Making fun of Ted talks

This never gets old . . .

Palko points to this news article by Ed Yong, which contains the quote, “Ten years ago today, at a TED conference, a neuroscientist claimed that he could simulate the human brain in ten years. And, er, that didn’t happen. Here’s a look at why, and whether the goal even makes any sense.”

But that’s not even the best quote from Yong’s piece, which is this:

In 2014, I [Yong] attended TED’s main Vancouver conference and watched the opening talk, from the MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte. In his closing words, he claimed that in 30 years, “we are going to ingest information. You’re going to swallow a pill and know English. You’re going to swallow a pill and know Shakespeare. And the way to do it is through the bloodstream. So once it’s in your bloodstream, it basically goes through it and gets into the brain, and when it knows that it’s in the brain, in the different pieces, it deposits it in the right places.”

I’ve written about the problems with the “push-a-button, take-a-pill model of science,” but . . . I’ve never seen it taken so literally!

As long as there are people out there making such claims, and other people applauding these claims, and yet other people paying the bills for all this, I’m glad that there are also people like Ed Yong who are willing to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

Mockery is our superpower.