TED Conversations

Dave Lim

TEDx Ambassador, TEDxSingapore


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Should TED allow demonstrations of military equipment and uniform on the TED stage?

This may be the first time explicit military equipment has been demonstrated on a TED stage.

What are your reactions and feelings about this?

One TED Community member wrote: "I hope this is the last time I see a military uniform on the TED stage for the purpose of hawking military weaponry... And let's be clear, any tool manufactured for the express purpose of increasing the effectiveness of military personnel is military hardware. "

Some questions:

Will this video TED Talk be used for marketing purposes for military equipment?

Would TED consider re-posting this TED Talk after editing out the first military equipment demonstration?

Where do you feel that the line be drawn?

Invite you to raise and share your feelings, thoughts and questions with the global TED community...

Topics: Stage TED military

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  • Mar 30 2011: Whether or not you like the fact that we have a military, we do. And we have everyday men and women serving in that military. When overseas, they go through more hardships and grueling physical conditions then a lot of people stateside can even imagine. So why anyone would object to a technology that makes their lives easier and helps prevent back injuries being displayed on TED is a mystery to me. Granted, this technology can be used to increase the effectiveness of military personnel, but it was designed because they are already being asked to cary extremely heavy equipment and many of them are sustaining back injuries. An idea that makes people's lives easier (and let's all remember, soldiers are PEOPLE whether you agree with their chosen profession or not) and prevents injury is absolutely an idea worth spreading. And shame on you for making a debate about the role of the military.
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      Mar 30 2011: I cannot agree with you when you try to cast shame on someone for opening a debate. The military should not be allowed to operate in any venue without scrutiny. It is that same military that is expecting their own people to do things that destroy them body and soul. I read that last year more American soldiers took their own lives than died in battle. This talk was another example of their disregard for the men and women under their command when they have until now expected them to carry burdens that crush their spines. No one is condemning soldiers - although many of us are not thrilled with the idea of enabling more killing- but we do reserve the right to discuss the issues.
    • Mar 31 2011: "Why anyone would object to a technology that makes [soldiers'] lives easier and helps prevent back injuries being displayed on TED is a mystery to me."

      I might be able to clear this up for you. Here's why we object. Soldiers are hired killers. They slaughter other human beings and get paid for it. If the equipment hurts their backs, they should quit. This "exoskeleton" thing will let them keep going, keep killing, keep turning dead bodies into cash. But we don't want them to keep going. We want them to stop. Is that clearer?
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      Mar 31 2011: Objecting to making people into better killers and promoting it on TED, definitely!

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