TED Conversations

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Which is best for Debating ? Quora, TED Conversation or any other ?

I want to prepare myself for debate, for new ideas, for knowledge. Want to meet interesting people.

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    Jun 5 2014: Amit, you wrote "I want to prepare myself for debate, for new ideas, for knowledge. Want to meet interesting people."

    Although "debate" is a worthy undertaking and can serve a good purpose. I suggest that you consider another approach to encountering new ideas, knowledge and interesting people.

    Debate involves working with and emphasizing differences and, especially, weaknesses to be argued against, devalued, dismissed, proven wrong in an adversarial manner, the result being that one side "wins" and the other side "loses." There are other options to this "I'm right and you're wrong" approach.

    Discussion, for example can be a back and forth exchange between two or more parties which can help all who are involved to grow, expand and evolve together, with everyone coming out of the experience elevated from where they were before. It's a cooperative sharing rather than an adversarial confrontation. It can facilitate learning, understanding, sympathy, compassion and even promote development of wisdom.

    I see the "Ideas" and "Questions" categories of these TED conversations as providing for this type of discussion, whereas the "Debates" category is obviously for debates. An "Idea" is a proposal or suggestion that someone wants to share, get feedback on, and perhaps modify based on that feedback. A "Question" is an opening into some topic that someone is perhaps not especially familiar with but they would like to learn more. Although both "Idea" and "Question" discussions can easily devolve into nonproductive and even hurtful exchanges, no one needs to "win" at the expense of someone else "losing" anything - everyone can gain something of value from these experiences.

    We all need more discussion and less debate as we try to figure out how to get along with each other in this world and meet the various challenges we are all faced with.
  • Jun 7 2014: Hi Dear Amit,I think TED conversation is a good way for people to debate upon a topic together,because it is totally free for anyone to join in..
    But more ,some of topics that's better to debate upon speaking:it can help to express ideas more and the more excited...
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    Jun 5 2014: Based on fairly extensive experience over many years I'll offer that I've found these TED conversations to be of a generally higher quality than any other general discussion forums. By "higher quality" I mean the level of respect and attention demonstrated as well as the ability to stay on track or diverge only into reasonably closely related side topics in any particular discussion, and also the amount of thought and feeling put into comments submitted. At least this has been true for me in the conversations I've participated in since I joined a few months ago.

    I find that most forums seem to devolve into rather low quality exchanges that include a variety of disrespectful behaviors: being dismissive; being judgmental; making wild assumptions; leaping to erroneous conclusions; name calling; making broad, false generalizations; throwing out extremely brief comments that are relatively meaningless; etc. Also, most general discussion forums seem to attract a number of trolls whose sole purpose is to disrupt and derail the conversation.
    • Jun 6 2014: It is amazing when people come to TED conversation,they just switch into a pretty civilized manner.I assume all of us,are influenced by the purity and diversity of TED.I do feel I am compelled to act politely and wisely in TED conversation.
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        Jun 6 2014: It may be that some people turn on their "nice" mode when they come here. It may also be that, to a great extent, this environment simply attracts people with better behavior and doesn't appeal to those with poor behavior.

        But the TED presentation and conversation environments are definitely very open and encouraging for sharing and inquiring in a respectful manner.

        I have also been involved in some political and spiritual/religious discussion groups that are very civil, with participants demonstrating great respect for differing views. But I wouldn't characterize those groups as being "general" discussion groups. They have been carefully designed and administered with an intent to encourage and facilitate open sharing in a safe and supportive environment. In fact, I've moderated a number of such groups myself, and have found that moderating them has really been quite easy because everyone is really attuned to what's happening. But, as I noted, these are focused groups rather than being open to general discussion, and they also require moderator approval for membership.
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    Jun 4 2014: to some degree you can get into a good debate anywhere, it somewhat depends on you? I've had good debates in the comments section of youtube, I might leave a comment under a video, someone replies criticizing me, and off we go.
  • Jun 4 2014: Amit, TED conversations will stop on June 10th.
    I too am casting about for other sites that will be acceptable for debate.
    Hope to debate with you sometime soon.

    Ted Talks are some of the Best.
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      Jun 5 2014: TED conversations are not scheduled to "stop" - they are scheduled to take a break so the TED team can work on developing and implementing a new and hopefully improved version of TED conversations for us.

      I know some people here are feeling pessimistic about this, expecting the whole conversation forum to die completely.

      I am choosing to be optimistic that we will be able to continue conversing here before too long.
      • Jun 7 2014: Hi Dear Carl,why some people feel pessimistic?if so they can choose not come here.Right?
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          Jun 7 2014: Dear edulover learner, I think you may have misunderstood what I meant here. Some people are feeling pessimistic that TED conversations will ever come back after this planned break. In other words, they think TED conversations are coming to an end; that we are being booted out without any choice in the matter. These are people who presumably have appreciated and enjoyed participating here.

          As I noted, I'm choosing to believe the TED staff really do intend to improve our conversations forum so it will work better for us.