-1. Judging from your comments,
I am forced to believe that I haven't conveyed the specifics of my "public
(online) written serial (on going) debate" very well... The following
(starting with #1(in black), below) is a
listing of the details as I currently see them. In case you don’t
feel like reading all that, think of this debate as
Since the purpose of “actually effective debate” in this case
is to fully (or, as well as possible) inform the public re the controversial
issues of the day, these debates will be very public (on line).
6. But then,
the leaders won't have to go it alone -- they will be encouraged to
9. The leaders selected will approve
of the guidelines, and will be urged to stick
13. And, the evaluation of their cases by the audience is what will most matter to the opponents.
14. And besides, a “noisy” audience should keep them pretty much aware of what they’re doing and also keep them under control.
15. The administration of the website will warn the audience of the experimental nature of the website and ask for patience and help.
16. All along, the administration will be learning more about debate. Their understanding and guidelines will be rudimentary at first, but by paying close attention to the debate as it progresses, they should find much to add.
17. In some cases, the websites
will deliberately recruit opponents who are more
18. The audience and opponents
will be constantly reminded that the ultimate
19. One general guideline constantly
repeated to the opponents will be to "slow
20. One way to summarize the guidelines
for opponents is to "argue in good
21. And perhaps the primary focus
('target'?) of the opponents should be to make
22. And finally, the opponents
would be urged to keep 'stepping back from the
23. Each side would provide an opening statement summarizing its own case.
24. Side A would then present the evidence and logic for its first claim.
25. Side B would then address A’s first claim.
26. If B has any reason to believe
that “he” does not fully understand A’s first claim,
27. In that effort, he might try
to paraphrase A’s claim – but, he would try to do that
28. Once that first claim is believed
to be understood, B would provide his rejoinder
29. A would then address B’s rejoinder.
30. If B’s rejoinder includes
more than one claim, A would address B’s first claim
31. If A has any suspicion that
he doesn’t fully understand B’s claim, A would try to
32. Once A has confidence in his
own understanding of B’s claim, A would provide
33. If A’s rejoinder has multiple claims, B would address the first claim first.
35. At some point, theoretically,
one of the opponents would have no ready
36. So, each argument would have two “trees” (one per advocate) with numerous branches filling out over time (this is the “serial” aspect).
37. Here, in trying to describe
this process, a diagram might be worth
38. This is what a beginning tree would look like. It starts at the bottom.
\ \ /…………./.
39. Here, “A” made a claim backed up by two “sub-claims.”
40. “B” responded to the first sub-claim with 4 claims of his own -- for the first of which, A had three responses.
42. So far, A has the last word on the first three branches.
43. The second and third branches are very short and begin at, or very near, the top.
44. The first branch is 5 segments long; the second branch is 2 segments long; the third branch is just one segment long.
45. Got all that?
46. Sorry about all that. We just need a way to organize and track the argument – as well as a way to talk about the track… Hopefully, this organization will, at least gradually, sink in.
47. Could be that a particular debate would need only one tree, as one opponent would be happy simply rebutting the claims of the other… (Our argument here involves only one tree.)
48. Eventually, all the branches
of A’s first claim would be addressed, and A would
49. Eventually, all of A’s
claims would be fully addressed and B would begin
50. After B’s claims have
been fully addressed, A would bring any additional claims
51. Once A’s additional
claims have been addressed, B would bring any additional
52. Etc., until both sides have said all they want to say – which may be never (but, that’s OK)…
53. All along, in a separate section, each side would be providing a “refinement” (abstraction) of the argument so far. With a little luck, the two sides would agree upon one abstraction – but that really isn’t necessary.
54. This (or these) refined argument(s) would make up the first and primary “page” for audience edification on the subject.
55. The “raw” arguments would be referred to only as necessary for clarification and support -- and for rating the sides on how well they follow the guidelines.
56. So, one basic claim here is
that the best way to handle an argument as it tries to
57. When opponents try to negotiate
numerous branches at one time – as seductive
58. This focusing approach will
be tedious -- to say the least -- but tedious and slow
59. And then, teams could be developed
-- and each branch could be handled by a
60. Being on the Internet, there would be no end to possible teammates.
61. And, it isn’t that every
specific disagreement would have to be addressed. We