Debates died

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Re: Debates died

Postby Oxmeister » 28 Nov 2020, 22:29

schocker wrote:Is it intolerance of other opinions or maybe, just a lack of interest?


I'd say the main reason is that there aren't enough people using the forum as a whole, but even on other forums where I am a member, real engagement with debates is poor.

I think important reasons are groupthink and identity politics - people often don't want to really engage with those who they see as on the other side of an issue because they see them as somebody to be defeated, so they look for any way to win (or appear to win in front of whatever crowd they believe is present) the argument.

I'm not sure how many people now really think about what somebody who they are debating has to say, and whether in fact they might have a point, whether there might be something interesting they can learn ; it's simply incompatible with your objectives when your politics are part of your identity and you want to win the approval of those inside your 'in group'.

Given that we see no platforming and cancel culture in our finest universities, among people who traditionally were open to ideas, it's not a surprise that debate is struggling elsewhere.
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Re: Debates died

Postby schocker » 01 Dec 2020, 18:37

Well said O.
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Re: Debates died

Postby Keirador » 03 Dec 2020, 08:59

bratsffl wrote:The term Fake News in and of itself is a little incorrect.

Most media outlets for years have been reporting inaccuracies. In this day of FB and other social media platforms, instant rebuttals can occur. Those rebuttals can also be inaccurate, and the chain goes on.

Personally, I lost most respect for the major media outlets about 10 years ago when 3 stories I had first hand knowledge were reported 360 degrees inaccurately for more sensationalistic stories.

Now I love to watch David Muir, not for what he says; but how he says it. The adjectives and enunciations are terrific, regardless of what he is actually saying; he is entertaining me; NOT educating me.

The news has never been perfectly accurate, or unbiased. What we strive for in a functioning information ecosystem is that error and bias are called out by other reporters, and the issue is settled with facts.

Fake News is something different. "Fake News" means that I don't need to have facts on my side to dismiss you, I just need to believe you're not on my side, and that's the end of it.

I do wonder, if the news isn't educating you, what is? You have first-hand knowledge of every single subject that interests you? Do you go straight to academic studies, primary sources, etc.? What do you consider your most dependable sources of information?
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Re: Debates died

Postby Keirador » 03 Dec 2020, 09:09

Oxmeister wrote:
schocker wrote:Is it intolerance of other opinions or maybe, just a lack of interest?


I'd say the main reason is that there aren't enough people using the forum as a whole, but even on other forums where I am a member, real engagement with debates is poor.

I think important reasons are groupthink and identity politics - people often don't want to really engage with those who they see as on the other side of an issue because they see them as somebody to be defeated, so they look for any way to win (or appear to win in front of whatever crowd they believe is present) the argument.

I'm not sure how many people now really think about what somebody who they are debating has to say, and whether in fact they might have a point, whether there might be something interesting they can learn ; it's simply incompatible with your objectives when your politics are part of your identity and you want to win the approval of those inside your 'in group'.

Given that we see no platforming and cancel culture in our finest universities, among people who traditionally were open to ideas, it's not a surprise that debate is struggling elsewhere.

You're absolutely right.

Take Brexit, for example. Brexiteers openly lied about what was possible and what might happen, and anybody who stood up to them and tried to call out their lies for what they were got attacked along identity politics lines. Brexit was never supposed to be about good policy, it was all about identity politics.
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Re: Debates died

Postby schocker » 03 Dec 2020, 23:07

As an American, I thought Brexit was about nationalism and control of the nation's policy. In essence, about sovereignty. Maybe this should be a new topic.
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Re: Debates died

Postby Oxmeister » 04 Dec 2020, 00:29

Keirador wrote:
Oxmeister wrote:
schocker wrote:Is it intolerance of other opinions or maybe, just a lack of interest?


I'd say the main reason is that there aren't enough people using the forum as a whole, but even on other forums where I am a member, real engagement with debates is poor.

I think important reasons are groupthink and identity politics - people often don't want to really engage with those who they see as on the other side of an issue because they see them as somebody to be defeated, so they look for any way to win (or appear to win in front of whatever crowd they believe is present) the argument.

I'm not sure how many people now really think about what somebody who they are debating has to say, and whether in fact they might have a point, whether there might be something interesting they can learn ; it's simply incompatible with your objectives when your politics are part of your identity and you want to win the approval of those inside your 'in group'.

