Mike Caulfield keys in on the problem with TED more precisely that I ever have: "It’s the culture that surrounds TED. Because the culture of TED is what allows people like Lomborg to have more influence than actual experts. The idea of TED is that you’re smart enough to get it in 10 minutes or less, and the story that TED-ites love (b/c it supports that narrative) is the story of someone outside the 'industry' or research area coming in from another area and declaring at a glance what everyone has missed. So we get economists talking about global warming, game designers talking about learning, techies talking about political gridlock, and choreographers talking about physics. It’s so simple, they tell us."