Everyone has an agenda. Be very careful of those that deny having one or their actions run counter to what they say it is.
ETA: This goes for both sides of the argument here. Could be entirely sour grapes, just that I DON'T KNOW.
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posted 6 years ago
I'm at work, so I cannot watch the video. I did read an article from the UK Guardian inferring similar things, but I really didn't see it.
I've been watching TED TALKS on youtube for 5-6 years and never got the impression there was any kind of "cult" going on or any kind of overall controlling philosophy.
People from all over the world give talks, some of which contradict what other talks have been about.
To me, I've always got the impression that TED was about promoting ideas and promoting thinking.
Sure, attendees to the actual events pay out big money, but no one is forcing them to, and there is no philosophy or beliefs they are all expected to hold.
Seems to me that Eddie Huang didn't get the point of his participation in the TED Fellows program. It is clearly explained on the TED website that the whole point is to have an immersive experience with the other fellows, be exposed to ideas and people you would otherwise never come in contact with, and hopefully develop of lifelong network of contacts. Yes, Eddie, you were chosen because you have something interesting to offer, but those other folks also have something to offer you. Show a minimum of grace and just hang with them for the time you committed to when you accepted the fellowship that pays all your expenses for the week, including travel. The website clearly states that the fellows have the following responsibilities:
Responsibilities of Fellows
Full attendance and participation at the Conference
Submission of a post-conference report
Regular participation in the TED Fellows community
Cutting out for a day is not "full attendance and participation".
In a former life, I went to plenty of week-long national and international scientific meetings, expenses paid by my university or a research grant. No one made the attendees stay, but it was simply stupid to go and not take full advantage of the situation to learn as much as you possibly could, get to know people in your own and related fields, and attend fascinating talks by the big names or the up-and-coming geniuses. Even eating bad cafeteria food and dancing the macarena with a bunch of brilliant but inebriated folks was part of that networking experience and made for some memorable moments. And yes, as a 30+ PhD candidate, I often slept in dorm rooms with strangers who became friends over the course of the conference.
From my perspective, Eddie Huang comes off as an egotistical snob. "It's my birthday." "I have a podcast to record." "The Hyatt Regency is a dump." "The restaurants around there suck." Get off it, Eddie. You sound like a whiny teenager.
TED is like any group. Without their own customs and rules it would not be TED, it'd be TURD maybe. Heidi is right, TED openly boasts how it's attendees mingle and come back next year with new collaborations and ideas. Kids don't like being forced to go to summer camp, but end up realizing the good times at the end, so I think this poor guy missed the point.
If I had to pay over a grand to go you bet I would want them to tell me where to be, and when, to meet all these other smart people I paid to be around, and who paid to be around me.
My aunt is the website editor, she has gone all over the world with TED. They do not have an agenda beyond sharing ideas in Technology Entertainment and Design, albeit maybe on a level too serious and goal oriented for some.
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