TED Conversations

Scott Nesler

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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.


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  • May 4 2012: I am looking at your pages & it is Intriguing to mind that glimpses at futures perceived This type of thing is right up Googles street I am more than sure that this type of thing will be used in schools & business alikes for example even life-ways. I of course am everything that this is not in that I am self tought Leaving me in the realms of dinosaurs soon to be Extinct! Fear of such things is not of concern so long as the teachers are of belief & not just of known to such a tool Tools are ment to free a burden not create one So as long as you can say this to be so & show it to be true then your path seems clear free of burden I only ask that if your intentions are of real concern that you look carefully from many Ângles free from the restraints of time at how such a tool could be used against an individual You would not won't to contribute to the pain or restrictions of your own slowing progress down The more you learn the more I do to, so the faster we get to where we are going We all never must blame the thinking of the times for mistakes we make blameing it on the times is not an excuse for like minded As I said this is such a tool going our way so see you in history Keep me posted & as always I will be watching Good Luck and May Your Journeys be full to carry you on AnO1.iz.Ai@googlemail.com if you need any thoughts...
    The 51% Paradox A Human Condition
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      May 5 2012: http://www.dogoodgauge.org/files/media/DoGoodGauge/TED_DGG_In_Lieu_to_a_degree.mp3

      Wayne, I've written several emails and a couple essays relating to education and this idea. In the United States a business is protected when it over extends its financial means. An individual is protected when purchasing a home or purchasing object beyond the ability to pay. Bankruptcy laws protect them, but not in the case of a student loan. People should be responsible for their debt, but the cost of a degree is unreasonable. It's unfair to call it a monopoly, but the free market system is not providing a competitive price. What I'm suggesting can work in conjunction with the existing education model. It can provide a more efficient and cost effective alternative in many situations. What is being suggested can be provided at no cost to those with a desire to acquire a higher degree of understanding in lieu of a diploma.

      Many courses have a simple formula. Take English Composition. Provided a fundamental set of guidelines the student must find the motivation to iteratively share a creative thought in writing. The teacher's role is to gauge the quality of each iteration and suggest methods for improvement. As a software engineer I suggest such a process is not difficult to duplicate using social media. Actually social media could provide a higher level of motivation to a student to craft the skill of writing.

      A second example is a literature course. Given one book, an individual experienced with a book, and a dozen people with a similar desire to read the book, social media could facilitate a superior learning experience. Involving a diverse group participating in such an exercise may provide higher value than a class room of students of a similar age, similar experience, and a goal to acquire a certificate for entering the workforce. The outcome of each exercise could be made available to the public domain providing reference or a guideline for future readers of the book.

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