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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?

  • 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.
    • 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!
    • 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. :)
  • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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!
    • 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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    • 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 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
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    Oct 11 2013: I come to TED conversations to learn from some of the greatest minds of our time, and to share my thinking with a global audience of serious-minded men and women.
    • Oct 12 2013: and has the interaction with a global audience affected your day to day practice in whatever line of work you're in?
  • Oct 11 2013: For a different perspective on subjects without being preached to or an argument.
    • Oct 12 2013: walk away whenever you like.
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    Oct 11 2013: There are millions of places where you can go on the internet (probably literally) where you can take part in a discussion about almost any topic. But there are very few places - either on the web or in person - where you can have a thoughtful conversation about a difficult or controversial topic while still receiving reasonable and meaningful dialogue.

    Hearing from other individuals with diverse cultures, educations, religions, etc. is an important part of validating and honing my assumptions, and beliefs. In a world where search engines and websites preselect the content they think you want to hear (http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html) I'm glad to have found a forum where honest interaction can take place.
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    Oct 11 2013: I started TED Conversations last May, and like you have become more and more addicted to this forum. Some of this addiction comes from avoiding my homework, but there are other (and more important) reasons I check up here quite often. The main reason being the community. With any organization (currently called 'clubs' or 'extracurriculars' at this stage of life), there is a sense of community and this community has several aspects that I like. While I'm not sure how small this community is, I get the sense that it is small (much smaller than Yahoo! questions :)). I like this sort of tight-knit community. While there are some people that I don't know, when I browse I can usually find several people who I am familiar with. I find this community also has a general trend of being more reflective (as this question demonstrates) and of having a natural curiosity about the world. Both of these trait trends (whoo! alliteration) are evident in my own personality. Lastly, this community is diverse. If I asked a question or commented and found that everyone agrees with me and agrees with me for the same reasons/logic, I would not be as attracted to this forum. Not that the US doesn't have much diversity, it is interesting to me when I see a comment or question from another part of the world. There are other reasons I come on here, but most of them are just reflections of the amazing community here on TED Conversations, and in general, TED.
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      Oct 11 2013: "Some of this addiction comes from avoiding my homework."I totally agree with you in this.

      I view TED community as a privilege.It offers me different perstpectives and also chances to finding myself.
      There are lots of diversities here,that's true.But more often i tend to see the similarties:the longing for love,the search for knowledge,the unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind and much much more.

      And the interesting thing is,your personality happen to be very like mine:)
      • Oct 11 2013: " I tend to see the similarities, the longing for love, the search for knowledge, the unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind"

        Beautifully worded......... thank you!
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    Oct 10 2013: I am quite new to TED, but I have found the forum and the talks in the forum to be very informative. My background is I am studying for a PhD in Education and I am researching online English education. My site http://www.ourlanguagecafe.com
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    Oct 10 2013: Da: In my humble opinion, we leave comments on TED, because of the need to express that we humans naturally have and also because of the desire to share something that we think is or may be good for someone or for all. Communication is, I think, a natural instinct of people, and we owe to it many of the human mankind's progress.
  • Oct 9 2013: Learning English.Learning the way how other people think.Obtaining information.
    • Oct 9 2013: Learning English is one I hadn't thought of. It's true, I've used the dictionary more often over the last few weeks than I had done in a while.
  • Oct 9 2013: This site is an infinite ocean where people from across the globe are churning this ocean to extract wisdom and knowledge, whereas at the same time the churning and nuclear reaction is going on inside the brain of each individual.

    I am here to hack into and take control of each brain.:)
    • Oct 9 2013: control each brain!?

      I suppose it's one of the more civilised ways to world domination :)
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    Oct 9 2013: To test ideas and pick up new ones.
    • Oct 9 2013: You've just given me a great idea for my next topic :)
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    Oct 8 2013: I've learned more from a few posts and replies here than I would have during a billion years of conversation with my mother in law.
    • Oct 9 2013: especially if it's the same conversation over and over a billion times.
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    Oct 8 2013: i love hearing what others have to say about great questions posted. maybe i have an answer the questioner or idea proposer is looking for, so if i think i can help i'll leave a comment.
  • Oct 7 2013: Why?

