“I [t]hink TED actually stands for: middlebrow megachurch infotainment.
“The key rhetorical device for TED talks is a combination of epiphany and personal testimony (an “epiphimony” if you like ) through which the speaker shares a personal journey of insight and realisation, its triumphs and tribulations.
“What is it that the TED audience hopes to get from this? A vicarious insight, a fleeting moment of wonder, an inkling that maybe it’s all going to work out after all? A spiritual buzz?
“Communism in theory is an egalitarian utopia.
“Actually existing communism meant ecological devastation, government spying, crappy cars and gulags.
“Capitalism in theory is rocket ships, nanomedicine, and Bono saving Africa.
“Actually existing capitalism means Walmart jobs, McMansions, people living in the sewers under Las Vegas, Ryan Seacrest … plus – ecological devastation, government spying, crappy public transportation and for-profit prisons.
“We need a deeper conversation about the difference between digital cosmopolitanism and cloud feudalism (and toward that, a queer history of computer science and Alan Turing’s birthday as holiday!)
“I would like new maps of the world, ones not based on settler colonialism, legacy genomes and bronze age myths, but instead on something more … scalable.
“TED today is not that.”
And that, in a Brazilian nutshell, explains why I don’t often watch and post TED videos. Some are still good, and I like the ones that introduce me to new ideas, but I’m far, far less interested in the ones that dazzle and amaze and entertain. It’s like intellectual fluff.