TED Conversations

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Why do you come to TED conversations?

I have a secret to confess.

I have become increasingly addicted to TED talks. And only very recently have I discovered TED conversations, it's great.

Then I started reflecting- why do I do this? To get inspiration? To express my opinions or get comfort from recognition? To help people?
I hope my true intention is to want to learn new things.

So I'm curious and want to throw the question to the floor- Why do YOU leave comments at conversations?

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  • Oct 12 2013: Because I'm lonely
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    Oct 30 2013: I was first introduced to TED talks a few years ago by a friend who referred to them as "YouTube for smart people." Since then, I have watched hundreds of TED talks on a wide range of subjects.

    This is my first post in TED Converstations. I feel that I can learn just as much from the TED Community as I do from watching engaging and interesting TED speakers. And I want to find a forum where I can connect with diverse people who share my passion for learning.
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      Oct 30 2013: Matt,
      It appears that your passion for learning is shared by many of us on TED........Welcome:>)
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      Oct 30 2013: welcome Ted..am 3 days old in TED
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    Nov 4 2013: Many reasons.

    I am curious about a lot of things and it seems that I am not the only one.
    I have a lot of little thoughts and it seems that I am not the only one.
    I like to see good ideas being spread and used in daily life. I’ve been on forums before and at least one of them had (on the long run) a direct influence on strategic policy.

    Why TED? There was a smart guy who compared the result of a termite colony (a termite mount) with result of a great architect. He deducted that the individual termite could be compared with an individual brain cell. A few days later I heard another statement: Humans are connected through the internet like brain cells are connected through their axons and dendrites. Could we really behave like a composite brain?
    If a want to be part of that “collective intelligence” I look for a healthy and vivid part of that brain and TED is not a bad world to live in. let’s make a nice termite mount.
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    Nov 2 2013: I feel like it offers me another identity,which is very privileged to me.
    My original identity is a teenage girl living and studying in Shanghai.
    And the another one is an insightful young lady born and raised in a community of knowledge called TED,you guys are all my neighbours.
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      Nov 3 2013: Shanghai is a fantastic city!
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        Nov 3 2013: Thanks,people here are lovely as well :)
        Welcome to Shanghai anytime!
  • Oct 26 2013: To find people with wildly different perspectives on the world, humanity, art, literature etc. than myself, perspectives that I would never have come across naturally by being myself.

    I'll then adapt and add this new way of thinking to my own, this lush new take on the world and see everything I saw before but in a new light.
    I wish to broaden my horizons with it all so that I may become a more knowledgeable and truly wiser person.


    For it is all so highly interesting.
    • Oct 26 2013: I could not have stated MY reasons for coming to TED better then YOU have stated, thank you.
  • Oct 25 2013: I just cannot go to bed without watching some ted talks every night. I am satisfied with what I have learned from each talk and I appreciate this platform that give my such a great opportunity to share and discuss my opines with others. It cannot be more stimulating and inspiring than this!!!:) Thank you, TED TALKS!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Oct 15 2013: It used to be "To get inspiration? To express my opinions or get comfort from recognition? To help people?
    I hope my true intention is to want to learn new things."

    But nowadays I rarely check in as I've ventured of to Reddit, there's more interesting stuff there, the threading system is WAY better and even though there's very little moderating I often find the quality of the topics and comments better then those presented at TED... On the other hand I was a real TED-Conversation-junkie for 2-3 years and I think that I've discussed most of the topics that arise here...

    I also like to read about the topics that "Don't contribute to the TED community as a whole" I actually visit Reddits subreddit for TED more then i visit TED Conversations nowadays... give it a go if you'd like http://www.reddit.com/r/ted

    Also, there used to be a different feel to TED Conversations... we used to have fun, I lost that some where along with the decline in TED admin quality... Now it's mostly Morton Bast who's the god guy, I haven't even gotten any reply to my last 3 emails that I sent TED and that was over 4 months ago...

