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Open for discussion: Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake from TEDxWhitechapel

Posted by: Tedstaff

UPDATE: Please see our new blog post Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake, a fresh take, which replaces the x-ed out text below.

To discuss the talks, view them here:

The debate about Rupert Sheldrake’s talk
The debate about Graham Hancock’s talk

After due diligence, including a survey of published scientific research and recommendations from our Science Board and our community, we have decided that Graham Hancock’s and Rupert Sheldrake’s talks from TEDxWhitechapel should be removed from distribution on the TEDx YouTube channel.

We’re not censoring the talks. Instead we’re placing them here, where they can be framed to highlight both their provocative ideas and the factual problems with their arguments. See both talks after the jump.

All talks on the TEDxTalks channel represent the opinion of the speaker, not of TED or TEDx, but we feel a responsibility not to provide a platform for talks which appear to have crossed the line into pseudoscience.

UPDATE: Please find Rupert Sheldrake’s response below the video window.

According to our science board, Rupert Sheldrake bases his argument on several major factual errors, which undermine the arguments of talk. For example, he suggests that scientists reject the notion that animals have consciousness, despite the fact that it’s generally accepted that animals have some form of consciousness, and there’s much research and literature exploring the idea.

He also argues that scientists have ignored variations in the measurements of natural constants, using as his primary example the dogmatic assumption that a constant must be constant and uses the speed of light as example. But, in truth, there has been a great deal of inquiry into the nature of scientific constants, including published, peer-reviewed research investigating whether certain constants – including the speed of light – might actually vary over time or distance. Scientists are constantly questioning these assumptions. For example, just this year Scientific American published a feature on the state of research into exactly this question. (“Are physical constants really constant?: Do the inner workings of nature change over time?”) Physicist Sean Carroll wrote a careful rebuttal of this point.

In addition, Sheldrake claims to have “evidence” of morphic resonance in crystal formation and rat behavior. The research has never appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, despite attempts by other scientists eager to replicate the work.

Response to the TED Scientific Board’s Statement

Rupert Sheldrake
March 18, 2013

I would like to respond to TED’s claims that my TEDx talk “crossed the line into pseudoscience”, contains ”serious factual errors” and makes “many misleading statements.”

This discussion is taking place because the militant atheist bloggers Jerry Coyne and P.Z. Myers denounced me, and attacked TED for giving my talk a platform. I was invited to give my talk as part of a TEDx event in Whitechapel, London, called “Challenging Existing Paradigms.” That’s where the problem lies: my talk explicitly challenges the materialist belief system. It summarized some of the main themes of my recent book Science Set Free (in the UK called The Science Delusion). Unfortunately, the TED administrators have publically aligned themselves with the old paradigm of materialism, which has dominated science since the late nineteenth century.

TED say they removed my talk from their website on the advice of their Scientific Board, who also condemned Graham Hancock’s talk. Hancock and I are now facing anonymous accusations made by a body on whose authority TED relies, on whose advice they act, and behind whom they shelter, but whose names they have not revealed.

TED’s anonymous Scientific Board made three specific accusations:

Accusation 1:
“he suggests that scientists reject the notion that animals have consciousness, despite the fact that it’s generally accepted that animals have some form of consciousness, and there’s much research and literature exploring the idea.”

I characterized the materialist dogma as follows: “Matter is unconscious: the whole universe is made up of unconscious matter. There’s no consciousness in stars in galaxies, in planets, in animals, in plants and there ought not to be any in us either, if this theory’s true. So a lot of the philosophy of mind over the last 100 years has been trying to prove that we are not really conscious at all.” Certainly some biologists, including myself, accept that animals are conscious. In August, 2012, a group of scientists came out with an endorsement of animal consciousness in “The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness”. As Discovery News reported, “While it might not sound like much for scientists to declare that many nonhuman animals possess conscious states, it’s the open acknowledgement that’s the big news here.” (http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/animals-consciousness-mammals-birds-octopus-120824.htm)

But materialist philosophers and scientists are still in the majority, and they argue that consciousness does nothing – it is either an illusion or an ”epiphenomenon” of brain activity. It might as well not exist in animals – or even in humans. That is why in the philosophy of mind, the very existence of consciousness is often called “the hard problem”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness

Accusation 2:
“He also argues that scientists have ignored variations in the measurements of natural constants, using as his primary example the dogmatic assumption that a constant must be constant and uses the speed of light as example.… Physicist Sean Carroll wrote a careful rebuttal of this point.”

