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(The Awl)   Speaking the unspeakable: "Say, some of these TED talks are kinda . . . sorta . . . full of shiat"   (theawl.com) divider line 96
    More: Obvious, TED conference, desertification, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, oversimplifications, Freakonomics, doomsday device, Ben Goldacre, Levitt  
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6519 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Feb 2014 at 9:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



96 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-02-06 06:35:45 PM  
Anyone who watches TED talks on his lunch hour needs to be horsewhipped.
 
2014-02-06 07:10:35 PM  
For a medium that is supposed to liberate us from silly, unfounded "absolutes", the internet culture seems to shake a new one out of its sleeves every three days, based upon hit count and viral ubiquity.
 
2014-02-06 08:50:43 PM  
I saw one with some asshole who runs some crappy "news" website and he was going on and on and on and on about patent trolls. Blah blah blah blah, so boring. We get it. Patent trolls are bad.
 
2014-02-06 09:10:41 PM  
I never could really get into TED talks. Every time I saw one being hyped in the media or making the rounds of being shared on friends' FaceBook walls, it almost always turned out to be overhyping something to the point of making it pseudoscience.
 
2014-02-06 09:34:02 PM  
I've only watched a couple TED talks, and maybe I just had some bad luck, but I felt they were pretty lame.
 
2014-02-06 09:35:56 PM  
I find them to be excellent source of information that mainstream science fails at.
 
2014-02-06 09:55:55 PM  
I find them to be pretty hit or miss with a lot more of the latter.  The one on Captcha and ReCaptcha is pretty informative and Ken Jenning's is entertaining but most of them seem to make their "point" in the first minute and then just fill the remaining time with nonsense and repetition.
 
2014-02-06 09:55:55 PM  
The TED talks lost all credibility when they had this jackwagon speak:

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-02-06 09:56:03 PM  
TED Talks haven't been good since like 2009.  How do people not know this?
 
2014-02-06 09:57:17 PM  
I've seen good ones, bad one and terrible ones, just like every other talk I've been to in a conference or during grad school.
 
2014-02-06 09:57:18 PM  
That article is trying to trick people who hate Ted Talks into watching some Ted Talks.

/Hey - that would be a good Ted Talk topic
 
2014-02-06 09:57:48 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: The TED talks lost all credibility when they had this jackwagon speak:


I didn't know Obama spoke at TED
 
2014-02-06 09:58:50 PM  
Baby. Bath water. Know the difference
 
2014-02-06 09:59:39 PM  
Actually, there are an awful lot of them. I've seen a few, and lucked out - they were pretty good - but it's inevitable that there has got to be some crap in all that material - probably a lot.
 
2014-02-06 10:07:31 PM  
Maybe in 2004 they were cutting-edge shiat, but these days they're just a way for the 1%ers to pretend they're being deep and thoughtful and paradigm-breaking. I do some design and printing work for a local VC firm that lurves them some TED Talks. They even put on their own TED Talk rip-off conference in the summer. It's about as intellectual as cellulose spray insulation.

As a rule, you should steer clear of any franchise that regularly involves Deepak Chopra being insightful.
 
2014-02-06 10:12:06 PM  
TED taught me that I had been tying my shoes incorrectly my whole life. I've seen others, but I really only remember the shoe-tying one.
 
2014-02-06 10:12:56 PM  

bunner: For a medium that is supposed to liberate us from silly, unfounded "absolutes", the internet culture seems to shake a new one out of its sleeves every three days, based upon hit count and viral ubiquity.


hear hear!
 
2014-02-06 10:17:09 PM  

theorellior: Maybe in 2004 they were cutting-edge shiat, but these days they're just a way for the 1%ers to pretend they're being deep and thoughtful and paradigm-breaking.


Eeeyup. They started good - and there are still some really good talks in there. But there's a whole lot of "woooo" and a lot of "independent events" which are very expensive and cashflowy.
 
2014-02-06 10:17:57 PM  
You know what I hate the most about TED?

That farking Gary Wilson and his anti-masturbation pseudoscience.

It's just a repackaging of puritanism, and there's thousands of his acolytes out there who are taking part in "no fap" in the hopes it will make them alpha. I hope he dies.
 
2014-02-06 10:25:03 PM  
Someone should do a TED talk on how to be selective about what you watch, listen to or read.

A whole lot of people could then stop whining about things they don't like.
 
2014-02-06 10:28:07 PM  
Evil? Really.  That's the word you went with.
 
2014-02-06 10:35:36 PM  

PanicMan: Evil? Really.  That's the word you went with.


Well, they'd be evil if people actually paid attention to them and followed their advice. Luckily no one does that.
 
