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NCDD-DISCUSSION  February 2007, Week 1

NCDD-DISCUSSION February 2007, Week 1

Subject:

Re: value of debate...

From:

Jack Paulus <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jack Paulus <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 1 Feb 2007 20:58:57 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (166 lines)

Hi Rosa,

Yes, the more technical approaches are certainly not for everybody and
gladly they are not the only choice.  I am quite familiar with
Compendium and use it most everyday as a personal Knowledge Base tool
and also each week as a Dialogue Mapping tool for an ongoing
conversation.  Dialogue Mapping and TruthMapping are great examples of
how technology can be used in very different ways.

Dialogue Mapping is similar to TruthMapping in that they are both
idea-centric views of issues but they differ in that DM requires a
skilled facilitator and a shared display and is intended for face to
face interaction within a group in a physical space.  TruthMapping is
asynchronous and has no moderators as the tool does not allow
digression.  Each tool serves a unique purpose and they are not
interchangeable yet they are both technology driven methods.

I agree that TruthMapping has a learning curve as it does break with
convention (time-based dialogue) and it is not for everybody.
Facilitation most definitely is the better way to go for many.  And
"thought products" have to be filtered one way or another: either by a
facilitator, note taker or through technology.  Of course such
products are not necessary but I like them.

I think there are many great ways to converse/debate and I don't mean
to imply that one is superior to another.  Each has its place.  I just
hope that we can all agree that debate can be a very useful and
educational method regardless of the stereotype.  It can expand our
awareness of another's point of view and it can help many agree with a
desired approach; in other words it can be dialogic and deliberative.

take care,
Jack
-- 
A Tool to Elevate Debate
http://truthmapping.com/about.php


On 2/1/07, Rosa Zubizarreta <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi Jack,
>
> Thank you for the link to your website. I watched the video, and I was very
> impressed. It made a lot of sense to me conceptually, and your software
> seems like a very useful tool.
>
> When I clicked on the debates however, I had a harder time following the
> thread, or feeling drawn in to participate...
>
> It made me wonder, if your software could be used as support for a
> conversation: that is to say, if you had on one half of the screen, the
> "regular" kind of conversation... And then on the other, the "truth map"...
> So that people could see, how their point could be placed on the map...
>
> Your software also reminded me of my friend Jeff Conklin's dialogue mapping
> work, at http://www.cognexus.org  The software program that he helped to
> develop, Compendium, is open-source shareware, that allows people to do
> something that is in some ways similar to what you are doing... Except that
> with that model, people would be having a conversation, while the dialogue
> mapper, as a sort of facilitator, is mapping the various ideas that come
> up....
>
> If you are not already familiar with it, you may also be interested in some
> of the other ways that people are using Compendium, to map out the arguments
> pro and con with regard to various social issues... See for example
> http://www.globalargument.net/
> http://kmi.open.ac.uk/projects/compendium/iraq
>
> (I have to say that while I admire the work of the globalargument folks,
> much of it is way over my head.... Nonetheless I thought you might find it
> of interest...)
>
>
> Some specific comments in response to your post...
> >
> > Rosa, I love good debates but I too "feel discomfort" when debates go
> > "crossfire" as the participants are no longer benefiting, necessarily,
> > from the interaction.  But some of the elements of "crossfire" debate
> > such as endless repetition, heated tempers, and frequent digressions
> > can be alleviated through technology and allow us all to benefit from
> > the exchange and NCDD is a great way for us to learn and share such
> > technology.  If we can filter out the bad stuff in a debate then the
> > result is an educational tool that helps us to better understand the
> > positions of others.
> >
> > Here is a brief video on how truthmapping does this filtering with
> > debate and I strongly believe that technology can be used to similarly
> > filter both online dialogues and deliberations:
> >    http://TruthMapping.com/about.php
>
> To quibble a bit here: it does not seem to me, that the "technology" does
> it, itself: people still need to learn to interact with the technology,
> enter the input into it...
>
> That's where I think that facilitator-assisted communication can come in
> handy: if people were having a regular conversation, and the facilitator
> were to say, "here, let me capture that thought, that would go in here, in
> this portion of the truth map"... Then that might help make it more
> accessible, help more people participate in the process... Almost like
> having someone, who would be "translating" the regular conversation, into a
> truth-map...
>
> >
> > I created the site because I learn best by thoroughly examining others
> > points of view and now I can just sit back and read the final drafts
> > of each person's position.  This is education and I am constantly
> > surprised by what I am learning by reading such filtered debates not
> > only in content but in critical thinking skills.  My mind is being
> > expanded as a consequence and it has made me even more anti-partisan
> > (if that's possible.)
> >
> > The great advantage of filtering technology is that it produces a
> > thought "product" that is extremely useful to non-participants, and
> > perhaps most often is more useful to the non-participants who come
> > later than the participants.  How often can we say that about standard
> > forms of dialogue, deliberation or debate where your presence is
> > required?  Where it is only through the actual experience that one can
> > benefit?
>
> I hear that having a final "thought product" can be very useful.
>
> I can see both sides of that...
>
> For me, it helps to have a face attached to a statement, and to be part of a
> process of growing understanding... It feels more embodied; sometimes when I
> look at just a final "thought product", it can feel somewhat dry and
> abstract.
>
> However, I have experienced a few forms of facilitated dialogue where very
> thorough records are kept of the process, in a way that results in a final
> "thought product".... either through dialogue mapping, or with dynamic
> facilitation. And I agree that it can be very useful to have the "thought
> product" afterwards... Especially for folks who were not able to be present,
> but even for the participants themselves...
>
> So I guess that for me, I prefer having both. I don't tend to feel as
> connected when I just have the final product without the process... But on
> the other hand, it often feels like a waste to engage in a process, without
> having a clear "thought product" afterwards!
>
>
> >
> > I think that events like Conversation Week and other face to face
> > interactions are excellent ways to build social capital that help to
> > diffuse the more negative aspects of debate and for this reason among
> > others I think it is a great place to start.  Online tools must take
> > different approaches because of the anonymity factor but alternatively
> > they are open to many more participants/perspectives and aren't
> > limited by time.  I'm very glad to see people pursuing both options
> > and I hope that we can recognize and reclaim good debate as the
> > wonderful form of communication that it is.
> >
>
> Yes, I agree, it's great to have a variety of approaches. Thank you again
> for developing such an interesting tool -- I will definitely spread the word
> to others.
>
> With all best wishes,
>
> Rosa
>


-- 
A Tool to Elevate Debate
http://truthmapping.com/about.php

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