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Last post Author Topic: Against TED talks  (Read 17617 times)

Edvard

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Against TED talks
« on: February 25, 2014, 12:28:05 AM »
I've had a nagging suspicion for a while now that TED talks were becoming more and more like video representations of snake oil shows or SCIgen papers, but I always felt I was alone in this regard.  All the cool kids were into TED, and the water cooler conversations always seemed to include the sentence "... so I heard this one thing in a TED talk...", so what was wrong with me?

Turns out, I'm not as alone as I thought.

Nathan Jurgenson at The New Inquiry (not one of my regular hangouts...) has written a pretty good summation of what I've been feeling all along.
Quote
TED attempts to present itself as fresh, cutting edge, and outside the box but often fails to deliver. It’s become the Urban Outfitters of the ideas world, finding “cool” concepts suitable for being packaged and sold to the masses, thereby extinguishing the “cool” in the process. Cutting-edge ideas not carrying the Apple-esque branding are difficult to find.


In case you haven't noticed, the phenomenon is endemic enough to warrant it's own Onion parody series, and comedian Sam Hyde even crashed the party back in October '13, with predictably hilarious results:


I'll give them this though, the folks at TED have taken the jabs with grace, and even offered their own tips based on the, *ahem*, advice subtley gleaned from the ensuing jocundity: http://blog.ted.com/...can-learn-from-them/
Quote
DED Talks. High TED Talks. Onion Talks. Here in the TED office, you will often hear chuckles as someone watches one of the quickly growing crop of TED spoofs floating in the ether. And surprisingly, there are some pretty good lessons for speakers embedded in these spoofs.

So, what say you?  Am I still alone?  Does TED tickle your futurist gland?  or leave you facepalming at all the nulla substantia?
Or, if you'd rather have your Ulnar nerve percussed, make up your own TED talk! -> http://www.vanityfai...nference-talks-humor  
Quote
The art of faux profundity:
TED-O-MATIC
9 Easy steps to your own audience-flattering TED talk
:Thmbsup:


from an IRC conversation. Come on in! Lots of happenin' convo!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 12:44:38 AM by Edvard »

barney

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 02:10:25 AM »
Hm-m-m-m ...

I had only to see one (1) TED to realize/recognize the [effrontery|apostasy|call it what you will] and have not viewed any since.  My apologies to those folk, but there are better usages of my time.  If I need farce, I can always go to YouTube.  Reminds me of a college instructor once proving that 1+1=10 without specifying the base.

40hz

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 07:29:25 AM »
I've found some gems among the junk. Mostly the names of people or things I wanted to do my own research on.

Not to defend TED (even though it's become 'the thing' to diss it lately), but IMHO it's an easy thing to adopt a habitual stance of being "above it all" or "tolerantly amused" by almost everything. It's the hipster attitude. And it's a dangerous one that encourages knee-jerk cynicism and makes those who would innovate, or dare to dream, wonder "why even bother?"

th.jpg

Funny how for every TED presentation there are a hundred Reddit habitués all sitting around smirking and tossing out catty comments, secure in their absolute belief they could do it SO much better if only they could get off their asses and actually DO something (for once) instead of merely talk about it.

Or so I'm thinkin'  :)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 08:36:50 AM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 01:10:56 PM »
TED is going to depend on the guests lecturers- just like anything else of its ilk.  Its like the various user groups popularized in the 90s- if there was a good talk, it was a good time.  Otherwise, it was a waste.  And too many wasteful talks spent a lot of the capital of the group... until people weren't willing to come.  There's a lesson to be learned there, I think...

40hz

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 01:36:28 PM »
There's a lesson to be learned there, I think...

Couldn't agree more. Everything has it's Golden Age. TED, originally organized as a one-off event, is certainly past its. But, like the UN, I still think (in the absence of anything better to take its place) it's important that a gathering like TED continue to be around.



Edvard

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 10:16:38 PM »
Don't get me wrong - I think the basic intent of TED is/was a good one, and I have seen some I like, but the most poignant line from the first Onion talk is the most applicable to my current opinion of TED as a whole:
"I'll be your visionary, and you do the things I come up with."

http://dictionary.re....com/browse/idea-man
 :-\

Target

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 11:48:52 PM »
gotta say I think you're going at it all wrong - TED is not a cornucopia of ideas, solutions, or answers to all the worlds questions, it's just people talking.