    ○ To get inspiration

    ○ To express my opinions

    ○ To get comfort from recognition

    ○ To help people

    ○To want to learn things

    ○ All of the above and THEN SOME ...............

    I think that for many of us who enjoy intelligent conversation about ideas, this forum allows us to interact.
    We learn from the videos, and from the comments people make......then our minds start to formulate new questions and we voice them through starting conversations, or interacting with someone who is already discussing a topic we are interested in.

    I think face to face contact is most rewarding....however, not everyone around us has our same interests......so TED, as well as other forums gives us the ability to interact with like-minded individuals.
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    Nov 6 2013: I initially came to TED believing it is a forum for free speech. I realized it is not in about a couple of months and left it on account of a very unacceptable term of use. I disliked the idea of giving directions to conversations.
    In time changes happened in TED and me. So I came back to old friends here and new thinkers with rare and wonderful insights. I came back to learn when I saw that TED itself is learning too.
    The main reason for my coming to TED remains the same. I use TED platform and its audience to test my ideas and over time I have developed trust on the TED conversation community. I asked many questions in this platform and learnt from the answers. These days I seldom start conversations but spend more time participating in others conversations.
    I come to TED because it is very intellectually satisfying for me.
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    Nov 5 2013: I come to TED conversations because of the following reasons.
    Age doesn't matter. Identity doesn't matter. I don't need to know who I am talking to, and other people don't need to know who I am as a person. All that matters on these forums and this website is the idea. It opens up dialogue between complete strangers for the fusion of ideas.
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    Nov 3 2013: Ideas worth Spreading and Learning !!!
  • Nov 3 2013: Like a lot of people here: to practice my English and to hear something new in all spheres of life, to know about new technologies, which are explained in simple language.
    • Nov 3 2013: I think 'explained in simple language' is also key for me.
  • Nov 3 2013: I‘m a Chinese student . I come here to improve my English and make more friends
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    Nov 3 2013: I come here because the topics are often very interesting to me, and the quality of conversation is significantly higher than just about anywhere else I could go online. Good conversation calls me to communicate in the best way possible, and that helps me evolve.
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    Nov 1 2013: Why do I come here? Oh,it's a good question. I am a student who is preparing for TOEFL exam, somebody introduce this website to me and it is a really good tool for me to practice my listening and reading.

    Besides, I major in mechanical engineering, and TED severs me some ideas about techniques or designs. it kindles my creation and inspires me a lot. Also, it opens a window for me to know the world outside china, and the world outside my major. I love the talks and the sharing.
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    Oct 31 2013: Interesting question. I too have become increasingly addicted to TED and I think it is the lack of interest from those around me that steered me towards the TED community. I found myself getting the "not again" look from my family as I would burst out with "I just watched the most amazing talk!!" "Do you want to hear about it"? Then I would proceed to, very passionately, deliver my own "TED Talk" regardless of their answer. Looks of "not again" quickly turned into faintly audible murmurs filled with disinterest and eventually into pleads of mercy. So I suppose I am here to spare my family (or my feelings) any displeasure.
  • Oct 28 2013: For me, it all started with shoulder surgery. I was a physically active person and this development required an abrupt adjustment in my behavior for several months while recovering - no golf, skiing, motorcycling, etc.

    Initially, I felt that I was missing out on life. I had decided not to subscribe to TV a few years earlier and needed to discover something interesting to do in my new environment.

    I started to explore by writing movie reviews and being somewhat compulsive, I really worked at it. I got Grammar for Idiots so I could learn how to better express myself verbally. Netflix had a movie rating and review program and a scoring system and I went bonkers. It became somewhat addictive, because this kind of recognition was new for me and surprisingly rewarding.

    Then one night at a local bar someone told me I should look into TED. This new avenue of interchange was more up my ally and I jumped aboard. This was when TED was a bit wilder (had a thumbs down). I was totally fascinated. Since then it has expanded offering independent internal conversations and administratively acted to keep exchanges more civil.

    I recently relocated to a new home address and consequently have been distracted for a few months, but I am now resettled - well almost.

    The reason I continue to an active member is that, in doing so, TED has enriched my life. It has enabled me to become more involved and knowable about what is going on in the modern world regarding Technologies, Education and Design (TED) and resulted in some discoveries about myself in terms of needing to account for what I think, and believe as a consequence of expressing myself for all to see.

