Are Those TED Talks Full of Crap?

As TED talks have become more mainstream, they have also diverted from their original science and technical roots. TED was originally founded in 1984, and in

Credit: Chris Anderson, Flickr Creative Commons

Credit: Chris Anderson, Flickr Creative Commons

1990 it was launched as a annual conference series. It was a silicon valley original, with talks that centered on technology and science. In 2006, TED started releasing their talks online for free, and the popularity has skyrocketed since then, and they have crept into the mainstream in more recent years. But, have they diverged so far that they are now just run of the mill infotainment that can give any whackjob a pulpit from with to spew pseudoscience and nonsense?

It may not be to this point just yet, but it looks like TED definitely needs to rein in its speakers and be a bit more diligent about the subject matter they allow at their conferences. While there isn't a problem with all the talks, or even the vast majority of the talks, The Daily Awl has pointed out some pretty glaring issue with a number of published talks.

Some of the questionable talks include:

  • Car seats are a scam
  • Overgrazing by cattle is a lie
  • We should inject sulfuric gas into the atmosphere to fight global warming
  • Oxytocin is a wonder drug that cures autism
  • Workers at charities should have the highest salaries, even if that means less money for the causes they serve
  • Kids can just teach themselves, they don't really need schools

For more details on these talks, check out the article on The Daily Awl: What If These TED Talks Are Just Horribly Wrong?

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