TED’s Scientific Board refers to a Scientific American article that makes my point very clearly: “Physicists routinely assume that quantities such as the speed of light are constant.”

In my talk I said that the published values of the speed of light dropped by about 20 km/sec between 1928 and 1945. Carroll’s “careful rebuttal” consisted of a table copied from Wikipedia showing the speed of light at different dates, with a gap between 1926 and 1950, omitting the very period I referred to. His other reference (http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/speedoflight.html) does indeed give two values for the speed of light in this period, in 1928 and 1932-35, and sure enough, they were 20 and 24km/sec lower than the previous value, and 14 and 18 km/sec lower than the value from 1947 onwards.

1926: 299,798
1928: 299,778
1932-5: 299,774
1947: 299,792

In my talk I suggest how a re-examination of existing data could resolve whether large continuing variations in the Universal Gravitational Constant, G, are merely errors, as usually assumed, or whether they show correlations between different labs that might have important scientific implications hitherto ignored. Jerry Coyne and TED’s Scientific Board regard this as an exercise in pseudoscience. I think their attitude reveals a remarkable lack of curiosity.

Accusation 3:
“Sheldrake claims to have “evidence” of morphic resonance in crystal formation and rat behavior. The research has never appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, despite attempts by other scientists eager to replicate the work.”

I said, “There is in fact good evidence that new compounds get easier to crystallize all around the world.” For example, turanose, a kind of sugar, was considered to be a liquid for decades, until it first crystallized in the 1920s. Thereafter it formed crystals everyehere. (Woodard and McCrone Journal of Applied Crystallography (1975). 8, 342). The American chemist C. P. Saylor, remarked it was as though “the seeds of crystallization, as dust, were carried upon the winds from end to end of the earth” (quoted by Woodard and McCrone).

The research on rat behavior I referred to was carried out at Harvard and the Universities of Melbourne and Edinburgh and was published in peer-reviewed journals, including the British Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Experimental Biology. For a fuller account and detailed references see Chapter 11 of my book Morphic Resonance (in the US) / A New Science of Life (in the UK). The relevant passage is online here: http://sciencesetfree.tumblr.com/

The TED Scientific Board refers to ”attempts by other scientists eager to replicate the work” on morphic resonance. I would be happy to work with these eager scientists if the Scientific Board can reveal who they are.

This is a good opportunity to correct an oversimplification in my talk. In relation to the dogma that mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works, I said, “that’s why governments only fund mechanistic medicine and ignore complementary and alternative therapies.” This is true of most governments, but the US is a notable exception. The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine receives about $130 million a year, about 0.4% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) total annual budget of $31 billion.

Obviously I could not spell out all the details of my arguments in an 18-minute talk, but TED’s claims that it contains “serious factual errors,” “many misleading statements” and that it crosses the line into “pseudoscience” are defamatory and false.

UPDATE: Please find Graham Hancock’s response below the video window.

HANCOCK
Graham Hancock’s talk, again, shares a compelling and unorthodox worldview, but one that strays well beyond the realm of reasonable science. While attempting to critique the scientific worldview, he misrepresents what scientists actually think. He suggests, for example, that no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness.

In addition, Hancock makes statements about psychotropic drugs that seem both nonscientific and reckless. He states as fact that psychotropic drug use is essential for an “emergence into consciousness,” and that one can use psychotropic plants to connect directly with an ancient mother culture. He seems to offer a one-note explanation for how culture arises (drugs), it’s no surprise his work has often been characterized as pseudo-archeology.

TED respects and supports the exploration of unorthodox ideas, but the many misleading statements in both Sheldrake’s and Hancock’s talks, whether made deliberately or in error, have led our scientific advisors to conclude that our name and platform should not be associated with these talks.

Response to the TED Scientific Board’s Statement

Graham Hancock
March 18, 2013

(1) TED says of my “War on Consciousness” presentation: “…he misrepresents what scientists actually think. He suggests, for example, that no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness.”

