TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Why does Ted censor its talks?

I would like to see the Tedx Talk given by Jim Vieira at the Mass. Tedx regarding ancient stone architecture in North America.

The talk was obviously online for some length of time, with multiple links via Google that all go to a removed Youtube page.

This is bizarre, especially considering his position that much of this information has been suppressed by academics because it refutes the standard models.

With the recent discovery of Gobekli Tepe and other very ancient sites, which were not permitted to exist when I was learning ancient history as it was written that Sumer was the oldest civilization.

Why is Ted censoring this information after allowing it initially? I can gather from the content that it would be controversial but I think we have a right to see it and judge for ourselves. You have no problem running wild 100-year pseudo-scientific prophecies on climate change, and random philosophical ramblings of poets, what's the story here?

Please return the video and let us decide if we find it of value or not.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Dec 19 2012: Thanks for writing. The talk was pulled because it contains a significant number of inaccurate statements and outdated interpretations of ancient history and archeology -- a field that is, ironically, constantly changing as new research happens.
    When a new archeological site is discovered, the problem isn't that it was "not permitted to exist" when you were learning ancient history. It's that archeologists didn't know much about it then -- Gobekli Tepe, for instance, has only been under excavation since 1994. Archeology moves forward all the time, in amazing ways! New sites are found, new interpretations are happening, new technologies revolutionize the field ... for example, did you know that until the 1990s and early 2000s, we had an incomplete understanding of Mayan script -- and all we knew was their number system? Since the recent deciphering of almost the full Mayan script, the astronomical preoccupation attributed to Mayan writings has been largely discredited. Most of the numbers found in the Mayan script are now believed to be dates of births, coronations and wars.
    We have great TED Talks about people using satellite imaging to discover ancient sites, to 3D-scan ancient monuments and learn more about their structure, even to learn about ancient humans by studying the plaque on their teeth! So much is happening -- this is really a golden age of learning about humanity's history.
    If you're curious, reach out to your local university and see if there's a course in modern archeology, or an e-course from iTunes U. There's so much really cool stuff being discovered with new techniques (like satellite scans) as well as good old patient fieldwork.
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        Dec 30 2012: Hi Harley,

        Thanks for your comment, and I'm glad you're looking at TEDWeekends. Amber's work is based on data and observation. You'll notice that within the same weekly feature, there's an essay from a scientist who disagrees with her. The feature is a place for all kinds of fact-supported views to meet, clash and build on one another in an interesting discourse. Disagreement is the key ingredient in making better ideas!

        TED has hosted debates before -- check out this pro-/con-nuclear energy debate:

        http://www.ted.com/talks/debate_does_the_world_need_nuclear_energy.html

        ... and this blog post rounding up a few other speakers who don't agree, including an interesting debate about humanity's future:

        http://blog.ted.com/2012/08/06/ted-speakers-who-disagree-with-each-other/

        Curious what you think of these debates, and how they might be more effective.

        We do our best to show several sides of important issues, so I don't believe that TED promotes transhumanism above all other ideas. I work here, and I'm just as human as ever, sadly. No robot third arm for me, much as I would appreciate one to reach things on high shelves.

        If you want to watch a talk that's an antidote to transhumanism utopianism (I use the word advisedly, because personally I don't think we're merging with robots anytime soon), here's a talk on beautiful human values -- the kind you don't get from a machine:

        http://www.ted.com/talks/giles_duley_when_a_reporter_becomes_the_story.html

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.