I said goodbye to TED today. It was hard in one sense because I love TED and in another sense it was easy because I love finding the truth. TED talks was launched in 2007 with their mission to spread ideas “we believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.”
I just found out that on March 14, 2013 the TED curator made the decision to remove two of their previously posted talks given in London by the scientist Rupert Sheldrake and the journalist Graham Hancock. These two speakers had been invited to talk at a TEDx forum entitled “Challenging Existing Paradigms.” After the initial social media backlash TED reposted the videos in a private domain while keeping their defaming comments posted with a strikeout through the words (still easily readable) along with their reasoning.
Now I don’t care whether anyone believes anything these speakers are saying or not but I am sick of someone else deciding what I can or cannot be told. We are all capable of making informed decisions but when information is manipulated or hidden, that becomes harder and harder to do.
Everything these educators are saying can be found on other sources all over the internet. Defaming scientists for questioning the status quo is nothing new. In 1810 Goethe (1749-1832) published his book Theory of Colors in which he brought into question Newton’s (1642-1727) color theories. This was extremely contentious at the time and even though no one could disprove the accuracy of Goethe’s observations, his work was rendered “scientifically irrelevant.”
The approach Goethe and countless others to follow believed in is called phenomenology. “A phenomenological approach to science begins with the premise that all empirical knowledge must start with sensory impressions.” ” What is important to note here is that truly new ideas and inventions in science have usually resulted from conscious or unconscious application of a phenomenological approach. This can unconsciously occur when a scientist is working with an old concept – one that has often been passed down for years – and suddenly sees something new in the phenomena. In that moment, the scientist leaves the conventional view of the problem using pre-established, fixed concepts and instead, becomes interested in some new detail, and suddenly desires to “make sense” of this new situation.”
“This is the kind of thinking that is needed in the world today – a way of making sense out of what is before us, unhindered by old concepts and habitual patterns. It is the approach today’s students, scientists and citizens must cultivate if we are to make sense out of a fast-paced, information loaded, virtual-reality laden world. A phenomenon-centered approach to science give us an opportunity to develop in every person the capacity to encounter a situation, take stock of it by making careful observations, and then make sense of it by finding lawful relationships and forming appropriate concepts.”
TED was perfectly in their rite to remove their name from these talks because in the end they get to decide which ideas they think are worth spreading. They do not, however, get to discredit people just because their viewpoint is different than theirs. All negative emotion/reaction can be traced back to the root of fear. I ask it of myself when I get triggered “what am I afraid of” and I ask it of others. So why does new information or thought provoking ideas incite fear?
I too get to decide what I will or will not support and I no longer choose to support an organization that tries to discredit people who are brave enough to question the status quo and invite us all to make informed decisions for ourselves.
So what an interesting experiment it will be to see if we can reach morphic resonance for TED unsubscribers.