    TED invites us to explore our personal external and internal worlds - an activity that has brought about many interesting reflections and comments.

    I like the open and adult atmosphere of TED. This is an innovative system of mass media participation of members and speakers.
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    Oct 26 2013: I just discovered it this hour and I really really enjoyed what I've learned.
  • Oct 26 2013: What other way can you get clear, cool information fast? I can find the subject areas I am interested in and stumble into things I never would have considered and learn from a source that I already have faith in to get a true picture of things. Not only I can add my 2 cents but I can check out the small change of others. I have laughed, cried and been amazed with TED so many times and I never know what I will learn with each visit. I do know that I will learn each time I press the play button on TED. When I se and hear a TED talk I take in so much more than just eh information. I get a chance to see the strengths and frailty of the person in a setting void of staged backdrops, makeup, tweeters and woofers. Because of the time restraints presenters are forced to cut through the b s and be real. This creates a kind of humility that is rare in the media.
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    Oct 21 2013: As I joined TED’s family, I was attracted by mission statement of TED.

    I found that they are active listeners in TED conversations, they are really special friends, I have met.
  • Oct 12 2013: I enrolled on TED for various reasons . First of all , I would like to point out something about TED . In my opinion , it is the best way to learn and to enrich your brain . Here , I can expresse my thoughts , share my knowlege with people as well as learn from different opinions and I can say that it really helps me on developing my way of thinking and so on . It also increases your motivation , creativity and you you get inspiration from different speakers . That's why TED has got several positive vertues . We just need to use it inteligently and accept others' opinions .
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    Oct 12 2013: i am a newcomer and feel so lonely ,so as a matter of fact , my English is lost , I can get more information i don't know from people from all around the world , leave my comment at conversations to express my view
  • Oct 12 2013: I am new to this community,well,I just registered my account today.I leave my comments because I want to make some friends here.
    To be honest,I paid attention to TED because my teacher told me to do so. I am a Chinese student and I came here to learn English. Apart from teacher's instruction, I'm very glad to learn new things from the talks.
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  • Oct 11 2013: I was shown a talk by my therapist, and my "HW".
    Was to check it out maybe even sign up, the purpose was too seek help in the form of others life experience etc.
    I thought it was stupid and a waste of time, so I put it off for a month. Then when I finally got around to it, and have checked it everyday sense! Can't get enough!

    I also like the higher quality of conversation (more intellectual) usually when I'm bored or need to kill a few minutes I would check the Facebook feed or twitter or Instagram, but now I just go straight to Ted which is nice cause it's good in many ways
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    Oct 11 2013: To congratulate to appreciate,to speculate , and sometimes to educate . Sometimes I rhyme , in theses changing time . sometime s i just sit and spit .
    • Oct 11 2013: A resident poet.....lovely :)
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    Oct 10 2013: sharing interesting conversation.
  • Oct 9 2013: No one interrupts when I'm talking. ;-)
    • Oct 9 2013: Yes! ...............I hadn't thought of that. :D
  • Oct 9 2013: Look at the content of mass media. It shows regularly only the Yang. TED conversations, with all agreement and disagreement, offers the Yin. One portrays a world of Division. The other Models Dialogue & Debate. We are fortunate.
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      Oct 9 2013: Interesting.
      But i have a question:Why the content offers the Yang and the conversations offer the Yin?
      • Oct 9 2013: I have the same question.Maybe he has a different understanding of Yin Yang.
        • Oct 10 2013: Pardon my western too-casual use of the Yin Yang. I'm too relaxed at times. I look around the media landscape and I see a dreadful lack of dialogue and true discussion which truly refines and refines the Question/Idea/Debate. I only really see Ego's projecting themselves loudly to be heard.

          The more I read and learn from TED Conversations, as well as other forums off and on line, I experience the very opposite of the madness which IS the Media Industrial Complex. I see people indeed wanting to be heard. But, I also see true enquiry. True dialogue. This is evidenced by both of your comments seeking clarification on what I meant in my original comment.

          I hope I've helped and not complicated the matter :-)
    • Oct 9 2013: I understand you, Scott. Where Yang represents the skewed positives, the freaks, if you like. And Yin represents the more realistic whole picture, which only the sensible queries.

