Authenticity vs. Oversimplification

Morozov addresses the Khannas’ use of advanced vocabulary and fancy words such as “Technik”, to trick “unsophisticated crowds”. While at times, I simply do not comprehend certain authors or speakers’ proposals due to their advanced vocabulary, I have also detected instances in which people try to mask their bullshit by using big words. I will admit it, I have done the same in the past. In high school, I frequently turned in assignments and papers with nonsense, hidden by formal writing. I would hope that teachers would skim over my writing, notice a few impressive words, and give me a good grade. However, there is a difference between a teenager bullshitting a paper to try to get by in class, and someone with power to influence many doing the same thing. Those with power to change important aspects of society should be held to higher standards of honesty. I appreciate Morozov for shamelessly calling out the Khannas’ phony speeches, and I believe more people should do this in similar instances.

Along with criticizing the Khannas’ false information, Morozov negatively comments on Ted Talks as a whole. He writes that TED’s “ideas worth spreading” have turned into “ideas no footnotes can support”. Morozov believes many of those who give Ted Talks overly simplify their topics, to make their ideas more accessible and understandable to their audience. However, this causes problems for instances in which certain concepts cannot be further simplified. Furthermore, instead of calling audiences to a higher intellectual standard, this method dumbs concepts down, which often hinders a speaker’s legitimacy. In doing this, we are practically encouraging people to remain at a basic level of education, since talks are being shaped around that. While reducing seemingly complicated ideas to appeal to larger amount of people can benefit the person giving the speech, it does not aid in increasing an audience’s understanding of a particular concept.

One reason I enjoy learning is that by having knowledge, it is easy to detect who is being dishonest. It is very important to be able to differentiate between an influential speaker who is not completely honest from a truthful one with authentic information. In my opinion, presenting accurate points is more important than having a flawless delivery. For my Ted Talk, I will try to improve on the latter, as I am not the best public speaker. I enjoy listening to speakers who are both good at communicating their points, and being sincere, and I hope to be able to do both in the future.

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