2014-02-06 10:41:27 PM  
http://www.ted.com/talks/mary_roach_10_things_you_didn_t_know_about_o r gasm.html
awesome

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
amazing

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insi gh t.html
stroke


I REALLY dont care how good or bad all the rest are.
These 3 blew me away and made me think that there are a couple more that are probably worth watching.
 
2014-02-06 10:42:14 PM  
I only know TED talks from Netflix and never watched one. That article kinda makes me glad I didnt. Am I missing something about it aside from the link?
 
2014-02-06 10:42:17 PM  
If it wasn't for TED TALKS and Nicole Daedone I never would heard about the importance of the 1 o'clock position on the human clitoris.
 
2014-02-06 10:43:12 PM  
TED is fine as infotainment. If you want talks that are more in depth but still not a college course, try 'Talks @ Google' or /r/lectures on Reddit. Also keep in mind that the quality control for TEDx events is much lower than for TED itself.
 
2014-02-06 10:44:35 PM  

theorellior: As a rule, you should steer clear of any franchise that regularly involves Deepak Chopra being insightful.


God that man pisses me off.

Especially becuase I *KNOW* At some point someone has sat him down and explained "No, look. When a physicist uses the phrase 'observed' with regard to quantum mechanics, he doesn't mean it in the normal sense. He doesn't mean "A being looked or measured this in some way!" The physicist is using it as shorthand for "The universe interacted with this in, literally, ANY possible way.""

And he STUILL goes on with his bullshiat quantum woo and ARRRGGGHHH.

/PHYSICIST SMASH PUNY CON MAN.
//PHYSICIST NO LIKE CORRUPTION OF SCIENCE
 
2014-02-06 10:58:27 PM  
Palotta's consultant work, running events as for-profit fundraising campaigns for causes like AIDS research and cancer awareness, had problems when only a small percentage of the proceeds being raised were actually going to direct services. In one incidence, rather than a promised 60% of proceeds going to charity, the fundraising, advertising, and event costs cut into expectations so far that only 19% made it in the end. When too much money was being spent on marketing materials and large salaries for employees like Palotta, many of the larger fundraisers took offense and left to form a more formal tax exempt non-profit that ran similar events and paid their staff less overall.

Oh wow, what a scumbag. For contrast, organizations like the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders usually get around 90% of the proceeds going directly to the work they do.
 
2014-02-06 11:25:23 PM  
I only watch about 1/10th of all the ted talks.

About 50% aren't in a subject I'm interested in (so I play a few minutes and see if it's interesting despite the subject).
Another 40% are in a subject I'm interested in ... but the speaker is just boring.

That last 10% though ... is awesome sauce.
 
2014-02-06 11:35:34 PM  
Sure, 90% of TED talks are crud. That's becuse 90% of everything is crud.

/Not obscure
 
2014-02-06 11:36:39 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: The TED talks lost all credibility when they had this jackwagon speak:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x275]


That's not Jonathan Haidt.

images.ted.com
 
2014-02-06 11:55:00 PM  
Its all the code words they use.
 
2014-02-06 11:57:35 PM  
Here's the thing if you never get to hear a differing view, you never get to figure out just what makes your own position stand up or not.
 
2014-02-07 12:01:18 AM  
Sturgeon's Law applies here.
 
2014-02-07 12:07:35 AM  

QU!RK1019: I've only watched a couple TED talks, and maybe I just had some bad luck, but I felt they were pretty lame.


Eh, they're just high-concept dicking around, and always have been.  If you take them for what they are... basically an opportunity for people that are really excited about social sciences and technology talking about why they're excited... they're entertaining enough.

I'm... not really sure why this guy is so upset that talks entirely based around throwing ideas at the wall to see if anything sticks have a bunch of ideas that don't.  That's sort of the point, it's basically a large-scale brainstorming session, not an actual practical meeting about real plans.
 
2014-02-07 12:13:40 AM  
...i really enjoyed john hodgman's ted talk...
 
2014-02-07 12:26:54 AM  
Every good Ted talk I ever saw was something that would have been interesting if it was about 4 times longer. There are some that are shiat. The rest are only long enough to get you interested.

I love to listen to a good speaker talk for a good solid hour. I don't care if it's a stand up comic or Neil deGrasse Tyson. Ted talks are too short to be useful in the event they happen to be good.
 
2014-02-07 12:38:30 AM  

gfid: Someone should do a TED talk on how to be selective about what you watch, listen to or read.

A whole lot of people could then stop whining about things they don't like.


Yeah nobody should ever say anything critical in case someone likes it.
 
2014-02-07 01:05:34 AM  
Ted Talks are an acquired taste.
They will put you to sleep if you have no interest in the subject being to discussed.
 