      Your idea ties in greatly with this talk, where you'll realise it's not just the media that does this. Yijia and kevin, you may be interested (subtitles available in chinese if you click on the lower right):
      http://www.ted.com/talks/ben_goldacre_what_doctors_don_t_know_about_the_drugs_they_prescribe.html
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        Oct 12 2013: In the traditional Chinese philosophy,we view the Yin and the Yang antithetical elements.The Yang literally means "sun" in Chinese,and the Yin"dark".For example,the Yang the male,the Yin the female;the sky, the ground;the move,the still.
        "LAOZI"(a book,and the it's name is also the writer's name,LAOZI is a famous philosopher in ancient China) once describe the Yin and Yang "the both "qi"s,the YIn and Yang,come together,and form the world".
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        Oct 12 2013: I guess that's another topic.
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    Oct 8 2013: It's a good way to procrastinate ;-)
    • Oct 8 2013: That's what I was going to write, but I thought I could post it tomorrow. ;-)
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      Oct 8 2013: Dear sir,
      I think you have a special sense of humor. Thank you for organizing the wonderful TED.
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      Oct 8 2013: That is SO true Christophe!!!
    • Oct 8 2013: Why put off something today when you can put it off tomorrow.
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    Oct 7 2013: a) To test my thoughts and idea's against whatever's out there because what is right or wrong and why is a lot more important to know than who.

    b) To increase my understanding of a topic

    c) To expose myself to new idea's

    d) "For fun and social interaction
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    Oct 7 2013: I mostly read and listen; I leave comments when I come across something that resonates with my believes or experience and I feel that I can throw a personal but objective perspective on the subject. For the most part of my life I used to keep my opinions to myself probably because it happened so that I was in a minority position and I felt that it was way too often that my opinions were too different from the majority of people around me.
    This is a great platform of people that think and care and have different perspectives as result of being from around the world, and in my personal case I don't have to many of this kind of people around in the physical life. So TED is one of the best things that happened to me. And addiction...?? that makes the two of us.
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    Nov 6 2013: I experienced TED talks when I was in university, but only recently found it again. I have seen some very interesting and inspiring talks. I leave comments on conversations if I like the subject matter and to give my own opinions. I like the fact that such a diverse community give their input. I don't always agree with everything but how boring life would be if everyone agreed all the time. We need intelligent debate and that is not always easy to find.
  • Nov 5 2013: I found this page while I was searching for sth that will improve my English skills and now I think that this is it.
  • Nov 5 2013: I came here for learn the English language, I am a pilot of light aircraft, hope of find new friends that have same passion.
  • Nov 5 2013: I came here to improve my English skills and i found out that i'm able to get a lot of information from TED.com
  • Nov 4 2013: I come to find intellectually stimulating conversation, which is a rare thing these days. I also come to hear new ideas or new answers to pressing questions or concerns. But, most of all, I come to communicate with people that are truly engaged and are passionate about issues, both current and future.

    MJ
  • Nov 3 2013: To learn and share that learning with my friends.
  • Nov 3 2013: To pratice my English and learn someting.
    Also a fun for my senior high school.
    高三_(:з」∠)_
    • Nov 3 2013: No better time. You will be busy for years to come.
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    Nov 2 2013: I think if you are open-minded ideas will help you to think more profoundly about what's going on around us. And only by thinking what is going on around us we are able to take more adequate decisions and choices in our lives. And that's why I joined...I am curious to know why we do the things we do and the TED community shares a lot of ideas which help me explain a lot.
  • Nov 1 2013: My like for TED started from "Ideas worth sharing/spreading".
    I went through the stages of it being just habit, seeing no new ideas, but a bunch of pretentious time wasting, and much, much more rarely, back to ... ideas worth sharing.

