 2012: I definitely think it should be respectful, not demanding, but earnest and sincere at the same time.
      • May 22 2012: I'm sure you've noticed that this ted conversation has just 1 more day to go.

        If you're thinking of extending this, you're welcome to use the petition, if you wish.

        You seem more adept at conducting these types of conversations.

        Or maybe you might be interested in teaming up, in some shape, in tackling this issue.
        The doors open, for whatever you choose to do next.
    • May 17 2012: The collaborative draft might be the best option. I know I really only have a few days to help as I'm heading out of town and won't have an internet connection where I'm going, but I can help for the time being.
  • May 17 2012: I recall of there being a website for making petitions, I'll dig that up, post it here for you to link on and we can get started on that.

    The challenge is to get the awereness spread out with the rest of the ted community (cause I'm sure there are still a lot of members who don't have a clue about this), I'm sure a great number will join-in once they become aware about this.

    And then, as you mentioned Brian, find an effective channel to send all of it directly to the organizations "front door", so to apply effective pressure upon them.
  • May 17 2012: Although disappointing that it will not be on the TED website, and the fact it makes me think less favorably about TED Talks in a broader sense. What other talks have they decided not to publish?

    Nick Hanauer said in an interview after it came out that the Talk would not be posted on the TED website, that he had sent a description of his talk verbatium before he gave it so it was either less controversial in writing, or someone in the audience or a sponsor felt it was too controversial or political after his talk.

    Is there any reason, Nick couldn't record the talk himself, and post it on his own website or give the same talk at a different event. It's not like Mr. Hanauer hasn't been giving interviews and talks on the same subject matter for the last year or so. So again it's disappointing it won't appear on the TED website, but as far as I know there is nothing stopping him from giving the same talk somewhere else or on his own. Is there??
    • May 17 2012: He gives basically the same presentation (although more conversational) with his coauthor, Eric Liu, on Charlie Rose.


      And I'm willing to bet it was a sponsor or an audience member (one in the same?) that suggested it shouldn't have been posted. While the speech is online and a talk was posted by PBS with Charlie Rose, I feel the video from TED would be far more engaging and get greater exposure via TED Talks.