2014-02-07 01:09:40 AM  
 
2014-02-07 01:11:22 AM  

jonny_q: Every good Ted talk I ever saw was something that would have been interesting if it was about 4 times longer. There are some that are shiat. The rest are only long enough to get you interested.

I love to listen to a good speaker talk for a good solid hour. I don't care if it's a stand up comic or Neil deGrasse Tyson. Ted talks are too short to be useful in the event they happen to be good.


This.

But I think that was one of the original concepts. There was that "fact" going around a few years ago about how long the usual attention span was and that you could get all you needed or could remember in about 15 minutes. So these guys took this little Zig Zeigler thing, believed it, and decided to build an entire conference on the new amazeballs psedopsychology and monetize it.

It's great though for getting a good synopsis. But most listeners are happy enough to spout the cliff notes rather than doing real studying. Because the third party who is being preached to as they hear the talk second hand wouldn't be questioning anything about it anyway.
 
2014-02-07 01:26:43 AM  
You know what i hate about TED talks?

The fact that they are just a dramatic reading of a blog post.
 
2014-02-07 01:56:49 AM  
I'm guilty.  I enjoy TED talks.  If I'm in the kitchen cooking, or doing something and need something to listen to, I'll set up a TED talks playlist and get busy.  I think I'm smart enough to filter the good stuff from the bullshiat, but ... what if I'm not?  I one's an idiot, wouldn't they'd be the last to know?

Farkers, I need your help.

Music bores me ... the onion on my belt interferes with the reception.  NPR ... only so much of that a person can take if it's not This American Life and Radio Lab is just farking annoying.  If I'm doing something, and want to learn shiat, what's a good alternative to TED talks that isn't mind-rotting bullshiat garbage?

I'll hang up and listen.
 
2014-02-07 02:04:01 AM  
"I one's an idiot..." should be "If one's an idiot..."

Didn't want anyone to doubt my idiocy.
 
2014-02-07 02:13:43 AM  

IntertubeUser: If I'm doing something, and want to learn shiat, what's a good alternative to TED talks that isn't mind-rotting bullshiat garbage?


Take some classes on subjects that interest you, or that you feel you want to brush up on, on Coursera or other MOOC sites? The enthusiasm of the lecturers will vary, but there's not real penalty for dropping classes that just aren't doing it for you.

If you want to go for some biology stuff, I'll gladly recommend any of the following:
- Introduction to Genetics and Evolution (Dr. Moore is great!)
- Useful Genetics I & II (Rosie Redfield runs this; it's challenging but really well done)
- Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression (Really interesting, but probably super tough if you don't have some genetics background)
- Dinosaur Paleobiology (nice, and you can set your own schedule as all video lectures are available from the start)
- Human Evolution: Past and Future (Run by John Hawks; I actually dropped this because I have too much on my plate at the moment, but I full intend to take the next session)
- Marine Megafauna (worth looking into if you are interested in Marine Biology)

If you are interested in other topics, there are plenty of other things to learn about, as well. :)
 
2014-02-07 02:21:05 AM  
TED talks, MOOCs, and Malcolm Gladwell.

What do these things have in common?
 
2014-02-07 02:33:44 AM  
Fark Ted.

How is it that a group promulgating the spread of ideas and knowledge incapable of providing captions for the deaf and the hearing impaired? How about a transcript? This is not rocket science, supergeniuses.

/deaf guy
 
2014-02-07 03:03:17 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Here's the thing if you never get to hear a differing view, you never get to figure out just what makes your own position stand up or not.


+1
 
2014-02-07 03:08:11 AM  

theorellior: As a rule, you should steer clear of any franchise that regularly involves Deepak Chopra being insightful.


http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=F5-mLoeNxn0

Yep.
 
2014-02-07 03:16:11 AM  

spamdog: You know what I hate the most about TED?

That farking Gary Wilson and his anti-masturbation pseudoscience.

It's just a repackaging of puritanism, and there's thousands of his acolytes out there who are taking part in "no fap" in the hopes it will make them alpha. I hope he dies.


You mean there's a guy against masturbation? WTF?

I should give the counter TED talk on that one.
 
2014-02-07 03:28:57 AM  

mamoru: IntertubeUser: If I'm doing something, and want to learn shiat, what's a good alternative to TED talks that isn't mind-rotting bullshiat garbage?

Take some classes on subjects that interest you, or that you feel you want to brush up on, on Coursera or other MOOC sites? The enthusiasm of the lecturers will vary, but there's not real penalty for dropping classes that just aren't doing it for you.

