The feeling that you may have just boarded a Scientology cruise ship is not accidental. It’s rooted partly in Silicon Valley’s techno-Rapturist soil, and partly in Anderson’s own evangelical yearnings. Those invited to speak at TED are mailed an actual stone tablet engraved with “The TED Commandments.” (One is “Thou Shalt Not Sell From the Stage”.) June Cohen, who runs TED’s media operation, told an audience two years ago that her sister-in-law calls the TED Talk “a secular sermon”. The atheist Daniel Dennett suggested that TED could “replace” religion, observing that it “already, largely wittingly I think, adopted a lot of the key design features of good religions”, including giving away content.
Really fascinating article all about the phenomenon that is TED.