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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

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    Apr 7 2013: The British Press is now covering the TED fiasco:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/ted-conference-censorship-row-8563105.html

    "Both speakers who spoke at the TEDx conference in east London last month had their speeches pulled from its YouTube channel. After complaints from Sheldrake and Hancock and many TED viewers, their videos were reinstalled, but not on the main website – ‘in the naughty corner’ as Mr Hancock described it.

    Hancock and Sheldrake have also called for the anonymous science board which advises TED on the legitimacy of speakers, to be revealed –something which TED is refusing to do, citing they are unpaid volunteers.

    At the talks, speakers are given 18 minutes to present their ideas, which range from a mixture of science and culture through to storytelling.

    But in recent months, a series of controversies dogged the not-for-profit organisation and whose acronym stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, leading many to question the integrity of the organisation which charges audiences several thousands of pounds to watch a speech, yet pays its speakers nothing. "
    • Apr 7 2013: And you've wasted no time spreading lies over there: "The reason TED pulled the TEDx talks by Sheldrake and Hancock and cancelled the West Hollywood event was due to TED's new affiliation with the militant atheist movement."
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        Apr 7 2013: So why did they act on Jerry Coyne's say-so then?
        • Apr 7 2013: There is no rational reason to think that TED acted on Jerry Coyne's "say-so" on any of those events, or that Jerry even has any "say-so" with TED. Indeed, regarding the West Hollywoo event, a number of people—including me—had communicated with TED about it before anybody mentioned it to Jerry Coyne, and Jerry didn't know that they had de-licensed the event until I told him about it.

          And, no, I don't have any affiliation with TED either.
        • Apr 7 2013: There are some straightforward reason to think TED acted on Jerry Coyne's say so, or at the least that he exerts way to much control over TED's actions. Here are two:

          1. Sheldrake's talk, Hancock's talk and TEDx WestHollywood were all going along nicely and then Coyne complains about Sheldrake's talk and it is taken down almost immediately, then Coyne complains about Hancock's talk and it is taken down almost immediately, and then Coybe complains about TEDx WestHollywood and the license is cancelled almost immediately.

          2. The criticisms of Sheldrake and Hancock's talk included some of the same false charges that appeared first on Coyne's blog. Such factual errors give the game away (like errors in plagiarized work) because it's hard to believe people would make identical silly mistakes. A far simpler explanation is that TED just parroted Coyne's complaints.

          Call this acting on Coyne's say so or no, the fact is that TED's immediate compliance with Coyne's requests and the shoddy (copied from Coyne's site) nonsense they used to justify their decisions suggests TED's association with such a fanatical anti-science blogger is far from healthy.
        • Apr 7 2013: Whether or not TED 'acted on Coyne's say-so', it appears that TED has acted much as Jerry Coyne would act - as a militant atheist or strict materialist.
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        Apr 7 2013: Until we know who is on the "anonymous science board" we will never know the full extent of Coyne's influence here. It was Coyne's blog that precipitated TEDs actions against Hancock and Sheldrake.
        • Apr 7 2013: "Until we know who is on the 'anonymous science board' we will never know the full extent of Coyne's influence here."

          So you admit to not knowing the extent of Coyne's influence, and when I said that your statement at The Independent's blog, "The reason TED pulled the TEDx talks by Sheldrake and Hancock and cancelled the West Hollywood event was due to TED's new affiliation with the militant atheist movement," was a lie, you defended it by claiming that "they act[ed] on Jerry Coyne's say-so." Now you admit that you don't know how much influence Jerry Coyne has, which is tantamount to admitting that your statement on The Independent's blog was a lie.

          "It was Coyne's blog that precipitated TEDs actions against Hancock and Sheldrake."

          Interesting choice of words, "precipitated." Just the right amount of ambiguity there. You manage to insinuate that Jerry caused TED to pull the events without actually quite saying so. Nice touch. The fact is, we don't even know that Jerry Coyne's blog was how TED became informed of the Sheldrake and Hancock talks, but even if it was, that does not imply anything other than that TED concurred with Coyne's assessment after making their own determination.

          You claim you are a scientist. What kind of scientist are you that doesn't understand Occam's Razor or the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy?
      • Comment deleted

        • Apr 7 2013: Absolutely not! I'm a member of the Skeptical Militia Agenda for Atheism. We are totally opposed to the Skeptical Militant Atheist Agenda.

          [Edit: Aww, this joke makes no sense without the comment to which it was a reply. And this was some of my best material!]
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        Apr 7 2013: I see Hoopes is deleting comments again.

        My answer was that TEDs actions speak for themselves. It's very clear who they are aligned with these days.
        • Apr 7 2013: I believe that was Aja and I understand she has to do it. Since there were so many comments deleted in a short period of time, mostly between 23;44 and 1:00, she had to clean things up. I'm now satisfied that this as far as we can go with this. I'll discuss the situation elsewhere.
        • Apr 7 2013: BTW Sandy, I know it was Aja because I got notice that the comment was being moderated. Moderation is different than deletion. Moderation means the comment is still there, deletion means they are deleted. This is at least what I can figure out.

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