Techdirt Podcast Episode 148: The Lost Art Of Productive Debate

from the discourse-on-discourse dept

Even those of us who believe that the internet is overall a tremendous positive force when it comes to discourse and culture can admit that, in many parts of the online world (and really the world in general), having constructive and substantive conversations is... difficult. And that issue has most certainly come to the fore in the last couple of years. So this week, we're joined by author Barry Eisler (one of our first and most frequent podcast guests) to tackle the challenge of framing important debates in productive ways, and actually getting somewhere with them.

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Filed Under: barry eisler, debate, podcast


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2017 @ 5:10pm

    this podcast topic looked very interesting but quickly disappointed

    it rapidly deteriorated to net neutrality issues. I learned that people who object generally to government market regulation cannot be reasoned with and must be automatically ignored. "productive debate" is not possible with those who disagree with conventional political views.

    "Framing the Debate" is indeed critical to progressive argumentation -- it allows one to casually dismiss the inconvenient viewpoints of others.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2017 @ 9:12pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 19th, 2017 @ 5:10pm

      I recommend listening to more of the podcast, it quickly moves past the discussion of net neutrality arguments.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 1:32pm

      Re:

      I learned that people who object generally to government market regulation cannot be reasoned with and must be automatically ignored.

      If that's what you got out of the podcast, you did not actually listen to the podcast and are a part of the problem that we discuss.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mr Big Content, 19 Dec 2017 @ 6:31pm

    I Dont Know What Your Complaining About

    I have productive debates all the time. In fact, Im more productive at debating then any body else I know. Teh productivity of my debating is just phemomenonal. When I present a argument, people just dont know how to respond. And any body who tries too tell you otherwise is just a STUPID IDIOT and not worth talking too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2017 @ 8:22pm

    in many parts of the online world (and really the world in general), having constructive and substantive conversations is... difficult.

    And this is so surprising! Think of all the websites with good discussion tooling! Tooling for personalized filtering and ranking of comments, with a rich rule vocabulary over authors, topics, and discussion characteristics. To prevent interference effects between subcommunities, eternal septembers, loss of domain experts, and regression of exceptional sites to the mean (reddit). Tooling for long-term collaborative progress, so comments aren't ephemeral bar talk, unheard unless you enter the chatter at just the right moment, and then as often reread as last week's trashy newspaper.

    Think of all the websites with good discussion tooling! Thousands! Err, a few? Well, I'm sure there's at least one out there. Somewhere?

    Computer-supported collaborative discourse is a thing. One largely neglected for three decades now. Poorly funded (making current government complaints of nonexistence rather ironic.) But even what we know how to do, we don't pursue.

    So how surprising is it that the web poorly supports constructive and substantive conversations? We, the tech community, are just not trying.

    Tooling. Like podcasts on SoundCloud supporting high-speed (1.5 or 2x) playback, so listening to slow conversational speech is bearable. People have only been asking for that for, what, half a decade now? Tooling. Like a comment format that supports strikethrough. Unlike this one. Tooling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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