TED Conversations

  • . .
  • .
  • United Kingdom

This conversation is closed.

Cost and Engagement: Does the cost of TED live events exclude a significant and important section of society?

I am sure hat this has been discussed before and, don't get me wrong, I love the fact that I can access and download talks for free but the (quite extraordinary) cost of attending live events means that full engagement is exclusive to the seriously wealthy (personally or corporately). In particular those who are outstanding in the Public Sector, the Voluntary Sector and Small to Medium size enterprise just cannot play there!

Share:
  • . .

    • 0
    Mar 23 2013: Now that's the answer I was after!
  • Mar 23 2013: Well, I'm certainly no humble civil servant (not that I've ever heard of a "public servant" who is really humble), but I do want to say that if you side with our current economic framework, you have no place complaining about a system that works against you. Just join the ranks of the rest of us plebians and take the scraps that TED sends our way.
  • . .

    • 0
    Mar 23 2013: Thanks folks get it now. Despite your positions my question sat more on your side of the argument than the other. Yup I believe in elites, in anyone who is passionate about what they do and very good at it. No I am not in an elite. I'm good at what I do but don't necessarily excel. What worried me about those who can become involved in TED, which I was new to, was that it did specifically exclude folk by virtue of their ability to contribute financially. That would exclude a massive voice of folk I want to follow and understand. On the job title I changed it because the odd way that TED sets up accounts made the title odd in context. I analyse risk in order to try and make life safer for communities in Scotland. I develop doctrine in order to make it easier for emergency services to work together in responding to emergencies. I have spent my life working to make communities safer. I'd just like access to ideas that will make that a little better.
    • Mar 23 2013: Yea, me too.
    • Mar 23 2013: Have you noticed how much is reserved for those who an afford it, and how many are specifically excluded by virtue of their inability to afford it? That's how money works. That is how money was intentionally designed to work. That's why the greater number of children born to the "race of laborers" were expected to die from poverty related causes - to keep their numbers under control so that the system designed to protect the wealthy (by divine right) would be able to keep a clear conscience when it comes to allowing the poor to die miserable deaths because that is "natural law". (per John Locke & Adam Smith). It's a really sick system if you think about it.
  • . .

    • 0
    Mar 23 2013: May have found the answer that I was looking for. I had completely missed theTEDx events which seem to allow for the very style of event that I sought.
  • thumb
    Mar 23 2013: That's just part of TED's modus operandi. TED is a business. It has the right to determine its own agenda - and it has. Let's say that a TED event nets them 5 milliion US dollars. Are they under any obligation to net 5 thousand so that people without adequate funds can attend? No.

    TED brands itself as supporting "Ideas worth spreading", but do they? No - they have a strict policy against any TED talks that challenge what they want to stand for. (See the Sheldrake/Hancock debate now ongoing).

    Rather than getting angry at TED that is nothing more than another dishonest brand that is in it for the money that TED staff makes, get angry at the fiscal system that was intentionally designed to create a divide between the rich and the poor. Then get angry at public sector representatives who are so uninformed that they support a system that makes the divide so great that hundreds of millions are hungry while the wealthiest get tax incentives to screw us.

    Is this the first time that you have noticed that this is how life works? If so, you haven't been paying enough attention. There is a problem in the world - a disease - an abomination. Last night, on the news, I heard that 56% of all youth in Detroit live under the poverty level. 63% of children under 5 do as well. Is that right? Is it fair?

    During the depression, from which the few became wealthier at the expense of the many, crops rotted in fields because poor farmers couldn't get crops to a market that couldn't afford to buy them. But the wealthy still dined on lobster and champagne. They could afford food, shelter, fuel, clothing, and guards to protect themselves from the likes of you and me.

    It's not TED. It's the fiscal system that they are all too glad to be a part of. Don't hold TED up in your mind as an organization that stands in support of you. They don't. They support money. Period.
    • . .

      • 0
      Mar 23 2013: Hi. Actually I don't think I am angry at least not with TED who can run their affairs however they see fit. If I thought (from my pretty extensive experience of life, thank you for asking) that an instant flash of anger would solve the problems to which you allude then I would save it for action in those areas. Rather I am genuinely interested in how you might get the best of all worlds and so improve what does seem like an interesting set of engagements. Perhaps, whilst enjoying what I see and read here, I am just not taking TED seriously enough?
      • thumb
        Mar 23 2013: I don't know what you mean by not taking TED seriously enough. You haven't given me enough information.

