Last night I fell in love with David Cameron ,,, well kind of ,,,

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Peter Madden 2 years, 7 months ago.

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    Err. Not quite, but I did find myself nodding sagely (and smiling inanely) at almost everything the chap is saying. I even almost let slide the fact that he was using the “raised fist” when he was waxing on about giving power back to the people. (He’s no Wolfie Smith.) I even only mildly grunted when said something like “…wanting people to believe there is more to life that money…” (Easy for him to say, he has plenty. Then I got to thinking, why was I so bedazzled? Initially I thought it was just because of the slick presentation style, not a word wasted etc. But then I thought some more… every TED Talk I ‘ve ever saw has been pretty amazing. The I factored in something that our lecturer said “what did he actually promise in that Ted Talk?”. Then it was clear – it was TED Talks itself that made me almost fall in love with David Cameron! The TED Talks platform itself sprinkles everything everyone says with magic fairy dust. That’s just what it does. Then I sniffed around online, and found this wonderfully meta Ted Talk from a philosopher “What’s wrong with TED Talks?” where he describes much better than I could ever do exactly what’s wrong with the TED Talks platform.

    So last night, OK I almost fell in love with David “Power to the People” Cameron, but at the same time I kind of fell out of love with Ted Talks,



    I feel the presenter has himself simplified the purpose of TED Talks. For me it is more of a platform for discussing ideas and concept for masses. We have to remember simplified ideas are esier to spread.They do not have to be perfect. I feel it is discussion which is important. I agree that there are some negatives to the advancements in Technology,Economic or Design. However,the keywords should be advancements. People will have different perspective and different views,aspirations and cultures. These can play a role in local innovation or conditions not being affected at all. The whole premise should be discussion and freedom to choose a path rather than provide a roadmap for every situation.
    One of the talks which have changed my outlook and learnt is as follows:

    I hope we all learn something different from the above-mentioned video.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  piush.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  piush.


    While I was watching the video I had to keep reminding myself who was actually giving the speech. In fairness to Cameron it was an excellent delivery and would be hard to beat in terms of style and composure etc. He has a skill that in my opinion you are born with and you either have it or you don’t. Tony Blair before him, Bill Clinton all had the ‘gift’ of being able to get your confidence and reel you in if you let them.

    Ted talks, television broadcasts, radio, blogs, news print, social media, at the end of the day they are just platforms, which can be used by certain people to ‘sell’ ideas into the minds of the masses. Its up to you as an individual whether you want to buy into what they are selling.

    2000 years ago someone with the same sales skills as David Cameron would have been standing on a box shouting out his meme to whoever would listen.


    Barry Quirke

    Certainly a consummate performance from David Cameron. But what exactly is he promising ‘the people’?

    Early on in his talk he stated that his aim was to demonstrate how the right (read ‘correct’ (to his mind) or ‘right’ wing/conservative) political thinking combined with advances in information technology could provide additional benefits, which he goes on to state will lead in turn to people empowerment through transparency, information to make informed decisions, accountability etc.

    As long as all of this does not apply to the political establishment, of course. What he doesn’t say is as instructive as what he does say, and nowhere in his TED Talk does he advocate that policy makers should be held to account on the basis of this liberalisation of information pertaining to governance. In effect, this means that if citizens are not happy with what they see as a result of this ‘open government’, then we’ll still have to wait until the next general election to pass judgement on the policy makers whose policies result in the information which leads to citizen/voter concern.

    He is careful to create a buffer zone around the political elite, and this is very skilfully done – note that he talks about pre-, post- and bureaucratic ages, he emphasises administration or control rather than specifically referring to political control and processes. Entirely to be expected from a politician, but wonderfully argued and crafted by him nonetheless.

    In my opinion, for open government to be truly open requires a change in the political system, which either should move from representational democracy to encompass elements of direct democracy or alternatively the electorate should be consulted more frequently on important policy matters than is currently the case. There can only be true empowerment of the people if, armed with improved public interest information and transparency, they can hold all elements of government to account: bureaucrats, functionaries and politicians.


    Guillaume Van Aelst

    “Back in 2011, During a TED Talk in Scotland, professor Harald Haas introduced a revolutionary idea to the world: what if a wireless Internet system could run on nothing but an LED lightbulb”…
    Now apparently, the first working prototype has been completed!
    TED talks as inspirational, they are supposed (in my view) to make you dream and want for more. Of course plenty of the talks don’t come true but it at least gives some ideas of what can be expected in the future! 🙂
    Link to the article:


    Peter Madden

    TED talks are typically either moonshots or quick gallops through incredibly complicated fields of study with scant time to dwell on the details. There isn’t a Q&A afterwards and the presentation isn’t peer reviewed.

    To this end, Mr Cameron can say pretty much anything he wants. And he does; to an extent. He suggests a whole lot of potentially cool ideas (thus stretching the definition of “cool” to heretofore unexpected extremes) with little or no sense of exactly how such ideas in the areas of devolved responsibility or community policing would work.

    While preaching the gospel of greater transparency, he neither addresses exactly what this would entail nor explains how his ideas would be enforced throughout the bureaucracy.

    He knows the hot button topics to reference, particularly in the build up to an election, but he committed to nothing of real substance.

    Mr Cameron is, if nothing else, a good salesman. His talk falls into the “quick-gallop-with-a-few-moonshots-thrown-in-for-good-measure” school of TED-dery and he pulls it off well. But that’s his job. Unlike the typical TED presenter, whose expertise lies in one or several areas but not typically public speaking or rhetoric, Cameron’s skill set is just that.

    He’s a professional huckster. And, like him and his policies or not, he’s sufficiently good at selling his particular brand of snake oil to rise to the position of Prime Minister.

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