If you want to go for some biology stuff, I'll gladly recommend any of the following:
- Introduction to Genetics and Evolution (Dr. Moore is great!)
- Useful Genetics I & II (Rosie Redfield runs this; it's challenging but really well done)
- Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression (Really interesting, but probably super tough if you don't have some genetics background)
- Dinosaur Paleobiology (nice, and you can set your own schedule as all video lectures are available from the start)
- Human Evolution: Past and Future (Run by John Hawks; I actually dropped this because I have too much on my plate at the moment, but I full intend to take the next session)
- Marine Megafauna (worth looking into if you are interested in Marine Biology)

If you are interested in other topics, there are plenty of other things to learn about, as well. :)



Unless you're a genius -- and even if you are - this is a stupid idea. You should never have anything in the background sufficiently complicated to distract you from whatever your primary task is. If you want to learn shiat then sit the fark down, pay attention and learn shiat. If you're cooking then pay attention to your farking cooking.
 
2014-02-07 03:46:25 AM  
Here's my take on it:TED talks are fine. TEDx talks basically suck. The one I went to left the worst possible taste in my mouth that I'm surprised I could think straight. The ONLY good things about TEDx were the Artists (visual and musical) and anybody discussing a need to make our future cooler. Gondola-style trams in Austin? Awesome!What made me angry were the talks that sounded more like self-congratulatory niche charity pet projects that aim toward an exclusive demographic.
 
2014-02-07 04:03:36 AM  

IntertubeUser: I'm guilty.  I enjoy TED talks.  If I'm in the kitchen cooking, or doing something and need something to listen to, I'll set up a TED talks playlist and get busy.  I think I'm smart enough to filter the good stuff from the bullshiat, but ... what if I'm not?  I one's an idiot, wouldn't they'd be the last to know?

Farkers, I need your help.

Music bores me ... the onion on my belt interferes with the reception.  NPR ... only so much of that a person can take if it's not This American Life and Radio Lab is just farking annoying.  If I'm doing something, and want to learn shiat, what's a good alternative to TED talks that isn't mind-rotting bullshiat garbage?

I'll hang up and listen.


I like BBC radio. The listen now iplayer stuff can be pretty fun.
 
2014-02-07 04:34:10 AM  

Felgraf: theorellior: As a rule, you should steer clear of any franchise that regularly involves Deepak Chopra being insightful.

God that man pisses me off.

Especially becuase I *KNOW* At some point someone has sat him down and explained "No, look. When a physicist uses the phrase 'observed' with regard to quantum mechanics, he doesn't mean it in the normal sense. He doesn't mean "A being looked or measured this in some way!" The physicist is using it as shorthand for "The universe interacted with this in, literally, ANY possible way.""

And he STUILL goes on with his bullshiat quantum woo and ARRRGGGHHH.

/PHYSICIST SMASH PUNY CON MAN.
//PHYSICIST NO LIKE CORRUPTION OF SCIENCE


It seems the eternal problem of science/technology - either you create new words for everything and sound incomprehensible to anyone outside your field, or you reuse existing words that are somewhat related and then people outside your field assume the literal meaning of that word is implied and come up with some really weird ideas of how it all works based on that wrong assumption.
 
2014-02-07 05:16:10 AM  

xria: Felgraf: theorellior: As a rule, you should steer clear of any franchise that regularly involves Deepak Chopra being insightful.

God that man pisses me off.

Especially becuase I *KNOW* At some point someone has sat him down and explained "No, look. When a physicist uses the phrase 'observed' with regard to quantum mechanics, he doesn't mean it in the normal sense. He doesn't mean "A being looked or measured this in some way!" The physicist is using it as shorthand for "The universe interacted with this in, literally, ANY possible way.""

And he STUILL goes on with his bullshiat quantum woo and ARRRGGGHHH.

/PHYSICIST SMASH PUNY CON MAN.
//PHYSICIST NO LIKE CORRUPTION OF SCIENCE

It seems the eternal problem of science/technology - either you create new words for everything and sound incomprehensible to anyone outside your field, or you reuse existing words that are somewhat related and then people outside your field assume the literal meaning of that word is implied and come up with some really weird ideas of how it all works based on that wrong assumption.


So why did they not pick the phrase `interact with` instead of `observe`?

then the literal meaning would be exactly the same as the actual one...

you would get sentences like "interacting with a subatomic particle for the purposes of gaining information about the state of the particle changes the state of the particle" (which makes total sense) instead of "Observing a subatomic particle changes the state of the particle" (which does not and implies some form of consciousness interacting with the universe similar to god i.e. will creates the universe)

But then that would be easy, I reckon some people just like to be confusing.
 
