Thursday, March 21, 2013

Reporting from , the doomed TED conference taking place on the island from The Wicker Man.

In its 29-year history, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has shared “ideas worth spreading” through two annual conferences, a robust online archive of TED Talks, and a series of independently organized TEDx events at cities around the world.

And now it seems there’s even a TED conference taking place in a completely fictional location. 

TEDxSummerisle appeared on Twitter last week, alongside a Tumblr account promoting the Summerisle TED conference. Since Summerisle is the imaginary Scottish island depicted in 1973 horror movie The Wicker Man, it’s not entirely surprising that it doesn’t appear on the official TED website.

At first, the TEDxSummerisle Twitter and Tumblr accounts seemed like a charmingly weird one-shot parody of TED culture. Both accounts were mostly inactive until March 15, at which point they began promoting the conference taking place on March 20—the spring equinox, as celebrated by the “real” inhabitants of Summerisle in The Wicker Man. TEDxSummerisle’s Tumblr even posted a worryingly real-sounding conference schedule, including talks such as “Historian Rose MacGreagor will reveal The Secret Science of the Ancients.”

The genius of TEDxSummerisle lies in its dedication to the buzzword-strewn language of TED conferences. Quotes like “Gamification incentivises ritual. And ritual binds healthy communities together” seem completely plausible. Of course, if you’ve ever seen The Wicker Man, you’ll know that Summerisle’s “gamification” of “community ritual” mainly involves putting on animal masks and chasing visitors around the island before burning them alive as a pagan sacrifice. Unfortunately, many of the TEDxSummerisle attendees seemed unaware that the “final community event” of the conference might involve just that. [READ MORE]


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    How Orwellian
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    The Power of Social Media in Human Sacrifice
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    The Internet is so weird.
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