TED: The Rot at the Core of What we Thought Was the Apple of Our Eye
Why in the world would TED be punitive towards me? I was their devoted volunteer. Now, they don’t talk to me civilly. In fact, they won’t talk to me at all. Here are my last three communications to them: http://theconversation.org/ted. TED being a Goliath to my little David, I am hoping the court of public opinion will come to my aid to get some movement to occur.
Let’s get something straight before I go any further with what may be unfamiliar to some people about the goings on of the past year. Aside from Jerry Coyne types, and Jerry himself who runs cyberspace pages mocking me, everyone knows that TED waiting a year to decide my program was suspect was wrong. People familiar with what’s happened know I am a wronged person.
Beyond their untoward antagonism questioning my program, TED has ignored my emails with suggestions for what we might do now. Why are they not making civil responses? I was devoted to adding luster to their crown. I had scored a coup hooking our spunky City of West Hollywood to TED to launch programming for its award-winning library, with the full backing of the city to publicize and celebrate our event. Anyone who has dealt with bureaucracy can appreciate what it took to go through the city’s hoops that took so long that I got an extension to give me more than the year I had to deliver TEDx West Hollywood. The Library Association was our main financial donor, another coup in that first-time TED producers can have a hard time getting donations. Being well-supported meant we could go for an excellent audio/video set-up, not only to fulfill TED’s requests for professional videos, but also for Livestream so that it could be seen by a large worldwide audience. We wanted to make noise. The program was an impassioned plea for the worldview to come, where, given the reach of TED’s brand, it might have changed the world.
To set things right now, TED would have to fess up to the error of its ways. A TED come clean would acknowledge it cancelled a fine program without justification, and say that it won’t stand on its mistakes. I mean, really, would this cause other TEDx organizers to go south on TED, as TED suggested would happen if they let the program be presented?
“More for you is more for me.” Charles Eisenstein
Our event, “Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?” will illuminate the urgent need to change our fundamental value system or worldview to one in which humanity pulls together rather than separately. This view would supersede the current worldview where whoever has the most toys wins. The new view is based on what science tells us about a quantum universe, with everything being interconnected and all of us being interdependent. A new science-based vision won’t take hold, though, until people know and understand that there are more humane alternatives available. This is what our presentations will focus on. Our hope is that our presenters will impact the world’s thinking about how we interact as global community. They will demonstrate and propose action on how practical programs and technologies can be implemented in communities everywhere.
I’d like TED to promote our program being seen. It would foster continuation of a dialogue about our worldview that was underway when TED shut down its comment tracks. And, I’ve asked TED to reimburse me for what I spent, which is the public’s money: TEDx has to be put through a non-profit auspice, so costs are paid out of pre-tax dollars. My non-profit got stuck with bills that would not have existed had we been TEDx.
There is a real shocker in how punitively TED treated me after their cancellation. Two days before delivery of a program that was no longer TED, they got Livestream to cancel my event. Major effort had been made so the audience would be large even without TED. What is TED’s justification? Why were they interfering with a program that no longer had their imprint on it and was not theirs to control? And what stranglehold does TED have on Livestream, where I can’t get an answer telling me the grounds for their cancellation? They don’t have entitlement legally, as TED does not, and so you might suggest a lawsuit. Unfortunately, my contract with TED doesn’t allow for legal fees and it could cost as much as $500,000. Also, I’m not looking to bash them, but to use this situation to advance the action in getting this sleeping world to wake up – plus to make myself financially whole. Fingers crossed this will strike the kind of sympathetic chord that has it show up everywhere!
There was more fallout from TED’s cancellation. One of my intentions was to launch a field for forward-thinking people to engage with each other. That track became impossible to deliver given loss of sponsorships that would have paid for what we had in mind to do, plus lack of time to organize another track when rescue was the name of the game.
Here’s the part of the mission statement for TEDxWestHollywood that spoke to the community-building we intended:
“Whatever the problem, community is the answer.” Meg Wheatley
Why is TED so successful in drawing people to live events? It can’t be just to learn. We have TV for TED Talks, not to mention all the other info that comes to us from the tube. Coming to live events must be about mingling. We hope this will be the first of many TEDxWestHollywood events so that an activist community develops. Be prepared not only to be informed, but to share yourself as you engage with others.
There’s a longer report HERE, where you can get details of what happened to me and to Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake. I’d like it to spark an expose. Are there any investigative reporters out there?
We need all the intelligence we can get, and I would love to see TED lead the way. In the meantime, the TED deadbeat marches on. It is anniversary time for the TED flap, an occasion for a new movement against TED of scientists calling for a redress of what was done to Rupert Sheldrake: www.setsciencefree.org