TED Conversations

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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.


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  • Dec 18 2012: Thank you. Having read the link I understand the basis, though I will have to do further research to determine on my own (which may be impossible given that I can't view the content upon which the refutations are based).

    I do question the legitimacy of the "scientific community" on these topics. They seem unwilling to address anomalies, and unwilling to question the epidemiological errors so pervasive in their fields. Having heard many a professor explain why Sumeria was absolutely positively the earliest civilization, and watching the unearthing of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, the question of whose science is "pseudo-science" is very much valid.

    Further there are numerous climate change talks which are, at best, unsubstantiated if not entirely insane ("lets release a giant ash cloud to block out the sun and save the planet!" - that is a real talk still online).

    Ted is entitled to its standards but it is in poor taste. This is the second time I have seen a gatekeeper mentality on the science end, where seemingly anything goes in a few "acceptable" categories of speculation. I think we are a fairly intelligent audience and can be entrusted to the task of discernment. I would like to see this video returned to the public, with whatever disclaimers deemed appropriate. Dis-inviting speakers is rude, TED offers entertainment, design, poetry and music, and tons of speculation on many subjects. Whether Vieira's claims are flawed, the textbook history is too. Let's not be setting precedence of the status quo as gospel in this field, or we will never get the truth.

    That said, I'm sure he probably has his speech memorized and I will look for the ted-free version elsewhere. Thanks again...
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      Dec 19 2012: TED is not obligated to publish/broadcast everything submitted. In this case they did and then discovered "a significant number of inaccurate statements and outdated interpretations of ancient history and archeology. . . ". Do you believe TED is obligated to continue to publish in this case?
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      Dec 21 2012: I hear you. Here's where I'm coming from, and we're not that far apart:

      Science is about adding to the world's stock of knowledge, by patient data gathering and analysis that holds up to review and replication. Sometimes, adding to the world's knowledge means rewriting what we thought we knew. And sometimes … that's really annoying! We want science to tell us hard-and-fast truths that don't change. So when "they" tell us that, for instance, coffee is bad for us and red wine is good, and then a year later it comes out that coffee is good for us and red wine bad … it's baffling, and it's tempting to retreat to simpler explanations.

      One of our hopes at TED is to help make the scientific process more understandable and open. New developments are happening all the time, but school textbooks are only revised (if you're lucky) every 10-15 years … meanwhile, the daily headlines are filled with miracle cures and sensationalism around new discoveries. It's hard to know what is true. But behind the hype is an amazing ongoing story of people working day in day out to understand the world better by gathering facts, sharing them with a community that helps test them, and then telling their stories.

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