The Hater: Finally a TED Talk about Beer Pong

TED unveils a way anyone can make a TED Talk. Jordan hates it.

Mar 3, 2020, 6:37 am*



Jordan Valinsky

We love the Internet. Except when we hate it. Every week, Jordan Valinsky bottles the angst of his Millennial generation and finds something to despise about the Web.

So those TED Talks found a new way to be excruciatingly irritating and inexplicably unavoidable: They created a tool that turns any YouTube video into a TED Talk-style learning lesson.

Called TED-Ed, the idea is to find a video on YouTube you want to torture people with and then sprinkle in unnecessary questions. For some reason, they call it “flipping” the video. Mostly, it seems like a way to show off how good you are at finding YouTube videos that aren’t sneezing pandas. I’ve read the company’s definition of “flipping” a video, like at least four times, and kind of half-grasp it. Is there a TED Talk to help me out? Here’s what I do know: It has nothing to do with flip cup (disappointed).

It’s meant for teachers, or “educators” rather. With this tool, they can make students watch the videos at home as homework. As Mashable wrote, that way teachers “save class time for working on homework together.” And that then brings up one of those “why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway” dilemmas. Let’s have some #realtalk here—doing “homework” during class time was code for dicking around. So, thanks TED for changing the D in your name from “design” to “dicking around.”

Let’s ruin TED’s good intentions and flip a video. It turns out that you don’t start by shaking your laptop like a Shake Weight. (I tried that.) You start by searching for a YouTube video in TED’s Arial-drenched TED-Ed website. I searched “How to Play Beer Pong” for two reasons: 1) it’s fun and 2) only assholes call it “Beirut.” I picked a video of bros playing pong who claim to be from “Expert Village.” Surely, when it comes to “Experts” in beer pong, that’s really any college student who went to school outside of Utah.

The one-minute pong tutorial (all TED-Ed talks have to be shorter than 10 minutes) offers a lot of life lessons: many people have different types of shots, and always clean your balls. See, learning is fun! And the video is really amusing because these “expert” bros make, like, three of their shots. Arc the shot, bros, arc the shot.

Once you’re done perfecting your video about perfecting your bounce shot, you add questions in the totalitarian-sounding “Think” section, add context to your video in the “Dig Deeper” section, and spew any remaining nonsense in the last section, “…And Finally.” And now you can add “TED Talker” in your LinkedIn profile.

Look at mine! I did one called “Watch these bros suck at beer pong while teaching you how to play beer pong!” Go learn something.

I want to know why they are playing in a desert. So if someone would answer that, that would be great. Maybe we should have gotten those hardcore Dartmouth broskis to teach this. They’re going to have a lot time on their hands soon.

Anyway, that’s it. Thanks to these new TED-Ed talks, you too can be an insufferable human being, teaching lessons that can be summed up in five words. Who wants to learn too much about beer pong?

Photo via YouTube

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*First Published: Apr 25, 2012, 5:54 pm