    Why do I (rarely, again) leave comments:
    - it is a legal, socially acceptable form of expressing one's mind. (not a substitute for talking). But when I enter this environment, and I read someone's inquiry, and my mind can compile an answer, and qualify it as deemingly worthy of bringing some info or perspective value, it feels almost like a pressure, or need to give that information. It could be the simple enthusiasm of something i can do, easily (just thinking and typing).
    But since there is no follow-up from any of these queries (i.e. - if someone actually obtained something through these q&a's other than online chatting), and a response cannot possibly "help" or "contribute" much either to the inquirer's life, nor mine... I have long wanted to approach my web "anything" differently, or stop at all.
    • Nov 1 2013: Please don't. All of our interactions don't have to be mind blowing to be appreciated and helpful.
  • Oct 30 2013: Desperation.

    I often find myself quoting a favorite author (appropriately in most cases) and realize immediately that nobody finds it the slightest bit amusing. I have spent most of my life wondering if fellowship was in some way unattainable for me. I have only recently discovered that my upbringing as a polite and thoughtful person has more or less crippled me socially.

    So here I am. Hoping this isn't another forum for people to vent their frustration.

    Tongue in cheek...somewhat.
  • Oct 24 2013: I come to Ted conversations to see how dumb I am.
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      Oct 26 2013: hahaha..no yo're not dumb..we're all in learning. growing process
  • Oct 23 2013: I get new Idea and thought of people who belong to different region and expert in their field. When I read the comment, Know way of thinking of different person.
    In simple word I can say, I learn new things which can't possible by other way. So i visit TED two or three time in a day.
    and want to say thank to provide this platform to share idea.
  • Comment deleted

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      Oct 23 2013: I cannot tell you how TED staff feel, but whenever I have had an email exchange with someone on the staff, it hasn't been "robotic" at all.

      When a comment of mine has been deleted, I have received the "form letter" response that fits the case. For example, "Your comment has been deleted because the comment to which you responded was deleted." That seems an effective way of conveying that message.

      I have a feeling the staff gets lots and lots of email, so one would need to be patient about getting a response. An option you could consider, at least, is to run your thread idea by another pair of eyes than your own- someone who successfully starts lots of threads.

      I don't want to suggest anyone in particular, but you can consider it. Someone in the community is not getting as many personal emails as the TED staff and might be able to give help faster.
  • Oct 21 2013: I joined TED Conversations because I like the idea that talking is as much about speaking as it is about listening - this is exactly how great ideas are created and shared.
  • Oct 21 2013: Because after going through the listings I feel there will be alot of informationn,and advice on community issues especially when it involves communities ,families and personalities
  • Oct 20 2013: To recognize like minded people and become reminded that all is not brain-dead conversations like mostly on youtube....
    get inspired and reminded of your differences and indifferences.

    This is like the ship you wan't not sinking when it storming, IT GIVES ME HOPE!
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    Oct 19 2013: To Empty my Thought's!! Simple

    and meet great people and their views Love you all.
    • Oct 20 2013: What's the benefit of emptying ones thought?
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        Oct 21 2013: I don't write down my Thought's on TED for any Benefits, its just that; what I feel on the topic I write it down and discuss it on the platform like TED.
  • Oct 18 2013: For me, it's like reading a book. But when I don't agree, I can actually say something about it. And maybe change the course of the book.
    Jimmy Strobl, after I click "Submit", I'm clicking on your link.
  • Oct 17 2013: I come here to bounce ideas with other people, gain knowledge and wisdom about the world and practice my writing skills.
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    Oct 13 2013: I'm not in the list bothered by the difference between "talk" and "conversation," particularly as it concerns my learning and the sharing of ideas.
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    Oct 11 2013: the real education happens here ...!
  • Oct 11 2013: My 830+ responses and I think less than
    10 deletions for malpractice leave me with a history.

    When a person asks a question that I find interesting,
    I answer with my opinion.
    My opinions can be brutal.

    I know that I can take a position on either side of any
    interesting issue,
    I am self entertained.

    I don't always tell the truth.
    But when I poke the elephant, people wake up.
    Life needs more than rules.
    Life needs entertainment.

    I often tangle with the TED conversation moderators,
    who have their own ideas of what debate is all about.
    They get the last word, certain of their abilities,
    based upon some college or university education criteria
    they find valid.
    They just remove my offering.
    No one ever knows what they missed.

    "I think the practice is similar to wearing 'hand me downs'
    from your siblings."

    That statement you may want to mull over a while
    to get the full flavor.

    Great idea Da Way,
    true intentions create strong foundations.
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    Oct 9 2013: excorsise my brain
    • Oct 9 2013: Carlo.......please, could you clarify your answer?

