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I like the banned TED talks...





spinout
Here is another banned TED-talk. I am very fond of the banned ones, for many reasons, but mostly for
they were just banned...
Here is a talk from Rupert Sheldrake - the scientific delusion:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TerTgDEgUE#t=55

Please post more banned ones for me!
Insanity
I wonder what makes these talks banned specifically. I don't think the topics are super controversial, and I wouldn't think that TED has a tendency to ban them
Bikerman
The reason is simple. Sheldrake isn't doing science. His morphic resonance hypothesis is an example of pure pseudo-science. It cannot be refuted and therefore it ain't science. Sheldrake occasionally says it CAN and suggests some experiment which, when it fails to any effect, he discounts.

Moving this to a more suitable forum
Indi
Insanity wrote:
I wonder what makes these talks banned specifically. I don't think the topics are super controversial, and I wouldn't think that TED has a tendency to ban them

Of the two banned talks that i've seen, neither were "controversial". Quite the opposite, one of them - the one about the dude who got high and talked to otherworldly beings - was quite mollifying; a very "warm, fuzzy, feel-good, we are all connected" kind of presentation. What got it banned were the daffy claims about literally travelling to other planes and speaking to gods and spirits.

The other - the Sheldrake one - wasn't particularly controversial either, generally. The overall topic - that science sometimes gets stuck in ruts - didn't even raise an eyebrow, and most people agreed with the general points. What did get people talking were the absurd and bullshit "examples" he used to make his points, including wacky claims like that the speed of light has changed by some 20% since the 1970s.

Bear in mind that's all from vague memory - it's been a long, long time since i saw those talks. But overall, what seems to get TED talks "banned" is not controversy, but straight up bullshit. Which seems logical to me.
spinout
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b6-0yW7Iaw

This is the one with... Graham hancock. Ok everyone has not liked him I know. Smile Not me too.

Well, this is more culture/honesty, but a lot of critisism is held to common science.
The same science war as usual.
Bikerman
There isn't a science war. There isn't even a science skirmish.Science is a method, a way of doing things, an approach. Talk of a science war is meaningless gibberish - semantic white noise.
The scientific method includes a requirement for robust challenge, true, but that is built in. There are, by design, people in any particular field of study which uses scientific method who will hold to different hypotheses at any particular time. This is quite proper and part of the normal functioning. In physics there are those who think that the Super-symmetric string hypothesis is the best candidate for a G.U.T. and there are others who think that think Loop Quantum Gravity is more likely. Until there is good evidence then both groups (and others) will hypothesise and explore their models. This isn't war, it is parallel development of models. Ultimately one will win (or neither, or a completely new model).
Apart from that there are people who do science and people who don't. The mistaken perception of a 'war' in a particular field is usually a result of confusing the latter for the former.
spinout
War - well not exactly but not far from it - it is just a fight for power. And science is a not working method, especially in the quantum world - so it doesn't even tell what is not working - it is just woo.

Hehe, same old story.

Metafor:
I have worked several years in the nuclear field with materials and their specifications - and when you compare specifications for the same material but for different customers (countries) you get astonished how much it can differ. This is high level psysics and the testing is unreliable here - it gets tougher when diving into smaller thing. (I am not saying anything bad for nuclear power, I am for it, i am just saying different customers means different specs and tolerances)
Bikerman
Quantum theory doesn't work? Bull. Quantum theory is the most precise theory in physics. It is tested to one part in one hundred billion.
In simple terms, if we compare QM predicted results to estimating the width of the North American continent, the accuracy is plus or minus the width of one human hair.

Rule 32 - when you don't know what you are talking about, don't talk.

As for specifications varying - so what? That has nothing to do with science. That is engineering at best and probably not even that - administrative bureaucracy more likely.
Science has STANDARD UNITS which are agreed worldwide.
spinout
I said the scientific method don't work - not the theory.

It is all about methods, and science was a method... Smile
Bikerman
Please explain why and how the scientific method doesn't work. From where I sit it not only works but has been spectacularly successful.

It has (just off the top of my head)
  • produced the technology you are using to write your postings
  • doubled your life expectancy over the last century or so
  • allowed about 4 billion people to eat who would otherwise have starved
  • allowed anyone with the means to travel pretty much anywhere on earth
  • allowed us to land people on our moon
  • allowed us to map the Solar system and send our technology to most of the interesting planets
  • build transportation and information networks which facilitate global communication for cents, and global travel for dollars
  • eliminate most of the global killer diseases, and treat the rest well enough to allow pretty normal lives for the huge majority
  • build an explanatory model of our Universe which is self-consistent and supported by experiment/observation, and which can explain the universe we perceive, from the present day back to a minuscule fraction of a second after it came into being
I've probably missed many even more important things, but that is pretty impressive list of achievements for a 'failed' methodology...

