In an attempt to increase the audience of Great Ideas Worth Spreading the TED series opened up to local forums. Anyone with a university, town, school, church, etc can organize a "TEDx" conference. Such conferences allow invitations to local experts to share their information. Sounds like a good idea, right?
The problem is that any idiot can now use the established and reputable forum of the TED brand to promote their agenda. And it is happening.
TEDx - Validating Insanity Since 2010
Yesterday I wrote on a Robyn O'Brien's heartfelt rant on how GMO food was causing allergies and cancer. The 18 minute, well delivered, warm discussion was an audience pleaser--- which is why it is so dangerous. Ms. O'Brien did not produce any evidence to substantiate her claims. No science. And the crowd went wild. The pitchforks and torches were out and a mobilized throng was prepared to take down science. Because someone told them how evil it was. With no evidence.
Others have since informed me of other bogus TEDx topics. In TEDx Brussels, Lynn McTaggart presented her nonsense in this forum. McTaggart's delusionary background is detailed here. She claims to know science, yet she is a journalist at best. She starts out with the old quantum-physics garbage. She then makes crazy descriptions about epigenetics. It lays a foundation for mystical woo-woo. She then gets audiences to "send intentions" to germinate seeds and claims it works. She then starts into "healing water" (like @Lordes) and claims that she can change water pH and "molecular structure". Ten minutes into this insanity I had to stop.
Complete insanity, in the theater built by logic.
Other pseudoscientific TEDx topics equally erode the integrity of the institution and tarnish its great tradition. I will review them in upcoming weeks.
The idea is a good one, but until they have some way to ensure that frauds are not co-opting the good name of TED talks, they need to discontinue the TEDx series.
Or else, it will be the death of TED.