Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Suggestion Concerning Doing Public Policy Discussions

These simply cannot be left to any form of extemporaneous dialogue any more. Whether that dialogue occurs via video, or live interaction. And we must do this for two main reasons.

First because too many Americans do not know how to create, or correctly interpret, the written word any more, in multi paragraph form, with even minimal complex sentences, and they absolutely need to because that ability is essential if you want any hope of parsing hyperbola from logical construction of an argument.

And secondly because what passes for debate now, with so much emphasis on the visual, is more about performance, than content; a context where the adept at extemporaneous hyperbola can spew forth syntactically correct combinations of nouns, verbs, adverbs and all the rest, and yet still not say anything meaningful. A painful experience we are all now becoming much too familiar with.

From now on debate should be done via thread posts on sanctioned servers, with the participants taking turns making statements, and responding with statement rebuttals. Side channels could be provided for observer comment threads, and perhaps also as a means for observers to vote questions over to the participants.

In conjunction with this, all further attempts to conduct such discussions via televised media be altered so that the participants are digitally removed from the picture, substituted, say, with a still shot, and in addition to the audio, the scroll at the bottom would be a mandatory closed captioned display of what is being said. To aid in being able to better digest that feed, it should also be streamed in such a fashion that the user always has the ability to hit the pause button; thus enabling easy, repetitive timeouts to go back and forth and double check that, yes, what you just heard was indeed nothing more than combinations of nouns, verbs, adverbs and all the rest, and yet still not say anything meaningful.

Since none of this is very likely I guess I'll have to make do with the following pledge: If what I've been talking about ever starts to gain wider notice, I will do only audio only interactions with the media. That way you don't have to look at another old dude spouting off about stuff, and I don't have to let you see how badly I do extemporaneous performance. Also, maybe, just maybe, there will be a bit more emphasis on the content, and a good deal less on the performance. A small gesture perhaps, but you have to try and do what you can.

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