When someone stands up to speak at TED (or any other venue like it) and opens their mouth, there are words I hear that don't match their lips, because I see them as merely the mouthpieces of a propaganda arm of the Progressive Party. If they were privy to their own complicity, I believe what they would say would be something like this:
I'm going to use the next 20 minutes to sell you on the idea that I
need your money more than you do; I'm important and I'm doing important stuff. We can
do this the easy way (you just give it to us) or we can do this the
hard way (I'll have my politicians steal it from you and give it to
us) ...well..that's the hard way for you
The ones I hear are the backers that brought them to the stage in the first place; I don't trust them. They're trying to rob me.
Ooker, you have introduced a very important aspect of science and politics with the usage of one word: "true." Science does not deal in truth; science deals in fact. "Truth" is a political game that always uses an imperfect representation of facts, typically for the nefarious purpose of taking control over other individuals' lives. To any given problem domain, there is an indeterminable number of potentially overlapping, potentially conflicting truths, but there is exactly one and only one set of facts. Science ends where the ego begins; when the scientist stands before a crowd of people and begins to speak, he is no longer acting in the capacity of a scientist.
(I'll draw this back to the topic at hand shortly.)
Warning: shameless proselytizing beginning in 3...2...1
I am a Praxeologist and an Anarcho-Capitalist. Praxeology is the study of Human Action but makes no attempt to claim the "correctness" of any given action; its ultimate aim is to understand (but not project) the "logical why" behind the choice of a particular action over all others available. It is founded in the axiomatic principle (which was never intended to be a grand statement)
Action Axiom: all humans act
(It is axiomatic because the process of denying it is itself an action)
From this very simple truth flourishes a very broad philosophy rooted in Methodological Individualism that builds up the Individual as the basic autonomous unit of humanity and the only one that really matters. All collectives, aggregations, congregations, unions, corporations, and organizations of any other name are meta constructs of humanity that do not actually exist in the real world. They are merely conveniences for like minded individuals to facilitate concerted action.
Eminent Individualist, Lysander Spooner, developed a vocabulary for collective actors. He was specifically speaking of the rough classes of mindsets towards our government when he did it, but his rhetoric fits the bill for many topics tangential to his original purpose. Spooner said when it comes to the Constitution
The ostensible supporters of the Constitution, like the ostensible
supporters of most other governments, are made up of three classes,
viz.: 1. Knaves, a numerous and active class, who see in the
government an instrument which they can use for their own
aggrandizement or wealth. 2. Dupes—a large class, no doubt—each of
whom, because he is allowed one voice out of millions in deciding what
he may do with his own person and his own property, and because he is
permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering
others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering himself,
is stupid enough to imagine that he is a “free man,” a “sovereign”;
that this is “a free government”; “a government of equal rights,” “the
best government on earth,” and such like absurdities. 3. A class who
have some appreciation of the evils of government, but either do not
see how to get rid of them, or do not choose to so far sacrifice their
private interests as to give themselves seriously and earnestly to the
work of making a change.
Spooner does not name the third class, but it is popularly known as the "do-nothing" class.
Note that there is an implied fourth class. In the quotation above, Spooner was speaking of the ostensible supporters of the Constitution; that fourth class made up of the opponents of the Constitution would, of course, be its victims.
So where am I going with all of this?
...if you properly align your mindset with the notion that the Individual is the fundamental minority that requires protecting (which would by logical necessity, extend protection of all recognized "Minority" collectives) then hearing some bullshit statistics from some sophist pounding a desk saying how smart he is and how you should listen to everything he has to say will just roll off your back. When some knave sifts through the super set of all known facts of a problem domain for the sub set that confirms his biases, and then tells you how you're supposed to give him your property to help champion his cause, and you recognize that this is his purpose, you will cease to be a dupe.
So now back to TED
TED is a "call to action" political organization. They exist to give statists, sophists, sycophants, politicians and their puppets an outlet to start a conversation with "intelligent" people and have them broadcast their message to enough people to convert opinion to their side. There is nothing inherently wrong with a "call to action" except that the action they seek is nearly invariably for you to surrender unto them, in some shape or another
There really is no such thing as science when it involves individual acts; ergo, there is no such thing as a "human science." Individual acts are temporal by their very nature; unrepeatable; unfalsifiable; and each is reflective of that individual's contemporaneous value scale which the observer would not necessarily be privy to but would be required to have in context in order to say anything definitive about their observation.
Especially with human "science" (it's not really science), treat statistics, studies, polls, etc for what they are: a narrative that identifies some observable phenomenon that is either due to a sampling error or confirms a bias that the author wished to confirm, consciously or subconsciously.
Note that this is purely my opinion. I don't believe that Rosling was invited because of the veracity of his science. He was invited
because one of his primary foci of study is poverty in Africa and the
"TED crowd" has fetishized "poverty in Africa" as the unsolvable
problem du jure to fuel their next idealogical imperialism. The
veracity of his research and his conclusions are orthogonal to the
aims of that group.
Note also that Joseph Schumpeter's Methodological Individualism is made
freely available to the public through the Ludwig von Mises Institute
in Auburn, Alabama.