I've been hearing about the annual TED conference in Monterey, CA (moving in 2009 to Long Beach) and am just plain fascinated by the whole thing.
The impression that I continually get from reading stories such as this BusinessWeek TED wrap up are that it's full of terribly interesting ideas given by brilliant people. Additionally, I pick up from the linked in BW story column by tech author Sarah Lacy (who happened to write a book described on this blog) that it's also a bit elitist... but, c'mon... it costs $6,000 to attend and everyone wants to. How could it not be elitist?
Anyhoo... regardless of how kind and friendly TED as an entity (kind of like the computer "Hal" from "2001: A Space Odyssey") may be, it does have those aforementioned brilliant people and accompanying ideas.
At the end of the day, maybe you just have to be thankful that the organizers of TED are good enough to provide us common folk with a website where we can view what's been presented by the smarties at TEDs past.