What It Is
TEDTalks. If you don’t know what that is, just skip ahead as this podcast won’t be your thing anyway.
The show drops episodes pretty sporadically. They might post six episodes in the space of a week or they might let a week go by between episodes. The episodes are variable in length as well, from as short as five minutes to just shy of half an hour. The iTunes archive has the seventy-three most recent episodes (how does they come up with these weird numbers?). For more, hit up the official website, which goes all the way back to 2006 and also features the talks in their original video presentation.
What About It
So, this show features some expert in some field or other giving a live speech about some particular aspect of the field. Or something. Anyway, I downloaded a few episodes and gave a few of them a listen and I was just generally underwhelmed. The slogan of TED is “Ideas Worth Spreading” but I found none in the rambling, uninteresting speeches I listened to. One was a guy telling a rambling story about how much he hated his dad when he was a kid and somehow this tied into how we tell stories about our lives or something; I have no idea what THAT was supposed to accomplish. Another, mercifully the shortest I listened to, had some sort of scientist talking about using computer animation in the study of molecules or microbes or something. Perhaps this is of interest to people in the field, but I don’t know why it’s an “idea worth sharing” with a mainstream audience. At least it was only five minutes long. The best I heard was a woman talking about the oppression of and violence against women in India; it had some emotional heft as she shared about her own sexual assault and talked about that horrific gang-rape/murder on a bus, the one from just a couple of years ago. But there wasn’t anything revolutionary and she had nothing concrete to say as far as ways to push back against these things. It feels like, at one time, TED sought out genuine thinkers/philosophers/experts who talked about genuinely revolutionary or powerful ideas in intriguing and interesting ways. Unfortunately, it seems they’ve run out of those kind of folks or those kinds of ideas. Won’t be listening to this one anymore.
You have, in fact, given one of these talks.
Avoid Like the Plague If
You had initially hoped this would be a podcast with Mark Wahlberg & a bear.
Best Entry Point
Well, I don’t recommend entry, but if you do want to try it out, then I recommend the best one I talked about above: Meera Vijayan: Find Your Voice Against Gender Violence. Just give that one a listen and then think about the fact that it’s one of the best. Figure out from there, I guess.
2 stars. Recommended against, on the whole.
Next time, the atheist podcast that even a devout Christian can love!