TED Talk On Inequality Almost Never Came Out: VIDEO


Every year, thousands of bright and interesting people assume the stage to deliver talks at TED, TED-X, and affiliated conferences all over the world, and just about every day TED posts one of those talks for online consumption. The massively popular TED Conference -- "TED" stands for "Technology, Entertiainment, and Design" -- is predicated on the idea that luminaries in all kinds of different fields probably have something of value to share with the world, and the world might be willing to listen if those luminaries distill their One Big Idea into brief, humorous, and passionate speeches. Many of the world's smartest and most inventive people go to TED and affiliated events each year and return home even smarter and more inventive, for TED Talks can be both life-changingly informative and peerlessly inspirational. Sometimes they're both.

Because thousands of people end up on stage at TED-affiliated events each year, not everybody's talk gets featured on TED's website. That's certainly true of those talks, such as the one below, which are pitched and delivered by non-featured speakers -- basically, during the audience-participation part of the conference.

But this particular talk was delivered by Nick Hanauer, the venture capitalist, and its subject was inequality. And when it didn't get featured on TED's website, Hanauer was angry. The National Review wrote a story about the snub, assuming it resulted from some censorious impulse at TED. TED's founder, Chris Anderson, took to the web to defend himself. It's not that TED"s censorious; it's that Hanauer's talk was "partisan" and "unconvincing."

But that's nonsense. Hanauer's talk has now been posted, and it's fine. Anyway, all TED lectures are either for or against something, which is what it means to be partisan. If I can hazard a guess, the problem's that the TEDfolk, like most West coast techno-cultural intelligentsia, are libertarians, and don't like to see gazillionaires bescmirching the free market, which Hanauer does repeatedly.

If, however, you enjoy seeing billionaires besmirch the free market, please watch Hanauer's talk AFTER THE JUMP ...