Haley Bourke

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Haley Bourke
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
Oh, the internet. On the job I've had to remove inappropriate content from the internet and I've felt the uproar. If someone were to graffiti rude words across the facade of a brick-and-mortar shop, no one would take offense to the owner scrubbing it off, but if someone posts the same content on the web taking it down is an outrage. We're used to the internet being a lawless wild west where anything goes. However, we come to TED to watch content that has been lovingly curated because well-presented, peer-reviewed lectures by qualified speakers is a lot more interesting and enlightening than any old rant you'd find on Youtube. There's a place for both, but you simply can't uphold your audience's trust while simultaneously presenting unverified information as absolute fact. Thanks, Chris, and others, for what is, in my opinion, one of the best sites on the net and a huge source of inspiration, wonder, and contemplation.
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Haley Bourke
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
Thank you for your response, Joe. I think it would be irresponsible for TED to show these videos without a disclaimer, particularly the one by Graham Hancock. Graham himself seems to acknowledge the risks involved with hallucinogens. If TED is going to promote his ideas and give them a platform it's only responsible that they also represent that his claims are not exactly in line with science. He may be an intelligent and educated author, but I would need more evidence to accept his claim that consciousness and culture have originated almost exclusively from hallucinogenic drug use. Since I've known individuals who have stabbed themselves, attacked other people, etc., while tripping, I don't mind them advising caution, especially since TED is used as an educational tool and my 10 year old brother follows the site.
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Haley Bourke
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
I think it's strange that so many people have had this knee-jerk reaction to this "issue" if it can even be called that. To be honest, I don't understand why the words "censorship" and "propaganda" are being thrown around here. If TED didn't distribute these videos, would you be watching them? Perhaps we've become so spoiled by the instant access to information the internet provides that we've forgotten that funding, distributing, and opening conversation about a speaker does not equate to silencing them. The only thing TED has done here is make a disclaimer that the views expressed aren't (necessarily) their own, which I believe is the only responsible thing to do considering that so many people depend on TED as a reliable source. As to the content of these videos, I'll admit I couldn't finish the Graham Hancock one because the topic was too frustratingly familiar. My boyfriend is a big fan of his and I've spent enough time arguing with him about Ayuhuasca/consciousness/etc. The Rupert Sheldrake video and ideas are a bit more coherent. The general sentiment, that we should question research, etc., is one I can agree with, and a few specific arguments I can get behind, but in quite a few places I had to wonder what his motive is for denying science. My biggest complaint about this talk was his lack of examples to back up his claim that "science" won't consider any of his ideas. In some cases I can think of specific examples of research being conducted about the very topics he claims are being ignored. For instance, when he is talking about how "scientists" won't look into the idea that gravity, etc. may fluctuate, he directly talks about them measuring these constants and keeping tabs on them. If no one is putting any research into continuing to measure these fluctuations, what data is he even referring to when he talks about "scientists" averaging them? It would be easier to discuss if he would be a bit more specific.