25 FEB 2016 by ideonexus

 Habits for Depolarization

1. Criticize from within. In other words, criticize the other—whether person, group, or society—on the basis of something you have in common. The political philosopher Michael Walzer describes this approach as “internal criticism.” He writes: “We criticize our society just as we criticize our friends, on the assumption that the terms of the critique, the moral references, are common.” As Walzer and many others have observed, besides being depolarizing, criticizing from within is ...
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28 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Using Lay Audiences to Force Explanation

In many fields—not just philosophy—there are controversies that seem never-ending and partly artifactual: people are talking past one another and not making the necessary effort to communicate effectively. Tempers flare, and disrespect and derision start creeping in. People on the sidelines take sides, even when they don’t fully understand the issues. It can get ugly, and it can have a very straightforward cause. When experts talk to experts, whether they are in the same discipline or ...
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Often when experts debate, they fall into the trap of assuming one another's expertise and fail to explain basic concepts, with the result that they beging talking past one anothers. An inventive solution to this is to have a group of non-experts be the audience and have the debaters address them instead.

02 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Social Goals of Web Science

There are two important epistemological questions for Web Science. The first is what properties will future platforms need to have in order to allow as much information as possible to gravitate to the Web without imposing structure or governing theories upon it? One aim of the Web is to facilitate rational discussion of ideas, rather than the sorts of rancorous ad hominem attacks that make up rather too much of what is loosely called debate [30]. And secondly, the Web has a radically decen...
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Epistemological questions for Web Science. Such as providing an online environment that allows rational discussion without imposing structure on it.