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Page history last edited by Charlene 11 years, 5 months ago Saved with comment


Planet: For weeks now there's been a marathon debate going on over in subgroup six (techno-cures), category nine,  forum five, concerning the relative merits of nano-constructors versus Von Neumann machines as possible sources of wealth to replace our tired planet's exhausted mines and wells.

The word 'exhausted' applies as well to the weary moderators of this tag-team endurance round. Finally the forum chair said 'Enough already! Don't any of you people have jobs? Families?'

Status: Open

Obfuscation. Strawmanning. Ad Hominem attacks. Framing. Too much public debate and discussion is given over to rhetorical legerdemain tactics intended to 'win the debate' rather than 'solve the problem'.


"What each of the older accountability arenas has -- and today's Internet lacks -- is centripetal focus. A counterbalancing inward pull. Something that acts to draw foes together for fair confrontation, after making their preparations in safe seclusion."

- D. Brin


The idea of a disputation arena is to make use of the internet's capacity to enhance and extend communication to improve techniques of dispute resolution, with particular emphasis on enforcing attention to the issue, and an accurate representation of the facts, rather than point scoring.



David expands on the idea in the essay listed. Such a thing may come about one day. We still have a long way to go to achieve it, however.



  1. Disputation Arenas: Harnessing Conflict and Competitiveness for Society's Benefit : D. Brin, Journal on Dispute Resolution (Ohio State University), v.15, N.3, pp 597-618, Aug. 2000.


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