Universal Debating Project

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Contents

Description

Basic Proposal by Robert Searle:


The Universal Debating Project (or UDP) is an extremely ambitious proposal for an ongoing programme in which "all", or most arguments for, or against any topic of human knowledge, or information could be presented in a clear form. In other words, an online "encyclopedia" for pros, and cons in any debate which could be continually updated in real-time on the internet. It would adopt the Networking P2P approach, and hence, be an Open Source of data emanating from laymen, experts,NGOs, scholarly papers, popular articles, documentaries, web feeds, aggregators (ie.feed readers, or news readers), et al.

Obviously, Wikipedia articles for example do present arguments for, and against particular subjects. But how "complete," and how unbiased are they? Moreover, they deal mainly with major arguments, and "minor" arguments may be excluded at times. In effect, what is needed is the most objective presentation of "all" possible pros, and cons on most, if not "all" kinds of human knowledge, and "controversy". The Universal Debating Project should be publicly seen as being a highly reliable, and a credible central global source of such data. Its aim is to achieve improved reasoning, and greater objectivity.

Discussion

The Problem of Complexity

As the world becomes increasingly complex it becomes more, and more vital to....

a) ...reduce most, if not "all" information into clear, and manageable levels of data...ideally using the least number of words..(similiar to "good" powerpoint presentations)

b) ...reduce "all" major, and "minor" arguments for, and against in a lucid manner....again ideally using the least number of words...

Special editors could do the above. Thus, any pro, and con arguments which are repeated could be "quickly" reduced into the least numbers of words. These could be emailed to those in a debate to see if the participants opinions are presented accurately.

Apart from Wikipedia mentioned earlier there are ofcourse on the internet any number of forums, and discussion groups.These are fine as far as they go. But as said before how complete are their arguments for, and against a certain topic? Naturally enough, such arguments are continually repeated again, and again. This is where the UDP becomes all-important.

A vital aspect of all this is that it should be possible for people to become "instant experts." In other words, people should be able to become reasonably "expert" in a shortest space of time in say some branch, or aspect of economics, or science such as biology, or physics. In other words, there is an element here of Anti-Credentialism in which essentially good arguments rely on good "objective" thinking rather than relying on the credibility of experts all the time.

Ofcourse, those who have formal qualifications, and training still play a vital role in this, but they must be prepared to submit their ideas, and discoveries onto the UDP, and not just universities. Thus, they could be "fully" scrutinised by other experts, and by the public without relevant credentials. This could all lead to online global "brainstorming" sessions leading to "new" ideas that may have value in society, and the world.

It should be added here too that technical subjects such as physics, and the processes involved in mathematics could be presented verbally, and clearly. In the latter instance, a individual may have little, or no training. But with "simple" verbal step by step presentations he, or she could reach levels of "mathematical understanding."

The UDP presents a holistic approach which could among other things be an aid in the process of personal decision-making. More importantly, it could ofcourse also play a growing, and practical role in the world.

Basic Systemization of Presentation on the Universal Debating Project

The presentation of data on various subjects should be simple. It could be like "Pros, and Cons, a Debaters Handbook" edited by Trevor Sather which went through a number of editions since 1896. Here, two columns are presented, one of which is for pro arguments, and the other for con arguments. Each entry is numbered, and should be lucid, and precise .....ideally once again using the least number of words possible to present a case.

An intriguing aspect of the Universal Debating Project is that we could have what is termed a Rationality Count(RC). This would be the electronic tracking of peoples decision-making processes for, and against a specific topic. This could give us valuable insight as to the degrees of rationality people may have. For instance, 2,000 people may select pro argument a for topic C via the internet. Then, a con argument b could be presented online for the same topic C, and 1,500 decide to agree with it, and ofcourse, press the right button on their computers to transmit their decision...and so on. We may well find interesting patterns if RCs are used. At present, how new this concept is unknown but it is worth considering.


If the "Global Brain", or Universal Debating Project were ever set up, its initial concern would be with major issues notably social matters, economics, politics, and climate change/global warming. A site could be set up in time, and it could even have a motto such as "Fair Thinking, Fair World".


Also, it should be added that it is as yet unclear how such a proposal could be funded. It could use the Wikipedia model, or may be not.

More Information

Links.

The following list of links may have direct, and indirect relevance to the above p2pfoundation entry. Yet, they are worthy of inclusion here. They also give us an idea of the immensity of the subject of debating, rationality, and thinking......


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_and_Crooked_Thinking A book by the parapsychologist Robert Thouless, and one in which he gave a "simplistic" presentation of the different forms of argument.

There are naturally enough a number of debating "organizations" on the internet. However, the scale, and indeed, scope of the UDP is generally far greater, and "infinitely" comprehensive.


http://www.debatepedia.org/en/index.php/Welcome_to_Debatepedia%21

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate

http://idebate.org/debatabase

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_brain The UDP could play a "central" role in the Global Brain proposal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_network

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-peer

A key problem with policy making is that unforeseen consequences can often happen. Hence, the need for good thought through planning to reduce future problems. Such policy making could be aided with the structured data approach of the UDP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy

http://p2pfoundation.net/Anti-Credentialism

http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Facilitation This has a list of links of great interest


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrality_(philosophy)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rhetological-fallacies/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_theory

http://theeconomicrealms.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=maria+popova

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_science

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Wittgenstein

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language-game_(philosophy)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_language

The link below deals with games that have serious educational value, and could in certain situations even affect socio-economic change. Ofcourse, a pro, and con project such as the above could be presented in an attractive, and stimulating manner.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serious_game

Mind Maps are another way of presenting issues other than the pro, and con approach. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_mining

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informatics

Semantics can have relevance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_technology

http://gelookahead.economist.com/data-lake/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deconstruction

There are variety of ways for developing greater creativity. One such approach is lateral Thinking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_thinking

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_making

The importance of not to "cherry pick" evidential material in order to present an "objective"picture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systematic_review

https://www.ted.com/talks/noreena_hertz_how_to_use_experts_and_when_not_to

The following deals with Upstream Engagement in which people can have informed dialogue about subjects (notably in connection with "controversial" scientific innovation)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01l06z0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informatics_(academic_field)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_management

Another area of likely relevance is media bias. If undertaken correctly, the Universal Debating Project should be able to present the most "objective" presentation in the world of various topics notably on emotive issues such as genetically modified food, and global warming.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_bias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review

A link of links http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complexity_theory

Big Data could play a big role in the all this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_data

http://freespeechdebate.com/en/the-project/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source

The following link is concerned with the idea(!) of Ideonomy which would probably be of great relevance to UDP.

http://ideonomy.mit.edu/intro.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_science

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idea

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creativity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_visualization

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic (ie.Smart Drugs)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case-based_reasoning

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Legal_reasoning

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/542715/Yes-and-No

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor (This could be seen as a complete contradiction to the UDP)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_probability

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Theory_of_Communicative_Action

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_machine_learning_concepts


http://flynn.debating.net/amazon.htm (an interesting list of book references on debating, etc)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logicism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasoning_system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_reasoner

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%BCrgen_Habermas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_science

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infographic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_PowerPoint

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomized_controlled_trial

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence-based_medicine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Goldacre

An important area of enquiry is how accurate, and authentic statistics are. With the UDP a set of them could be scrutinized rigorously. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics

There is an important radio programme which questions statistics...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_or_Less_(radio_programme)

Also, some intersting info can be found on the discussion section of this page/subject entry.

http://p2pfoundation.net/Talk:Universal_Debating_Project

R.S.