In some cases they're peddling their political views or some thinly veiled advertisement, other the stories are exciting or inspiring (for any number of reasons). 

But they're just stories.  Take what you can use, and discard the rest

Edvard

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 12:08:22 AM »
Quote
TED is not a cornucopia of ideas, solutions, or answers to all the worlds questions, it's just people talking.

Exactly.  Why it's upheld as a forum for exactly that (the cornucopia thing) is more and more beyond me.

Quote
But they're just stories.  Take what you can use, and discard the rest

I did, but I was bugged by the nagging feeling that it shouldn't be so.  The way TED talks were constantly being extolled, i felt as if I should be slack-jawed in awe of these near-immortals who can blow my mind with paradigm-shifting plans to feed the world, travel to other planets and optimize bubble-sort algorithms, and sing loudly the praises of the organization who discovered these pioneering hyper-humans and trotted them out on a stage for my adoration.  But I wasn't, and I'm not.  I found a few of them interesting, but certainly not life-changing, mind-blowing, or anything else.  

Maybe I'm making more out of this thing than it deserves, but I posted because I was just a little tickled to find I wasn't alone in my sentiment.
That's all, really. :-[

Target

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 12:26:19 AM »
Exactly.  Why it's upheld as a forum for exactly that (the cornucopia thing) is more and more beyond me.

probably for the same reason that best sellers are, well, best sellers  ;)

I think that has more to do with the people who are 'extolling it's virtues' than it does to TED itself (perhaps it's a bit like the apple thing...)


barney

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 04:00:42 AM »
(perhaps it's a bit like the apple thing...)
Which one?  Steve Jobs', or Eve's?

40hz

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 05:40:50 AM »
I'm sure TED instils a feeling of inadequacy in many people. It does me sometimes.  :-[

charlie-brown-existentialism.jpg

But if that inspires or motivates more people (like me!) to start thinking and doing, that can hardly be a bad thing.  :Thmbsup:

Most real lessons life teaches us aren't very pleasant. Or even comfortable to learn.  :tellme:

I often come away from TED thinking, "Wow! Why not me?"  :-\

And that's an important question only I can answer: Yeah...why not me?  8)

charlie_brown_red_haired_girl.jpg

----------------------------------------------------

BTW, I actually did go over and talk to that little red-haired girl  :-* back when I was a freshman in high school.
It worked out well. We've been together ever since. :Thmbsup: )

« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 11:51:58 AM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 10:27:06 AM »
:Thmbsup: +1

(and without a funny picture! :P)

40hz

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 11:52:42 AM »
:Thmbsup: +1

(and without a funny picture! :P)

It's fixed now.  :P ;D

Renegade

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2014, 02:42:31 PM »
But, like the UN, I still think (in the absence of anything better to take its place) it's important that a gathering like TED continue to be around.

Probably a bad comparison. The world would be a better place without the UN. Maybe a better comparison would be "Windows", though Windows 8 makes that pretty sketchy.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

tomos

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2014, 02:49:36 PM »
with apologies for lowering the tone :-[ (NSFW)



in my defence, it was the "Against" in the title that stuck in my head - I knew it reminded me of something....
Tom

dantheman

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2014, 04:14:46 PM »
I've gone to TED's a few times and do get the feelings here expressed too!
(doesn't take much!)

But, seeing that some have taken out a bit of their Latin...
I figured this one would blend in well with what can be broadcasted on TED's.
numquam negas,
pauca concede,
distingue frequenter

40hz

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2014, 05:07:51 PM »
Probably a bad comparison. The world would be a better place without the UN.

No. I think a public forum where an idea can be presented, or an argument entertained, is better than no public forum at all.

As far as the UN goes, the world would be a better place without a lot of things political. Unfortunately, most proposals I've heard are 'solutions' that are worse than the problems they hope to address.

 :)

verszipo

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2014, 06:42:07 AM »
I for one consider the Ted talks is just like the Internet : there are a lot of good things there if you know how to filter out the stuff you either don't need or don't care about.