      Exorcise means..........."drive out or attempt to drive out (an evil spirit) from a person or place."

      Did you mean Exercise....."the use or application of a faculty, right, or process."

      I knew TED was a powerful site......but when it comes to exorcism.......I just don't know.

      Confused, and awaiting a reply,
      Mary ;)
    • Oct 10 2013: I really like to play with words......when I originally read your comment I saw your answer as a combo word.....kinda like beerzza........pizza made with beer.......

      I thought, wow, what a creative word.......we "exorcise" our memes, and undergo paradigm shifts on TED......all because we are "exercising" our mental faculties.

      Instead of telling you what I thought your comment meant.....I questioned you......threw in a little humor for good measure.....and now look at what has happened..........

      Usually when I put a little winky emoticon at the end of a comment, it means I am playing around.....and I am not to be taken all that serious.

      Be Well, and continue to be "excorcised".....as you put it.
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        Oct 12 2013: dear Mary...
        i completely got your humour...

        maybe you would enjoy the following Q / Debate...
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        Oct 12 2013: ps.
        Chris made me think of "something about Mary"
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        Oct 30 2013: i had fun reading this thread Mary M
        • Oct 30 2013: Sometimes I provide the "E" in TED........Entertainment......

          You will notice that I like a lighthearted approach to many subjects.........I try not to be so overly serious about topics that I lose my open-mindedness....

          Sometimes the internet creates "lost in translation' moments.........but I try to explain myself and to apologize when necessary.

          Chris came in and defended my point of view.........he's like "Underdog"....fighting for damsels in distress...........hahahahahaha.....he's a great TED member.......

          http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/underwire/images/2008/07/25/under.jpg

          I'm so glad you are on TED......I look forward to reading your thoughts in conversations.

          Be Well :)
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    Oct 9 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.
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    Oct 9 2013: IMO, with one point you are very correct:: To "get comfort from recognition". IMO that's the very initial and sub-conscious need of our ego which drives us to speak, to write.

    Our ego ceaselessly seeks recognition in its existence. Only then, later on, we rationalize that our goal in talking or debating was to teach, to clarify, to exchange information or views, to reach the truth....etc. Also no doubt that many times good & productive results come out of talking and debating, like in the TED talks//events//conversations.

    I have already written similarly in my other comment for a TED talk:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_h_cohen_for_argument_s_sake.html?c=730140

    So, now I shall rationalize too why I take part in TED conversations. It is because TED forums of the various sorts are not just gossip forums which fill almost every corner of the web. At TED I find usually comments with
    higher-than-average standard relative to the common forums on web. If I have enough time to read, I learn from the comments not less than the TED talks. Also writing comments crystal-clarify for me sometimes my own views which might otherwise will be little hidden somewhere in my mind. And so on.

    Certainly it's much better to get addicted to TED talks than to many other known harmful things.
    • Oct 9 2013: I also enjoyed Dan Cohen's talk very much. I was going to post it on the other TED conversation regarding arguements, but I couldn't find it.

      Like yourself, I found my biggest gain so far from TED conversations is how it clarifies my thoughts on issues I had subconciously thought about, when I try to articulate it.
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    Simon K

    • +1
    Oct 9 2013: To learn information, know others opinion, and enjoy talks with others.
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    Oct 9 2013: First to learn about others thoughts and ideas
    Secondly exchanging ideas and thoughts
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    Oct 8 2013: Even those who never post (and therefore may not respond here!) may find TED Conversations a good learning opportunity and a regular source of entertainment. Those who participate actively may also find in the community a service opportunity, as they provide ideas and information that may help other participants along in their thinking or projects, and an opportunity for connection with others who are interested in thinking about and talking about ideas.
  • Oct 7 2013: to post my opinions and to learn
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    Oct 7 2013: I come here to learn the unedjumcated stuff.

    Of course that is a two way street you can't learn people
    stuff if you ain't a good learner your own self?
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      Oct 7 2013: Pat, are you aware of how many people come here to learn the English language? What a GREAT role model you are!!!