    Oh, didn't mean to moan (I actually did), anyway, enjoy it as I have, I learnt so much about myself, life and people here and I'm really glad I had my time here... But I think I'm past it until something changes at TED.
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    Oct 9 2013: I fortunately find at Ted's site a wide and open space to learn, to listen, to watch and to enjoy. It's positive and plesant like an open window to fresh air.
    • Da Way

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      Oct 9 2013: that's what i'm hoping for too, to gain and learn more than I babble.
  • Nov 3 2013: Somedays, it is just to remind myself there are people who would like to discuss more than bling shoes and where to find food to die for!! But mostly to think.. :) Take for example your question, I never considered why I liked coming to TED. I rarely had anyone to discuss these talks with. But your question made wonder..And here is my conclusion: Every talk makes me think. The subjects are unique, not thoughts that would normally come to me. It makes me expand my horizon, 1 tiny step at a time. And so do the comments and conversations. They add perspectives to my experience! :)
  • Oct 30 2013: i come hear because it makes me feel good to see that people are still questioning things and there is such a strong will here to empower people and to help the world in many different ways, and that there are so many good ideas out there and the people with them dont always have the means to execute them and this site helps, i like it hear it has a very homey welcoming feel and the embrace of change witch now is very rare
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      Oct 30 2013: so true..i was hooked the first time iI came here..i almost didnt go to bed..til 3am! so much fun here
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    Oct 28 2013: My daily life is severely lacking in substantial conversation. I NEED this outlet to remind me that there are people in this world who not only have the ability to think but actually enjoy it.
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      Oct 30 2013: yeah right!
    • W T 100+

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      Oct 30 2013: Don't you think it would be wonderful if we had TED conventions for the conversations community?
      At least once every five years........???
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        Nov 1 2013: That would be great Mary. But big preparations to make if you want it to be a success.
  • Oct 23 2013: I've been a part of TED for about 7 months now & this is my first comment. I mostly read what the TED community has to say. I was introduced to this website when I starting Googling political controversies, and informing myself of other world wide issues. And honestly ive learned quite a bit of new information, some conversations have even educated me on issues I thought I knew everything about, resulting in a positive change of opinion (on some issues) . But I really enjoy reading the different perspectives of the mature intellectuals on this site. And hopefully ill continue to learn from them. :)
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    Oct 18 2013: to think,to see if my observations are similar to others,to attempt to learn the skills for proper collaboration,to be inspired,to renew my faith in humanity that the best is till wished for mankind
  • Oct 12 2013: Hi Dear Da Way,I come to TED,because I learnt a lot from it:new ideas of thinking,TED helps me to refresh my thinking blood.I am Chinese,So here I come to TED to immerse myself in English languages,and the most important TED pushes me to think in different way.

    And the most happy thing I meet a few friends here.Although we didn't see each other face to face,but from our conversation,I feel content to exchange lots of ideas from each other.I always keep the gratitute in my heart for what TED pals share with me.Thank you.
  • Oct 8 2013: To be informed about the state of thinking of mankind today
    • Da Way

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      Oct 9 2013: you can't find a better place to keep up to date!
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    Oct 7 2013: A couple of months' ago, in the middle of the horrors of the Syria crisis, I gave up reading anything to do with the news on the internet (I haven't had a TV for 15+ years anyway, and never miss that). So far, I don't miss the news either.
    And I took up TED conversations instead, which is much more stimulating, positive, educative and interesting. My comments are thoughtfully questioned, and I have the chance to 'have a voice' in a respectful and intelligent forum. Who could ask for more?
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    Oct 7 2013: At first I only watched Ted on youtube because I like listening to different speakers with different topics. It's like a new world has opened to me. I learned a lot of new things. After awhile I discovered this website, as much as I like watching Ted on youtube I like this website too. I learned lot of things. I love reading the Ted blog. I also like visiting this site reading other people comments on posted question, ideas and debates it is such a nice thing to know what are the people's opinion about a certain things specially who are from different country. I am able to see what is our differences and similarities as an individual and as a nation. I don't want to have a perspective of a certain thing which is limited based on my own assumption, culture and beliefs. I want to be open in other's people ideas and thought.
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    Nov 6 2013: I found TED when I was pondering the "deep" questions: what makes us happy or makes us suffer? Is emotional suffering real or something "only in our head"? How do we make choices? These questions are linked to some other questions: why do we believe what we believe? How do we know what we know? Is there free will? Do we really make choices or simply react to environment or act on previous experiences? In particular, how do we make moral choices? What do we consider as "good" or "bad" and why?

