Will Potter, investigative journalist and author of “Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege” recently gave a TED Talk outlining his work on Communication Management Units, (CMU’s) which are special units in the US prison system designed to contain and monitor those labeled as “domestic terrorists.” He was able to contact and meet with environmental activist and former CMU prisoner Daniel McGowan, and he discusses this and other CMU-related information here:
Tag Archives | TED
Do you love or hate TED, or both? Megan Hustad suggests that it may depend on your liking for organized religion, writing at the New York Times:
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… I grew up among Christian evangelicals and I recognize the cadences of missionary zeal when I hear them. TED, with its airy promises, sounds a lot like a secular religion. And while it’s not exactly fair to say that the conference series and web video function like an organized church, understanding the parallel structures is useful for conversations about faith — and how susceptible we humans remain. The TED style, with its promise of progress, is as manipulative as the orthodoxies it is intended to upset.
A great TED talk is reminiscent of a tent revival sermon. There’s the gathering of the curious and the hungry. Then a persistent human problem is introduced, one that, as the speaker gently explains, has deeper roots and wider implications than most listeners are prepared to admit.
There’s a shadowy group lurking in the squeaky clean corridors of the scientific information conglomerate known as TED. Here in the cockles of this monolithic shaft of Copernican cocksuredness hides a gloaming collection of secret scientists who decide the fate of the information you’re allowed to hear. They have no name, so we shall call them the Anonymous Society of Scientist (A.S.S. for short). We may have never known of A.S.S.’s existence if not for the hell raised over the removal of two popular TEDx Whitechapel speeches by Scientist, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and best-selling author, Graham Hancock.
Both Dr. Sheldrake and Graham Hancock’s talks revolved around the idea that consciousness is not necessarily limited to the physical human body, but that it may extend far beyond in ways not yet fully understood. In light of the present paradigm of scientific thought which supposes we are actually “lumbering robots” as Richard Dawkins famously stated, the contrarian claims of Sheldrake and Hancock are not considered suitable for public consumption – so think the veiled harbingers of A.S.S.… Read the rest
Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones takes TED to task not for the kind of controversial TEDx talks that Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake gave but for the mainstream TED, writing at The Awl:
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The long knives have been out for TED Talks for some time. Benjamin Bratton called them “middlebrow megachurch infotainment.” Evegny Morozov called the TED publishing arm the “insatiable kingpin of international meme laundering.” The gist of these arguments is that TED Talks are vapid, culty mass-selfies that fetishize technology for every solution. It is “placebo science” meant to make its audience feel good about learning and themselves, where ideas can hang out and do whatever, man—just turn the safety off on your brain-gun.
If not read in the voice of a perpetual techno-cynic, these might not be such terrible things. Is middlebrow entertainment bad? If cynics want to complain about shallow, self-indulgent infotainment there’s a whole world of sitcoms, reality television, and History channel documentaries on alien-Nazi collaborations for their critical ire.
Tell that to Fox News. Jay Black speaks at everybody’s favorite church of scientific dogma, TED:
So what do you think? Does TED have a problem? Is a description like “Middlebrow mega-church entertainment” fair?
At a recent TEDx event in San Diego, [Benjamin] Bratton delivered a talk called “What’s Wrong with TED Talks?”
“The first reason is over-simplification,” Bratton says at the start of his speech. “To be clear, I have nothing against the idea of interesting people who do smart things explaining their work doing in a way that everyone can understand, but TED goes way beyond that.”
Earlier this year Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock suffered a form of censorship at the hands of TED, a dispute covered amply here at disinformation. However, we missed a none too dissimilar spat regarding TED telling its TEDx event organizers to avoid “pseudoscience” and that red flag topics included GMOs and “Food as medicine.” Mike Adams jumped all over it at Natural News, writing:
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Allow me to be the first to announce that TED is dead. Why? Because the group that organizes so-called “TED talks” has been thoroughly hijacked by corporate junk science and now openly rejects any talks about GMOs, food as medicine, or even the subject of how food can help prevent behavioral disorders in children. All these areas of discussion are now red-flagged from being presented on any TED stage.
This is openly admitted by TEDx itself in a little-known letter publicly published on December 7, 2012.
The botched handling of the TEDx Whitechapel talks by Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock continues to cause waves, now via an open letter to TED by Deepak Chopra, MD. FACP, Stuart Hameroff, MD, Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., and Neil Theise, MD, published at Huffington Post:
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One of modern science’s great strengths is that any questionable finding dies a quick death if it’s invalid. The safeguards are mainly two: Your new finding must be repeatable when other researchers run the same experiments, and peer review by qualified scientists subjects every new finding to microscopic scrutiny. So it surprised the millions of admirers of TED, whose conferences attract wide attention to new, cutting-edge ideas, when that organization decided to practice semi-censorship.
The flap is over two videos of TEDx talks delivered in the UK in January that were summarily removed from TEDx’s YouTube channel (TEDx is the brand name for conferences outside the main TED events that are allowed to use the TED trademark, such as TEDxBoston or TEDxBaghdad — so far, about 5,000 such events have used the name).
Ken Jordan, Publisher & Editorial Director, Evolver/Reality Sandwich, has written an open letter to TED’s Chris Anderson in an attempt to get the TED organization to stop squirming around for a minute and talk about the real issues at stake in their decision to cordon off large swaths of scientific inquiry:
“TED’s prominence has made it, perhaps inadvertently, into an forum that validates worthy intellectual progress. If a good idea gets momentum, it will most likely end up, one way or another, presented by TED or one of the TEDx offshoots.
That’s why the censure of the TEDx talks by Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake is so dismaying. As you must know, to many of us the reasons behind their removal from the TED YouTube site are just not clear. On behalf of the Evolver community, I’d like to extend an invitation to you to help us understand the reasoning that led to TED’s actions, because we suspect that behind your decision is an uninformed prejudice against groundbreaking research in a critical area of study, the possibility that consciousness extends beyond the brain.”
The issue here is not one of censorship, it’s one of social engineering.… Read the rest
Following popular outcry in response to TED’s censorship of recent TEDx talks by leading thinkers Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake – and against the accompanying slanders on their reputations – TED is forced to retract its position and put the talks back online in a “reserved” area of their site. By then, however, pirate copies already existed and from these, in an example of guerrilla action on the internet, hundreds of people independently uploaded the talk to their own Youtube channels. Just one of these many Youtube channels indepently hosting the talk in defiance of TED is here.
This week saw a remarkable victory in the court of human justice with the public climb-down by internet media giant TED in light of their error in censoring last week, the challenging talks by leading thinkers Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake. The much loved TED brand has been called on its trustworthiness for the first time and forced to retract its position.… Read the rest