The TED Talks Outlaw
There has been a mini controversy this week about TED talks. It seems as though a talk about income inequality was recorded. A decision was made to not use it. The talker leaked an email to National Journal, and they published The Inequality Speech That TED Won’t Show You. (The NJ page is sponsored by a health insurance company. A soldier, his wife, and their baby smile for the benefit of a provider network.) The censorship story was picked up by various outlets, who were duly outraged.
This might be a stage in the growth of the TED talks. Before now, they are almost universally loved. When you are looking for attention, you pick on the biggest target you can find.
TED curator Chris Anderson has a blog of his own, and presents his side of the story. His take is that the talk wasn’t very good, and was overly partisan. TED has a tremendous inventory to present, and only wants to release the best.
The idea of forbidden fruit makes this talk tough to resist. When people find out that something is being kept away from them, the first impulse is to consume the product. With youtube, and the transcript, this presentation is probably getting much more attention that it would have otherwise.
PG has now listened to the talk. The transcript has a lot of mistakes. The talk did not seem especially partisan. The six minutes went by quickly, and the ideas were easy to consume. There was little said that has not been said before.
The partisan charge is especially untrue. Both Democrats and Republicans wallow in money from special interests. The one percent owns both parties. If you want to get elected, you have to solicit campaign contributions from people with money. These same people with money can afford to hire PR firms to sing their praises.
Another problem with the economy today is a curious decision that was made before the invasion of Babylon. We are financing these wars with a tax cut. As if that is not enough, many of the functions of an army have been contracted out to private concerns. These current wars are more expensive than previous wars. And there was a tax cut before the invasion of Babylon. This is unheard of, and we are paying the economic price today.
The talker, Nick Hanauer, was an investor in Amazon. It could be argued that Amazon has led to the demise of many small independent bookstores. Mr. Hanauer is not a job creator, he is a job rearranger. At least he has the courage to say so.