I’m not sure if you’ve heard of TED talks. They’re these short (usually 10 minute) talks about new ideas, and they’re very popular now. They’ve taken off over the past few years, and, as with any popular trend, they’re now getting a backlash.
Here is one recent critique:
TED is a really interesting part of the Zeitgeist. It’s an expression of a culture which emerged in the 1990s, which has huge confidence and optimism in the power of social science and technology to improve the world instantly….It taps into [a] positivist faith in science: all we need to do is measure stuff, put it on a graph, observe the trends, then use this data to create a better world. We can even use such measurements to enhance global well-being…
If you’re interested, the full article is here.
This issue may seem out of place on a revolutions blog, but the question I want to pose is this: Can science/ideas/knowledge save the world, or do we need something else (politics, revolution, a movement–something)? It’s really a restatement of the conflict between the Enlightenment’s faith in ideas on one hand, versus the Marxist belief in the necessity of a revolution, i.e., politics.