TED Conversations

Amgad Muhammad

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Why Technology talks receive fewer standing ovations

I was introvertly celebrating watching over 200 TED talks last night on TED.com and I was visiting my profile to take a look at my 3.5 years of knowing TED and one fact just pop out: “Tech guys receive fewer standing ovation.”

I'm not talking about using technology as a platform for ideas (like Khan Academy). I'm talking about inventions and breakthroughs. The speaker -at best- gets a lousy 4 seconds clap in a conference where the T initial stands for Technology and were you can see tech elites like Bill Gates and Sergey Brin among the guests.

I don't have a research to support my allegation, just a mere observation. But I wanted to know why fewer people appreciate TED techies when they turn sci-fi into live demos on stage!

So there're basically two things to discuss here:

1) Are the tech speakers doing it wrong? Do they fail to make their inventions engaging? do tech inventions need special presentation skills?

2) Or are we becoming less inspired by what tech. provides, taking it for granted?

What's your thought on this?


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    Jan 8 2014: I don't want to start a political debate in an otherwise apolitical discussion, but this is my observation.

    It's a given fact that TED participants tend toward a more liberal worldview, and I've observed that liberals as a whole are somewhat suspicious of technology (GMOs, nuclear power, biotech, high-tech farming, space exploration, oil and coal production, high-tech water management, the mining of rare earth elements, automated manufacturing, laser and microwave transmission, megawatt power lines, etc.) believing them to be the root of some of the evils in the world. That may be the reason why tech talks get fewer standing ovations.
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      Jan 8 2014: what's wrong with liberal people
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      Jan 9 2014: Good morning Lawren (It's morning in Egypt anyways)

      I don't interact as much as some of you guys do here in TED conversations so I don't really know about that TED-liberal thing. But I find it interesting that liberals, to you, are less tech-friendly. Actually, that political views have anything to do with being pro or against technology. Did you read something about that anywhere, I could use some insights.
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        Jan 9 2014: Hello Amgad

        No, sorry, I haven't read anything. It's just been my general observation. Here in the US we have liberals both individually and in organized groups fighting to halt, or to stop the proliferation of the specific technologies I listed.

        I'm not saying that they shouldn't, or that there's something wrong with it, just that the people involved are always liberal.

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