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A new debate: The Importance Of Nothing

Author Ronald Green is going to give a talk about the importance of Nothing.

Five years of research into Nothing revealed web of influences and a history of intrigue. Why did it take centuries to figure out what Nothing really is? Why did the Church ban number systems containing zero? And why was Islam ahead of the game? Ronald Green will explain the answers.

Sign up here: http://www.meetup.com/CrowdSourcedDebating/events/35941362/

Copyright blogs

Two blogs I’ve read recently might help us form views in advance of our copyright debate on 21/6:

This one from Ken Liu proposes an alternative system: http://questioncopyright.org/forbidden_works

This from Seth Godin talks about intrinsic shareability and why creators need to come up with alternative ways make less shareable versions of their work: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/06/discovery-free-145.html

Here’s a link to the copyright debate: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=213639038657895

Photos from the nuclear power debate

I’ve posted photos from the nuclear power debate onto meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/CrowdSourcedDebating/photos/1700581/

The debated hinged on facts, probably more than the underlying values. This left a number of questions remaining to be answered fully.  The key issue was probably in finding the right balance between the relative costs of doing nothing (power shortages / high prices), using coal (carbon emissions), using renewable energy sources (unreliable) and increasing use of nuclear (radiation risks and waste storage costs). The whiteboards showing the arguments people made are towards the end of photo album.

Dan

What’s Wrong With Debating?

Debating is often viewed as a competitive sport rather than an attempt to find the right answer.

This is very clear at traditional debates run by debating societies, it is clear every Wednesday in the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions, and it happens too on TV and radio shows like Question Time and Any Questions.

Opposing competitors or panellists exchange points and compete for cheers from the audience. The audience may simply enjoy the drama, but often they cheer or boo because they feel strongly but have no other way to express their view.

Arguing as a competitive sport is all very well if what you want is sport, but what do we do when we need to find answers to important questions? If this is how public debate is conducted, there is no collective means of arriving at good decisions. We need another way.

We need to take back the world

For all eternity, the world has been in the hands of people who peddle lies. I think things should be better than that. I think we the people need to take back the truth. That’s what crowd-sourced debating is for. And this site is here to talk about how we do that.

Join me. Help take back the truth.

Dan

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