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Source: Dissent

Is the topic of income inequality “Too Hot for TED“? Controversy has erupted in the past week over this question after a talk planned for the organization’s popular website was pulled at the last minute. The incident has offered an interesting window into the politics of the group.

Here’s what happened: recently, wealthy Seattle-based venture capitalist Nick Hanauer gave a talk challenging the idea that the rich are “job creators.” Countering this concept, he made the demand-side argument that consumer spending is what generates employment, and that more equitable distribution of income, in turn, produces more robust consumer demand.

Having made much the same point in an op-ed last November, Hanauer dressed up his views with some slides and presented it in a short, TED-style talk. (For those unfamiliar with it, TED was initially launched as pricey conference presenting cutting-edge ideas in “Technology, Entertainment, and Design”; over the past decade, it has spawned its own genre of internet-friendly, pop-intellectual presentations.)

Hanauer expected that his speech would be featured on the popular TED site last week. Indeed, it was prepared for release. But the weekend before it was set to go up, TED director Chris Anderson personally intervened to pull the video. This pissed off Hanauer, who released emails from Anderson which showed that the video was being yanked because it was too “political.”

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Youth

John Holt: Homeschooling Pioneer and Visionary Progressive

One of the homeschooling movement’s foremost pioneers, John Holt, was an egalitarian atheist who explicitly opposed patriarchy, corresponded with progressive thinkers and helped initiate the still emerging children’s rights movement.

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Activism

“We're Under Attack”: Burlington, VT Holds Vigil for Orlando Shooting

More than 1,500 people gathered in Burlington on the evening of Monday, June 13th to hold a collective vigil for the 49 victims of the recent mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Organized on the fly by the Pride Center of Vermont, the vigil celebrated Burlington's LGBTQ community and condemned ongoing violent homophobia and transphobia in Vermont and across the nation.

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Environment

Vandana Shiva: The Great Seed Piracy

A great seed and biodiversity piracy is underway and it must be stopped. The privateers of today include not just the corporations — which are becoming fewer and larger through mergers — but also individuals like Bill Gates, the “richest man in the world”.

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