“If you look at it primatologically,” one TED attendee says, “it was originally designed like an eighteenth-­century salon, where the very smart and the very rich pretend they have something in common for a very short time. But now there’s a very small cohort of smart people and CEOs—alphas—and a huge panoply of betas: senior vice-presidents. What’s fascinating is how many betas are in the room.”

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