Updated: Sep 15
Can you have engaging and meaningful debate online?
I recently posted this question on a common social media post, and was surprised to discover there wasn't one solid answer in response.
Hmm... can robots and perspectives ever really know? In this article, we'll dive deep to discover how being socially engaged should be and how severe different perspectives can be. Turns out, "progress" itself might be traveling backwards in time at the moment.
The rise of online debating: what are the benefits?
In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity of online debating. This is likely due to the fact that the internet provides a platform for people from all over the world to share their opinions on a variety of topics. There are many benefits to engaging in online debate, such as being able to research arguments and counterarguments, hone one’s debating skills, and gain a better understanding of different points of view.
One of the best things about online debating is that it forces you to do your research. When you are presented with an argument that you disagree with, it is important to be able to back up your own beliefs with facts and logic. By taking the time to read up on both sides of an issue, you can become more informed about the topic at hand and better equipped to discuss it intelligently.
Anonymity: is it a help or a hindrance?
Anonymity is a continuous source of debate. On one hand, anonymity can help people feel comfortable enough to engage in honest and open dialogue. On the other hand, some people use anonymity as a way to be hurtful and destructive.
In order to have engaging and meaningful debate online, we need to be able to trust that the people we are talking to are being honest about who they are. Unfortunately, anonymity can make it difficult to build that trust. When we can't see the person we're talking to, it's hard to know if they're being truthful or not.
That being said, there are still ways to have productive conversations online even with the anonymity factor. As long as everyone is respectful and willing to listen to different viewpoints, anonymous or not, meaningful debate can still happen.
The echo chamber effect: how does it impact debate?
In online debates, people tend to end up in what’s called an “echo chamber” where they only hear opinions that reaffirm their own. This is because people are more likely to seek out and pay attention to information that reinforces their existing beliefs. This phenomenon is called the “echo chamber effect” and it can have a negative impact on debate.
When people only listen to opinions that they agree with, they miss out on important counterarguments and alternative perspectives. This can make it difficult to have a meaningful debate because both sides are talking past each other instead of engaging with each other’s ideas. Additionally, the echo chamber effect can make people more dogmatic and less open-minded.
There are ways to avoid getting trapped in an echo chamber.
Trolling and flame wars: how to avoid them:
When you're debating online, it's important to remember that there are real people on the other side of the screen. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the heat of the moment and forget that there are actual human beings with feelings and opinions. This is where trolling and flame wars come into play.
Trolling is when someone deliberately tries to provoke an emotional reaction from another person. This can be done by making inflammatory comments or personal attacks. Flame wars happen when two or more people get into a heated argument with each other. These arguments can quickly spiral out of control, leading to name-calling and personal insults.
Both trolling and flame wars can ruin an otherwise civil discussion. So how can you avoid them? First, try not to take everything so personally. If someone says something that you don't agree with, don't get defensive.
Online debate etiquette: some tips. When engaging in online debate, it is important to remember a few key etiquette tips in order to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. First, keep an open mind and be willing to listen to other points of view. It can be easy to get caught up in our own beliefs, but it is important to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Second, be respectful of others. Avoid name-calling or making personal attacks, as this will only serve to escalate the situation. Finally, stay on topic. It can be tempting to veer off into related but tangential topics, but doing so will only serve to muddle the debate and make it more difficult to reach a resolution.
By following these simple guidelines, we can ensure that online debate is both engaging and meaningful.
So, about digital debates, we must ask ourselves: can we have engaging and meaningful debate online? The answer is not a simple one. It depends on the people involved in the debate, and the platform on which the debate is taking place. With that said, it is possible to have engaging and meaningful debates online, but it is not always easy.
Can you have a mechanical debate socially? Or, are Fords really better than Chevy's?
Have you ever been in your car and followed someone who had their right turn signal on but then they turned left? Who could solve such mechanical bugs?
Turns out that there could be a perfectly good explanation for this behavior.
It's called the mechanical data divide paradox. Or, socially, you could think of it as flame wars. Here's how it works: when a driver is turning right, they often need to check their blind spot to make sure it's safe. But if they're looking at their phone or GPS device, they might not see an approaching car or car behind them in time to notify each. So instead of self-correcting and getting into an accident, they just do whatever. Sometimes leaving the scene but also leaving wakes of frustrations behind.
This might seem like a small problem, but it can have big consequences. For example, if everyone is following someone with their right turn signal on and no one is turning, traffic can back up for miles.
That brings us to the first almost mechanical data divide: mechanical pride. Or, more specifically, the pride of one person's operations of a vehicle versus the pride of another. Which is thought to be binary (or monumentally binary, depending on how much you love Ford's) like a win versus a loss. Because there's so little outside data that can intervein people when outside madness takes hold. Or, more specifically, machine wars.
The second mechanical data divide: who has the nicest car? The third mechanical data divide could be who is the richest? The fourth mechanical data divide which car has the most horsepower? The fifth is geography and how fluent with the area is each driver? And the ultimate divide might be like the first: pride. In other words, who has the safest "rules of the road" and/or "rules of the streets" educations? And so on endlessly. The point I'm driving home like a jackhammer is that because the concrete consequences to concrete differences, the resulting data-to-creations always reflect the same.
