To me, we have been having excellent discussions in the past 6 to 12 months. I can not think of a time in the history where the banter has been as civil and worthy of reading. The core people here are presenting their positions with forethought of their own positions. The responsiveness to what others write and ask is there. Questions are being answered.
It takes time to do the job people are taking on to participate.
I appreciate all of you. Thank you making this a good place to frequent.
Thanks, Gray Seal, back at yah.
It's interesting to me what has happened with social media since this little debate forum first started.
I think we have an unusual vantage point in that regard.
Think about how different things were then.
We didn't have youtube or Facebook. Blogs were very very new and few in number.
With the onset of social media, confirmation bias "safe zones" became more frequent.
Now it seems like most other forum these days becomes a confirmation bias echo chamber in short time (if it didn't start out that way already).
In my experience, this is true even in places that pat each other on the back and speak of their even-handedness.
Elsewhere, over time (from my personal observation), people either begin to fear disagreement and considered discussion (they don't want to be ousted from the group they've invested time into) or they're drowned out by the masses of unconstructive "neer" posts.
Mike and Jaime were very forward thinking people when they started this site and came up with a set of http://www.americasdebate.com/?page=rules. It's like they saw into the future of when internet forum discussion/social media would become. But of course, their method requires a lot more oversight, which is a limiting factor.
Agreed. Im glad to have some place to challenge my views. And as a early dissenter to the rules, in my more mature age, I am thankful that Jaime and Mike put them in place. It's actually one of the reasons I thought of AD and came back, because I wanted to find a place that wouldn't devolve into pointless name-calling.
(Also, to add, I dropped out of the media bias thread because I went to Thailand for three weeks, and the focus shifted away from my points. And these debates are time consuming. Wish I didnt have a job! Etc.)
A big difference between this site and social media, along with those already pointed out, is continuity. Issues can be explored in greater depth, and when the breadth goes too far, new threads have been started. Along with continuity is centralization, that is, everything in one place -- including The Rules.
Plus it's pretty easy to take a break from it all, let the sauce simmer and the frying pans soak, and then come back with perhaps different perspectives. For example, I no longer think that firearm control laws will help but still think that education (true stuff supported by research) and security tech will.
Will AD revitalize with more participants? I see a lot of potential for that to happen, as the forum format that started out as bulletin boards and sites like CompuServe has inherent strengths that social media have not been able to pull off. Facebook appeals to narcissism, Twitter attracts shallow thinking, and it all stands for selling junk nobody needs like fake hoverboards that burn down houses.
AD came along when HTML had reached a zenith in the online world. Enabling links (the hypertext part) allowed arguments to be based on supplementary info, which of course can be misused. But then members can challenge the misuse, and onward we go.
Overall, the time I've spent on this site has been well worth the investment. And it's been fun, so thanks to all who have, still do, and will participate.
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