TED Conversations

Vlad Emil Petrea

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TED should one day, in some way, be involved in politics.

It has been said time and time again that politicians are the worst kind of people we could choose to run our countries, partially because they have a direct interest in becoming politicians.
The people speaking at TED however are mainly pioneers and/or leaders in their respective field. They are uninterested in being voted for, yet have so many valuable things to say from a philosophical and economical point of view. Therefore my question to you is...
How could the people speaking at TED have a more direct influence on a country's government in the future? What if ideas presented at TED could be voted upon, and then integrated in a legal framework (wherever applicable)?

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  • Jun 25 2013: No. No No No. No. No . No No No No No.No. No No No. No. No . No No No No No.

    What? Why?
    TED is an organisation. It is run by those vague smiley people who we sometimes see at the end of talks. I think. Is it?
    There is too much uncertainty regarding what TED is. All we know for sure is that someone chooses very intelligent people to give talks to very rich people, and then shares those talks with very grateful people on the Web.
    Which of the people in the previous sentence are "TED" ? The core idea behind TED is truth, and while politics can be a very clear and direct business, it is currently sterile from outside "dirty" influences and I honestly believe it should stay that way. All political parties are bias- that is the point of having a point of view. The truth, however, is not bias. That is why TED and politics should not mix.
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      Jun 26 2013: What Leo said

      TED is comprised of some glib people who have no idea how to...
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    . . 100+

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    Jun 24 2013: Dear Vlad Emil,
    When TED remains true to TED, and continues on growing, being and doing as TED.... some day....and in all ways....TED will cure Humanity of its diseases.
    • R S

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      Jun 25 2013: Should we begin tithing now to the cult of TED?
      Get in on the ground floor, as it were?
      Funny. Humanity's been improving since before there was a TED. So, TED won't be shouldering this messianic responsibility on its own.
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      Jun 25 2013: Juliette,

      I once thought as you do, however I'm not so sure anymore. Nowadays I mostly think of TED as a hub (a Youtube if you will) for great ideas, not a very good place to execute them.

      TED does not provide the structure for this kind of changes (or has at least shown no signs in the past) or if they do it's at a pace that won't help us much in the long run.

      TED - Ideas worth spreading, has shown no real agenda of curing the world. It's simply a place where great ideas come and meet, then they go somewhere else to snuggle and build a family.

      And on one hand we have the predominant lefties (the community) vs the righties (the funders) who are probably pulling TED in all directions at the same time...

      Well, I think my hopes for TED were once way too high when it came to actually doing the ideas of facilitating the platforms for doing it.
  • R S

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    Jun 25 2013: Uhh... they could run for government?
    They could start their own political parties or social movements?

    They could...become politicians? Oh. Wait. That was supposed to be bad, right?
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      Jun 25 2013: That's what I did... I'm still a good guy (I think).
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        Jun 25 2013: According to the OP, politicians are the worst kinds of people.
        So, if by "that's what I did" you mean you've gone political, then, according to the OP, you're the worst kind of person.

        Sorry, but your reply's too vague. Also:
        You're a human being. That doesn't make you neither good, nor evil. You just are. You do some stuff that can be considered good, and some that can be considered bad, and a lot of that's quite neutral.
        I'm not saying you're bad or evil, however, it's gonna take more than your confirmation biases wrapped up in 7 words for your statement about your own moral self worth to be validated.
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          Jun 25 2013: My statement can never be validated as it is subjective. I don't like labeling in Good - Bad either but I thought that we were speaking generally since you wrote "Oh. Wait. That was supposed to be bad, right?"

          And my vague comment seems to have been enough for you to understand it, or guess in the right direction.

          My comment wasn't meant to "prove" that I'm a good guy. I made it to show that there are TEDsters who've gone from seeing all the great ideas that are out there and wanting to implement them so much that they're actually prepared to become the thing they (and so many others) hate, just to be able to change so things for the better.

          All I meant to say was "I'm doing it, so can you (please come and help)"
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        Jun 25 2013: Jimmy:
        So, you don't like the labels, but still use them, huh?

        And, if you wanna say: "Please come and help," then the best way to say that would be "Please come and help."

        I know politicians use doublespeak, but, really, you don't have to in this case.
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          Jun 25 2013: Well yeah. So do you... We're not infallible but we can be aware and try to adjust our behaviour as much as we can.

          You are the one who seems to forget that I'm human and that I choose to try to affect my environment by not only writing to every official about just about anything and then not getting any replies.
          Do you walk up to someone you wish to have sex with and say "I wish to have sex with you!" or do you start with something different? That's what I did here.

          I've tried the "please, PLEASE COME HELP!!!" to all my friends that share my viewpoint for the past 1.5 years and it hasn't worked at all.
          However when you say " Okay I'm off to try to save the *****" people react and want to know more and help.