The only passage I can find in my presentation that has any relevance at all to this allegation is between 9 mins 50 seconds and 11 mins 12 seconds. But nowhere in that passage or anywhere else in my presentation do I make the suggestion you attribute to me in your allegation, namely that “no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness.” Rather I address the mystery of life after death and state that “if we want to know about this mystery the last people we should ask are materialist, reductionist scientists. They have nothing to say on the matter at all.” That statement cannot possibly be construed as my suggesting that “no scientists are working on the problem of consciousness,” or of “misrepresenting” what materialist, reductionist scientists actually think. I am simply stating the fact, surely not controversial, that materialist, reductionist scientists have nothing to say on the matter of life after death because their paradigm does not allow them to believe in the possibility of life after death; they believe rather that nothing follows death. Here is the full transcript of what I say in my presentation between 9 mins 50 seconds and 11 mins 12 seconds: “What is death? Our materialist science reduces everything to matter. Materialist science in the West says that we are just meat, we’re just our bodies, so when the brain is dead that’s the end of consciousness. There is no life after death. There is no soul. We just rot and are gone. But actually any honest scientist should admit that consciousness is the greatest mystery of science and that we don’t know exactly how it works. The brain’s involved in it in some way, but we’re not sure how. Could be that the brain generates consciousness the way a generator makes electricity. If you hold to that paradigm then of course you can’t believe in life after death. When the generator’s broken consciousness is gone. But it’s equally possible that the relationship – and nothing in neuroscience rules it out – that the relationship is more like the relationship of the TV signal to the TV set and in that case when the TV set is broken of course the TV signal continues and this is the paradigm of all spiritual traditions – that we are immortal souls, temporarily incarnated in these physical forms to learn and to grow and to develop. And really if we want to know about this mystery the last people we should ask are materialist, reductionist scientists. They have nothing to say on the matter at all. Let’s go rather to the ancient Egyptians who put their best minds to work for three thousand years on the problem of death and on the problem of how we should live our lives to prepare for what we will confront after death…”

(2) TED says of my “War on Consciousness” presentation: “… Hancock makes statements about psychotropic drugs that seem both non-scientific and reckless.”

I profoundly disagree. In my presentation I speak honestly and openly about my own damaging and destructive 24-year cannabis habit and about how experiences under the influence of Ayahuasca were the key to breaking this habit. I also say ( 3 min 46 seconds to 3 min 50 seconds) that “I don’t think any of the psychedelics should be used for recreation.”

(3) TED says of my presentation: “He states as fact that psychotropic drug use is essential for an “emergence into consciousness,” and that one can use psychotropic plants to connect directly with an ancient mother culture.”

Nowhere in my talk do I state as a fact that psychotropic drug use is “essential” for an “emergence into consciousness.” Nowhere in my talk do I state that “one can use psychotropic plants to connect directly with an ancient mother culture.”

(4) TED says of my “War on Consciousness” presentation: “He offers a one-note explanation for how culture arises (drugs), which just doesn’t hold up.”

I refute this. What I say (between 1 min 06 seconds and 1 min 54 seconds) is that some scientists in the last thirty years have raised an intriguing possibility — emphasis on POSSIBILITY — which is that the exploration of altered states of consciousness, in which psychedelic plants have been implicated, was fundamental to the emergence into fully symbolic consciousness witnessed by the great cave art.

(5) TED says of my “War on Consciousness” presentation: “… it’s no surprise his work has often been characterized as pseudo-archeology.”

Of what possible relevance is this remark? Many different people have characterised my work in many different ways but at issue here is not what people have said about my work over the years but the actual content of this specific TEDx presentation.

Comments (2156)

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  • Dee Rose commented on Jan 19 2014

    So, obviously TED is not perfect as nothing is. It seems like some of you think you are perfect and want to lambaste TED for deciding to do something somewhat controversial. here is a genius idea, start your *own* TED so you can do whatever you want. Instead of complaining for 39 pages take that energy and go host your own TED conference. Oh wait, you cant? Its really hard? Hmmm well, maybe you should just yell at the “ted” collective that you are DONE with them, like you had this notion that you were actually doing something for them by watchin the video then complaining. Really, your doing nothing but showing how you have a bit to much free time and most likely live in a 1st world country. In situations like this I think it would be interesting if the Govmnt took away the internet from all of you, due to “terrorist” response or some other dire situation. That would actully be a reason to complain, but ehh, most of you are just to comfterbale in life so you yell at TED for a trite reason, they have brought years of interesting videos which you all watch for free all the time an they do something questionable and you are done. Good riddance, if you leave the team that easily who wants you onbard anyways when a *REAL* (as this is not) crisis emerges. I mean TED even explained iteself and wrote out a long explanation about why it did what it did (which I doubt most of you read).. I mean, you don’t ever get this good of an explanation in most situations in real life that set you off. Ahh, but of course how DARE TED!! They owe us !! We are entitled… geeeze, its all makes me sort of ill. Good day.

