TED Conversations

Michael McWatters

UX Architect, TED

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If you could choose any historical figure to give a TED Talk, who would it be and why?

This one is pretty open-ended. I'm curious to know who you would choose for a TED Talk, why, and maybe what you think their "idea worth spreading" might be.

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  • Apr 10 2013: ben franklin. got wealthy thanks to his printing business, realised he had more than enough income to live very comfortably and retired rather than going after more and more money. he decided to spend his time and money instead on scientific pursuits, the developments from which he deliberately chose not to patent, so that all citizens could enjoy improvement in their standard of living rather than holding it hostage for cash. capitalism but with an upper limit on wealth, pushing forward science and benefits to everybody - now that is an idea worth spreading!
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      Apr 11 2013: Great answer! I actually signed in to this conversation to say Ben Franklin, but you've made such a wonderful case that I will let yours stand, and pick a new speaker ...
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      Apr 12 2013: Ben most capitalists are similar to Franklin. Gates, Buffet, Rockefeller, etc.
      • Apr 12 2013: most? you've come up with 3, do tell me how 3 people among the richest 100,000 people leads to the conclusion that most capitalists are like franklin? and even among those 3 they've continued to work until well past becoming super rich, and have patented their work.

        not only do most of the rich not quit when they have enough and give back to the citizens to which their success depended on, they usually don't even pay the minimum amount that they are legally obliged to pay as their fair share. $100bn in taxes are avoided in america alone by the super rich who hide their funds in offshore bank accounts.

        http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/23/business/super-rich-hidden-wealth-offshore

        i encourage everyone to engage in the debate, but please do some basic fact-checking before chiming in with such codswallop; support your statements with evidence or provide sources to where this evidence can be found.
      • Apr 13 2013: please elaborate?
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          Apr 13 2013: If you get what I'm saying no explanation is necessary if you don't none is possible
      • Apr 15 2013: the only things that can't be explained are those that aren't true.
      • Apr 15 2013: and what led you to change your mind?

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