    TED has plenty of talks and conversations about these questions. The first one I watched was Sam Harris's talk about science helping us make moral choices. But should we use science to determine what we should do? Hmm... Then I watched Dan Dennett's talks about conscience - same problems. Are we aware of our own consciousness?

    I've been to forums full of people who call themselves "rational" who think they can answer these circular questions. Some people are so sure of THEIR answer that they consider themselves superior to people who look at things differently. So, when I asked some of these questions in those forums, I received insults and ridicule in return. TED is different. I posted a few comments and discovered that many people liked them and found many people who share my worldview. It's a rewarding experience. I also enjoy debating people whose views I find controversial - not to prove them wrong, but to expose the controversy. In most cases, on TED these discussions are civilized.
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    Oct 30 2013: I just want to make a distant place friend at Ted, then allow myself to have a vision. This is a great feeling, just like Mary and Marx.
  • Oct 28 2013: To placate my wisdom's ego...
  • Oct 28 2013: One reason: INTELLECTUAL ORGASM.
    • Da Way

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      Oct 28 2013: Lol. I don't think i've ever experienced one. Maybe I've faked them in the past.
  • Oct 27 2013: My daily dose of TED reminds me that there are people out there in the world who are doing a lot of thinking for me. TED has made my world a true universe. If I need inspiration then I can get it, if I wonder what is Happiness, I can listen to people immediately who can tell me. No appointments needed! I too need to listen to a talk before I go to bed. TV has lost it's appeal, give me TED every time. On Oct 12 Kamlesh Parajuli first said it was because he was lonely...but now he can find out What is lonliness [?] and maybe he is only Alone?
    Thanks TED for helping my brain grow.
    • Da Way

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      Oct 28 2013: 'people doing a lot of thinking for me'

      That's my kind of lazy thinking. Love it.
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    Oct 27 2013: In today's era of information overload, easy Access to unlimited information courtesy Google, YouTube talks, white papers, Wikipedia, specific conferences and talks are cliche, and no longer sources of new information. Cognitively our brains are resisting the willingness to create a new neuron and hence paradoxically our sources of "new" learning are shrinking because of this excess. The brain requires motivation. TED represents a refreshing change and the speakers are curated to strategically insure that all talks are narrative ( almost every talk starts with a photograph of the speakers family or kid) . Cognitively a story is easily accepted and allowed in by the brain baed on existing synapses, and then comes the real motivator. Irrespective of ones income, resources or experience it is almost impossible to imagine that one could emulate the "work environment and the passionate focus" of The typical TED speaker, and thus is a " humbling experience". This is very important for the generally ego centric mind to feel awed, and finally more grateful because what we considered to be " our problems and deficiencies are insignificant" compared to the TED heroes.
  • Oct 26 2013: I joined TED in the belief that I would "meet' with thinking people. I like to consider myself as a thinking person. There are thinking people out there on TED.

    Sometimes, I find it laborious to read through many comments to find one or two that hold original ideas, at least for me.
    Everybody has beliefs. I got mine and you got yours. Don't tell me I'm full of crap about my belief... I'll try not to do the same.
    I am not sympathetic to self anointed victims or Chicken Little's. The sky is not falling or cooling or warming or flooding or ending.. at least not in our life times.... I can say that because I'm old.
    Don't tell me all is beautiful and I should smell the roses... If that was true I'd look like... George Clooney and have the olfactory sense of a bloodhound.
    No one chooses their ancestors. Don't bemoan how your ancestors were put upon by others. Everybody's ancestors were put upon by others at one time or another..