          But hey, if you're interested in helping the people reclaim power over our politics you're welcome to join the Conversation on E2D politics, I've left a link in another comment a bit above (leaving it again seems to self-promotional).
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        Jun 25 2013: Jimmy, are you saying politicians fuck people over?
        And, on that note, this convo's done.

        Whatever works for you.
        You're sitting down in front of a computer screen where you can take the time to think out your replies. If you acknowledge you're fallible, then, you should try to correct for that.
        'cause, otherwise, the message is too jumbled, and that doesn't inspire trust. It merely sounds like every other politician out there, which doesn't make for good advertising.

        Again, have a good one!
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          Jun 25 2013: I'm going to reply to your question.

          I did not say that but it's mostly true, everybody knows this. Few understand the real reasons.

          Okay, take it easy.
  • Jul 24 2013: No -- I do not think they should.

    Read the ted blog about the Zimmerman trial.
  • Jul 23 2013: But i don't know what TEDs policies are. Left wing? Right wing? Republican? Democrat?
    Who is TED anyway?
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    Jul 3 2013: Re: "How could the people speaking at TED have a more direct influence on a country's government in the future?"

    TED speakers influence voter's opinion by spreading ideas. That seems good enough.
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    Jul 3 2013: Re: "What if ideas presented at TED could be voted upon, and then integrated in a legal framework (wherever applicable)?"

    Then TED will attract people who are interested in their agenda being voted for and we will be back to square 1.
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    Jun 29 2013: I would just like to put everyone at ease by emphasizing that I'm not suggesting that TED, or any of the speakers, should be politically active or have any political interests. All I'm suggesting is that we, the people who benefit from TED, should be able to apply (perhaps through vote or some other, more enlightened system - hence the someday, somehow) the great ideas that TED helps disseminate.
    In other words, when Ken Robinson speaks about education reform, we listen, then vote on a concrete solution (e.g. the arts should have as much weight in the curriculum as the sciences) and the government should enact the vote's outcome. A form of direct, yet democratic rule by the people based on ideas and solutions coming from specialists who have no political interest. That's what the government should do, just manage and apply the will of the people, not decide for them (which is kind of what's happening now I think).
    Please excuse my potentially naive way of looking at the political system. I do not have a lot of political experience, but I do notice that something is amiss and would need to change.
  • Jun 29 2013: Vlad, I think TED already is involved in politics.

    Recent disclosures that bother me just a bit.

    President Obama is a politician, and runs the US Military as it's Commander in Chief.
    We all know he personally oversees his Delta Forces and their mission.
    Because as Free People, we watch TV and Websites online. as he does the deed.
    Popcorn, peanuts, cappuccino... Ahhh, revenge.

    So, why Today - is President Obama, a Politician, taking steps to restrict our
    US Military "personnel's access" to certain Websites and content?

    Consider carefully that these are Free people, voluntarily serving in the
    US Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, etc.

    Know this --

    Today - The US Army admitted to blocking access to parts of Media Websites for thousands
    of defense personnel. Using Technologies designed to allow filtering out reports and content
    relating to government surveillance programs, and to preserve "network hygiene" and prevent
    any classified material appearing on unclassified parts of its computer systems.

    Today - "The US Army is filtering all access to free-press coverage and online content".
    about NSA leaks. This was done before by the US army after newspapers published
    leaked State Department cables.

    The US Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command (Netcom) in Arizona confirmed
    that this was a widespread policy, likely to be affecting hundreds of defense facilities.

    Today - The Monterey Herald a Free-Speech civilian newspaper, reported that staff
    at the Presidio US Military Base south of San Francisco had complained of not being able
    to access the Foreign Media Websites, The same staff said they had only partial access
    to US Websites. This was following newspaper publications of leaks from whistleblower
    Edward Snowden.

    How can Restrictions of Freedom of Information be put into place overnight?
    Why are US Government Secrets more important than Transparency?

    Isn't it time to clean house?
    • Jul 1 2013: I am no apologist for the armed services or for the administration, but this could be an example of unintended consequences within a bureaucracy. I suspect that there are rules, regulations and standing orders that cover the situation when an unauthorized member of the armed forces comes into contact with classified information. It probably calls for forms to be filled out, possibly for depositions to be taken, and perhaps a full investigation of each incident. Each time a member accessed a web site with the disclosed information would be a separate incident. So rather than have a hundred thousand such incidents, each requiring pounds of paperwork and many hours or work, someone made the decision to break the Constitution. At the time, It probably seemed like the practical thing to do.
      • Jul 1 2013: Barry, thank you for your thoughtful input.

        I would hope your phrase "to break the Constitution"
        was your own idea. I would hate the think that it could
        become a policy of the Military, or our Government.