2014-02-07 05:20:58 AM  

IntertubeUser: I'm guilty.  I enjoy TED talks.  If I'm in the kitchen cooking, or doing something and need something to listen to, I'll set up a TED talks playlist and get busy.  I think I'm smart enough to filter the good stuff from the bullshiat, but ... what if I'm not?  I one's an idiot, wouldn't they'd be the last to know?

Farkers, I need your help.

Music bores me ... the onion on my belt interferes with the reception.  NPR ... only so much of that a person can take if it's not This American Life and Radio Lab is just farking annoying.  If I'm doing something, and want to learn shiat, what's a good alternative to TED talks that isn't mind-rotting bullshiat garbage?

I'll hang up and listen.


Generally, people smart enough to consider they may be an idiot are not.

Only idiots see that there are people more stupid than them and draw the conclusion this makes them the smartest.
 
2014-02-07 05:23:45 AM  

freakingmoron: Fark Ted.

How is it that a group promulgating the spread of ideas and knowledge incapable of providing captions for the deaf and the hearing impaired? How about a transcript? This is not rocket science, supergeniuses.

/deaf guy


brotheryellow.com

/obligatory

sorry, I meant
/OBLIGATORY!!!
 
2014-02-07 05:28:01 AM  

oldcub: TED taught me that I had been tying my shoes incorrectly my whole life. I've seen others, but I really only remember the shoe-tying one.


I've been tying my shoes correctly since forever. I didn't know people were using granny knots instead of square knots this whole time. I figured it out at an early age to make the first part of the knot the one that's the mirror image, so the bow is still tied with the same easy motion.
 
2014-02-07 05:32:00 AM  

Juniper Jupiter: Here's my take on it:TED talks are fine. TEDx talks basically suck. The one I went to left the worst possible taste in my mouth that I'm surprised I could think straight. The ONLY good things about TEDx were the Artists (visual and musical) and anybody discussing a need to make our future cooler. Gondola-style trams in Austin? Awesome!What made me angry were the talks that sounded more like self-congratulatory niche charity pet projects that aim toward an exclusive demographic.


I have the same feeling. The TEDx talks are like random events organized by people trying to be cool and say "hey look! we're involved in these super cool TED things", and they round up a couple of local speakers that often don't have very interesting things to say. I mean, how much cool/insightful stuff are you really going to be able to get in a "TEDx: Billings, Montana" talk? TED even had to speak out against some of the TEDx organizers/events because they were pushing some just crazy pseudo-science stuff, like the healing power of crystals and shiat.

Though, one of my favorite TED presentations is from a TEDx:
http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxRaleigh-2011-Roy-Underhill;search% 3 Atag%3A%22TEDxRaleigh%22

A good presenter can make you want to listen to ANY topic.
 
2014-02-07 05:39:56 AM  

MarkEC: oldcub: TED taught me that I had been tying my shoes incorrectly my whole life. I've seen others, but I really only remember the shoe-tying one.

I've been tying my shoes correctly since forever. I didn't know people were using granny knots instead of square knots this whole time. I figured it out at an early age to make the first part of the knot the one that's the mirror image, so the bow is still tied with the same easy motion.


I googled around about how to tie shoes properly, only because when they are tied "improperly" the bow doesn't lay across the shoe, but lays in line with it...which is kind of annoying.
 
2014-02-07 05:46:03 AM  
So you give someone ten minutes to talk about anything and are shocked, shocked, when the speakers don't always use it wisely?

/Some speeches are enlightening, some are infomercials, others are total bullshiat.
/...and someone took the time to complain about the obvious. yay them!
 
2014-02-07 05:53:08 AM  

kidgenius: MarkEC: oldcub: TED taught me that I had been tying my shoes incorrectly my whole life. I've seen others, but I really only remember the shoe-tying one.

I've been tying my shoes correctly since forever. I didn't know people were using granny knots instead of square knots this whole time. I figured it out at an early age to make the first part of the knot the one that's the mirror image, so the bow is still tied with the same easy motion.

I googled around about how to tie shoes properly, only because when they are tied "improperly" the bow doesn't lay across the shoe, but lays in line with it...which is kind of annoying.


Just switch up the direction of the first part of the knot, then the bow part will line up perpendicular. It will become automatic in no time. In the Ted Talk video, the guy advocates changing up the direction of the bow, which requires more thought and dexterity.

If you make your first part of the bow with your right hand, the laces should look like this:

    /
-----
 /


If you make it with your left hand, they should look like this:

 \
-----
    \
 
2014-02-07 06:44:07 AM  

MarkEC: kidgenius: MarkEC: oldcub: TED taught me that I had been tying my shoes incorrectly my whole life. I've seen others, but I really only remember the shoe-tying one.

