Earlier this week I congratulated TED for their letter to TEDx organizers, which aimed to stop the promotion of pseudoscience and junk science from TEDx platforms. I thought last year’s TEDxBogotá would be the last time TED name would be dragged by mud on Bogotá. I was wrong.
Yesterday, TEDxBogotá 2012 took place. And, once again, they used it to promote unscientific stances. How can I assert this?
Well, from the speakers’ program, which included: Farm Stories by Rosa Poveda and Playing Hosts by Josefina Klinger.
From what I could find, Ms. Poveda is a promoter of ‘organic’ agriculture. She has an abandoned blog, in which she poured a false analysis claiming the alleged superiority of ‘organic’ food against conventional food.
Actually, research shows that ‘organic’ food is no better than conventional food and there is ample reason to suspect that the ‘organic’ products pose a greater health risk than any other food, conventional or GM. Moreover, evidence suggests that ‘organic’ food makes people antisocial.
However, Ms. Poveda also has under her belt a 2009 ‘documentary’, which describes her in these terms:
Rosita Poveda, native peasant fond of guevarism and agronomy, with tough hands and a belly laugh. Rosita, evacuated from Suba, has the greatest story in Bogota! Five years ago she persuaded an architect to give her a plot of land in the suburbs: it was used as a sort of rubbish dump where some hideout for thieves. Without money but with a lot to do, Rosita has transformed the garbage in a farm with native agriculture. She founded an association too, which teaches organic agriculture to university students from every part of South America.
Rosita is very poor: she hasn’t got platas! Yet she is absolutely sure that her project will be always growing and that the architect will give soon her another pair of plots…
That’s why Poveda collects donations using Western Union and her savings account.
I’m pretty sure the letter TED sent to TEDxBogotá organizers contained a bit warning them specifically about people who promote their products and make antiscience food claims.
In turn, Klinger had already exposed at TEDxBogotá and it seems at least odd that out of 180 proposals, hers resulted among the 12 finalists for this version.
Nor is it trustworthy at all that she is being promoted at Zeitgeist venues, it being a crypto-fascist movement of right-wing economic and conspiranoic delusions.
The typical messianic arrogance of woo sellers is fully exposed in this Klinger’s profile:
She feels that the universe chose her as an instrument to look after “such a temple”. From the sea she learned the value of honesty. “It always returns what is not his”, she says when referring to the garbage that someone can get to throw her way. With her ecotourism initiative, Mano Cambiada, she aims to position Nuquí as a rich landscape and environmental destination.
It is worth noting that her ecotourism proposal seems, broadly, worthy of being recognized and exalted as a valid and valuable alternative to monopolies.
What is a shame is that this alternative gets stained by illogical and irrational thinking that seems to emanate from Klinger’s proposal.
I think TEDxBogotá deserve getting their license revoked. What do you say?