By Henrik Palmgren and Elizabeth Leafloor | Red Ice Creations
TED, globally known as a showcase of ideas, hosts “fascinating thinkers and doers” who occupy a stage for 18 minutes or less to share their ideas with a global audience. Started in 1984, TED began as “a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.”
TED is often seen as presenting a non-profit forum of thoughts and concepts that would otherwise be missed by the mainstream and insulated research communities.
The progeny project, TEDx, is “designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.”
There are critics of such events, with the talks being described as “elitist”, and monstrosities “that turns scientists and thinkers into low-level entertainers”.
Joe Rogan talks to Eddie Huang about his experience at the TED conference. (Language)
Recently TEDx has come under fire for what many see decry as censorship.
From the TED Wikipedia entry:
In March 2013, TED drew considerable controversy and accusations of censorship when it decided to delete the TEDx Whitechapel talks of Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock from its TEDTalks YouTUBE channel. After several days of online protests TED retracted its original statements by crossing them out and publishing rebuttals from both Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock. They also put the videos up in a framed fashion in a non-searchable part of its own web site. TED then also invited discussions on the TED talks in question. To-date the talks have not been put back on the TED Talks YouTUBE Channel.
Further, stonemason and historical detective Jim Vieira’s TED talk on “Stone Builders, Mound Builders and the Giants of Ancient America” was also removed from the TEDxTalks YouTube channel in December 2012.
Red Ice Radio has hosted all three researchers, whose work have caused such controversy with TED.
Rupert Sheldrake - The Science Delusion
Graham Hancock - Entangled, Supernatural, Shamanism, The Origins of Consciousness & The Destiny of America
Ross Hamilton, Jim Vieira & Hugh Newman - Giants, Mound Builders & Etheric Energy
There are many who see these actions by TEDx as smears and concealment of alternative research. In short, TEDx has slighted the three researchers and has failed to adequately respond to the legitimate complaints about the removal of the videos.
TED’s mission statement reads:
“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”
What if those ideas are ‘dangerous’? What if they’re outside the norm, on the fringe? What happens when you censor these talks so that NOBODY can engage?
It would have been more intellectually honest to simply invite opposing viewpoints to speak at TEDx than suggesting, as TEDstaff has done, that “the hardest line to draw is science versus pseudoscience. TED is committed to science”, while censoring talks that offend or frighten a small consensus of mainstream thinkers .
The talks were apparently removed because they were flagged as unscientific - that is, they were perceived to be opposite to the understanding and consensus of the facts by scientific peers.
Consensus is a word that is thrown around liberally in scientific arguments, but prior to his untimely death, physician, producer, and writer Michael Crichton spoke clearly about the place of ‘consensus’ in science:
I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What are relevant are reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.
In light of the current controversy and the resulting fallout, it might be helpful to remember that TEDx should be free to host (or deny) whomever they want. The talks are their arena, their outlet, and they do indeed have the right to set the tightly regulated guidelines for the talks that occur under their banner and crafted image. However, the main point of critique is that TED doesn’t seem to be interested in addressing any of the counter arguments made by Hancock or Sheldrake properly. Although they claim these talks border on ‘pseudo-science’, they cannot provide debate, they can only anonymously censor these ‘dangerous ideas’.
If TED doesn’t want to host these kinds of speakers, those who do wish to learn from these maligned researchers and do appreciate their work should from this day turn away from TEDx and other establishment, funding-driven, ‘scientific consensus’ exhibitions. Those who are willing to hear the other side should stop supporting TED and look elsewhere for answers.
Considering that TED and TEDx are obviously not interested in ideas that go outside of a very tightly regulated paradigm, set entirely by them, researchers like Graham, Rupert, Jim and others who are aspiring to bring this kind of information to the forefront should no longer support these conferences with their material and research, since it’s completely unappreciated by the organizers. People who also find the work of alternative researchers interesting should no longer organize TEDx talks and in this manner boycott the TED brand name.
MANY other communication venues exist. People do not necessarily need to try to ‘force’ TEDx to change their ways. Turning a collective back on the established cabal will change nature’s course. If TED is uninterested in the areas where the most fascinating, cutting edge, and advanced thought is coming from, people need not look to TED for answers.
The TED community seems to want to exist in a vacuum of isolated ideas. Eventually, such self-congratulatory scientism in this veritable echo-chamber of speeches will cause the community to stagnate. TED is the mainstream, and it behooves us to stop supporting and organizing for those who cannot go further than ‘safe’.
We must organize ourselves. If you want to get it done, you will need to do it yourself. There are no easy answers to the questions challenging speakers and researchers like Sheldrake, Hancock, and Vieira, but the more we share the information, the more minds will be engaged and awakened.
We will have those answers.
By Henrik Palmgren and Elizabeth Leafloor | Red Ice Creations
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