I’m thinking about inviting people to participate in an online debate. This is of course different from a live debate, in which arguments are spoken and the whole thing must be wrapped up in a single session. I actually prefer written rather than spoken, and the possibility to include graphics. This post is a request to readers to submit ideas for debate rules.
What I have in mind is this: The debate will consist of three rounds. Round 1 is the argument “for” or “against” the stated proposition. Rounds 2 and 3 may consist of further arguments, or of responses to the adversary’s previous arguments.
Round 1 will be limited to 1000 words; anything beyond the 1000-word limit will be cut off, so if you (as one of the participants) go beyond that, your submission will be incomplete. Round 1 also allows for as many as 5 images, which will appear at the end of the post giving the text, and may be referred to in the text as “figure 1,” “figure 2,” etc., up to “figure 5.” If more than 5 images are submitted, the additional ones will be omitted so your contribution might have a reference to “figure 6” but no 6th image will be present.
Rounds 2 and 3 are limited to 500 words and up to 3 images. Each will be one day later than the preceding, so the whole debate will take three days.
The moderator (me, unless I’m one of the participants) may not comment except to point out specific falsehoods. The moderator is encouraged to point out specific falsehoods.
For each round, both sides’ arguments will be presented in a single blog post. Which comes first will be determined by the flip of a virtual coin (i.e., a random number generator).
These rules seem rational to me, but I’m posting this to solicit suggestions — what’s good, what’s bad, what’s better, etc. I’m also soliciting opinions on debate questions to be argued. They should be climate-related.
So, let me know what you think.
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