In the early days of computing, data was divided into two distinct categories: mechanical and electrical. The former was processed by machines like punched-card tabulators, while the latter was manipulated by devices like vacuum tubes. This division made perfect sense at the time, since the two types of data had different properties and required different kinds of processing.
However, as technology progressed, the distinction between mechanical and electrical data became increasingly artificial. All data is now stored electronically, and even analog signals can be digitized and processed by computers. Yet the old terminology persists, and we still talk about the “mechanical data divide” when referring to the difference between digital and analog signals.
The cohesion factors of cars and divide factors are more than just a matter of semantics; it’s a fundamental conceptual split that has profound implications for our future understanding of information. That being said, Ford is still better than Chevy, but bicycles are better.
Can you have a corporate digital debate war against a competitor over the internet?
A digital data divide paradox is like driving in a car and going backwards even though the GPS says you're going forwards. Most companies want their competitors to go endlessness backwards in the rouse of going forward. Who could solve such a digital thing if normal people need to know buoyant digits that float unlike two active battle ships?
In the Big Data era of the 21st century, it is widely believed that more data leads to better decision-making. However, a new phenomenon known as the “mechanical data divide” is causing some organizations to rethink this assumption. The mechanical data divide occurs when an overabundance of data actually hinders decision-making by overwhelming analysts with too many options. This paradoxical situation is being caused by the increasing availability of data and the decreasing cost of storing it.
Have you ever been online and followed someone who says they're doing the right thing but then it turns out the FBI sting seizing their computers like Peoria's Caterpillar office or Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence? Circumstance where all linked people could be found culpable. Maybe it is business competition, gaming the courts, or politics, but who or what could solve such a digital thing and keep us all from being a documented co-conspirators in bright lights? I mean, Caterpillar's not a Ford and it's definitely not a bike, but people like me are documented supporters on paper. We know the heads won't be blamed for "fair competition," but will we be blamed?
A digital data divide paradox is like driving in a car and going backwards even though the GPS says you're going forwards. It's like if you had an argument with someone opposing you online and diabolical robots locked into it without remedy. Like you're on the hook for loving something that then locked you into a binary war like a dog in a hot car. Robotics to the point where both end users are always going to be driving farther and farther in reverse the more they reflect those digits on record. Like, forever moving faster and faster backwards in the name of going farther and farther "forward." Who or what can ever stop a mad digital data divide like the Great Cavityism?
There are consequences to the ever-growing divide between those with access to data as well and those without. One such consequence is that the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to grow. Another is that entire industries will be disrupted as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) increasingly automate jobs that have traditionally been done by humans.
These consequences are not evenly distributed either. The people who will be most affected by the mechanical data divide are those who are already marginalized: the poor, racial minorities, women, and other groups that have been traditionally excluded from participating in the digital economy.
This isn't just a problem for those individuals; it's a problem for society as a whole. As AI and ML become more prevalent, we risk creating a permanent underclass of people who are unable to find work because their jobs have been automated out of existence.
Solutions to the digital data divide are not simple. There is no quick fix, and there are no easy answers. But, we can start by making sure that everyone has access to the same opportunities to participate in this new economy. We need to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity for self-determination online. Because, the mechanical data paradox, there are concrete consequences reflecting the same regarding inclusion or not. It's like if you're trying to put a square peg in a round hole. If the peg doesn't fit the information you need, then someone or something else is going to wreck it with their profitable street smarts.
Can you have a legal and psychological debate inside?
Our co-founder Olivia was going to court for a traffic ticket the other day from a situation she felt she was innocent of. But, then she stopped in her tracks and said, "You know what, it's just safer to pay the fine instead of going downtown to fight it." Which is understandable if you know downtown Saint Louis. There's no denying it's dangerous.
So that organic data of her side of things, (and now eternal guilt), stayed inside her mind. It's cemented in her psychology. And if she or the rest of the world are ever in doubt, it'll be on record. It stayed there instead of her thoughts being included and added to those adversarial data banks. And what if she keeps having 1, 2, 5, 10 or 20 situations like this in her life? How will that look to the grandkids?
That's a form of psychologically breaching one's own train of thought.
Her guilt is now eternal, locked in and loaded. Inside her own head and out. Her defense is like a stone that is being thrown into a deep well. It will never be seen or heard from again, but it will always be there at the bottom if anyone in the future wants to look. All because her psychological data went missing from the rest of us in fear of a scary place. It's what people call gap-ism, or Cavityism. Which is literally worse for victims than a traumatic car wreck because it lingers and weighs people down via endless concrete data.
All that being said, it's secretly under wraps right now (so please don't tell anyone), but Olivia's speculating that Rally Ramper partners will be operating some kind of underground handicapped accessible data garden for ultra-safety and more inclusion. I wonder what could that mean? I'd ask her, but she's occupied.
Normally, I think we hope for more engaging and meaningful interactions. To me, those good ones are really like treasures in Heaven. Whether that be online, on foot, in cars, or on bicycles. Just not in Chevy's with turn signals on.