I learned about a lot of interesting things from Ted talks, so i cannot say it's a bad thing, you just need to learn to filter through all the information (this is something you have to do with most information sources anyways).

Also, sometimes you can see things from a different perspective (different from what you're used to anyways) and that is never a bad idea, you pretty soon realize things are usually not black or white but lots of shades of gray (more than 50 :p )

I think a public forum where an idea can be presented, or an argument entertained, is better than no public forum at all.
:Thmbsup:

Renegade

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2014, 08:50:34 AM »
Probably a bad comparison. The world would be a better place without the UN.

No. I think a public forum where an idea can be presented, or an argument entertained, is better than no public forum at all.

Perhaps. If getting gang raped by Satan and a legion of buzz-saw cocked demons is better than never getting laid at all...

As far as the UN goes, the world would be a better place without a lot of things political. Unfortunately, most proposals I've heard are 'solutions' that are worse than the problems they hope to address.

And therein lies much of the problem. The UN is the source of more problems than it creates.

And I'm being kind to the UN... It's worse.

We don't need a forum of demons chaired by Lucifer deciding on anything.

Again, if anything, I'm understating the case...

But few people ever take the time to look into what they UN actually does.

Just tonight I was out at a cooking class that took place at an elementary school. What I saw on the walls AT AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL was more UN pure evil.

And TED Talks are just podiums for the same sickness, decay and evil that we see out of the UN.

Listen to TED Talks... then RUN! Know your enemy.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2014, 09:04:48 AM »
I for one consider the Ted talks is just like the Internet : there are a lot of good things there if you know how to filter out the stuff you either don't need or don't care about.

I learned about a lot of interesting things from Ted talks, so i cannot say it's a bad thing, you just need to learn to filter through all the information (this is something you have to do with most information sources anyways).

Also, sometimes you can see things from a different perspective (different from what you're used to anyways) and that is never a bad idea, you pretty soon realize things are usually not black or white but lots of shades of gray (more than 50 :p )

Sure. There are a few decent things in TED Talks. But it's like rooting through a manure pile to find a penny.

Sorry - I'm just not into collectivist propaganda pushing us into a socialist/fascist totalitarian surveillance state. That's what TED Talks is.

I don't mind listening to different perspectives, and I do watch TED Talks, but they're vastly weighted with ideas that are utterly unacceptable. Or at least the implications are unacceptable.

Lots on there about Big Data... yeah... how's that working out? We're better off without it. Nah... TED Talks is just to find out who your enemy is...
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2014, 10:18:02 AM »
^Oy! The spirit of Cotton Mather is heard throughout the forum! :P ;D

Deozaan

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2014, 03:42:56 AM »
I've had a nagging suspicion for a while now that TED talks were becoming more and more like video representations of snake oil shows or SCIgen papers, but I always felt I was alone in this regard.  All the cool kids were into TED, and the water cooler conversations always seemed to include the sentence "... so I heard this one thing in a TED talk...", so what was wrong with me?

Turns out, I'm not as alone as I thought.

Nathan Jurgenson at The New Inquiry (not one of my regular hangouts...) has written a pretty good summation of what I've been feeling all along.

TED attempts to present itself as fresh, cutting edge, and outside the box but often fails to deliver. It’s become the Urban Outfitters of the ideas world, finding “cool” concepts suitable for being packaged and sold to the masses, thereby extinguishing the “cool” in the process. Cutting-edge ideas not carrying the Apple-esque branding are difficult to find.

Am I the only one who noticed that that article was written two years ago? :huh:


40hz

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2014, 03:57:28 AM »
@Deo - you probably are.  ;D

wraith808

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2014, 12:48:51 PM »
@Deo - you probably are.  ;D

Poor Deo... looking at such silly things like dates ;D

Anyone heard of TEDxTeen?  I'd not seen it before until a group I followed said something about being there.

http://www.tedxteen....-unlocking-the-truth

http://www.tedxteen.com/

superboyac

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Re: Against TED talks
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2014, 05:07:49 PM »
@Deo - you probably are.  ;D
l o l !!