TED Conversations

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A new policy of censorship on TEDx, what happened to open conversations?

Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock's talks were both censored after radical atheist Jerry Coyne started a campaign to have these talks removed. Does TED really believe the public needs to be protected from new ideas? Are we not smart enough to make up our own minds?

BTW, TED's claim that the talks remain (in a secret and difficult to access corner of the web) online, so that doesn't "count" as censorship is completely disengenious. Why not have open debates bewteen Sheldrake and Coyne? Shouldn't the discussion be opened up rather than closed down?


Closing Statement from sandy stone

I think the strongest points have been made by the many, many internet bloggers who have spoken out against TED on the issue of censorship. I wish TED would have allowed me to continue posting the links, but they are shutting down this conversation early. Thankfully, the conversation continues elsewhere.

I have to say it surprising how little the TED faithful have to say in defense of TED. Even I don't think TED is all bad. I've enjoyed many of the videos posted over the years. I would suggest that anyone who likes a particular video should download it in case it does get censored at some point.

I'll give the final word to the many bloggers out there who refuse to be silenced:


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    Mar 16 2013: Krisztian, freedom of speech isn't saying what you are told to say. It's saying what you believe in. Perhaps you don't enjoy that kind of freedom where you live.

    TED has every right to promote whatever ideology it wants to, but I'm just asking it to be honest. Perhaps a new slogan is in order?

    TED: not the next new idea, but the next new religion

    It TED sees itself as the place where scientific orthodoxy is worshiped...well that isn't about new ideas at all, is it?
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        Mar 16 2013: I don't have a religion and was never raised to follow any form of leadership without thinking critically for myself. I'd consider myself agnostic about the idea of god.

        That isn't true for Jerry Coyne and his followers. He follows the doctrine of the atheist movement. It's his right to do so, but let's not pretend that isn't a fundamentalist dogma. It is known for extremely vocal followers who in many cases abuse websites like Wikipedia to insert false and misleading information to "spread the word" of that religion. Apparently they are now taking over TED.

        TED can follow that dogma if it wants to. I would just like it to do so openly. TED shouldn't be so ashamed of it's own POV that it needs to hide anything, should it?

        Following such a strict dogma makes it hard to be open to new ideas though. I think a change in TEDs slogan is overdue.
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        Mar 16 2013: What are your beliefs, Theodore? Are you a member of JREF or CSI? What political party did you last vote for? Were you ever baptized? Circumcised? Are you homosexual? Transgender?

        Seriously... what do any of these have to do with censorship?
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        Mar 16 2013: Censorship is a big, emotional issue. Wars have been fought and lives have been sacrificed over this issue. Freedom of Speech isn't something most people want to give up.

        Just like most people want the right to decide for themselves what is worth reading, watching and listening to. It used to be that books got burned to preserve the status quo. Now videos get deleted. It's quicker, cleaner, faster and much easier to get away with. But no less sad.
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        Mar 16 2013: As a non-profit organization, TED should be willing to have some transparency in regards to who makes the decisions as to what content is appropriate. If it were to come to light that Jerry Coyne not only submitted the complaint about Sheldrake and Hancock, but also acted and judge and jury to convict them of being unsuitable for public viewing... well most people would find that a little disturbing.

        Are you sure it is TED's website anymore? Maybe it now belongs to Jerry Coyne, PZ Meyers and the followers of JREF and CSI. I'm just curious as to who does make these decisions.

        Scientology considers itself a church. Many people would call it a cult. You have your opinion about TED, I have mine.
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        Mar 16 2013: It's hard to know what the facts are when TED isn't being particularly forthcoming.
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      Mar 16 2013: saying what you are told to say IS part of freedom of speech. if i can not speak as i was told, it is a limitation of my rights. if ted chooses to follow anyone's advice, it is fine.

      however, according to your own rules, you had to fix the opening statement by now, i demanded a few changes and they did not happen. what kind of double standard is this? you can tell ted what to do, but i can't tell you what to do? what's going on here? change the text right now!
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        Mar 16 2013: Seriously, maybe English isn't your first language, but do you have any idea how silly you sound?

        Calm down, maybe get someone to translate for you, and try again.
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        Mar 16 2013: No need for abusive comments, Kris. Why not calm down, take a break from the internet, and go hug a puppy.
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        Mar 16 2013: Well, you seem to doing your best to keep the conversation going. So I must be doing something right.
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        Mar 16 2013: Is it just a game of last, then? If saying last is that important to you, go head and say it. At least people will understand where you are really coming from and be sympathetic in regards to your ADHD.
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        Mar 16 2013: So it is a game of last?
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        Mar 16 2013: Your the one playing games and being abusive. I guess that can work on the internet, but how well does it go over in real life?
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          Aja B. 20+

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          Mar 16 2013: Hey folks, we're happy to host this conversation, but please keep it on-topic and constructive. Personal insults stifle debate, and violate our community rules.


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