I've been tying my shoes correctly since forever. I didn't know people were using granny knots instead of square knots this whole time. I figured it out at an early age to make the first part of the knot the one that's the mirror image, so the bow is still tied with the same easy motion.

I googled around about how to tie shoes properly, only because when they are tied "improperly" the bow doesn't lay across the shoe, but lays in line with it...which is kind of annoying.

Just switch up the direction of the first part of the knot, then the bow part will line up perpendicular. It will become automatic in no time. In the Ted Talk video, the guy advocates changing up the direction of the bow, which requires more thought and dexterity.

If you make your first part of the bow with your right hand, the laces should look like this:

    /
-----
 /


If you make it with your left hand, they should look like this:

 \
-----
    \


Yeah, he made it complicated. I do the first part "backwards" from what I was taught, but makes everything work.
 
2014-02-07 07:03:19 AM  
So just like every other form of being told things by people, TED talks require critical thinking and a bit of research to verify?  Shocking.
 
2014-02-07 07:05:33 AM  

freakingmoron: Fark Ted.

How is it that a group promulgating the spread of ideas and knowledge incapable of providing captions for the deaf and the hearing impaired? How about a transcript? This is not rocket science, supergeniuses.

/deaf guy


If we had a transcript, we wouldn't need to listen to them speak in the first place. We could just read the information.
 
2014-02-07 07:15:36 AM  

kidgenius: Juniper Jupiter: Here's my take on it:TED talks are fine. TEDx talks basically suck. The one I went to left the worst possible taste in my mouth that I'm surprised I could think straight. The ONLY good things about TEDx were the Artists (visual and musical) and anybody discussing a need to make our future cooler. Gondola-style trams in Austin? Awesome!What made me angry were the talks that sounded more like self-congratulatory niche charity pet projects that aim toward an exclusive demographic.

I have the same feeling. The TEDx talks are like random events organized by people trying to be cool and say "hey look! we're involved in these super cool TED things", and they round up a couple of local speakers that often don't have very interesting things to say. I mean, how much cool/insightful stuff are you really going to be able to get in a "TEDx: Billings, Montana" talk? TED even had to speak out against some of the TEDx organizers/events because they were pushing some just crazy pseudo-science stuff, like the healing power of crystals and shiat.

Though, one of my favorite TED presentations is from a TEDx:
http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxRaleigh-2011-Roy-Underhill;search% 3 Atag%3A%22TEDxRaleigh%22

A good presenter can make you want to listen to ANY topic.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpjwotips7E
 
2014-02-07 07:29:14 AM  
Finally, subby has finally caught up to Fark from last year.
 
2014-02-07 07:40:57 AM  

DoctorCal: ArcadianRefugee: The TED talks lost all credibility when they had this jackwagon speak:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x275]

That's not Jonathan Haidt.


I see somebody swallowed the blue pill.
 
2014-02-07 07:47:45 AM  

Egoy3k: So just like every other form of being told things by people, TED talks require critical thinking and a bit of research to verify?  Shocking.


THIS.
 
2014-02-07 07:50:40 AM  

Son of Thunder: DoctorCal: ArcadianRefugee: The TED talks lost all credibility when they had this jackwagon speak:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x275]

That's not Jonathan Haidt.

I see somebody swallowed the blue pill. sees through sophistry.

 
2014-02-07 08:03:56 AM  

DoctorCal: Son of Thunder: DoctorCal: ArcadianRefugee: The TED talks lost all credibility when they had this jackwagon speak:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x275]

That's not Jonathan Haidt.

I see somebody swallowed the blue pill. sees through sophistry.


"Sophistry." [snert] Oh please tell me more about how I don't understand social psychological research.
 
2014-02-07 08:07:19 AM  
TED Talks are notable for having titles that make it impossible to find out what they are on podcasts. "TED Talks: Jose Rodriguez Diaz - What I..."
 
2014-02-07 08:08:22 AM  

No Line For Beer: most of them seem to make their "point" in the first minute and then just fill the remaining time with nonsense and repetition.


Repetition is how most people learn.    The "proper" structure of any paper or presentation is to state your thesis, provide supporting evidence, and then re-state your thesis.   If you're publishing in a journal it's abstract, body, conclusion.   That's a minimum of 3x repetition.

Journalistic writing is the same way.   You provide a one-sentence summary of the thing you are reporting, a slightly more verbose version, and then the full version.
 
2014-02-07 08:19:44 AM  
What an utter garbage piece.
TFA should give examples, instead of broad accusations directed at any research that doesn't support his politics.
 
2014-02-07 08:24:18 AM  
I've watched one TED talk ever, and it was really great. It was the one about "Duolingo" and how it relates to "Captcha." It was really fascinating and worthwhile. But I imagine not every single talk is going to be good. I mean, I saw something up thread about tying shoes? Seriously?
 
