On TED Talks

With a Backstreet Boy headset and access to just one psychological study, you too, can give a TED Talk.

I’m not sure the selection process for giving a TED talk–but surely it’s:

  • Do you have a headset?
  • Can it be taped to your face?
  • Do you have access to a psychological study?

Outstanding. Go tell people how to think. We will film it from three different camera angles.


“Look to the stage. I’m on it. It’s tastefully lit. Have you heard about the field mice who struck a powerful pose each morning? They found the cheese 50 percent faster. Let that sink in. Don’t believe me? Look at my position in space. I am up here, on a stage. Look at my face: a microphone is taped directly to it. Now do your power pose while you watch another TED Talk”.

Once past the TED vetting process, you’ll need a speech. This will require:

  • 1 self deprecating joke
  • 1 refrain
  • 1 personal failure
  • 1 anecdote
  • 1  weird trick
  • 2 hand gestures

The joke should go first. After the payoff, as the room settles, introduce your first hand gesture. It will look like you are holding a joint a foot and a half away from your face.

Look at that invisible j-straw

Next the anecdote. This should be narrow, specific, and globally allegorical.

Introduce the refrain and repeat it ad nauseam. It should be simple and sound like this: “Body language is language”. It’s also time for hand gesture number two. Properly executed, this will look like you’ve chosen ‘paper’ in a game of rock paper scissors.

This guy means business

Act one fun time is over. Introduce a swift and catastrophic personal failure.

Now, the cornerstone of your TED Talk — a psychological study. Your entire worldview hinges on this study, so do not forget to do this part. It can be any study done at any time.

Next it’s your ‘one weird trick’, which is also your thesis, and the means to your success. After introducing this trick, you can just wing it–but remember to take it serious–someone will live their life by this.

Here are some people who would give a great Ted Talk:

  • Ted Bundy
  • Salesmen
  • Pol Pot
  • David Miscavige
  • Young Republicans Club
  • Robert Oppenheimer

None of these people should be giving speeches.

Destroyer of critical thinking
The tagline for TED Talks is “Ideas Worth Spreading”–which just edged out “Parasitic Ideas From a Cat’s Ass”.

Toxoplasmosis (the name-brand cat’s-ass parasite) works to create crazy cat ladies who nurture more cats, who harbor more parasites.

TED Talks are much the same. They target people with an itch to better themselves. Then TED provides the means to do so, which is more TED Talks. It’s a Möbius strip of YouTube clicks.

So what do TED Talks actually generate?

  • Homogenous thought processes
  • Idolatry
  • Shallow explanations
  • Interesting explanations
  • Accessable explanations
  • Ad revenue

In summary, don’t watch these things. Be wary of hands-free microphones. Stay out of litter boxes.


4 thoughts on “On TED Talks

  1. Okay, yikes. I’m curious to hear why you have such strong negative feelings for TED Talks. Have you seen a bunch that follow this same process that just got under your skin? I wouldn’t say I’ve seen a lot of TED Talks, but the ones I have seen were very informative and interesting (check out Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists,” here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc); though some were definitely better than others, I find that their messages are usually relevant and informative. Consider giving some examples of TED Talks that do these things that you’re saying they do- I’m not saying to outright bash them, but critique them and give us a sense as to what you’re pointing towards. For example, I’ve never gotten the sense that a speaker from a TED Talk was trying to “tell people how to think,” so show us where you’re getting that sense from. What are the parasitic ideas that you say they are trying to spread and turn us into “crazy cat ladies”? I say work to make this post more of a coherent critique of TED Talks – and take out that overly crude click-bait photo – because I’m genuinely interested to hear what you have to say about them, but right now the post just leads up to generalizations that readers can’t agree with because you don’t provide evidence. You are totally justified in making your argument against TED Talks, but give us some examples and information to back your claims with.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. By this article, it is clear you have never watched a TED Talk! I would encourage you to do so 🙂 This article was definitely amusing, but I would love to see what your thoughts are after watching one! One of my favorites is The Danger of A Single Story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lydia!

      I’d love to watch The Danger of a Single Story, but my fear is I’d only have a single story on the dangers of having a single story, so for now I’ll stick to zero stories on it. Thanks though! Can’t wait to read your blog!!!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s