        Making secrets is like making mud-pies. You get dirty.
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      Jul 22 2013: Captain Paul Revere, in assembling the first US Navy, remarked that it was ironic but necessary for the military forces that guard a democracy to themselves eschew democracy. And that's how it is. Members of the military leave many of their "democratic" rights behind when they sign up.
      • Jul 22 2013: Paul Lillebo thank you.

        Yup, and the same thing happened when I joined the Air Force.
        Great History lesson, that's impact has been lost on most of us.
        Except for Whistle-Blowers, those men of integrity, who must suffer
        with their body's broken and their lives at stake.

        A geographical government and it's varied components produce
        laws to regulate the governed, who mistakenly have placed their
        faith in it's absent integrity.
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    Jun 28 2013: The following is an unsolicited, unpaid, uncompensated opinion and does not directly reflect the opinions of TED, TED management, or any of the many TED affiliates, partners, licensees, or affiliates.

    To Everyone: This is a repeat of my comment here two days ago. I deleted the other one so no one can object to the repeat.

    ". . . your comments here are some of the coolest things I have ever read about TED! I quote here from the Mission Statement available here: http://www.ted.com/pages/about

    Our mission: Spreading ideas.

    We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you're an important part of it. Have an idea? We want to hear from you."

    The videos are free. The ideas are solidly grounded in cutting edge science. And everything is set up to be accessible to anyone who can load/download & watch the video.

    Here's another good TED page: http://www.ted.com/pages/185

    And if you read what is here: http://www.ted.com/termsofuse

    . . . the statement against " pseudo-science, conspiracy theories, zealotry, proselytizing, self-promotion, product-hawking, and new-age fluff" also would seem to exclude political statements, electioneering, or candidate promotion.

    So anything that might be construed as political is essentially OUT!

    And nobody pays me to say good things about TED!
  • Jun 27 2013: TED should do what TED wants to do.

    If TED becomes political, I am gone.
  • Jun 26 2013: TED must continue trying to be what the Universities were, before corporations took them over: The place where all ideas are discussed and analyzed.
    But let the political discussion, also very necessary for the functioning of our society, take place elsewhere.
    And let religious discussion be confined to the churches mosques and sinagogues, and the many web sites dedicated to that unfortunate part of the human experience.
    TED, like ancient Athens and its academies, should be focused on the search for enlightenment based solely on reason.
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  • R S

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    Jun 25 2013: Jimmy,
    since you insist on going down this path and shooting yourself in the foot: You just said that it's most likely that you're out to fuck people.

    See, that's why it pays to think before you post, a freedom which you're fully afforded online.

    Sorry, but you've just made a horrible case for coming to help you, much as it is evident that, at the very least, you need help when it comes to expressing yourself.
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      Jun 25 2013: R S,

      We're done, it's clear that your hatred for politics is affecting your judgement. What I said was that it was mostly true that politicians are. Now if you draw the conclusion that I'm here to "fuck you over" that's your problem.

      I do think before I post, why don't you do some reading on my posts and if you don't like them you can trash them all you'd like.

      I didn't say that you should help ME silly, I said help.
      Help yourself, help someone you care about. If you're not taking your power someone else is.

      You really should listen more and presume less...
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        Jun 25 2013: When you say "Please come and help" it doesn't mean you want help?
        You wanted to say: "Get involved"? Then...uhh... say "Get involved."
        And, thus far, you've not made it clear in the least that you want people to help themselves. You've exemplified your cry for help with appeals you've made to your friends. Now, nowhere in there did you specify that you were actually telling your friends to help somebody else (namely, themselves). Usually, when people ask their friends to come help, they're looking for help themselves.
        If you wanted to tell them to become the change they wanted to see in the world, then, at least your phrasing isn't indicative of that.

        You are for sure a politician, and good luck in your endeavors. You might be in need.

        As for the rest, of course you are, you are a good guy, maybe. And, of course, as a good guy, you have insights into what drives me, and thus you know I "hate" politics. Because you know me. Because you understand me. Because you're so eloquent.
        Yeah. No.

        Now, before you post, at least think about what I'm telling you. I've got nothing against you. I'm just pointing out where it's hard to understand what you're saying. If you don't wanna be clear enough for me to understand, that's fine. Or, you know, you could tell me what else I hate instead. That's helpful too. Can you tell me why that is?

        Peace.
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    Jun 25 2013: I would delegate my vote to many of the TED speakers in a E2D political system. That's a possible and good solution I think.

    You're welcome to join the conversation at http://www.ted.com/conversations/18759/does_your_country_have_an_elec.html
  • Jun 25 2013: Three good comments already but how can anything not be completely isolated from politics.
    Hopefully the truth will influence our public thoughts.