Given that we see no platforming and cancel culture in our finest universities, among people who traditionally were open to ideas, it's not a surprise that debate is struggling elsewhere.

You're absolutely right.

Take Brexit, for example. Brexiteers openly lied about what was possible and what might happen, and anybody who stood up to them and tried to call out their lies for what they were got attacked along identity politics lines. Brexit was never supposed to be about good policy, it was all about identity politics.


I find this and odd mischaracterisation of Brexit. The Brexit debate was awful, and identity politics played a role for both sides, but polling has shown that most voters were primarily influenced by things such as sovereignty and how money was spent.

Which side lied about what is probably a topic for the Brexit thread, but the idea that brexiteers, rather than remainers, used identity politics as a way to dismiss scrutiny of their policies is also different to my recollection. When brexiteers pointed out to remainers problems with the EU migration policy, and proposed replacing it with a points system , they frequently were met with howls of derision , somehow protesting that it was racist to want to treat the people the same regardless of where they are from. If anything, this line of attack was more popular with the remain side than the brexiteer side.
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Re: Debates died

Postby sjg11 » 04 Dec 2020, 19:25

I seem to remember every prominent Leaver stating during the Brexit campaign that nobody was talking about leaving the single market. How did that work out?
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Re: Debates died

Postby Oxmeister » 04 Dec 2020, 22:50

sjg11 wrote:I seem to remember every prominent Leaver stating during the Brexit campaign that nobody was talking about leaving the single market. How did that work out?


Not really related to the point I was making, but I did note in my post that the Brexit debate was awful, and confusion about what the options were was indeed one aspect of this.
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Re: Debates died

Postby willie23 » 08 Dec 2020, 22:27

sroca wrote:
Keirador wrote:There was a time when Debates was largely populated by people who disagreed with each other, but could still have a discussion in good faith. Even when things got heated and people got mad, there was a shared commitment to universal epistemological principles: at a minimum, arguments should be based on evidence, and evidence that could withstand scrutiny was accepted by all parties as facts. Off the top of my head, some particularly long threads featuring furious, passionate debate on, for instance, gun control or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could see debate participants get angry enough to stoop to insulting each other or making accusations of aiding and abetting murder, but even at the ugliest the participants could still agree on things like how many people die in gun-related incidents per year or what the text of an Israeli law actually said.

Then came the era of Fake News. Now if a certain kind of "debater" doesn't like a fact presented as evidenced, they don't even dispute it, they just attack the source and assert their own warped version of reality. The "fuck your feelings" crowd believes their own feelings are all they need to generate facts, and anything that runs contrary to that is part of some lie or hoax.

There's nothing to debate there.

It' not just the PlayDip Debates forum that has experienced this, obviously. The whole world is struggling with the implications of this epistemological break. There's not that much to debate at all nowadays, unless and until we can somehow find our way back to a shared commitment to epistemological principles.

Well this is a brilliant breakdown of something I hadn't quite articulated in my own mind. This is probably the same foundational reason of why debates never worked on Facebook. Or Parler now for the conservative crowd which is a concerning development on its own.

Thanks for the insight Keirador.


What's concerning about Parler? I don't personally use Parler, but from what I can tell it's an echo chamber for "conservatives" or like minded supporters of the President. In the same way, Twitter is an echo chamber for the other side. Again, I'm not big on social media. I am, however, a big proponent of free speech. As long as what you are saying isn't bringing physical harm to me, I shouldn't be allowed to censor it, even if it's wrong. Right?
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Re: Debates died

Postby sroca » 09 Dec 2020, 21:06

willie23 wrote:What's concerning about Parler? I don't personally use Parler, but from what I can tell it's an echo chamber for "conservatives" or like minded supporters of the President. In the same way, Twitter is an echo chamber for the other side. Again, I'm not big on social media. I am, however, a big proponent of free speech. As long as what you are saying isn't bringing physical harm to me, I shouldn't be allowed to censor it, even if it's wrong. Right?


At least to me, an echo chamber for "conservatives" does sound like the path to physical harm. Maybe under a different President I wouldn't be as concerned about that, but I am with Trump's followers.
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