  • Louis Morelli commented on Jan 14 2014

    First of all, Science is for to be exclusively materialist. Included the theory of randomness, the belief on randomness is not scientific, since that it is not falsiable. As an extreme materialist studying Nature at Amazon jungle I elaborated a theory (The Universal Matrix/DNA of Natural Systems), but I discovered that my Universe and evolution only works when I insert a hypotethical software co-existing with this natural hardware. The software is material and under evolution evolves to consciousness, then, everything after the Big Bang are explained by the same logic. Now, there are people saying that my software is pseudoscience. There is no such thing, pseudoscience, because Science is a body of real knowledge, and there is no pseudoknowledge. So, what we have to do with theories like “consciousness emerged at humans due allucinogenos plants”, or , “all known natural systems are the hardware,and tere is its counterpart, which is a software that was sleeping at atoms systems, dreaming at galaxies, began waking up at animals and lifted up at humans”? Or the “theory of Intelligent Designer”? Science can’t testing these “theories” – in the meaning given by Greek definition, who were coined the word – as Science can’t testing the theory of Big Bang. These theories are not into the body of Science, they are not scientific theories. But, the authors and fans of these theories are busy looking for evidencies, and here, they can produce scientific work, as new discoveries of real phenomena. Then, being a thing that can produce Science, the lovers, researches or not,must be free for to knowing or not these theories. TED and the shollar curriculum are doing a good service for Science, supressing these people from showing their personal researches, be it by other method than the reductionist.If TED do that, then, it must supresses also the theory that neurons produce thoughts, since that neurology has not proven it yet. What these authors must do – and TED must asking it – is an advice that the talking is not about something proved and incorporated into the body of Science.

  • four thirty three commented on Jan 6 2014

    How sad that after watching so many great talks from TED, my first (and probably last} comment will be to say how disappointed I am in how you (TED) have behaved towards your invited speakers.
    Nothing could illustrate the truth and relevance of Rupert Sheldrake’s argument more perfectly than your reaction to his – and to some extent Graham Hancock’s – talk.
    Seems like success has finally gone to your head.

    Well TED, thanks for the good times. But an even bigger thanks to all the amazing speakers who have been such a source of inspiration.

    @damien mahooney: Thanks for posting the Eddie Huang interview below. His remarks are ‘bang on’. Would recommend everyone watch it.

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  • Trikzta Harran commented on Dec 30 2013

    WoW. Most of what they barely concede that animals have, is IMHO what plants have. Not sure what planet they are on. Keep up the good work, wake those ‘closed’ minds up!

  • Ivan Comment commented on Dec 28 2013

    When there are talks about non-science subjects or some artistic performance, this science board of TED thankfully does not judge if they should be censored. But talks that question the rigid beliefs of this science board are thrown out. This is a shame because if TED had existed before Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas, they would have banned any talk that suggested that the Earth was spherical! Come on TED, if scientists know everything we would have solved all of our world’s problems and cured all our illnesses. Please allow talks to cover ideas that outside our present understanding – otherwise you will end up suppressing our future Einsteins and Galileos.

  • Barney Griffiths commented on Dec 19 2013

    I’ve been using TED for years to practise English listening skills with advanced students -professors and staff- at Girona University in Catalonia. It’s wonderful for that, and for generating debate and reflection, and therefore meaningful speaking practice on varied topics for my students.

    The fact that I didn’t even know there were any banned TED talks until today – and let’s not beat around the bush here, TED, if you refuse to publish one of your talks of course you’re censoring it – has come as a something of a shock to me. I didn’t know anything about Graham Hancock until now, but I am familiar with Rupert Sheldrake through my training in Family Constellations.

