TED Conversations

Mike Colera


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Why is there so much vitriol expressed by TED contributors in conversations on contentious subjects?

I have been a contributor to many conversations. I am opinionated,and I freely express those opinions. I even try to add some facts to support my opinions. Or, at least some logical rational.
Why are so many comments laced with words and phrases like "Stupid, Idiot, unschooled, bible thumping redneck, and many I won't repeat here. Some rise to the level of threat to do bodily harm and death wishes. I know there are subjects that raise passion. I know that in a rage, words are typed. OK! However, there is a delete key and an opportunity to read your words before you hit submit. Been there, done that.
Still, these words and phrases continue to show up. I don't know why.
It's rude, uncivilized and worse, name calling has never strengthen an argument.
Can anyone explain why this happens and why it should be accepted?

PS. I know there is a process where we can ask the TED system to review and delete improper comments, I haven't done that because no one else seems disturbed. Am I wrong to question such comments?


Closing Statement from Mike Colera

I came to a conclusion yesterday as I thought about all that had transpired in this conversation. I expressed my appreciation to all the participants. As I give it more thought, many comments were similar to my conclusions that vile name calling was an uncalled for comment. A few suggested that when ... you play with fiery topics, you get burned. I understand great passion and excitement but I was not comfortable with those comments.
Thanks to all participants again.

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    Jun 8 2013: I know nowhere on TED where 'cruelty' and 'bitterness' are promoted. TED seems to be the antithesis of these. TED's 'cutting edge' subject matter would, in my opinion, preclude those who resort to such tactics from participating, but, probably because of its open-forum structure, this is not the case. I read in a comment below that we should develop 'thick skin'. I would have to agree. If in such a forum as this some resort to such tactics, a click of the mouse will cure it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's up to the reader to decide how valuable that opinion is, and whether or not it warrants a response - either in kind or something better.
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      Jun 10 2013: I think we should develop a softer attitude. I can see someone shouting out the word "stupid", before realizing what they said, but to write it, is a different matter.

      When you become vitriol in your writing you are revealing a distinct problem with your emotional behavior that probable is noted by those who are closest to you. You are taken with emotion to the degree you can't control it yourself.
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        Jun 10 2013: Totally agree. Well said. The manner in which you reveal yourself often says more than the actual opinion - if there is even one expressed. There is a distinct difference between a 'passionate' response and vitriolic one, would you not agree? And although this is an open forum, with the 'elevated' subject matter presented here I would think that it would bring out the best, the most thought provoking, responses rather than the adolescent angst often offered. Thnx.
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          Jun 10 2013: Yes, I agree. I can different between passion and Vitriolity. Most Vitriol is canned spite. It's always the same old Obama stuff, redneck stuff, or your stupid because.... Same old stuff different day.

          I've been called a Sheeple, hawk, Cool-Aid drinker, etc for so long, it just rolls off my back.

          I just deleted my Google Account. Forever. I don't have a cell phone of I'd get ride of that.
          I'm done with playing the game.

          I'm Done.
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