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June 4, 2008

Debategraph

Debategraph.org has ambitious goals. It wants to provide a public, commons-based wiki where we can lay out the great political debates systematically, rationally, and calmly. The tool creates highly structured maps consisting of relatively atomized arguments. (The tool itself is pretty darn cool.)

I’m dazzled by it. I’m not convinced that debates can be commoditized the way knowledge can be, and I’m not convinced that debates won’t lose what’s really going on in them when they are forced into rational outlines, and I’m not convinced that debates are really about what they say they are, and I’m not convinced that the truly deep divides are actually debates. But, “I’m not convinced” means only that I don’t know what to think. More important, Debategraph gives us an infrastructure of some depth and power. We’ll figure out what to do with it. I hope.

Take a look. It’s damn interesting. (Thanks to Seb Schmoller for the link.)

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