Chris Leeds

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TED should invite a Mafia Don as an example of a really radical leadership style managing change in a fast moving environment.

This goes to what TED stands for - I think the morality of an enterprise should be a factor in whether a representative is invited to speak, and I believe the military is basically immoral.

Would TED invite a cutting edge researcher on germ warfare or remote controlled weaponry just because they are good at it?

If anything, surely TED should be promoting the redistribution of the vast military budget towards more socially useful ends. It would fund all the R&D ever mooted on TED for several decades.

  • Apr 25 2011: You should write newspaper headlines. They often have nothing in common with what follows, either.

    Are you inviting a debate about whether countries should have armed forces? Or are you just stating your opinion that military budgets should be redirected to R&D?

    I would welcome talks by Mafia dons and germ warfare researchers and weaponry designers because I learn the most from people I disagree with. Otherwise we just have a bunch of people patting each other on the back and saying yes, yes, yes to each other all the time.
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      Apr 27 2011: Hi Revett - I'm all for listening to all speakers, but some need challenging.

      I felt had to reply to some of the comments on McChristal's talk - particularly the way many seemed to ignore the elephant in room - that the end result of his actions is violent mayhem.

      Whether the recipients of that mayhem deserve it or whether they were our enemies is beside the point - I see McChristal as representing all the military on all the sides everywhere - it is they who keep the wars going.

      Does TED having him speak endorse armed conflict - I guess not - but it does lend it some credibility.

      McChristal has left TED with, presumably, the rosy glow of approbation - but I am shouting at my computer - 'Stop being a general!- do something else, stop fighting, go back to your home and retire, please, leave us all alone... and so forth, you get my drift...

      Working towards a disarmed world and using the budget for good would be nice, tho I am not holding my breath - but TED promoting the armed forces certainly can't help
      • Apr 27 2011: OK, but I'm not sure that inviting someone to speak is "promoting" their ideas or what they do. Without getting into whether we SHOULD have a military, if we do have one I would just as soon learn a little about what goes on in the minds of the people who lead it.

        Ditto the Don, ditto the researcher, etc. I would probably have invited Hitler to speak.
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    Apr 23 2011: Well Chris, you sure know how to draft a catchy title! I was about to lay down a blast about bullies and criminals and that the time for power based on coersion should be long past....until I read the rest of your premise. Nicely done.