    All I wish to say is that censorship always has the same result – I’m now far more interested in the content of both of these talks and their authors than I might otherwise have been. It’s also worth noting that my Catalan students and I regularly laugh at the Hollywood endings tacked on by some speakers to get into TED’s good books. Suffice to say there are plenty of people in the world with the mental resources and desire to hear everyone’s viewpoint before making up their own mind, and we do not need TED’s Science Board (who came up with such a ridiculous notion?) to decide what we should or shouldn’t watch/experience/think. I’ll be sending everyone I know the youtube links to these TED talks with an explanation of why they’re not available on TED. To glibly quote a lazy Americanism “Is this China, TED?”

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  • Pedro Alves commented on Nov 13 2013

    I’m a Psychology graduate and have a Msc in Behavioral neuroscience. For what I have understood so far, and this is just a personal, which is what one have, nothing else, and applies to everyone (there are no gods on earth that just know) is that we do have a conscious mind, result of a brain working in a way resulting of adaptation through thousands of years. Our brain works in a electric chemical way, and its normal functioning depends on a balance that is incredible and not understandable so far (we know very little, and for me whoever says the opposite knows even less). Drugs just alter the normal functioning of the brain, and thus, the consciousness. This allows you to think differently in a way that normally you wouldn’t. Why can that be a good thing, because new insights are available from the altered functioning, creativity and new perspectives can arise. Of course if you keep on your altered state you become it, and lose the advantages of being in it for a limited time. I just believe that many of the critics never tried the drugs or had a bad first experience. All in all if someone can have these experiences is just increasing their consciousness and have a greater understanding than by not having them. Science is in the end wrong so if someone is wrong to science it just might be closer to the reality.

  • Helena Forsyth commented on Oct 14 2013

    The moment I hear the phrase ‘militant atheist’ I turn off. I know I am dealing with someone who does not like their views being vigorously challenged rather than someone who relishes debate (name-calling is hardly debate)
    TED is hosting this remember folks – that is hardly censorship – they just don’t want to be promoting something that does not accord with their ethics re accuracy.

    • Manric Gottfried commented on Oct 17 2013

      Ok, fair enough. It is not censorship since THEY HAVE THE RIGHT! Lets accept that fact as a trump to all previous arguments.

      We are then confounded with the contradiction within TED. A contradiction so deep within its core, so subconscious within its foundation and raison d’être, where WE as an audience of intelligentsia must question the integrity of our beacons of knowledge that describe and preach our human world-view conditions. As Richard Dawkins exposes clearly that it is not so much a war on “religion” or “god”, words used loosely to describe emotion or overwhelming states of matter and being, but a war on stupidity, a war on allowing stupidity to reign in our society, stupidity in power.

      I would imagine Professor Dawkings would concur with that premise.

      So again, I jump into this discussion being a militant myself in defending the right of Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake, or any other speaker or blogger of this community, to not be labelled in any way “religious” while doing any sort of sound methodical (scientific) questioning and answering. Questioning death or the limits of knowledge or the dawn of reason in a logical and thorough manner has nothing to do with religion, regardless of the results. If you disagree with that, then you are a dogmatist, which appears closer to religiosity than to science. Here I also question the foundational principles of TED! Are dogmas inherently engrained within TED? Are they based on corporate or political agendas? Are some questions not meant to be asked? Could the audience get some sort of definition on what is meant by “Ideas Worth Spreading”? Are society´s elite thinkers and leaders being polarized or manipulated by extremists or obsessive personalities? Are we able to correct our principles systemically within our institutions as they are presently structured?

      In conclusion, I remain skeptical of TED´s “science panel” as actually being scientific, but more flimsy in their focus on their “war on religion” as a misguided attack. I would urge everyone to rather focus on a more productive front: the war on stupidity! Most religious doctrines include ways of life that function practically for those who practice them. In fact many practices have become part of their very survival, both mentally and logistically. To cleanse the practice of any form of religion, one would have to merely highlight the stupid/inhumane/hypocrite aspects as destructive forces, and leave alone the non-transgressing “way-of-life” aspects of religion. Intelligently fine tuning surgical strikes to the cores of delusion, misguidance, abuse of ignorance and opportunists would be much more effective in living up to the generally accepted principles without causing the negative reactions from religious majorities in today´s world.

      TED, I would be glad to work with you on this front. Please, do let me know, since I also have a duty to help.

    • Glen Kirkby commented on Dec 13 2013

      I believe that rupert uses the description militant athiest because it is the only thing strong enough to describe the kind of people who fanatically defend established doctrine in spite of evidence which calls it in to question.

