New Perspectives - What's Wrong with TED Talks? Benjamin Bratton at TEDxSanDiego 2013 - Re:Think

Benjamin Bratton, Associate Professor of Visual Arts at UCSD and Director of The Center for Design and Geopoltics at CALIT2, asks: Why don't the bright futures promised in TED talks come true? Professor Bratton attacks the intellectual viability of TED, calling it placebo politics, middlebrow megachurch infotainment, and the equivalent of right-wing media channels.

  • Talking about the future is a polite way of talking about the present that would otherwise be rude or risky
  • Something wrong with the ideas or the notion of what ideas can do all by themselves
  • conceptualization of ideas but what about the intellectual viability
  • Oversimplification
  • coring something out so you can swallow without chewing (idea with action): This is not how we will confront one of our most frightening problems this is one of our most frightening problems / ted = mega church
  • placebo politics
  • cultural deceleration
  • everything can change as long as everything stay the same
  • design as innovation isn’t strong enough design as immunization (preventing from things we don’t want to happen)
  • new maps of the world (example for a platform like ted but not)
  • focus on ambiguity and contradictions (art, philosophy, economics, history) bc if we only look to innovation and tech will prevent transformation understand the level of complexity of the systems which we are embedded and embedded in us
  • hard work of demystification and conceptualization
  • if we only focus on thing that make us feel good and ignore what doesn’t but might actually solve problems things will get harder to feel good placebo becomes not just ineffective but also harmful