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 6 2012: 05:17am my mind wonders so Im craming up Sorry for going a bit of topic or again if Im forgetting facts already proposed in the tool Just reading back on myself something i need to work on of course I want instant results but without this process there is no results Meybe because i find it hard to use the written word to expess myself i have to much emotions that cloud my mind I should be better but life is just not that way in every area I also should be worse of For that i am greatfull I will explain as it may or may not help (we can wipe it if that is so) School for me was an expedition to say the least A verry cloud minded child was i "still am" for many reasons not important Such a tool useing technology could use a self guided tutorial so as the the pace & intrest of the user can maximizes their potential in a more sterile environment free from sarounding distractions which i had many reducing my passion & capability therefore fun gose out the window with that Each time i wanted to try i found another distraction on-top of the one i carried I remember my family getting an Amstrad 464cpc & finding not just the games that where fun but trying to get the thing to understand me Hearing the first voice it spoke or the first movement of a character that i helped program dot by dash was exciting because i was controlling it A self guided tutorial part of learning would be helpful giving foundation leading to more higher end abilities such as debateing what has been learned then restructuring a old or new idea in a tool would have helped me exponentially growing up with added interest ie fun for what are we if not children with question Could the DGG incoporate self guided learning with the results required to expand free thinking Yes i think so & why not as it is already out their just no with the right databases Also with the growing knowledge that your intrest can lead somewhere would give added purpose s
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      May 6 2012: Audio Version of this Post:

      The DGG could help an individual focus. It could help them discover a thesis statement or the hypothesis to a valued point. In this way it's a singular activity. But to provide a broader understanding of an argument an audience gives opportunity to clarify not only for others but for self. Such a tool is not meant for people to develop a similar description to what has already been proved. It's to give each individual an opportunity to find their own words to understand and solve a problem. Others can point out facts or similar approaches to the problem attempting to be solved, but in the end it is the individual who must understand and explain his or her knowledge.

      Wayne you've pointed out your writing style a couple times. I'm not going to criticize, I find great value in your response. It's difficult to get an audience to take the time in figuring out what is attempting to be said. Most of us go through a period of inarticulance before acquiring broader understanding. With focus a new revision of the thought can be created. An idea for the DGG is to slow down the journey to solution. To provide an opportunity for a "Do Over". To provide an opportunity for clarification to reach broader understanding.

      Maybe an individual's hypothesis has an absolute solution solved by someone else. Each person sees from his or her perspective. It could be the perfect association has yet to provide understanding. Schools fail in this area. They have to move on to the next subject, allowing many students to miss an important point of knowledge.

      We learn from mistakes. Plutarch said it better than me, "To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future."

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