    Finally, I am a curmudgeon with a high opinion of myself.
  • Oct 26 2013: I watch, listen, rewind and share TED because of the chrysalis effect it has on me! What better way to laugh or learn about String Theory than this fantastic community of intelligent gifted people, thanks TED
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    Oct 25 2013: I lurk around TEDxConversations because I find everyone's point of view worth listening. We often think we are right on one subject, or have a strong opinion regarding another. I love reading different opinions because it helps us shape our own. You also learn something new along the way.
  • Oct 21 2013: You know? this is my first day with ted conversations. I like it because it's like travelling and talk with interesting people, also if you don't have enough money and time to do it really. You can stay relaxed in your bed, share opinions and "creative" talking, without boring at a party! And it's giving me new ideas and questions to talk about with my son 10 years old. Never too young to use the brain and think!
  • Oct 19 2013: I feel the very same as you my friend. When I first dove into TED Talks it was because of interesting playlist topics on Netflix. I tried one to see what it was, unaware of what i was getting myself into. As soon as i started watching I was entranced. The next day my brain replayed everything i learned and it was that much more enjoyable. I was researching related topics for hours and felt like some kind of genius. Over the next couple weeks watched every single section and cleared it out. I sometimes didn't sleep because i didn't want to lose focus. I knew it was incredible and I felt connected to my brain and reinforced on many of my own ideals. It is very empowering and since then, i have watched countless talks and told every person I know about it. I just recently made an account want to become a bigger part of the community. This is my actual first comment, i usually just read but it seemed like an opportune time to jump in so thank you!
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      Oct 20 2013: your comments are inspiring and you write beautifully....your experience of Ted is similar to mine..however up untill now I had not the words to convey my experience..thanks
    • Da Way

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      Oct 20 2013: Sounds like I am by no means the most addicted after all!
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        Oct 21 2013: I have a secret to confess Da Way....you are not the only one with a TED addiction:>)

        I think it is a WONDERFUL opportunity to connect with people all over our world, and I truly believe that it helps us understand each other better, which contributes to a more connected, hopefully peaceful world:>)
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    Oct 13 2013: I partake here to expand my mind and impact other people the best way possible through conversations and other stuff, and in doing this I grow mentally as an individual. Being exposed to different constructive ideas tends to grow any individual, so mainly it is for growth purposes that I dedicate my time to such platform as this.
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    • Da Way

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      Oct 12 2013: interesting. "the topics of conversations which I find compelling are fewer and farther between".

      perhaps that's a sign that you've learnt a lot and running out of topics you haven't given it a serious thought on. what do you think?
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        Oct 18 2013: the amount of topics have not ceased..it is that the needed topics of expression are non conventional i,e,how do you know what you think is correct" and similar topics on perception are dismissed as inappropriate..not a Ted frontier...so in fact some ofyou.or we are intellectually unable to group compare or grow....yet gleefully everone arrived via our host website Ted
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      Oct 23 2013: Hey Chris, Jimmy:

      Where you guys around in the original era with “the kurgan in disguise”?
      I really miss him around, he had great (though impolite) points of view, honest, straight, different,,,, interesting, made me rethink my perspectives…
      He was banned (after a record of ~-500 TED points!), and big arguments with moderators…

      The rest comes with popularization, and it’s a great thing to have TED expanding and talks being watched by millions, but conversation is impacted…
      I understand the moderators role (they don’t want this to be youtube) but that has a cost.

      Cheers!

      JB
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          Oct 24 2013: Hi Chris!

          I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers him!

          Cheers!

          JB
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          Oct 24 2013: He was my favorite...

          I'll drink a glass of wine in his honor as well!

          Cheers!

          JB