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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!

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    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.
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      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?
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        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.
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          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.
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        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.

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