This is an incredibly good article about the TED talk era. Incisive analysis and critique.

@darius this is good and I wish they also covered the audacious grants, a concrete way TED has wielded its influence to push massive amounts of money through the non profit sector

@christa I also wish it had gone into the TEDx branding ecosystem! But there's so much to cover in only so many words

@darius dang really good

"Stylistically, the inspiresting is earnest and contrived. It is smart but not quite intellectual, personal but not sincere, jokey but not funny. It is an aesthetic of populist elitism. Politically, the inspiresting performs a certain kind of progressivism, as it is concerned with making the world a better place, however vaguely."

^made me think of the phrase "i'd watch a netflix doc about that" as the more recent spin of "have you seen this ted talk about x"

@darius That Ted Nelson quote sure is something. It seems he had a good handle on what was going on before many of us. Also, I admit to being mildly disappointed that Shai Agassi's company went absolutely nowhere. It seemed like an idea that had promise. Thanks for sharing the article!

@cstanhope I was frankly a little surprised in a "wow well-observed, there, Ted Nelson" kinda way

@darius "With innovation there isn’t a last nugget" - I'd never heard this (early) Bezos quote before and it's an interesting idea to examine in light of the past 20 years. It seems generally true that for any given thing humans do, we can come up with an at least slightly better / cleverer way to do it, or at least understand the doing of it. But this hasn't created a "long boom" by any definition, it's produced a couple booms (mobile computing) and a series of crises.

@darius I've seen a few articulations lately that the current crisis-masquerading-as-boom of crypto is this stark indication that tech doesn't really have much left in the tank, a "simulacrum of innovation" as Stephen Diehl called it. So maybe "innovation" in the "gold, but inexhaustible" sense Bezos used it really is quite exhaustible, and maybe sometimes it's also fool's gold.

@darius very good article, also very full of very cursed sentences. like "Burning Man was (once) inspiresting"

@aparrish @darius powerful cursed energy in “inspiresting”. “May you live in inspiresting times”, sounds like something a VC microdosing on ayahuasca would say moments before disappearing up his own fundament.

@darius really enjoyed this, thanks for sharing :) i ended up with a wonderful surfing session by looking for more articles by the author & following outgoing links :~

@darius Love the article and it did a great job of reconnecting my present self with the kind of mindset I was in during '08-'15-ish. But I keep wanting to read inspiresting as "inspire-sting" as in "I saw a TED talk and really felt the inspire-sting from it."

@darius > You have read 2 of 3 free articles! #paywall alert


I watch these things & always wonder if anyone involved has ever had real interaction w/any human being outside their own well-appointed social circle. At day's end, TED is just another global old-boy network. But perhaps w/a few less boys. A more erudite & personable version of the average PBS panel from the 1970s and 80s. In which a few suits talk coolly about what's best for a group of other people who they don't know & who will never be let on the air to speak for themselves.


In one way, it can feel like a refreshing change from the endless sound bites, tired-ass memes, never-ending squabbles and "owns" which make up so much of social media. But a better-built *form* of conversation doesn't mean much long-term if it's still always the same tiny group of rich wannabe saviors (or those who are auditioning to become rich) called on to do all the talking and collect all the praise. It's a very half-assed idea of what a real exchange between people could be.

@xenophora @darius and their distillate attends conferences like , and of course Davos 2022 kicks off tomorrow. they cycle through McKinsey, and trade the same sets of fellowships and honors back and forth. it’s all so boring and samey and pathetic

@mood @darius

Break me off some of that action, please. So I can re-attach the parts of my literal home foundation which are currently breaking off. ;)

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