Those pretentious TED talks

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Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Podori » 20 Sep 2012, 02:41

Have fellow forum members found any TED talk worth listening to? Is it my flaw that I cringe whenever I begin to watch a TED video, only to turn it off and pick up a book two minutes later?

Watch this talk all the way through, if you can. This video summarises one of the most vile philosophies of education that I have ever heard of.



This is exactly the kind of drivel that convinced the political elite to tear apart Great Britain's working education system and replace it with the multicultural, "creative" rubbish that has not built bridges between British and foreign cultures, but has perversely separated state-educated Britons from the richness of their own heritage. Don't these fool realise that the classically educated British of previous centuries -- who understood history, literature and foreign languages to a degree that puts us to shame -- were forging links with totally alien cultures whenever they colonised a particular area of the globe?

How fitting that a pompous, new-age, "modern" Englishman should be the orator. He is the primum inter pares of the education establishment clowns.
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Mike » 20 Sep 2012, 10:36

He is truly odious, that fellow. I linked to another speech of his in this post from a few months ago. Beyond the cheap laughs, the unrepresentative anecdotes, the oh-so-studied offbeat charm and the new age waffling, he is saying nothing of substance whatsoever.

Those (like me, and a couple of others on this board) who actually work as teachers, rather than as pampered academic posers, are intimately aware of the influence of such puerile nonsense on education in the West. But people like Sir Ken Robinson have a permanent hotline to those determining education policy. With predictable results.
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Podori » 20 Sep 2012, 14:30

Mike, thank you for your prompt reply. You cannot imagine how relieved I am to hear an echo of the complaints I have had against this insufferable man. I am a teacher myself, though not a certified member of the profession in a Western country; I am an English language teacher in South Korea. I came here as a fresh graduate in 2009 and was immediately impressed by the quality of the curriculum as it compares to that in Canada, where I obtained my high school diploma (I obtained my degree through correspondence from an English university). The main difference between the two systems is that Koreans value knowledge where Canadians simply do not, with few exceptions.

Of course, the complaints I have about Sir Ken normally apply to other TED presenters, particularly in the social sciences. What I see is one half-baked, antinomian egotist after another displaying some dubious research on PowerPoint slides to a gullible audience. The theme of the talks is always the same: what we are doing now is wrong, let's change it. It's change for its own sake. Am I wrong in this or do you see it too?

TED has another pernicious effect in that it fools the audience into believing that it is participating in worthwhile intellectual inquiry. Big-name speakers like Steven Pinker and Sam Harris lend superficial authenticity to the whole farce by giving surface-level lectures of 20 minutes or so -- basically a sound bite show of some newfangled ideas that fell out of some university faculty lounge. But TED lacks both the rigour of peer review and the self-contraint of serious intellectual conferences. This is not to say that men like Pinker and Harris cannot withstand peer criticism, but that by speaking on a TED stage they become the ringleaders of the circus.

Sir Ken, on the other hand, would be, and would deserve to be, torn to ribbons by a panel of intelligent, experienced teachers.
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Podori » 22 Sep 2012, 23:32

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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Caleb » 24 Sep 2012, 01:06

The Willie Smits one is a pretty remarkable story. It's preachy, but I believe justifiably so, and he has achieved remarkable results that back that up.

The James Kunstler talk has swearing at times and is incredibly scathing and sarcastic, but I actually think his talk is perhaps the strongest (and perhaps one of the few) conservative talks on the entire site.
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Damo » 28 Sep 2012, 16:51

Andrew McAfee: are droids taking our jobs?

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/1574
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Michael » 28 Sep 2012, 17:06

George Dyson "To The Stars By Atom Bomb"



This one is actually very cool, a look back at a more optimistic age.
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Caleb » 10 May 2013, 09:09

I found this image today.

Image
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Elliott » 02 Dec 2013, 04:24

Nauseating, over-confident little runt:
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Connor » 05 Dec 2013, 08:29

Dear God...that kid's appearance is downright comical. Do any 13 year old boys actually look like that? It's as if a bunch of middle-aged PR people tried to throw together an "edgy adolescent" outfit...and failed miserably.

As for the actual content of the video: you're right. It is indeed nauseating. When I hear the kid's voice and listen to his affected vocabulary, I almost wince. He's like a 2010s version of that incredibly obnoxious kid from the old Encyclopedia Britannica commercials.



Tell me: am I only imagining the parallels?
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Elliott » 05 Dec 2013, 11:47

Connor wrote:Dear God...that kid's appearance is downright comical. Do any 13 year old boys actually look like that? It's as if a bunch of middle-aged PR people tried to throw together an "edgy adolescent" outfit...and failed miserably.

The way I interpreted it was that a pair of incredibly irritating, precious and over-involved liberal upper-middle-class parents, who think their son is just wonderful, encourage him to dress that way so as to draw attention to himself and show people how confident he is. His friends will be his parents' friends, because no kid his own age could stand to be around him. But all his life he'll have learned how to impress well-meaning adults, which makes him the perfect TED speaker.

He's like a 2010s version of that incredibly obnoxious kid from the old Encyclopedia Britannica commercials.

It's a good likeness, but he actually reminded me more of this:
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Yessica » 05 Dec 2013, 19:57

I really do not want to be holier-than-thou, but I think we should pick on people our own age.

... and I actually know lot's of teens who dress like this
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Elliott » 06 Dec 2013, 02:36

Well you're probably right, but I don't like being lectured by 13 year-olds, and I'm suspicious of the adults who put him on that stage.
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Re: Those pretentious TED talks

Postby Elliott » 09 Jul 2014, 02:28

Comedian Sam Hyde pranked a recent TEDx conference. Apparently he got on by claiming to have worked with the poor in Mogadishu. His presentation is basically a satire of every TED cliche.

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