Benjamin Bratton’s We Need To Talk About TED is such an important read, and written like punch-in-the-face poetry:

So I ask the question: does TED epitomize a situation where if a scientist’s work (or an artist’s or philosopher’s or activist’s or whoever) is told that their work is not worthy of support, because the public doesn’t feel good listening to them?
I submit that astrophysics run on the model of American Idol is a recipe for civilizational disaster.

But … the corollaries of placebo science and placebo medicine areplacebo politics and placebo innovation. On this point, TED has a long way to go.

Instead of dumbing-down the future, we need to raise the level of general understanding to the level of complexity of the systems in which we are embedded and which are embedded in us. This is not about “personal stories of inspiration”, it’s about the difficult and uncertain work of demystification and reconceptualisation.”