I used to love TED. Today, not so much.
I think it was when I realised I was coming away happier, but not smarter.
My suspicions toward it grew gradually in about 2008 and by 2011 I really saw it as a forum focused not so much toward how to fix problems, but how to foolishly create and propagate them. Increasingly, I recognised a streamlined design based storytelling that promotes simple quick fixes for symptoms of problems, but not problems themselves.
It was the youtubification of the Californian Ideology.
One of the difficult problems of TED is that what is wrong with it is not always easily explained. This is why I’m so happy and relieved to see the TED talk presented by Benjamin Bretton transcript available here, Alicia Eler‘s critique on TED over at Readwrite and Megan Garber’s How Ted Makes Ideas Smaller.
This popular backlash against TED is as predictable as it is required.