The Perils of TEDification

On Places, Simon Sadler explores the magical thinking and many contradictions of the TED Talks.

1 minute read

January 23, 2014, 2:00 PM PST

By Places Journal


Ted's Hot Dogs signage

Lee Ruk / Flickr

"We are living through the era of the TED Talk, much like an earlier generation lived through the era of the World's Fair, wondrous about our new world in the making," writes Simon Sadler on Places. "TEDification endows capitalism and globalization with a credible spiritual and ethical mission, just as the art of the Renaissance lent to the ruthless bankers of the Italian city states an enduring moral sheen."

Sadler explores the magical thinking and many contradictions of the TED juggernaut — and the implicit threats to design and education: "The particular danger of TEDification to the design disciplines, I think, is its core message that the chief obstacle to our discovering grand solutions to global problems ... is our lack of sufficient connection."

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