2014-02-07 08:34:32 AM  

namatad: http://www.ted.com/talks/mary_roach_10_things_you_didn_t_know_about_o r gasm.html
awesome

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
amazing

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insi gh t.html
stroke


I REALLY dont care how good or bad all the rest are.
These 3 blew me away and made me think that there are a couple more that are probably worth watching.


That last one is what started turning me off TED. Lady, that feeling of bliss you've got? It's BRAIN DAMAGE. It's no different than getting high from alcohol poisoning. And you think others should experience it too?
 
2014-02-07 08:58:22 AM  

Animatronik: What an utter garbage piece.
TFA should give examples, instead of broad accusations directed at any research that doesn't support his politics.


Some people don't make it as easy to determine whether or not they've read the article as you.
/ it's just a list of 7 examples
 
2014-02-07 09:19:26 AM  

IntertubeUser: a good alternative to TED talks that isn't mind-rotting bullshiat garbage?


There's a British show called Quite Interesting that is pretty nice. Funny panel of guests and full of little factoids. You can find episodes on YouTube. It's not designed to give you depth on any subject, but its perfect to have on while you work on other things.
 
2014-02-07 09:20:31 AM  
So what topic did TFA get rejected to talk about?
 
2014-02-07 10:39:51 AM  
I've generally only watched TED talks by people I'm familiar with or on topics I already know, so I guess I've only really seen good ones.

Some of the ones in that article sound crazy, though.
 
2014-02-07 11:19:20 AM  
There was one a few weeks ago with a woman who claimed she hacked online dating. Lots of her claims seemed dubious such as her becoming the most popular person on the dating website. What dating website tells users where they rank in popularity?  But the really bad part was that she gave similar talks to different conventions and the details of her experiences varied widely. To one group she'd claim her date dined and ditched, leaving her with the bill. To another group she claimed the guy ran up a huge bill and then made her pay half. Same guy, same date, but apparently in a parallel universe. It took maybe an hour after the video was posted on the TED site for people to notice her wildly varying details of the same date. You'd think TED would have done at least a token search before posting to see if the speaker was a liar. While it was a TEDx talk, which often suck, it was posted as the talk of the day on the main TED site. They need to do better at vetting content or risk losing all credibility.
 
2014-02-07 11:32:48 AM  

namatad: http://www.ted.com/talks/mary_roach_10_things_you_didn_t_know_about_o r gasm.html
awesome

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
amazing

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insi gh t.html
stroke


I REALLY dont care how good or bad all the rest are.
These 3 blew me away and made me think that there are a couple more that are probably worth watching.


The one about the stroke was the only one I've seen and it was quite interesting. None of the rest have piqued my interest. I guess I just get bored at lectures.
 
2014-02-07 11:48:45 AM  

lordargent: I only watch about 1/10th of all the ted talks.

About 50% aren't in a subject I'm interested in (so I play a few minutes and see if it's interesting despite the subject).
Another 40% are in a subject I'm interested in ... but the speaker is just boring.

That last 10% though ... is awesome sauce.


Agreed. I get the TED talk of the Day, but I don't watch many of them. However, there are a few great ones. I have a few friends from grad school who haven't yet figured out that not all TED talks are awesome; they watch the daily TED religiously.
 
2014-02-07 12:12:46 PM  
I saw Amanda Palmer's. What a crock of shiat that was. She should have at least taken off her clothes.
 
2014-02-07 12:37:05 PM  

lordargent: That last 10% though ... is awesome sauce.


Came here to post that one.
 
2014-02-07 01:05:56 PM  

spamdog: You know what I hate the most about TED?

That farking Gary Wilson and his anti-masturbation pseudoscience.

It's just a repackaging of puritanism, and there's thousands of his acolytes out there who are taking part in "no fap" in the hopes it will make them alpha. I hope he dies.


Wait... What? I've heard of "no fap" but I thought it was just a weird subculture of Reddit.
 
2014-02-07 01:54:07 PM  
What is a TED talk? Seriously, never heard of it and not willing to do a GIS for it on a work computer.
 
2014-02-07 01:57:13 PM  

No Such Agency: spamdog: You know what I hate the most about TED?

That farking Gary Wilson and his anti-masturbation pseudoscience.

It's just a repackaging of puritanism, and there's thousands of his acolytes out there who are taking part in "no fap" in the hopes it will make them alpha. I hope he dies.

Wait... What? I've heard of "no fap" but I thought it was just a weird subculture of Reddit.


