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On the conduct of policy debate and discussion

Xelor

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DP is an Internet forum in which people gather to discuss, among other things, public policy, though it's clearly not the only one. In what other venues does one find and might one physically or virtually participate in public policy discussions? Here are some examples:

Besides the above venues, universities/colleges host symposia, lectures, seminars, panel discussions, "town halls," etc. whereby interested parties can attend and participate. Sometimes the participation opportunity is during the event. In other instances, it's at a post-event reception. In still others it's merely a matter of approaching someone after the "official" open discussion among panelists and having a small one-on-one with them.


Do you attend policy discussion events (virtual or physical) such as the ones indicated at the links above? If so, do you simply sit and listen, or do you participate. If you participate, do you conduct yourself there in exactly the same way folks do in discussions here on DP?

  • By that, I mean, for example:
    • Would you stand up (figuratively or literally) and summarily declare a prior speaker wrong, benighted, etc. and then sit without providing a sound/cogent case for one's proclamation?
    • Would you stand up and say something as puerile?
    • Would you stand and say something and provide no context for your remarks?
    • Would you stand, say something, be asked a question in return and simply not answer it (Or worse, answer a question that wasn't asked), even though by having been asked a question, the other person has respectfully shown an interest and willingness to engage with you on the specific topic of the session? (This question applies to discussion leaders and folks who solicit specific clarification about the nature of a specific idea, not words/syntax, the discussion leader made.)
    • Would you stand and say something that has nothing to do with the central theme(s) of the topic being discussed?
    • Would you spew partisan rhetoric (so-called talking points) rather than saying something substantive/positive that advances the germanely advances discussion?
    • Would you merely share your opinion and then sit down?
    • Would you stand and ask a loaded question or make a loaded statement that is almost sure to rather in either a didactic or dismissive response, rather than asking/making a neutrally phrased one that'll advance the discussion?
Now, I don't know anyone on here, but I suspect few if any folks here would behave in any of those ways at an in-person policy (or policy-related) public forum. Accordingly, one must wonder by what conjuration so many people here or elsewhere on the Internet and behave (remark) any differently than they would at a "real world" discussion forum/event?[SUP]2[/SUP] After all, if one has a sincere and material interest in a topic, or if one respects others who do, it's really not that hard to have something substantive to say or ask about it, or being disinterested, out of respect for others as well as oneself, keep mum, or at least neutral.



Notes:

  1. I once attended a signing and I wasn't really interested in buying the author's book. I took an older book of his and asked him to sign it, and as he did so, I asked about a point he'd raised in it and how it jibed with another researcher's ideas. He asked me to await the end of the signing and invited me to join him and several others for drinks at the bar down the street. I did and we all had a great impromptu "round table" chat. The people there included another undergrad, two grad students and a guy who was clearly a post-doc or "think tanker" or something.
  2. I'm, of course, aware of the "anonymity effect," as it were, but it strains credulity to think the pervasiveness of the behavior of which I write surely cannot be explained by mere covertness.
 

Hawkeye10

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We have recently seen the return of the public intellectuals, people like Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson....many times at their events there is a Q & A. From what I have seen on Youtubes people are almost always on their best behavior, knowing I suspect that both Sam and Jordan will embarrass them if they are not.
 

JANFU

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DP is an Internet forum in which people gather to discuss, among other things, public policy, though it's clearly not the only one. In what other venues does one find and might one physically or virtually participate in public policy discussions? Here are some examples:

[*]Book signings often enough have a brief lecture and Q&A period before or after the signing part of the event.[SUP]1[/SUP]
[/LIST]
Besides the above venues, universities/colleges host symposia, lectures, seminars, panel discussions, "town halls," etc. whereby interested parties can attend and participate. Sometimes the participation opportunity is during the event. In other instances, it's at a post-event reception. In still others it's merely a matter of approaching someone after the "official" open discussion among panelists and having a small one-on-one with them.


Do you attend policy discussion events (virtual or physical) such as the ones indicated at the links above? If so, do you simply sit and listen, or do you participate. If you participate, do you conduct yourself there in exactly the same way folks do in discussions here on DP?

  • By that, I mean, for example:
    • Would you stand up (figuratively or literally) and summarily declare a prior speaker wrong, benighted, etc. and then sit without providing a sound/cogent case for one's proclamation?
    • Would you stand up and say something as puerile?
    • Would you stand and say something and provide no context for your remarks?
    • Would you stand, say something, be asked a question in return and simply not answer it (Or worse, answer a question that wasn't asked), even though by having been asked a question, the other person has respectfully shown an interest and willingness to engage with you on the specific topic of the session? (This question applies to discussion leaders and folks who solicit specific clarification about the nature of a specific idea, not words/syntax, the discussion leader made.)
    • Would you stand and say something that has nothing to do with the central theme(s) of the topic being discussed?
    • Would you spew partisan rhetoric (so-called talking points) rather than saying something substantive/positive that advances the germanely advances discussion?
    • Would you merely share your opinion and then sit down?
    • Would you stand and ask a loaded question or make a loaded statement that is almost sure to rather in either a didactic or dismissive response, rather than asking/making a neutrally phrased one that'll advance the discussion?
Now, I don't know anyone on here, but I suspect few if any folks here would behave in any of those ways at an in-person policy (or policy-related) public forum. Accordingly, one must wonder by what conjuration so many people here or elsewhere on the Internet and behave (remark) any differently than they would at a "real world" discussion forum/event?[SUP]2[/SUP] After all, if one has a sincere and material interest in a topic, or if one respects others who do, it's really not that hard to have something substantive to say or ask about it, or being disinterested, out of respect for others as well as oneself, keep mum, or at least neutral.

Notes:

[*]I once attended a signing and I wasn't really interested in buying the author's book. I took an older book of his and asked him to sign it, and as he did so, I asked about a point he'd raised in it and how it jibed with another researcher's ideas. He asked me to await the end of the signing and invited me to join him and several others for drinks at the bar down the street. I did and we all had a great impromptu "round table" chat. The people there included another undergrad, two grad students and a guy who was clearly a post-doc or "think tanker" or something.
[*]I'm, of course, aware of the "anonymity effect," as it were, but it strains credulity to think the pervasiveness of the behavior of which I write surely cannot be explained by mere covertness.
[/LIST]
Edited due to character limits
Thank you- excellent points and observations
 

Maccabee

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What I do mostly is make a claim and provide the reasoning behind it. I don't usually give a source for it at the moment because I'm in a hurry. If someone asks for a source, I provide it.
 
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