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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 25
    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»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-02-06 10:07:31 PM  
6 votes:
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 10:44:35 PM  
4 votes:

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
2014-02-07 02:33:44 AM  
3 votes:
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
2014-02-06 09:58:50 PM  
3 votes:
Baby. Bath water. Know the difference
2014-02-06 09:57:17 PM  
3 votes:
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 08:50:43 PM  
3 votes:
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.
2014-02-07 02:13:43 AM  
2 votes:

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 12:26:54 AM  
2 votes:
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.
2014-02-06 09:56:03 PM  
2 votes:
TED Talks haven't been good since like 2009.  How do people not know this?
2014-02-06 07:10:35 PM  
2 votes:
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.
2014-02-07 04:03:36 AM  
1 votes:

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 03:28:57 AM  
1 votes:

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 01:56:49 AM  
1 votes:
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 01:26:43 AM  
1 votes:
You know what i hate about TED talks?

The fact that they are just a dramatic reading of a blog post.
2014-02-07 01:11:22 AM  
1 votes:

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.
2014-02-06 11:57:35 PM  
1 votes:
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.
2014-02-06 11:35:34 PM  
1 votes:
Sure, 90% of TED talks are crud. That's becuse 90% of everything is crud.

/Not obscure
2014-02-06 11:25:23 PM  
1 votes:
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 10:41:27 PM  
1 votes:
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 10:35:36 PM  
1 votes:

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 10:25:03 PM  
1 votes:
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 10:12:06 PM  
1 votes:
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 09:35:56 PM  
1 votes:
I find them to be excellent source of information that mainstream science fails at.
2014-02-06 09:10:41 PM  
1 votes:
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 06:35:45 PM  
1 votes:
Anyone who watches TED talks on his lunch hour needs to be horsewhipped.
 
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