This is becoming an active subculture on the internets--there's a lot of guys in bodybuilding forums that are all about stopping masturbation as a means of increasing testosterone/vitality as well.
It's pretty sad, in a lot of ways--these guys try really hard to avoid something pretty natural, and then get all down on themselves when they "slip up."
Granted, there's obviously guys who were way too into porn and jerking it and it's probably good for them to regulate that behavior better, but like many addicts, they get just as addicted to the opposite of their original problem.  One of the "better" dudes out there is stuck in a loveless, celibate marriage, and instead of seeing what a problem that is and getting a divorce, he now sees it as a great situation to continue to pursue his "no fap" quest.  Makes me sad.

/I like to play internet anthropologist.  I'm fascinated with how people present themselves and interact when somewhat anonymous.
//Which is why I know about all kinds of weird communities on the internet.  A topic/hobby/fetish will occur to me and then I'm off to browse forums and reddit and blogs.
///Can't get into TED talks--the presentations are too artificial.
 
2014-02-07 02:36:04 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: namatad: http://www.ted.com/talks/mary_roach_10_things_you_didn_t_know_about_o r gasm.html
awesome

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
amazing

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insi gh t.html
stroke


I REALLY dont care how good or bad all the rest are.
These 3 blew me away and made me think that there are a couple more that are probably worth watching.

That last one is what started turning me off TED. Lady, that feeling of bliss you've got? It's BRAIN DAMAGE. It's no different than getting high from alcohol poisoning. And you think others should experience it too?



Same here. I'd seen a few iffy talks before that one, but she crossed the line.
 
2014-02-07 04:19:51 PM  

ckccfa: This is becoming an active subculture on the internets--there's a lot of guys in bodybuilding forums that are all about stopping masturbation as a means of increasing testosterone/vitality as well.


There's a bit in "The Cryptonomicon" that makes me wonder if Neal Stephenson is a no-fap partisan.
 
2014-02-07 06:05:25 PM  

IntertubeUser: I'm guilty.  I enjoy TED talks.  If I'm in the kitchen cooking, or doing something and need something to listen to, I'll set up a TED talks playlist and get busy.  I think I'm smart enough to filter the good stuff from the bullshiat, but ... what if I'm not?  I one's an idiot, wouldn't they'd be the last to know?

Farkers, I need your help.

Music bores me ... the onion on my belt interferes with the reception.  NPR ... only so much of that a person can take if it's not This American Life and Radio Lab is just farking annoying.  If I'm doing something, and want to learn shiat, what's a good alternative to TED talks that isn't mind-rotting bullshiat garbage?

I'll hang up and listen.


I like Star Talk Radio. Neil Degrass Tyson's weekly show. He has a lot of different types of people on.
 
2014-02-07 06:52:59 PM  

Son of Thunder: DoctorCal: Son of Thunder: DoctorCal: ArcadianRefugee: The TED talks lost all credibility when they had this jackwagon speak:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x275]

That's not Jonathan Haidt.

I see somebody swallowed the blue pill. sees through sophistry.

"Sophistry." [snert] Oh please tell me more about how I don't understand social psychological research.


"more" implies there was already "some".
 
2014-02-07 10:08:19 PM  
Well, I'll admit the one I liked best was Mike Rowe, but admittedly I haven't watched many of them.

http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_rowe_celebrates_dirty_jobs.html
 
2014-02-08 01:06:13 AM  
Then there's Aimee Mullins:  http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics.html

/this I can fap to
 
2014-02-08 06:33:52 AM  

AlanSmithee: Tyrone Slothrop: namatad: http://www.ted.com/talks/mary_roach_10_things_you_didn_t_know_about_o r gasm.html
awesome

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
amazing

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insi gh t.html
stroke


I REALLY dont care how good or bad all the rest are.
These 3 blew me away and made me think that there are a couple more that are probably worth watching.

That last one is what started turning me off TED. Lady, that feeling of bliss you've got? It's BRAIN DAMAGE. It's no different than getting high from alcohol poisoning. And you think others should experience it too?


Same here. I'd seen a few iffy talks before that one, but she crossed the line.


Most of the people that hate this talk is because of the dualism/idealism/materialism debate on the mind-brian issue.
 
2014-02-08 10:42:00 AM  

mamoru: I never could really get into TED talks. Every time I saw one being hyped in the media or making the rounds of being shared on friends' FaceBook walls, it almost always turned out to be overhyping something to the point of making it pseudoscience.


One of the few TED talks I enjoyed was one where a man was talking about how liberating a washer and dryer is. Without them, women are trapped in a labor intensive and time consuming chore.  His point was about how the third world doesn't need electricity for everything, but would still benefit greatly from the freeing up from time sinks.

In short, I learned something I never considered.
 
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