      Yeah.....I come here to learn stuff too:>)
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        Oct 7 2013: vat iss ziss englash stuvff jou spek off eh?
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        Oct 8 2013: Thank you so much Colleen, that is very flattering of you to say so, I'm starting to see my work here is done. Oh Magoo your good.
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          Oct 8 2013: The sad thing here is that I read and understood it way to easily and way to well.

          I have met the enemy and he are me.
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          Oct 8 2013: LOL!

          Pat, your work/play is NEVER done.
    • Oct 7 2013: "the unedjumcated stuff"......nice!
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    Nov 3 2013: Same wavelengths as others, ...mostly :B
  • Comment deleted

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      Oct 23 2013: Hi Carolyn,
      At the bottom of every page, there is the word "contact", which is one option.

      We can contact TED Conversations. conversations@ted.com

      In response to your question...."how does one get personal e-mails on a public site".
      In our profile, we have the option to receive e-mails from other participants, which I notice you have in your profile:>) above the area where a picture might go on your profile, it says "send Carolyn an e-mail".....see it?

      If a topic you present is rejected by TED, you can reply to the e-mail rejecting the topic and ask why.....can't you?

      I am technically challenged as well Carolyn, and thankfully, I have a daughter who guides me with the process. Good luck as you expand your exploration:>)
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      Oct 23 2013: On TED.com, many people, though not all, have profiles. You reach the person's profile by clicking on his name.

      So let's say you wanted to send a personal email to Colleen. You click on her name, or her photo to the left and then her name, and you will see her profile.

      If you look to the right at the top of the profile, you will see a red link, unless she has requested it not be displayed there, that says "send an email to ..."

      You click on that link and can send a personal email to that person.

      That sending is secure in the sense that you will not see any private email address for her or she for you.
  • Oct 22 2013: im desperate to have my thoughts in ted and improve my english
  • Oct 22 2013: If Conversation related to beauty and religion could be started then why the conversation related to dream or love could not be started ?
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      Oct 22 2013: There are many conversations about dreams and about love! If you put forward a conversation on one of these topics that was turned down and you do not understand the message someone from TED probably sent you explaining why, please ask for further clarification or help making it into a suitable topic. If you don't follow up with him or her, the staffer who replied to you will not know that you don't yet understand how to pose your question better. The staff will help you.
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          Oct 22 2013: I have not asked for help myself on a question, but I am sure I have read here of people who HAVE gotten help shaping their questions. I have forgotten now the name of the singer whose talk was the first one posted from TED 2013 that was about being willing to ask for help.

          I am going to look. Here it is: http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html
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    Oct 21 2013: i like to read other opinions and think about them.if i found them useful,i memorize them as my opinion in future.and also im improving my writing skill
  • Comment deleted

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      Oct 19 2013: Hey Theodor,

      I remember Tim's Conversation http://www.ted.com/conversations/3273/nothing_s_off_topic.html , Haven't been back to it since 2011 though... So I went back and skimmed through it and a lot of things are coming back to me about what actually happened with TED back then... Like Tim's Conversation gathering too many comment too quickly and TED imposing a time limit for Conversations (There used to be the open-ended option)... of course this was just an unlucky "coincidence"...

      It actually may have been me who destroyed (as I see it) TED Conversations by pushing the limits on that conversation to prove a point... I'm really sorry for that...

      When you say "Both Chris and Jimmy" which Chris do you speak of?

      And yes, we only represent a small fraction, it's so restrictive here (once you've read some thousands of conversations there's just more of the same or similar, it's like reading about atomic physics from 100 authours, you kind of get it after the fifth time and then it just gets boring) The sad part is that TED keeps loosing people like me (not that I'm all that but...) and Tim who genuinely cares (cared?) for TED and it's members...

      I miss the old TED (And I miss Tim too), or rather my hopes for what TED could be, but they've proven time and time again that innovative change is not something that they seek for the organization, simply something the help present...

      "Although, this still is considered a good place to start and to gain valuable experience." I agree...


      Edit: Some people may ask why we're so off topic on this... To quote Brené Brown "If you ask people about love they'll tell you about heartbreak."
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        Oct 19 2013: Hi Jimmy...nice to "see" you my friend:>)

        You write..."I miss the old TED (And I miss Tim too), or rather my hopes for what TED could be...".