You might also explain why you think the scientific method has particularly failed in the quantum world, given that QM is spectacularly accurate and has never, ever, even once, been shown to be wrong.

The only people of my acquaintance who think the scientific method is a bad thing, or a failed methodology, are:
  • religious zealots who have had their entire world-view challenged and essentially refuted by it
  • crank theorists who cannot get their crank theories published and blame the system rather than themselves
  • people who don't actually know what they are talking about and style themselves as provocative critics, or courageous contrarians when, in fact, they are posing pillocks who's basic ignorance makes them an irrelevance to all but those gullible enough to buy their prattle
Personally I think your time would be much better spent actually learning the physics we know and which works, rather than pissing around with woo-woo and highly speculative pseudo-science from people who's only qualification in the field of their speculations is a huge ego, and/or an eye for the money it might allow them to con.
spinout
Hm, there was a big topic about this before.
I am not "pissing" - I am just saying. I try to have a fairly friendly typing, atleast.
Hm, well one point have you got - there a lot of egos in this business.
Bikerman
Err, I don't remember reading anything which established (or even made a reasonable case) that the scientific method is broken. Maybe I missed it - possible. I doubt the case was made....

The English use of 'pissing about' is different to the US and Ozz use and is not so offensive/hard. The meaning is almost a synonym for 'messing about' - just a little bit 'harsher', but not hugely so. I wouldn't use it in 'polite company', or in a professional communication, but it would be OK in most other contexts.
LxGoodies
spinout wrote:

Please post more banned ones for me!

Have you seen Hanauer ? I really like this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKCvf8E7V1g

It's not "scientific" ... but in a certain way, it clarifies something in just 5 min ..
Indi
Hanauer's talk wasn't banned. It was just shitty.
spinout
Hanauer's talk was brave!
And thanks for the link!
Indi
Brave?
spinout
Yes it is.
Leftwing politics are brave to stand up for.
Indi
Really? It's brave to "stand up" for left wing politics at what is probably one of the most left wing conferences out there?
spinout
yes, it is always brave.
Bikerman
Hardly. Bravery, to me, is putting yourself in danger of some sort, being aware of the danger and being scared. That last point is often overlooked. It isn't brave if you ain't scared IMHO, although it might be praiseworthy.

So, we ask ourselves,
a) what danger did he face here?
b) what possible sanctions could have resulted?
c) why would he be scared?


Swap papers and mark them please. The answers are:
a) bugger-all
b) nothing significant enough to trouble a multi-millionaire
c) he wouldn't
spinout
In my country You cant even type your political view on Facebook without endanger your job.
Bikerman
Sorry, don't believe you. I know of one famous Swedish case and that was a right-wing public sector worker being demoted because of his expressed extreme right-wing views. Whilst I think that is regrettable, the fact that he worked for asylum assessment may have been relevant....
Please give me examples of left-wing views being a causal factor in sacking or threats of such.

(Note that even if you can it wouldn't fit my description of bravery. He CAN'T be sacked because he is the boss).
Indi
Hanauer basically went to one of the most liberal conferences in the world, and gave a presentation that was not only entirely in agreement with what everyone present almost certainly already believed, but that contained absolutely no information that wasn't utterly obvious to anyone with even the most basic knowledge of economics.

Since when is standing in front of a group of people and telling them something they not only already know, but that they really like to hear, brave? Even in a country that does viciously censor people, that's hardly brave. That's just about as close as you can get to LITERALLY preaching to the choir without having an actual choir.

Not to mention, as Bikerman already obliquely hinted at, Hanauer is one of the richest people in the world. Dude, he was in no danger. Seriously. He could have gone to that conference and given a presentation on "why i eat poop", and he still would have walked away rich, powerful, and utterly untouchable.

Seriously, it is not brave for an incredibly rich and powerful person to stand in front of a group of people and tell them exactly what they want to hear. It doesn't even matter what they're talking about - Mitt Romney was caught on video standing in front of a group of people telling them they were the only true Americans, and 47% of the country was a bunch of deadbeats leeching off of them, which was certainly not a popular opinion in that country (though it was popular among his audience)... was that brave? Hardly. Did he suffer for it? He lost the election, but, frankly, he was probably going to lose anyway, and now he's "suffering the consequences" as the director of Marriot International and chairman of an investment firm, and probably swimming in cash like Scrooge McDuck.

