What Was the TED Talk?

The title borders on clickbait, but the self-aware irony of the catch-phrase “Thank you for attending my TED talk” does suggest the concept has long ago escaped the lab.

“We live in an era where the best way to make a dent on the world… may be simply to stand up and say something.” And yet, TED’s archive is a graveyard of ideas. It is a seemingly endless index of stories about the future — the future of science, the future of the environment, the future of work, the future of love and sex, the future of what it means to be human — that never materialized. By this measure alone, TED, and its attendant ways of thinking, should have been abandoned.

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