The Onion's TED Talk Spoof: I'll Be Your Visionary and You Do the Things I Come Up With

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Down with the Idea Men!

The Onion's take on the genre of the TED Talk is as wickedly funny as you'd expect. Featuring a spiky-haired, self-proclaimed "visionary," it's as much an indictment of a certain kind of entrepreneur as a skewering of the ubiquitous conference brand.

I don't want to explain the joke, but this is its rhetorical core:

We're looking in the eyes of two horrible birds. And we just need a rock that is big enough, efficient enough, and innovative enough to bludgeon them. That rock is an idea. My idea to create a car that runs on compost. So how does it work? Well, it's quite simple. Instead of using gas, it uses compost. [applause]

In short: Down with the Idea Men!

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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