TED Conversations

TED
  • TED
  • New York, NY
  • United States

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed.

Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.

For discussion: http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/01/a-note-to-the-ted-community-on-the-withdrawal-of-the-tedxwesthollywood-license

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 3 2013: Should the motto of TED be changed from "Ideas worth spreading" to "Any monologue you can deliver on camera"? Some people in this discussion seem to think so.
    • Apr 3 2013: Here's what I think. I think that if humans have psi it would be astonishing and fascinating and of great import and certainly not something to shy away from in any way. I mean, what could be more fascinating than that? Thus, if there is some scientific evidence suggesting humans may have psi, as there seems to be, and given the public is fascinated by such things and may not know about the latest evidence, then that evidence is something obviously, massively, extraordinarily, worth sharing (albeit cautiously). A sort of, 'here's where we stand scientifically on this astonishing issue' talk. I simply don't see why this should be hidden away because some people who have never studied or looked at, let alone explained, the evidence are ideologically committed to the non-existence of the phenomenon in question.
      • thumb
        Apr 3 2013: OK, Steve Stark: I don't recall if I already posted this on another TEDx thread, and I really don't want to look up if I did:

        Speaking extemporaneously from the podium of the International Remote Viewing Organization's 2007 conference, Stephan A. Schwartz said this about nonlocal consciousness:

        "... there are over 2,000 studies about nonlocal perturbation, in the form of what's called 'therapeutic intent research' - that is, consciousness of one person affecting the well-being of another. And there are a similar number of studies involving things like Ganzfeld, which is a sort of first cousin of remote viewing, remote viewing, the creativity research (and) the near-death studies research. So there's a large body of material."

        Schwartz continued: "We actually do know a few things about this. And we don't know a lot. But there are a few things about which most researchers who do this work at a very rigorous level do agree with. The first thing that I think most researchers in this area would agree with is that there is incontrovertible evidence for the acquisition of information which could not be explained by normal sensory intake. Another thing that we agree on is that… that some aspect of consciousness exists outside of time-space... The problem, of course, for those people who are critics, is that precognition ought not to exist at all, particularly precognition which extends out in time."

        Schwartz is the very same man who once debated TED Brain Trust member, Daniel Dennett, and Schwartz' question embarrassed Dennett so much he left the debate early.
        • thumb
          Apr 4 2013: "And, if they're in their right mind to begin with, why would any supposed clairvoyant or psychic even consider opening their mouth, when they'll be nailed to a cross for their trouble. If I possessed such abilities to foretell the future, my survival instinct and concern for my loved ones would compel me to keep quiet."

          I really don't think crucifixion would be in store for someone who did good things with psychic powers. The ethics expressed in the second sentence are ones I'd find reprehensible if the choice resulted in the loss of the lives of others.
      • thumb
        Apr 3 2013: Here's what I think. I think that if humans have psi, the ones who have it must be the most insensitive and cruel people on the planet. Take the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, for example. The estimates are that 230,000 people died. Where were the warnings from clairvoyants that could have saved lives? Where is the documentation that they accurately saw what was coming and made efforts to warn people? There have been countless other catastrophes where even short advance notice would have averted mass death and destruction. Why have adept clairvoyants time and time again failed to be effective at warning people how to avert countless tragedies and disasters?

        How about remote viewing? There are countless terrorists, warlords, serial killers, pedophiles, rapists, and other criminals who have been successful at committing mayhem and escaping, often hiding for many years. Osama Bin Laden is a high-profile example, but there are countless others. Pedophile priests and other surreptitious child molesters and serial rapists come to mind. If there are people skilled at remote viewing, why is finding dangerous individuals such a challenge? Why are successful remote viewers withholding this information from us? Why do they permit vicious criminals to repeat their acts over and over again? Is it arrogance? A perverted sense of humor? What???

        And then there are the corrupt governments and corporations that are the subjects of such clamor and outrage over the damage they are doing to the planet. Why won't psychics help?

