TED Conversations

Poch Peralta

Freelance Writer / Blogger,


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Is TED Talks a recipe for civilisational disaster?

This attack on TED by Benjamin Bratton is really searing. One reason he gave for TED not working is over-simplification.

'This is my rant against TED, placebo politics, "innovation," middlebrow megachurch infotainment, etc., given at TEDx San Diego at their invitation...'

'One TED speaker said recently, "If you remove this boundary ... the only boundary left is our imagination". Wrong.

'If we really want transformation, we have to slog through the hard stuff (history, economics, philosophy, art, ambiguities, contradictions). Bracketing it off to the side to focus just on technology, or just on innovation, actually prevents transformation.

'Instead of dumbing-down the future, we need to raise the level of general understanding to the level of complexity of the systems in which we are embedded and which are embedded in us...'

Jimmy Strobl requested that this video be added here:


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  • Jan 3 2014: Ted is just a form of entertainment for people who have a great deal of surplus money (compared to most of the world) and the inability to be anything more than feckless dilettantes. It's really no worse than TV.
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      Jan 3 2014: LOL Now that is a brave opinion worth considering. Bravo Bryan!
      • Jan 3 2014: Nothing at all brave about it. After all, the "TED talks" are just concerts, in which celebrity guests speak and only a tiny fraction of the audience actually interacts.
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      Jan 12 2014: But Ted really somewhat interactive, compared with TV. TV is a concentarted (very stinky) garbage-can consisted of twisted "ideas" and loud "professional" opinions. You absolutely cannot participate in their network. (Maybe give them "your" answer as "yes" and "no" -- along with the rest of poorly educated but over-excited TV watchers.)

      Ted is allowing laymen and pros participate in conversations, though all that stuff is regulated and limited by ted.

      A few years ago I so wanted to put together a similar site, not for just conversations, but for actually discovering practical ideas to build our project - a very unusual futuristic town. However, the site of that technical caliber is impossible for me to finance.

      Well, I think Ted is ok to some point, conciderng the true poverty of choices. I have found a couple of very thoughtful , independently thinking people on Ted, it's already encouraging.

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