There’s a limitless amount of hate on the internet.

Go to YouTube and look at the comments. Go to Facebook and look at anything anyone posts about their opinions or views. Go to just about any forum. Go to blog comments, like those on the Matt Walsh blog. Actually a few weeks ago, I wrote an open letter to Mormons who have left the Church, there was an overwhelming wave of hate comments fierce enough to leave my wife in tears.

But this isn’t space to talk about haters. Matt Walsh has already done that.

Don’t give up on humanity though. I’ve found a place with significantly less hate and vitriol, and that place is TED.com

ted-talks

The basic idea of TED is that people have ideas worth spreading, so we should spread them. The man who learns that kindness creates good leadership, the links between unemployment and terrorism, the woman who got a job as a sanitation engineer (garbage collector) in New York City so that she could understand them better, the african teenager who created a system of flashing lights to keep lions from attacking his village.

There are great ideas and mounds of inspiration to be found in the talks given at TED, but what I’ve found to be interesting is the amount of positive remarks found in the comments. Not everything is positive, happy-happy, excessive praise of the talks. There are many commenters who disagree with the talk. There are commenters who don’t think someone’s idea was worth being on TED, not an idea worth spreading.
These people, however, are not haters.

The internet commonly offers things like:

“It is better to keep your mouth shut and seem dim-witted, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. That is what you have done with this post. I feel terrible that such a short time ago I thought as you did.”

“I’m sorry but your letter is typical and naive. Please, please educate yourself about the truth claims you *think* you espouse”

“Yuck, your worldview and experience appears to be disappointingly narrow and ignorant. Definitely the last time I take a peep at this blog. Uninspiring, uneducational, unhelpful. A place for one type of person to come and read things to bolster what they already (and often ignorantly) believe. Just … yuck.”

“For the first time since I started following your blog, you have scared me, and made me think that you are quite possibly insane.”

and this beauty

“I am proudly a hater. I am a hater of the right-wing attitude typified by the following quote by Matt Walsh:
‘Nothing is easy, Haters. Everything is earned. They have it because they earned it. You don’t because you didn’t. Deal with it.’ Typical right-wing attitude: the haves deserve what they have, and the have nots deserve what they have not. This sad excuse for a thinking man is too dull to see complexities in the world, like that our circumstances are built through a combination of effort and luck. Enjoy your self-satisfied emotion and your luxuries at the expense of the masses while they last, cause we’re coming. We’re coming to balance the scale and build a just system. Deal with it.”

 

On the other hand, TED has more inspirational disagreements and questions to offer:

“Here’s an alternative thought, maybe Grit, Determination, Persistence, Perseverance, has become a commodity that’s less common place as it once was.”

“I may be an unwelcome, stick-in-the-mud; however, this game did not seem to deliver ALL “ten positive emotions” to any one individual as promised. The various ten “emotions” were only observed throughout the assembly among stimulated individuals. These same “emotions” might already have been present, and probably were present, before the talk began, just maybe not in the same individuals.”

Shortly followed up by this comment from the same user:

“After once again watching both this TED talk of adults playing
and again, another TED talk of playful children publishing a scientific paper,
I now have a more favorable opinion of games, and even ‘multi-player, thumb-wrestling.'”

On a video about working memory:

“I often have a problem connected to this subject. When someone asks me a question, at first I can’t ‘hear’ it and then I say: ‘what?’. But after a second I process the question and I give an answer for it. Can you help me to understand this problem?”

On a video about gratitude making us more happy:

“It is even simpler: To be happy want nothing.”

Yes, I have chosen some representative comments, but that’s exactly the point; they are representative. Sometimes there are harsh and bitter criticisms on TED, but they are often followed up with discussions that lead to common ground, understanding, more open minds, etc. If someone asks a question in the comments, they usually actually get an answer, and they usually appreciate and want the answer.

Tired of the acidity of the internet? Try TED talks. They’re inspiring, they’re educative, they’re worth sharing, and I imagine that the idea that someone has something to share that you don’t know, creates the environment that is ideal for decent commentary and less hate.

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