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How accessible is TED?

Though I've enjoyed and been inspired by many TED talks, there's a nagging feeling that some presentations have been misleading. The disinclination of speakers to engage with their audience and sponsorship of TEDx events raises my concern that we may be denied the full picture.

Is TEDx accessible to those who may not have the funds to participate or defend their own work?.

  • Oct 25 2012: Any responsible educational device is a plus. Where else can we receive actual university level sharing of thought except books(self-study), NPR, PBS, certain elite media (e.g. The Economist), etc. I have seen a goodly number of Profs who had severe limits. Ted is not perfect - it is a great resource. Usually we learn a great deal about very little or a little about many things. Ted is like an honors program in college. Now go and grow.
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    Oct 24 2012: I think the TEDx events vary in cost to participants. I went to one that was free. I bet the ones at universities don't cost very much.

    I just looked at the description of one that is this Friday in Washington DC with 44 speakers. The event is sold out but the Livestream looks like it is free. The website says no one is making money off the event.

    Anyone who rents out a facility for an event- whether a movie, a play, or a TEDx, will need to cover the costs associated with that rental. Usually those costs are covered via a ticket charge. But we can all see the videos online and participate in online conversations for free.

    I don't think the speakers pay to speak, so we don't miss out on hearing people on TED because they don't have funds.

    In terms of whether some presentations are misleading, I think we have to remember that the speakers are sharing their ideas and views. These are smart people but not infallible, not the Oracles at Delphi.

    I don't always agree with their arguments, but I am open to considering their points of view and their interpretations of what they have experienced and observed.

    The value to the audience is to hear views worth thinking about. You shouldn't expect to agree with everything.
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    Oct 25 2012: It is possible that some speakers have not been very effective in the presentation of their ideas; and thus their presentation may seem misleading.
    However there is a way that TEDx events are structured, which may not give room for audience participation. It is not that the speakers are disinclined to engage with their audience.
  • Oct 25 2012: Apologies for mis-typing your name Elizabeth.

    I read your in your profile about wanting to create a healing centre. This was very much our own aim in the context of children abused and neglected in institutionsl care and activism led to a government pledge for 400+ rehab centres.

    It cost my colleague his life when those determined to turn a wilful blind eye, determined to shut us out. .
  • Oct 25 2012: Thanks Elexabeth, the issues you bring up are very close to my own efforts. 8 years ago, we were running into brick walls trying to warn of the crisis that nobody saw coming and the potential for uprisings. It was very much "not invented here"
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    Oct 25 2012: Making interesting observations here in London. Younger generation linguistics changing very rapidly. All bling and stylee. Only in mid 40s and almost unintelligble to me. Text speak even worse. Just about mastered emoticons and all change there too. Some people finding telephone systems malfunctioning. Used to have undersea cables to carry telephone signals but these not maintained in favour of satellite technology. If satellites now too expensive to launch then ultimately 'full up' with traffic. So many people using mobile phones for conversations and now ordering shopping online. Now winter here and people locked up indoors with technology for company. Two quite angry generations now and massive social changes in the air. Potential blackouts from 2015 due to lack of energy generating capacity. Someone asked me today general public seem so apathetic, what is going on ? 4000 applications for 350 jobs at local superstore. Talk about 'dark' stores purely for on-line shoppers. What about the rest of us? This week looking for Foodbank to feed self and son. Someone asking me where my money is going. Filtering system on local library computers means I cannot respond to TED conversations, gets blocked. TED is needed. So worried not able to access TED. Always disliked character limit for making me condense complex ideas into limited space. Too much potential for misunderstanding. As a global child and lacking political finesse can only say 'feels like earthquake weather'. Universal credit benefit system from next April. No voice after that ?
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    Oct 25 2012: Jeff, I think that TED is great. I do not expect the speakers to satisfy my evey question on the subject in their limited time allocated. This is equivelant to filling a five pound bag of information with 25 pounds of info. Ain't gonna happin. For those of us that thirst for knowledge we continue to seek out more and more about the subject. Then someone will open a conversation about the talk. When that happens we discuss and banter points.

    As an example: The conversation on QE3 came on line .... I had to look it up ... no clue .... I did a lot of research .. posed questions ... read arguments ... sought clairifcatiion ... I am still learning about it ... love it.

    Conversation: Abraham Lincoln ... whole new line of documented materials on the President. ... this posed the problem of prior thoughts on a icon VS new input ... this was a challenge to open my mind ... however I read, I listened, and I learned

    I do not agree with every one of the speakers ... some to liberal ... some with a agenda I find distasteful ... however to dismiss them without giving them the benefit of a willing ear and a open mind -- then why join TED at all.

    Want to defend your own work .. start a conversation and we will challenge you to convince us.

    I have made TED friends some are very passionate, some very informed , some are just plain ole argumentive. But the truth is that I value each of them and they all bring something to the table.

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    • Oct 25 2012: Bob, to be clear I'm not expecting a comprehensive picture on any gven issue. It's about being able to engage in the way you describe, here.

      Outside of TED, I can illustrate the severe consequences of being excluded on other forms of media
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        Oct 25 2012: Due to time constraints each speaker is alloted a specific amount of time to present. The interaction with the speakers occurs during breaks and recesses. They have been quite generous in answering questions from the uninitiated in their areas of expertise.

        So regarding your reply I am glad that we have a consensous that TED ain't all that bad .... for engagement start a conversation / participate in one .... you are only going to get clips of the movie not the whole show through speakers .... some of the other sites suck .....

        Jeff I look forward to conversing with you in the future. Is the GI US armed forces?

        All the best. Bob.
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    Oct 25 2012: I truly hope you do not expect to get a 'full picture' of any single source only! In case you do, you may reconsider.
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    Oct 25 2012: Ain't nothin' free. Rent for the venue; clean-up; lighting; audio-visuals; etc. somehow all the non-volunteer costs get paid. Also, Q&A cannot be part of every talk, and that's not always a bad thing. Finally, it is not TED's charter to always give the "full picture". Sometimes an emerging idea worth sharing is not yet mature, not yet fleshed-out, but it darn sure is thought-provoking, seminal even!
  • Oct 25 2012: Hi Theodore, There was a similar event locally last week. I didn't get to go but I did try to contact the organisers since there was close connection with our own work. I try to engage but they simply block or disregard me:
  • Oct 25 2012: Hi George,

    An interesting point. We offer our own work online to make it accessbile to all at no cost. This includes our presentations and study guide for university students in Ukraine.

    PBS proved to be a useful resource for our presentations on an alternative to capitalism.

    Oxford and TED seem to be in denial I see this as a device for IP hijack
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    Oct 25 2012: I attended the TEDxUVM event on Oct, 19. What a great event and truly in the spirit of TED. One of my favorite parts of the event was that we got to mingle and talk to the speakers during the break.
    Besides the talks on this site I always check YouTube for new TEDxTalks that get posted.