        In my life experience, I have learned that we do not change things as much from the outside. We generally have a better chance of changing things from within...."BE" the change we want to "SEE".

        BTW, I checked out reddit.com, as you recommended, and it looks like the comments are mostly about TED!
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        Oct 19 2013: I know you have tried Jimmy! My perception of you, is that you will always continue to contribute to our world, and for that I am grateful. Congratulations on your position, and I sincerely hope everything goes well with that. I'll keep track of your progress via FB:>)

        I'm glad you visit TED once in awhile, and I thank you for the info about reddit.....I may explore it one of these days:>)
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        Oct 19 2013: It's always a pleasure to see you here.Congratulations on your role in the direct democracy party. If it is convenient to pop in now and then to share what you are working through there, I am sure people here will again be interested. Your thread in Spring on this subject drew a lot of thoughtful interest and participation, as I recall.

        There are always so many new participants here every week that even a topic that those who have been here a while have considered and discussed at length can be of great interest to newcomers.

        I have read on the reddit subthread that TED.com is putting out, at least as a test, a new version of the site in the next few months and invited people to be part of the early test. Are you participating in that? http://hello.ted.com/ and, from the get involved link http://hello.ted.com/get_invited/
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        Oct 19 2013: Jimmy, I was not aware that the ted.com "rebuild" was at this stage yet either until I followed the link to reddit that you had posted and saw the announcement from about a week ago.

        It was your coming here and sharing what you did that made it possible for me to come back with something that might interest you. If you look at the blog posts from the staff associated with planning and implementation of the rebuild, you will understand a lot of the software choices, I think, in a way that I know I cannot.

        Please stay in touch,
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        Oct 25 2013: Hi Jimmy!!

        I remember those times!
        do you remember my favorite member "the kurgan in disguise"?

        Hope you do, i have not being here for a long time, but was very glad to see Chris remembers him :)

        Regards!

        JB
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    Oct 12 2013: Of course, yes; and a lot.
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    Oct 11 2013: To play and to have fun.
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    Oct 8 2013: Some similar thread appeared before.
    • Oct 8 2013: Yup....lots of new people ask this question when they see how "addictive" TED is....they want to know if they are the only ones.
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        Oct 8 2013: :) I've never thought of why people come to Ted converstion. I'd like to ask more about why people don't come to TED converstaion like "I don't know here" or other reasons.
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        Oct 8 2013: Hahaha....sister! I've said that before and what you showed me was another proof.:))))
        Yes, I'm very new. I just came to TED on a regular base in Sep. And at the beginning,it's just for my curiosity.And later I found you were so open and friendly to accept a foreigner like me.:) And among all, you gave me the most encouragement, thank you again, sister Mary~!:)
        • Oct 8 2013: I figured you would get a kick out of that!

          How do you say sister in Chinese?
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          Oct 8 2013: We are all foreigners Yoka:>)
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        Oct 8 2013: hehe....younger sister is "meimei", elder sister is "jiejie".:)
        I prefer "meimei".:)
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        Oct 8 2013: Sorry, I know the nuance of the slang:get a kick out of that. I'll call you Mary.:))) It doesn't have any weird meaning in Chinese.:)
        • Oct 8 2013: When I said "I figured you would get a kick out of that", I was referring how you would very much find enjoyable and funny that I had also wondered about why few people comment......

          I had no idea that there were two words for sisters. It is very enjoyable to learn all the different complexities of languages.

          In Spanish, sister is Hermana.......and when we want to make it endearing, especially if the sister is little, we add "ita" to the end....hermanita. (pronounced-----err-ma-knee-tah)
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        Oct 10 2013: I like it~"Hermana"
        It sounds feminine.:)
        Beautiful Spanish~~~
    • Oct 8 2013: I did a quick search and did not find this topic, hence why i posted it. Perhaps they were in different wordings and I didn't look hard enough. Anyway, I'm enjoying the answers I'm getting.
      • Oct 8 2013: We often have the same conversations over and over........because there are always new members joining.

        Thanks for hosting this conversation.
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        Oct 9 2013: Yes, according to Mary's research(only 2 comments),it's better to raise the question in your way to brainstorm some answers.

        Enjoy all the ideas!
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    Oct 7 2013: makes my rightness learn from my wrongness.