        I didn't mean that you should have an instant flash of anger. I meant that you should have an inquiring mind so that you will see the obvious answer to not only your question, but the question of hunger and poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth - let alone the poorest. Then you will be in a position to be heard as you challenge others to look at the problem. Only then can we fix what is so broken. Or, we can allow the entire fiscal system to crash (as it looks like it will sooner rather than later because it is an unsustainable fiscal system) and scramble while under durress for information that will allow us to establish a new, saner, safer social glue. Money isn't a very good social glue.
        • . .

          • 0
          Mar 23 2013: We may well be violently agreeing here. As far as I can judge we share something of a position on what ails the world. My point on taking TED seriously was really just tongue in cheek. What I meant was they are not that important in the scheme of things but that they are an interesting place to look at ideas.

          I'm grateful for your advice but I think that I probably knew all of that already. You need to see the context in which I was engaging here which was in gentle enquiry about a forum I am new to. Again I don't really think that TED is that important any more than I'd assume that I could walk into any library (or pub) and discover the answers to all of the issues that vex me.
      • thumb
        Mar 23 2013: I do not see us violently agreeing. I see me disagreeing with someone who is the "Head of Doctrine and Risk, Scottish Government", who does not understand a fiscal paradigm that is bringing so much suffering into the world, and who seems to see himself as someone who is "outstanding in the Public Sector" and thus more important or more valuable than someone else.

        I see you wanting it both ways, and that's just not possible.

        But TED is for discussion, and this is part of it. Please don't let me scare you away.
      • thumb
        Mar 23 2013: Why did you change your title from "Head of Doctrine and Risk, Scottish Government" to "Humble Civil Servant". Are you trying to convince yourself or others that you can use a title to obfuscate what you are REALLY saying. A humble civil servant would not be Head of Doctrine and Risk. That's an impossibility in today's world. And it certainly doesn't apply to ANYONE who professes to be an elitist.

        Care to try again?
        • . .

          • 0
          Mar 23 2013: Yup posted above as I've clearly started a minor storm. Wad dipping my toe here. Seem to have answered my own question given the level of anger exposed.
  • thumb
    Mar 23 2013: Yes they do. So do/did LHC experiments at CERN and a Pavaroti concert. Somebody has to pay for the effort, arrangement, preparation and logistics that go behind the events. TED is elitist and no one should think otherwise.
    • . .

      • 0
      Mar 23 2013: Yes I do understand that although I would argue that the analogy doesn't quite hold up. The LHC experiments are not participation events (those taking part are there on merit) and a concert is often affordable in some form. I am also all for elitism in fact I think my point is exactly that an important and interesting set of elites might be being excluded by the pricing structure which, unless I've completely misread the pricing structure, are pretty extraordinary. I wonder if some system of wild card entry perhaps based on engagement here might serve to widen the character of the live events?
      • thumb
        Mar 23 2013: So you are an "elite" and you support "elitism". But you think that those who are more "elite" than you should make room for you and allow you to be part of them? Doesn't sound like you are much of an elitist - more of a wannabe elitist - at the expense of all the peons who are below you. Did I get that right?

        Given what you have been saying, you are certainly NOT a "humble" civil servant. In fact, I question the use of the word "servant". Sounds more like master to me.
        • thumb
          Mar 23 2013: Isn't it amazing how some people see themselves so differently from how they are seen because of how they advertise themselves to be? They don't even see how obvious their ruses are. Mr. Coull has changed his title from ""Head of Doctrine and Risk, Scottish Government" to "Humble Civil Servant", as if a Civil Servant is more worthy than anyone else simply because he takes his money and benefits from the public trough.

          I guess you might have to be a Scott to understand the nuances of a culture that places public "servants" in a higher status than those who are not "servants", then they use their elevated and self-proclaimed "servant" status to tell us that we are not as important or valuable as them. I wonder if this is a "male" thing or a "Scot" thing.
      • thumb
        Mar 23 2013: @Gail: Probably a bit of both, but it's certainly not unique to the UK. Look at how those American idiots use the same memes. It works too - more often than not. I wonder if "they" will ever get it that "we" are not ALL stupid, nor are we all manipulated through use of guilt or fear as a weapon.

        Certainly they MUST know that they use words like "humble servant" in order to manipulate us, which makes them something other than a servant or even humble. But they won't admit it, and that's how life works TODAY. But another day is coming - sooner rather than later. Have you noticed the change happening on a global scale? Quietly, steadily, and still unseen by those who do not know how to see
        • Mar 23 2013: I have and it brings me great joy.