Opinion Systems is written by Jordan Andersen.


2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mike  |  February 23, 2008 at 6:13 am

    I’m am fascinated to see where you go with this. Constructive debate can be a wonderful and enlightening thing, but entirely too often shouting matches that masquerade as debate only serve to entrench people in their opinions, and engender opinions that the other guy is an idiot – further widening the chasm between otherwise sensible people whose values are probably not so dissimilar.

    What would the world be like if there was a closed caption stream of symbolic logic transcribing pundits as they spoke?

    Anyway, I am a software developer and am very interested in this project. If there is a way I might be able to help, please let me know.

  • 2. Joey  |  March 3, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Jordan,

    I was at your Ignite Seattle talk, and I continue to find myself fascinated by the topic. I’m convinced that there is huge potential in this idea, and that it is a solvable problem.

    Basically, I think it comes down to codifying rules that minimize the problems with the state of online discourse that you note. The site would impose structure, for example the structure of “Classic Debate”, which breaks a debate into formal rounds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic_debate

    However, an online version needn’t have “judges”, and each “team” could be composed of as many members as wanted to participate. Teams could collaborate on their submissions for each round using wiki-like tools, perhaps with elected members officially fulfilling the roles outlined in the rules (and moderating the in-team discussions). Perhaps a team leader is responsible for the ultimate wording of the each submission, but with the goal of incorporating the feedback of the group.

    You would ideally end up with a highly structured argument with direct clarifications and rebuttals, one that could represent something like a consensus of the opinions of each side.

    Anyway, that’s the basic idea. Is that at all similar to what you were envisioning?


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