      If you listen to any of what Rupert has to say, you can hardly call him biased or narrow minded, in fact it is because the opposite is true that he presents the arguments that he does.

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  • Scott Ferguson commented on Oct 5 2013

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    Aristotle

  • Scott Ferguson commented on Oct 5 2013

    How strange that any real man of science would be afraid of ideas and viewpoints. Sounds like the antithesis of scientific thinking and more like religion.

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  • Rebecca Turley-Summers commented on Sep 16 2013

    I realize this discussion is old, but I just became aware of this particular talk (Graham Hancock)and wanted to tell the TED masters how I feel about what I heard. I found Hancock’s talk compelling both because I am a scientist (biologist) by training, and because after 62 years I realize there is far more we do not understand than that which we do. To subject something like this to supposed “scientific rigor” is absurd and as far as I’m concerned you’ve irreparably damaged your brand. Consciousness is not something we can really understand “scientifically” and pretending otherwise is irrational. Having experimented once or twice with these journeys, I “get it” and I find the notion you can subject these ideas to scientific discourse approaching laughable. You are taking yourselves way too seriously. I suggest you try it yourselves before you pretend to talk about it.

  • Richard Miller commented on Sep 10 2013

    1. Mr. Hancock asks some very profound questions about why we don’t demonstrate our love for this planet by taking care of it. Many of us already ask the same question, and attempt to act out a life less damaging to ourselves and to those around us.

    Do we have to go so far away to know any better? Aren’t we already equipped to see what is right for us? Can we see the mechanism of how we make faulty choices? If we saw our faulty definitions, wouldn’t we stop acting them out?

    2. Here’s the $64,000 question, which research upon could really serve society. What causes people to reject their life and their society? Is it a conviction in their victimhood? What would ever possess a semi successful citizen of the UK to dedicate 120,000 waking hours of his life to being not fully here. Perhaps a faulty definition that I am actually more fully here? Are life’s disappointments in the UK so bad that it takes 25% of your time on earth to come out of them? A definition that escaping life is actually supporting life could keep you going indefinitely.

    3. Still believing that truth is far away Mr. Hancock goes deeper into numbing with Ayahuasca, and comes out of his earlier dependence. Is that a useful prescription for troubled people or our misdirected society? Will world leaders drink the brew, or will Mr. Hancock run for office? If it is not practical for the rest of us, then a private research becomes a public righteousness. Why talk about something that is not going to work, except to say that I know? What do you know that will make a difference, and can be implemented? Both are necessary.

    4. He did not say that he came out of the ayahuasca use? And he does still believe that truth is with the “Mother” and not with you and me.

    No use regretting the 20 blue years. But the euphemism for rejecting life is still in place, that it is expanding horizons. Drugs can be playful. Can you already play at life without them? Find joy right here right now, and not somewhere over the rainbow. Maybe it takes a red-hot poker up your butt like Ayahuasca, to get yourself through a lifetime of self rejection.

  • Nikhil Sheth commented on Sep 8 2013

    TED, you have published a talk which claims that 8 hugs a day is all that’s required to be happy, healthy. And then another talk that refutes the oversimplification of effects of hormones, and which explicitly refutes the first talk. THAT would have been a sensible way of refuting Sheldrake or Hancock’s talks. You even have a talk claiming that cooked food made man more intelligent – while that hasn’t been decisively disproven, it’s not been proven as the only causal factor. But you didn’t take that down; yet in the same circumstances you have taken these talks down. How come? There are several far more ridiculous TED and TEDx talks out there but this method is of course the wrong way to go about it. Since this incident you’ve lost my trust and I’ve stopped following you the way I used to. I’m now ashamed of being identified among peers as the guy who’d downloaded nearly all the talks and who would always talk about them. I’d been suspicious ever since I had started seeing major exploitative MNCs’ logos appearing in the Talks. With major funding comes ideological subversion, and it’s apparent that you have been subverted.

    • Scott Ferguson commented on Oct 5 2013

      It appears you are correct and its sad. What started out as open discussion of ideas has turned into the same old same old.

  • Sarah Diggins commented on Sep 7 2013

    TED I used to think your site was wonderful but sadly you’ve been bought and it’s showing. Your principals are no longer true and your sponsors agendas are clearly transparent.