A UniqueDebatePoint is a canonical place for presenting arguments, pro or con. That means :

These two aspects feed off each other - you'd better read where a lot of people from all sides are writing, and you better write where a lot of people are reading.

Why is this good ?

A UniqueDebatePoint is more trusted - you know that if there's something to be said, it has been said here. That means it'll have PersuasiveContent.

Having a unique debate point is good for MakingUsWiser - it's a good way to ConsolidateInformation and avoid the PolarizationProblem.

It can also be a good "heat sink" to take arguments off of places that don't handle them very well (i.e. wikis).


Merely having a lot of readers and contributors is often not enough to make a place feel "canonical". Here are some problems that can arise :

Making it work

A good DebateTool is needed to have a functional UniqueDebatePoint (Or rather, Getting a UniqueDebatePoint is the justification behind trying to make a good DebateTool) - a place where contradictory ideas can stand without stepping on each other or starting a fight.

The idea is similar to that of a TopicNode, except that :

The goal of a UniqueDebatePoint is not to have one side or the other win, but to collect all arguments for all sides. The best way to do this may be to promote the UniqueDebatePoint as a place to debate, but it's also possible to collect arguments you don't hold yourself.

The closest thing I can see to a canonical debate point for a given issue would be wikipedia. It's not a good place to debate, but it's a good place to see a presentation of the different points of view.

(If anybody has any good examples in mind, please add them.)

Debate Summary

For an issue that is not too divisive, a way toi do things might for someone to make a summary of the discussion presenting all sides. If everybody is satisfied enough with the way arguments are presented, they may link to it, and thus make it feel more canonical. This doesn't have the "debate" element in it (no feedback) but is still pretty good for MakingUsWiser.

See here for a pretty good example about the SemanticWeb, that uses something like WikiDramaForDebate.

(This may have to do with SmallGroupDiscussionSizeLimit)

Linked Debate Space

What you often get is a lot of places talking about an issue that link to each other. Now, that's good, it's better than having them ignore each other. It's better than having islands of opinion that avoid linking to contradicting arguments because they consider them evil. You end up with a networkl of places that all reference each other - in there you can find all arguments.

Wikis and blogs (with comments and trackback) are pretty good at this (especially blogs - it's fairly easy to find blog posts taking all sides of the burning political issue of the day).

However, this is not enough. A given argument may be repeated a dozen times. What is needed is consolidating and filtering, so that everyting is said OnceAndOnlyOnce.

A WikiDebateBase is what you get when only one side does an effort to consolidate and filter (and that gives it an advantage !)


(old (well, 1 day) discussion deleted)

Hmm, I wonder if DebateNode? would be a better idea ?

It'd seem clearer to me, and may fit better in this wikis's link language … or TopicNodeForDebate? (i.e. a TopicNode that tackles a divisive issue) ? (I'm wondering whether DebateNode? wouldn't be reinterpreted as the name of a topic node about debate, and not a kind of topic node especially for debate … DebateTopicNode? ?)

It may be good to seperate the idea "it's good to have a unique place to debate stuff", and the more conrete "kinda topic node but designed for holding debate" (in which case it'd end up being yet another dreamy DebateTool - quite close to DebateWiki in fact. Maybe close enough to take it's place)

It makes sense to call it a kind of TopicNode, it fits well in the idea of the network of nodes.

Any thoughts ?


Define external redirect: DebateNode DebateTopicNode InstantRelayChat TopicNodeForDebate