I’ve long promoted the notion of “disputation arenas” or ritualized combat for ideas, as one major way the Web could finally pay off in vital, grand scale ways, doing for the real world what markets do for products and services and science does for truth. In fact, for a rather intense look at how "truth" is determined in science, democracy, courts and markets, see my article from the American Bar Association's Journal on Dispute Resolution http://www.davidbrin.com/disputation.htmThis was a core concept in my “Eon Proposal” for several dozen ways to improve our problem solving skills in times of crisis. Now it appears that Google is taking a step toward bringing disputation to life “Versus…will give you the chance to question people who are close to the decisions being made on topical issues, on both sides of the debate. Real-time voting on the channel will also let the speakers know how their arguments are resonating with viewers.The first debate will focus on the topic of the War on Drugs and will feature the opinions of a wide variety of celebrities, politicians and tycoons...” http://www.davidbrin.com/eon.html
59 plus ones
Shared publicly•View activity
View 15 previous comments
- http://selfsip.org/solutions/NSC.html#effective_cause), in as much as information cannot in itself and by itself cause violence or even compel another person to act in any manner. There is nothing forceable about an "outing". Such transmittal of information may be undesired and even unpermitted by the person being "outed" but the use of any word related to force for that action merely increases the conflation that is the problem. The whole point of the importance of clear separation here is because the responsibility for any violence must be placed only on the shoulders of the one(s) who are the direct violators. The unpermited "outing" may certainly be a mean and undesirable act, but it is not violence and should only be subject to negative social preferencing (withdrawal of association).Your comment "Information can be used in violent ways" is a clear example of the confusion and conflation which I addressed. Information can be a reason why people perpetrate violence, but it is not an effective cause (Mar 5, 2012
- the point is that any time you are using your communication to harm someone else, in any way, directly or indirectly, you're being violent. I call this intellectual violence. As you probably know, it's the intent which defines whether an act is violent, not the outcome. Debate, where the intent is to make someone else's ideas/opinions less important, is harmful, and violent, and contrary to creative, productive, problem solving. It is, at best, used for emergency situations, where someone who has experienced a seriously dangerous and immediate (impending doom!) situation before or something similar enough, that they are highly confident that their ideas are absolutely more valuable than everyone else's, and they, like Sherlock in the new BBC/PBS series, will use aggressive/violent communication to get less-successful-thinkers to shut up and let him think. :-) But for any long term, social problem violence is very harmful, and leads to regression, and a huge waste of everyone's resources.
For an example, take a look at Wikipedia. When there is conflict, and one person tries to delete (censorship is a violent act) another person's honest information on a topic, we all lose, because that information is important to the big picture of how a topic is seen by diverse individuals, giving us a way to triangulate the core truths in a topic more easily. Certainly healthy criticism (feedback) is good, because it is offering new information, but only as long as the review offered is based on explaining what one person is looking for and how well the offering meets those needs. (And then the person making the original offer can decide if the critique is relevant to their own goals of what they want to offer, because what I want to offer and what you want to receive is often not the same thing, but when it is, then criticism is crucial for me to do my best work.)
So yeah, for truly high quality problem solving and understanding of the big picture, we really do need to value all different opinions on what people need, how well what they are being offered is meeting those needs, and what ideas they have to better meet their needs. Debate doesn't collect that data, and instead hides much of it...Mar 5, 2012
- It appears we are far apart on fundamental philosophy. Although I agree that current English usage does admit of the adjective "violent" being used to describe non-physical force related actions, my whole point is that this conflation is a major disaster for the thinking of people in society. With respect to "it's the intent which defines whether an act is violent, not the outcome" I could not disagree more. The physical harm suffered by a person (the reduction of Lifetime Happiness) will rationally be the same whether or not the harm causing action was intentional, irresponsible negligence or a mere happenstance accident. This is important because with a human as the effective cause it is virtually impossible to distinguish which of those is the case - so it is a simple and effective solution that it really does not matter from the POV of assigning responsibility for restitution (restoring as much as possible the Lifetime Happiness of the physically harmed person, to what it would have been if the harming event had not occurred).
Any information transmittal is only harmful to the extent that and because the receiver of the information acts on that information to cause hirself harm in some manner either physical (as in suicide), wasting time, making a wrong investment decision or simply incurring psychological hurt feelings. None of this is forced by the information transmitter and therefore none of it is violent in the original meaning of the word and the meaning that it is important to keep separate so that true responsibility can be assigned.
"censorship is a violent act" only when done by government as threatened or actual use of force to cause it to happen.Mar 5, 2012
- I have some sympathy for your notion of "competing with oneself for being better at solving a problem than one's past self was", however, I still think that it is aimed at the wrong objective and therefore ends up confusing rational thought. Surely the purpose of bettering oneself or simply doing better than before at anything is to increase one's lifetime happiness (and concurrently and necessarily that of all others at the same time) by increasing the available beneficial actions of everyone. One important way of aiding this to occur is by increasing the understanding of reality. I do not see where the idea of competition (generally for a piece of a limited pie) is or should be involved in this at all. Cooperation, yes, but essentially zero sum competition with winners and losers, no. The essence of cooperation is voluntary exchange of value to mutual advantage. The essence of competition is one person wins and another loses.Mar 5, 2012
- "People simply do not have to be that PC sensitive. They can choose not to be." First off, I don't see that my objection to using violence related words for anything but physical violence has any bearing on being PC. But more importantly, I do not agree that people can fully consciously alter and negate the confusing and conflating subconscious effects of ambiguous and inconsistent word usages. The constant use of "we" instead of "I" or "they", when the writer nows nothing of the views of hir audience, is another nefarious example.
While I agree that combative type sports events may well have greatly helped reduce the amount of violent conflict between individuals in society and somewhat even between nation states, it seems to me that it is high time for human society to mature beyond the need for that utter waste of time and resources relative to really worthwhile productive activities.
Much of the problem with preachers of cooperation in the past has been that the motive that they preached for such cooperation was altruism, which perforce is totally contrary to any reasonable purpose of human life. Rather the only reasonable purpose of the life of any self-aware entity is to maximally increase its total summed lifetime happiness. However as a rational being. upon any deep analysis, it is soon seen that such personal maximization can only be achieved by equally ensuring that this is happening concurrently to all other humans at the same time. That is why my motto for the Self-Sovereign Individual Project is "All for one and one for all!".Mar 5, 2012
- Humans are genetically (and otherwise biologically) structured to find "relevant/useful information acquisition, recombination, and expression" to be the highest, most rewarding goal in life. Physically we (pro)create "acquired, recombined, and expressed" information through making human babies. Memetically we (pro)create "acquired, recombined, and expressed" information through making new ideas. Creating new, more useful, more interesting information is what makes us happiest. Debate, if it's goal is not to acquire, recombine, and express new ideas, will not only make us not happy, but it will get in the way of solving the problems, because our information will end up artificially limited. Constructive, creative processes which allow unique information to be collected, combined with other information (existing and new), and then shared is the most joyful, and effective approach to life and solving the problems presented by our conflicts between our current needs and what our environment is offering us.
In other words, procreating memetically is the only way to evolve and have fun while doing it!Mar 5, 2012