Why the TED list is troubling

Chris Anderson, the organizer of the TED conference, has complained, not to me, not to my boss, but to my boss's boss about our publishing the complete list of his 1,198 attendees. Anderson — not to be confused with the Chris Anderson who edits Wired — finds it "troubling." What we find troubling is the list itself. Fine, it's daubed with Hollywood starlets; they're part of the draw. But why is Zack Bogue, an undistinguished real-estate fund manager, there? Presumably because of his connection with Google's Marissa Mayer. But come on. According to San Francisco's infamous "Googirl" profile, the two aren't even officially dating. That's right: You can get into TED as someone's plus-one.

Mayer's mother, too, is attending. And then count the number of Bezoses whose first name isn't "Jeff" on the list. That's just for starters. Surely one of these people could have been bumped to make room for TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington, who is distraught over his exclusion.

Because we've published the list, you can judge for yourself Anderson's skills at assembling a conference crowd. What troubling examples of nepotism can you find?