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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.


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  • 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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