Without risk, there can be no "bravery", and Hanauer was never in any risk of anything. He went there expecting to be accepted and celebrated, and that's exactly what happened... except when he wasn't celebrated as much as he wanted to be, he threw a hissy fit and used his considerable power to start a campaign about how TED "censored" him.

He's not a "brave" man, he's a whiny, entitled piece of shit.
spinout
Even I, (of great civil courage hm hehe) have erased out my political and religious view on every social site... It is very often checked out here before hiring.

And even the extreme right wing lives in danger on the job market.

It is a pity, pity pity... I am not on any wing but the concept suck in my opinion. In the last union mag there was big reportage about people getting sacked because what their political stance - and how rulings went in court.
Today we have no laws in sweden left for justice in the job market.

Also, if you try to say anything left-thinking around the coffetable... well there will be death silence.
A collegue at my former employer (union leader) one day got the pay for his good work at the union - 2 years in adv pay and 24 hour to leave the building - "he did not share the companys policy" was the citation...
catscratches
I certainly don't hide my political views on social media and I'm a massive coward. But then, I don't really spout racist and bigoted views, which is mostly what'll get you in trouble.

I've yet too see any valid complaint about political correctness, just people who get so easily offended when people call them out for being ******.
Bikerman
Hmm I've seen quite a few - mainly feminists calling sexism on stuff that either isn't sexism or is, at worst, a marginal call.
I've seen the race card played on a couple of occasions but I would say that was rare. The largest complaint I see is from people complaining that such-and-such is offensive to them. This is mainly religious folk complaining, but that is at least partly because I spend more time (on-line) debating religious people, so the sample is neither random nor unbiased.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
Hmm I've seen quite a few - mainly feminists calling sexism on stuff that either isn't sexism or is, at worst, a marginal call.
I've seen the race card played on a couple of occasions but I would say that was rare.

I would say those are very, very grey areas, because what feminists and people fighting racism are often doing is deliberately calling out cases of subtle, borderline, and even unintended sexism or racism, to drive home the point that these things are pervasive in our culture. Indeed, they often call out things that they themselves enjoy solely for the purpose of making trends more visible, because the individual case may not be so bad but the trend may be troubling.

Given the rather painfully obvious fact that sexism (and racism) exists, and is rampant in our society, it is not unreasonable to give the people calling it out the freedom to do so without challenging them every time they do. In the worst case, the claim will be false and... well, and nothing - the person who got called out will duly apologize and we'll all learn to be better on guard for sexism (which, as has already been pointed out, unarguably exists and is rampant, so this is a good thing). But in the common case, when there really is latent sexism, everyone will learn the lesson and be better able to spot it next time.

I'm not saying you should never challenge an accusation of sexism or racism, because some of them are bullshit. I'm saying that you should think very, very carefully before you do, and have damn good reasons for doing so. It is far, far more likely that your challenge could do more harm - even if justified - than the accusation of sexism or racism. Their battle - the battle to end sexism or racism - is a just one, so you best be damn sure your facts are in order, and that it's worth it, before you set yourself up against them.

Bikerman wrote:
The largest complaint I see is from people complaining that such-and-such is offensive to them. This is mainly religious folk complaining, but that is at least partly because I spend more time (on-line) debating religious people, so the sample is neither random nor unbiased.

Naturally, the mere fact that someone claims to be offended by something means nothing. One has to consider the reality surrounding the "offence" - what was actually said or done, the immediate context, and the broader social context - before considering whether a claim of offence has any justification.

In the particular case of religion, the broader social context that gives unthinking respect to religion means that whatever was done generally has to be very nasty indeed to cross the threshold into being actually offensive. It happens, of course - there was a recent case in your own country where some jackasses threw bacon at a mosque, for example (i believe it turned out later that they had ties to UKIP or the English Defence League - granted, that was a case of attacking a minority religion, not the majority religion).

The key difference between offence to religion and sexism/racism is that the former is still very, very much in power in society, while the latter is systematically disempowered and victimized (and, ironically, it is usually the former that has caused the griefs of the latter). That imbalance is why there's a much higher threshold necessary for something to be offensive to religion than for something to be sexist/racist.
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