For five years, the city of Long Beach hosted the TED conference, dedicated to 'ideas worth spreading'. While Long Beach has struggled in the wake of deindustrialisation and crisis, TED has prospered as a signature new media enterprise. While TED leverages the rhetoric of democratisation
and sharing, its aesthetics and format reinscribe a pedagogy of celebrity and authority, and depoliticise social and economic questions. By also feeding into proposals for the corporate remodelling of higher education, TED enacts a complex inequality. We must find ways to respond.
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