Drawn by some sort of morbid curiosity, I just looked at this:
A few of my Facebook friends are fans of TED. I can see it being an enjoyable procrastination activity at work. I can understand the appeal. The main thing that occurs to me just now upon watching this lecture, is how good Americans are at talking. I can't imagine an Australian TED (or rather, I can't imagine an Australian starting something like TED. Knock-offs are perhaps a possibility).
What is this theatre of thinking and listening and laughing at the appropriate time? There seems to be something particularly American about it, something related to the comfort that Americans feel with oral communication. Everyone on stage seems so chirpy.