TED Conversations

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Should TED be more discerning?

TED would appear to have the aim of disseminating scientific ideas in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design, and also promoting conversations about these issues.

One of the rules of conversations on TED is to avoid 'pseudo science' which would seem to reinforce the idea that TED has the aim of promoting scientific principles and scientific discussion.

Keeping this in mind, is TED breaking it's own 'rules' by promoting speakers such as 'Pastor' Rick Warren, 'His Holiness' the Karmapa, etc.? Should TED be more discerning about who it invites to speak?


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    Jan 14 2014: Well at least it is very little and almost :) I think it is a question of balance - Rick Warren as Christian teachers go is quite moderate and his books have changed lives for the better, so he obviously has something worth saying. It's not like they are putting Jim Joneses or David Koreshes up to speak. I'm not into Rick Warren and most spiritual speakers, but I'm sure there is something to be gleaned from it.

    Your premise to contradict my viewpoint runs on extremes. The speakers you presented as being inappropriate in my view do not.

    Nevertheless it is a balance I'm sure. My personal viewpoint is I think they are doing it a great job and I love the variety- it's interesting.
    • Jan 14 2014: That was an interesting response and really made me think. Thanks!

      So, what you're saying is, Rick Warren isn't the worst kind of Christian around, and he should be tolerated to bring balance to TED. Following that argument, we should look around and promote a few racist, sexist, and pseudoscientific speakers to appear on TED and give talks, just so we can have some balance... as long as they're not TOO racist, sexist, or too pseudo in their science? It seems to me to be a bit like saying that a lot of murder is bad, but a little now and again? Well, maybe that's good for us as a society, so we should encourage the odd psychopath to go on a killing spree every now and again. Now, war... that would be way too much. We need to keep a balance!

      Yes, my arguments do run on extremes, at least at times. Reductio ad absurdum is a good tool to use sometimes. Not always, but it often shows that an argument is false, or at least has flaws. Whilst your point at first seemed to have some merit in appearing, on the face of it to be quite reasonable, trying to find a compromise, I'm not sue where that would lead.

      If Rick Warren is OK as far as speakers go, then why not Jim Jones and David Koresh? And if them, then who might follow? What would be the standard you'd set for allowing Rick Warren and the likes to speak, but not Jones or Koresh and speakers like them?

      It sometimes crosses my mind that TED as an organisation is trying to be as popular as possible and appeal to a wide audience, which sometimes leads it to have people speak about views that it discourages it's very members from discussing under it's terms and conditions.

      Granted, some people take solace and comfort in some strange ideas, like children believing in Santa and The Tooth Fairy, but does that fit in with the organisation TED seems to be trying to make itself out to be?
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        Jan 14 2014: If they got Jim Jones and David Koresh resurrected from the grave I would actually take a listen :)
        • Jan 14 2014: OK, so Jones and Koresh have passed on. I'd heard of Koresh, a long time ago, but knew nothing about him.

          However, hopefully you got the point I was making.

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