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October 25, 2010


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This is perhaps the most important thing I've read this week.


The problem with this idea is the reality of the rich and famous: they only like giving money for good causes if they will be fawned over for their opinion. TED's main appeal is that by its exclusivity it gives a feeling of relevance and validity to those who engage. As if merely being in a room with someone who has a great idea somehow magically makes you an innovative person by osmosis.

My personal beef with TED is that they really seem to love the whole "Impossible Dream" notion: that a person can do anything if they just believe enough. I've watched enough people talk about physical disability as if it were a mental construct to be completely disenchanted with the TEDsters. The last straw was the famous runner who talked ad nauseum about how we have to stop thinking of disabled people as disabled. Because she's got super-special artificial legs therefore she's not REALLY disabled. Naturally that means all disabled people aren't REALLY disabled, its just society labelling them that way. I'm sure blind people will be happy to find this out. Not to mention all the spinal cord injury people.

Martin Ramsey


I think this idea has some legs. However, the participation shouldn't be limited to those who have thousands of dollars of expendable income. That qualifier will indubitably narrow the ideas, debate and solutions to which money would be applied. Five donors giving ten thousand or five thousand giving fifty bucks a piece?
The donors/voters being more affluent would incline them to see 'worthwhile' solutions to social problems within the norms which produced their privilege and not likely encourage independent thoughts and ideas. Just a thought.


David Forbes

I don't disagree, Martin, the specifics of the current NoCon proposal (like the $2,000 limit) were intended as a mirror to the hypocrisy of TED-style conferences.


Right on, let's do it! Let's get specific, you have a platform to get this thing going. I've talked with a number of people about this idea. What can be done? What will it look like?

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