TED Conversations

Scott Nesler

This conversation is closed.

Let's build a better media to facilitate democratic debate!

Audio version of the idea:

Michael Sandel started an idea requiring support. He said, "One thing the world needs, one thing this country desperately needs is a better way of conducting our political debates. We need to rediscover the lost art of democratic argument.". Professor Sandel is doing his part, but more needs to be done to provide a media to facilitate public participation in a civil debate. Tools are required to motivate more to develop better arguments.

The Do Good Gauge is a research proposal seeking others interested in developing a solution to the problem Professor Sandel describes. Applause is not required. Needed are a group of individuals willing to set aside their ego, to set aside a desire for financial gain and focus on a new media to motivate participation and give higher demographic viewership to the best arguments regardless of fame or status.

Here are a few essays to continue Professor Sandel's thought:

What is the Do Good Gauge?

I Had the Dream

A Better Way for Political Discourse

Please, let's give a try. The first step is to continue the discussion.


Closing Statement from Scott Nesler

I approached this idea as if there were two sides in developing a democratic media, the media and the public. What was learned is appreciated but a typical path in the attempt to sustain dialogue in the conversation. Going into to this TED idea I was more critical of the existing media and its inability to provide a wider representation of citizens thoughts. Upon the expiration of the TED clock it was realized how difficult it is to develop a thought understood and respected by the reader. How difficult it is to acquire feedback and sustain attention in a dialogue.

There were a few successes. Edward Long's streak of questions started with scepticism and ended in a hope for the idea. Though his questions did not traverse the entirety of the idea they did give opportunity for better clarification.

Wayne Tod started a dialogue which extended to private email. What Wayne Tod brought to the conversation was the importance of self reflection in developing a thought.

Feyisayo Anjorin comment motivated what is probably the best summary of this idea. The fourth post down, written on June 2nd, should be read as an extension of this closing statement.

External to this idea TED exposed the difficulty and the lack of good tools to facilitate an individual to advance an idea. Don Wesley's TED idea illustrates a man wrongly pushed to homelessness wishing to respectfully illustrate his case. Existing technology does not provide the public an efficient and respectful means to guide him through the many iterations required build a case worthy of broader appeal.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • May 4 2012: Yes to what you said as this is in tune to my thinking in this area. op-ed The Encyclopaedia Britannia, Amazon, Graigs List, Classified Columns, Global News, all have purpose & I for one don't won't to burn books to manipulated history nor do I won't to subdue peoples opinion as all of the above make us whom we are. Clear boundaries have to be set to prevent confuse no matter the model that we no the clear difference between fact & theory or that for me is the end game Clear boundaries have to be set no matter what the model or you get a bunch of nonsense mixt up heads going nowhere in a hurry
    a point that I do not pretend to understand all that is proposed in the model just the things straight from observation of all of the above with unselfish concern & how certain things affects us as a hole in the manner we evole to a point that we all feel is going in the right direction is of my concern. How this helps you in your quest it dose not Just that we are listening Where the voice comes from in the end will be for men like you to decide Not that I reside to the fact but it's one in many that needs adressing I am going of mind & instinct so not to pollute my thinking so forgive me if I misunderstand. We need clear safe structured boundaries to have sanity when speaking about debating the facts & not loose a way of of life 100% agreement. The way & form it comes in I will be watching closely so that the facts can also be shared with all for the benefit of all. As I'm sure you agree. The pollutants we will iron out!
    • thumb
      May 4 2012: Wayne, tools could provide the means to distinguish between fact and opinion. David Hume describes a concept called association. A tool of association may be a fallacy index. A reader can point out various types of fallacies in an authors argument. Authors passionate with an idea or thought often are blinded from logical reason. Others can tag a "hasty generalization", "a straw man", or a "false analogy". Provided such suggestions the author is likely to build a more logical or fact oriented argument.

      I've yet to develop a mechanism to tag subsections of an argument, but have started to acquire content.

      Understanding Fallacy:

      The U.S. Constitution:

      Quotations of Wisdom:

      I've also had thoughts to build an association database for Supreme Court Docket / Oral Arguments. The University of Chicago has a website called Oyez (www.oyez.org). If I could acquire Oyez attention it might be possible to build off their data to create an association database for Supreme Court oral arguments and docket information. Without it a support a group of dedicated individuals could reproduce the oral arguments which are in the public domain. I would also like to create a volunteer system to record in mp3 format oral arguments prior to the collection of audio recordings. Similar to how Librivox recruits individuals to records books from the public domain.

      The concept of association is not new. David Hume described it in Chapter IV of A Treatise of Human Nature. Not everyone thinks in the straight in narrow. It just won't happen. Maybe we should leverage tangent thoughts as a benefit. A new media could take advantage of association as people approach understanding.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.