Wed 8 Jan, 2014 06:39 pm
I found this linked story interesting.
I won't say I hate TED talks, but as for the ones I listened to, or partially listened to, I certainly don't love them.
I think the comparison to Megachurch Infotainment is pretty spot on.
What's your opinion?
I just watched that entire video. After some thought, I don't buy this Mr Bratton's basic these; that TED is harmful. And I don't share his apparent pessimism about the state of the world either.
Sure, TED hasn't lived up to its exagerrated claims... but who has. Cynicism is easy.
Several TED talks have been useful to me as far as making me think about things in a way I never have before. I really enjoyed Amanda ******* Palmer's talk on giving away her music. And the guy who started the AID's ride talking about the profit motive in charity work was really interesting (even though I am not sure he convinced me). Other talks, such as a talk on science and morality, were interesting in that they didn't persuade me.
Life Changing? No. Ispirational to me to make the world a better place? Probably not.
But they are often interesting and sometimes thought provoking. I think Mr. Bratton is off base.
I find the format and most of the speakers as uberannoying as they tend to be too painfully earnest and humorless amongst other things. So even if hate is too strong of a word, it's closer to how I feel towards this pretentious group of formulaic bores.
That's why I truly relished the Onions' pisstake on the Ted conferences:
I think I've only watched one, Mankoff. I liked it.
For the most part, they are a good alternative to the crap on television.
I don't like the ones that are infomercials not so well disguised as a TED talk.
The early years of TED were the best. The last few years many of the talks seem contrived.
Painfully earnest....yeah that's a pretty good description for overall what I've seen.
Sleepy time, will say more tomorrow.
I've been to TEDxBoston a few years, and participated twice in 'adventures'. Painful earnestness is par for the course; so are infomercials. Fortunately, the experience has always been free, although running adventures is not free.
It's a lot of stuff thrown at you in a short period of time. It is too much, and it's overstuffed, but that's the modus operandi there. You get a lot of stuff thrown at you and no time to digest or discuss it, not really.
It also tends to not be a very good way to network (I've tried). It's a lot of "hey, kids, let's put on a show!" mentality - everybody wants to show off their baby but no one really wants to watch and coo at anybody else's baby.
There were good pretzels at the last one.
This is interesting.
At first, I thought maybe it was "just me" who felt this way, perhaps because of one the ways I first heard about TED.
I had vaguely heard of TED talks, maybe even heard part of one, or even listened to an entire one without really noticing it was a TED talk. Then someone I worked with brought it up in conversation. She clearly thought they were the best things since sliced bread.
The problem was, she always thought everything was the best thing since sliced bread. She was a good person, very intelligent, but just went overboard with thinking that everything and everybody were just shining stars in the sky. Honestly, she just wore me out sometimes. So, when she gushed about TED talks, at that moment I felt like I was just too worn out to concentrate so positively on something.
Because of that, I can definately feel the megachurch "happy clappy" aspect of it.
If you get a chance to go to one, get the big, honkin' soft pretzels. I had three. They were goooood
I've seen some I've really liked, and a few that have made me think about things differently. I like hearing about other people's experiences in the world and how they've explored questions and looked for answers.
Not quite spicy enough, but more than offset by the awesome pretzel vehicle for it.
ok, here's an example of a TED talk that I caught maybe 10 minutes of a few days ago, that makes me roll my eyes.
20 something guy, talking about his experience in his job search when he got out of college. Well, maybe he's 30 by this time, who knows.
In my opinion, he was going on about "I did everything everyone told me to do all my life. (all his life? meaning up to the point he was 22? wow.) and everyone (mostly parents, teachers) told me that if I did all these things (school, extra curricular activities, volunteering, etc.) I would be appreciated and given opportunities because I'm special and blah blah blah"
Well, wake up to the real ******* world dude.
Bottom line, he wasn't finding work (oh, wait, work that made him feel he was living up to his potential). He and his friends were blasting off resumes and some were happy they finally got a job at Verizon as a customer service person, saying "In a year I'll be in middle management" But our hero wasn't satified with something like this, saying "I hate Verizon" (getting chuckles from audience).
So he came up with the stupendous plan of offering to work for "something he was passionate about" without getting paid.
Must be nice to be able to do that, when rent and college loans are due....oh wait, that's assuming you have parents still willing to feed and shelter their 25 year old "kid".
The thing that got me was how affronted this guy was that "they lied to me. they told me if I did this, then "this" would happen"
The **** about "If I do this for a year, I'll be in middle management" really ticked me off.
Everyone wants to get a job where all of a sudden they're in management. Who the **** are you going to be managing if all of you are managers? By any chance, have you ever looked at a pyramid, and how it gets smaller and smaller as you go up it?
Oh, and btw, not brought out in this talk, but what I've heard directly from talking to recent graduates, and what I've read in a couple of articles.....These 25 to 27 year olds are now going to be managing the 50 to 60 year olds, because they have all these new ways to look at things that aren't like how the old stogies think, and these older out of date workers are going to be so grateful that someone half their age is now going to guide them in how things should be done.
TED isn't a recipe for 'civilisational disaster' http://zite.to/1gDCalk
Is a thoughtful defence of the ted format - blaming it for not doing things it wasn't meant to do is churlish. Some ted talks are dull twaddle to me, others fascinating, and some have triggered a deeper investigation.
The article also makes the point that TED isn't responsible for TEDx content, but they do actively encourage ANY one to hold these events, because people discussing issues is better than the opposite.
Blaming the format for the content is odd to me, because I've read some crap books and seen some **** movies, but I'm not arguing against the existence of books or movies.
From your link, the guy says
As its curator, I'm committed to the principle that knowledge should be shared.
That's fine, but let us know if the knowledge coming up next is crap or gold. The way it's presented is that it's all gold.
Well, I'm part of that, I'm surly for sure, but not mean spirited.
Ha! Wasn't meaning you were churlish, just the attack article.
I don't think you're being fair saying it's all presented as gold. TV new season promos do the same thing - because to a certain audience it will be gold, but it will be **** to other people. Common sense would seem to be against the idea of a promo that said - 'well this is ****, but one of you idiots might like it'. Music is the same. Even the worst, subjectively, has an audience.
Anyway, it seemed to me that what's really irking you is TED watchers proselytizing for TED blindly. I like TED but each item has to be judged on its merits. TED doesn't create the content, it sets the format.
Anyway it is everyone's responsibility to sort wheat from chaff in an age of ubiquitous information.