I try not to read the news because it makes me sad. However, TED talks are just long enough for me to listen to while I eat my breakfast and usually they’re of a higher quality with real content, so sometimes I’ll indulge.
However, I’ve noticed a marked decline in the quality of even the TEDs since they first came out. When I was a graduate student three or four years ago, the talks were these 15 minute summaries of a respected academic’s work. They served as a trailor for getting to know the thinker in greater depth should one choose to do so. Then I noticed some speakers weren’t academics or researchers or even policy makers, they started to include inspirational speakers. I remember one woman talking for 8 out of 15 minutes about how she knew the secret to finding happiness and it was simple, but not easy. It wasn’t until the 12th minute of the talk that I learned that her secret was, “patronize my books and consulting courses to learn more.”