TED Conversations

Poch Peralta

Freelance Writer / Blogger,

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed.

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...'
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/30/we-need-to-talk-about-ted

Jimmy Strobl requested that this video be added here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo5cKRmJaf0

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 14 2014: What really limits humanity is myopic academic elites that need to judge and condemn others for seeking knowledge. "Instead of dumbing-down the future" we're looking for ways to make the future better, we're the ones on the front lines." How do I know this?

    Most of the people I met at TEDx San Diego are people working for companies or institutions that are looking to make a difference in the world. Most of the people I met talked about instilling values in their children so they could become the next generation of problem solving citizens. The people I met talked about volunteering in our communities doing things like coaching sports teams, doing beach clean ups and planting trees. You know, that "hard stuff that really changes how we think".

    And while you might not “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” during a talk of less than 18 minutes, what you can do is plant a seed of curiosity or as Victor Frankl called it in a speech called “Why Believe in Others” posted on TED, a spark.

    Most of us realize we don't have all the answers, hence we open our minds, listen to others and maybe, just maybe, we learn something that creates a spark, and that spark leads to "the difficult and uncertain work of de-mystification and reconceptualization" of something great, and if not, well at least it's better than watching Duck Dynasty.

    We all have a choice, we can illuminate the negative and shout it from an intellectual soapbox or we can look to see the positive in any given situation. If Victor Frankl can deliver a powerful message about the human search for meaning from a concentration camp than maybe Benjamin can come off his academic soap box and realize no one is watching a TED Talk to solve the world’s most challenging problems, it’s just one channel of thought in a world that need more thought, and we can all benefit from this, even myopic academic elites.
    • thumb
      Jan 14 2014: '...maybe Benjamin can come off his academic soap box and realize no one is
      watching a TED Talk to solve the world’s most challenging problems...'
      I don't even think Bratton should climb the soapbox if he doesn't even know how to handle opinions.
      Thank you Purakai.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.