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 5 2012: Scott of these facts Im am more that self aware A stagnant world full of mistakes if we dont have opinion from a wide range of levels of known for one sole cannot hold this information with the surety of it being accurate I do not want dictoral or flaky data when dealing with Learning, Knowledge our History, The Arts & the Future what you r dooing in my opinion deserves the atention of everyone Especially when the proposed is what is to / needs to come in one form or another Of this is clear with current trend the way they are Elements of this nature I no only to well for History shows that if we dont or cannot contribute to what we know & teach then well lets say its not an option for any forward thinking indavidual T.V. watching sound-bite data flaky atomatoms is what is left This is of my concern as i see it at the moment whether by design or not We / You in this instance have to approach any aplication with extream care so any application incoporated into the existing modeled system will only advance a way not hinder or add to already said problems I for one believe you have no luxury of mistakes hear that all roads must be clear for any model to work As you well no the challenge is the acceptance or none acceptance Eather way there is a problem & only evolving times change minds so people must no what it is they are evolving towards Hear therefore is the debate then the choice we make Pushing your model needs eyes on it as u no As i said that this type of model is going our way in our time for that i am sure The problems are hear-in the journey
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        May 5 2012: Post's Audio Version:

        Wayne, TED may have a better formula for acquiring intelligent discussion but in many ways it is no better than say NPR's On Point blog. The problem of existing comment forums is the inability to provide nor steers individuals to develop an end product. My suggestion is a living document as the focal point of discussion. Public and private comments directed at the author(s) provides a motivation to create a more truthful and purposeful draft. A draft with better clarity of the problem and direction to the solution. The purpose of public comments is only to motivate a better end product. Either a reader or the author can hide public comments if it distract the thought of the end product. Wayne, this iterative process of developing a thought reduces the clutter, confusion, and need for reading through mayhem to get to the root of the discussion.

        Demographic visibility should be taken into consideration. Some arguments have a targeted audience. Providing the means to funnel the discussion to the appropriate audience reduces the clutter as well. Newspapers kind of work this way. The front page is typically deemed the best articles from all demographics. Inside you have sections for global, national, and regional news. There are sports pages, classifieds, Op/Ed sections, Business sections, food sections. Such categorization allows the reader to weed out clutter they are not interested in.

        The Do Good Gauge proposal needs to address the demographics of thought. It needs to connect individuals to topics of interest. Such a tool could provide an interactive audience which existing media was never able to provide. Say an audience interested in developing a new media for a more intelligent and democratic debate.

        Wayne the questions need to keep coming. In no way do I claim to have the answer. Others must participate in the idea to bring it to fruition.

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