        I would appreciate some serious answers to these questions from Steve or anyone else who believes in clairvoyance, remote viewing, and the like. If these things exist, it is the hard-heartedness, callousness, mercilessness, perversion, and even sadism of the psychics among us that I find to be far more disturbing than any stubbornness on the part of academic gatekeepers to consider a small amount of data that has been collected about them.
        • Apr 3 2013: It's very unscientific to demand a phenomenon be some way and then deny the possible existence of the actual phenomenon for not living up to what you have decided it must be. Thus to answer your question as best I can, it is because psi at the moment seems fleeting - enough, say, to let us guess a one in four chance at nearer one in three but not, as you demand, four in four. Hey ho, sometimes I play a good round of golf, sometimes I don't - my putting well when driving well ability being particularly fleeting.

          One additional point, it would be interesting to do a body count as regards your arguments to see how many deaths you can muster in support of your views.
        • Apr 3 2013: As far as I can understand, you're beef is with a straw man. 'Psi', from what I can tell, is shorthand for an area of research that offers significant challenges to the current theoretical paradigm on account of consistently reproduced anomalous results. I don't think the theories entertained are necessarily correct, but I do think that scientific rigor and inquiry are obligated to investigate anomalous findings, and that doing so can result in vast improvements to theoretical understanding.

          As I've said elsewhere, something like philosophical idealism can perhaps have an easier time than pure physicalism in explaining these phenomena.
        • thumb
          Apr 3 2013: John Hoopes: Check your assumptions. Why would a clairvoyant or psychic or whatever you'd care to call them be any more effective than anyone else at what they do? And, from an example I know well, who listens to pleas of help against Monsanto's corruption? Very few of us. Which Americans care about what's happening when a girl in another country is stoned to death because she was raped? Virtually none of us.

          And, if they're in their right mind to begin with, why would any supposed clairvoyant or psychic even consider opening their mouth, when they'll be nailed to a cross for their trouble. If I possessed such abilities to foretell the future, my survival instinct and concern for my loved ones would compel me to keep quiet. And you would stay quiet, too. Think about it. One of Russell Targ's favorite respondents, police commissioner Pat Price, died a very early death in mysterious circumstances.

          Now, that written, if you'd care to explore this by telephone, I'd be up for that. It could easily be arranged, it's very fast, and in real life I've got plenty of experience talking to educated, intelligent sorts, including college professors with amusing profile photos. But there's zero incentive for me to undertake the time-consuming task of responding to your valid concerns on a poorly-patrolled message board populated by hot-heads and periodic trolls. And you shouldn't expect me to convince you of anything. I won't. This is meant to be a free country, with free will. Convincing anyone of anything isn't my work. Once in a while, I do get to show people their choices. But *they* choose.
      • thumb
        Apr 4 2013: "Now, that written, if you'd care to explore this by telephone, I'd be up for that."

        Telephone? Why not telepathy? Oh, right. It doesn't work.
        • thumb
          Apr 4 2013: John Hoopes, you're quite a fearful sort. I won't be taking any more time proffering olive branches to someone who'd prefer to slap them away regardless of the circumstances. I'd now include your on-line comments in the same, specious category as those by Krisztián Pintér. Yours have been slightly more clever. If you like, you could continue to sell your comments to TED, as they're still listening. I won't be.
      • thumb
        Apr 4 2013: I'm honored that you've put me in such dintinguished company. Thanks!
        http://www.ted.com/profiles/303148
    • Apr 3 2013: Yes John, how good is TEDx at judging "ideas worth spreading?"
      • thumb
        Apr 3 2013: Mostly good, occasionally not? I don't know how you expect me to respond.
    • Apr 4 2013: Excuse me, where is the set of avatar. I am a chinese. My English is not good enough
      • thumb
        Apr 4 2013: Welcome to the discussion. There is no set of avatars. You will need to upload your own image. You manage this in your profile.
    • Apr 4 2013: John Hoopes - " Should the motto of TED be changed from "Ideas worth spreading" to "Any monologue you can deliver on camera"? Some people in this discussion seem to think so."

      No John, the motto "Ideas worth spreading" is just fine! The only problem is TED's actions reveal they are no longer capable of living up to its motto.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.