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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    Apr 2 2011: If the hadware had been demonstrated by, say, a mountain search and rescue worker, then I guess it would have been OK? It would have still been the same hadware, funded by the same organisation, just presented in a more sanitised way.

    If it had been a gun or explosive device, a lethal weapon, then it would clearly be a weapons demo. How about if it was body armour, worn by a police officer? A supercomputer that can model hypersonic airflows on future passenger aircraft, or future military aircraft? Nuclear weapons design and testing is mostly done on computers these days, instead of with live explosions. Is this a good thing? Should we talk about the technology or not?

    Almost everything has a military application. We can show just the non-military uses, but would we be hiding from the truth if we did? Is it better to pretend there are no military applications, or by putting this stuff on stage without any pretense, are we saying that it's OK to kill people and blow things up?

    Tough call. Thanks to Dave for asking the question. I must admit I'm not really sure what my opinion is at this moment.
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      Apr 5 2011: i would have totally agreed you but since i gave a visit to the Berkeley Bionic's web site , finding out they have licencing agreenment with "Lockheed Martin" to "advance the technology" ... its pretty obvious this high-tech's gonna serve military...

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