Monday, July 2, 2012

A TED Talk Too Far

In May millionaire Nick Hanauer gave a short TED Talk.

It's a provocative talk, which was followed by nothing from the TED folks (Technology Entertainment and Design), including, notably, not posting a video of the Talk ... which provoked additional communication with media outlets.  Time's article on the events was title "Was Nick Hanauer's TED Talk on Income Inequality Too Rich for Rich People?"

Basically Mr. Hanauer said that rich people don't create jobs.  When TED didn't post the video it was suggested rich people, no matter how strong their desire to be forward-thinking liberal minds, don't post videos arguing they should be taxed more.

Forgetting the economics, I did find some humour in the following sections of Mr. Hamauer's Talk, and a response posted on a blog TED's Mr. Andersen keeps for thoughts too complex for Twitter.

Mr. Haneuer (full text of speech is here):
Significant privileges have come to capitalists like me for being perceived as "job creators" at the center of the economic universe, and the language and metaphors we use to defend the fairness of the current social and economic arrangements is telling. For instance, it is a small step from "job creator" to "The Creator". We did not accidentally choose this language. It is only honest to admit that calling oneself a "job creator" is both an assertion about how economics works and the a claim on status and privileges.
Ted Curator Chris Anderson (from the blog for thoughts too complex for 140 words)
...for the record, we have never sought advice from any of our advertisers on what we carry editorially. To anyone who knows how TED operates, or who has observed the noncommercial look and feel of the website, the notion that we would is laughable. We only care about one thing: finding the best speakers and the best ideas we can, and sharing them with the world. For free. I've devoted the rest of my life to doing this, and honestly, it's pretty disheartening to have motives and intentions taken to task so viciously by people who simply don't know the facts.
Strikes me as a "claim on status and privilege"

Haneuer seemed to identify that personality.  Perhaps his economic thoughts are worth the 5 minutes it takes to view the video TED either didn't think had value, or didn't want to acknowledge for other reasons, only one of which is quality.

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