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Twenty four days to go

The second televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is to be shown across the UK tonight. After a lacklustre first debate, the final days of the referendum campaign are ticking down. There are signs of growing momentum for the Yes side, with undecideds moving to Yes in some polls and the 'Yes Declaration' recently hitting a million signatures. But the Better Together campaign still has some heavy hitters on side, with Sir Ian Wood recently casting doubt on oil extraction figures he had previously agreed with. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

Millennials Don't Stand A Chance (gasp!)

Millennials Don't Stand A Chance. A terrific debate from Intelligence Squared: "...spotlight is shown on millennials and their use of revolutionary technology while growing up in a time of recession. Some think they are coddled, narcissistic and lazy. Have we let conventional wisdom blind us to the millennial's openness to change, innovation, and optimism in the face of uncertainty, which, in any generation, are qualities to be admired?" (running time ~50:00) [more inside]
posted by xtian on Aug 14, 2014 - 51 comments

How Much Does "Does Poetry Matter" Matter?

This Weekend, The New York Times went all in for poetry. In addition to six — count ‘em — articles about poetry in the Review, the Times also included an entire panel in its “Room for Debate” section in which the mostly white and mostly male panelists responded to the essentially rhetorical question “Does Poetry Matter?” with some version of the expected answer: yes. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 25, 2014 - 38 comments

“Where do left and right meet? At the truth.”

Politically Incorrect was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2014 - 66 comments

Be it resolved state surveillance is a legitimate defence of our freedom

Alan Dershowitz and Michael Hayden (for); Glenn Greenwald and Alexis Ohanian against. Tonight. “I consider him and Alan Dershowitz” – the two men Mr. Greenwald, 47, will face at Friday’s Munk Debates – “two of the most pernicious human beings on the planet. I find them morally offensive. There’s an element of hypocrisy to being in the same room with them, treating them as if I have outward respect, because I don’t.” [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 2, 2014 - 282 comments

NOT related to Monty Python's Argument Clinic

Argument Champion, a game that uses logical connections between words to pwn your opponent.
posted by oneswellfoop on Apr 26, 2014 - 53 comments

Science Guy versus "God" Guy

Bill Nye is debating the head of the Creation Museum tomorrow. Ken Ham, founder of Northern Kentucky tourist attraction "Answers in Genesis" Creation Museum, has challenged Science Guy Bill Nye to a duel, errr, a debate. Nye, while tolerant of Ham's religious beliefs, draws the line at creationism creeping into science curriculum. More pre-event throwdowns are here. [more inside]
posted by tizzie on Feb 3, 2014 - 350 comments

Master of Philosophy, Lord of Debate, Sultan of Reason

The Adventures of Fallacy Man, from Existential Comics.
posted by Artw on Jan 4, 2014 - 55 comments

"Oh God, you didn't just say that."

Yesterday's debate among the four mayoral candidates in St. Paul, Minnesota had some pretty interesting moments. Current mayor Chris Coleman's facial expressions are not to be missed. Yay democracy!
posted by vytae on Oct 25, 2013 - 28 comments

The King Stay the King

The Wire Poster Project features posters for each of the epigrams preceding each episode. Benefits go the Baltimore Urban Debate League.
posted by juiceCake on Oct 25, 2013 - 23 comments

Scientists Confirm Sheeple Safe to Eat

With 2000+ global studies confirming safety, GM foods among most analyzed "Environmental impact studies are predominant in the body of GM research, making up 68% of the 1,783 studies. These studies investigated environmental impact on the crop-level, farm-level and landscape-level. Nicolia and his team found “little to no evidence” that GM crops have a negative environmental impact on their surroundings." [more inside]
posted by Knigel on Oct 8, 2013 - 169 comments

"I'm *not* anti-science... I'm for *responsible* science."

Seriously impressive fourteen-year-old Rachel Parent debates Monsanto investor Kevin O'Leary about genetically modified foods. Parent, who is the founder of the anti-GMO organization Kids Right To Know, takes on O'Leary (best known for playing the antagonist in shows like Shark Tank) in an unexpectedly solid debate, countering him point-by-point and cutting him off when he attempts, in his typical Mr. Wonderful way, to condescend to her.
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 22, 2013 - 352 comments

NDT 2013

Last week Emporia State University won the National Debate Tournament for the first time. Ryan Wash and Elijah Smith won the round over Northwestern's Peyton Lee and Arjun Vellayappan in a close 3-2 decision. (link goes to a video of the round) [more inside]
posted by LSK on Apr 9, 2013 - 49 comments

The Minerva Controversy

The Department of Defense recently announced the creation of the Minerva Research Initiative (PDF), also known as Project Minerva, providing as much as $75 million over five years to support social science research on areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. The initiative indicates a renewal of interest in social science findings after a prolonged period of neglect, but it also prompts concerns about the appropriate relationship between university-based research programs and the state, especially when research might become a tool of not only governance but also military violence. The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has invited prominent scholars to speak to the questions raised by Project Minerva and to address the controversy it has sparked in academic quarters.
posted by infini on Mar 7, 2013 - 17 comments

Essay: Moral Shortcomings in the Technology Debate

Digital and genetic techniques increasingly influence life. Our belief in progress through technology stands in the way of a moral debate on this development. ~ by Rinie van Est
posted by infini on Jan 31, 2013 - 24 comments

"Don't you think there is enough anxiety at present?"

CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER: The thing that strikes me about your friend's building -- if I understood you correctly -- is that somehow in some intentional way it is not harmonious. That is, Moneo intentionally wants to produce an effect of disharmony. Maybe even of incongruity.

PETER EISENMAN: That is correct.

CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER: I find that incomprehensible. I find it very irresponsible. I find it nutty. I feel sorry for the man. I also feel incredibly angry because he is fucking up the world.
A debate — old, but still relevant — between architects Christopher Alexander (whose new book The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth depicts the struggle between his worldview and Eisenman's at length) and Peter Eisenman (who here discusses his frustrations with liberals and the avant-garde).
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 4, 2012 - 55 comments

Thrilla or Vanilla?

It's D-Day: Governor Mitt Romney debates President Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado. Will we see an epic game-changer or an airless, pre-orchestrated zinger-swap? [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on Oct 3, 2012 - 3068 comments

The Lady with the Microphone

In 1992, Carole Simpson was the first woman and first minority to moderate a presidential debate. Twenty years later, as Candy Crowley is about to become only the 2nd woman to moderate, Carole Simpson writes a compelling look back on why it's taken 20 more years, and why both women have moderated "town hall" style debates, rather than asking the questions outright.
posted by nakedmolerats on Sep 26, 2012 - 12 comments

Injury and the Ethics of Reading

Poetry Changed the World: Injury and the Ethics of Reading.
posted by homunculus on Sep 3, 2012 - 8 comments

Hannibal and Subutai on saddle chaffing.

YOUR QUESTION: You have the ability to, for one night, reanimate any two historical personages (“historical” = “not currently alive”) and have them discuss/debate a topic of your own choosing. Which two historical personages do you choose, and what subject do you have them discuss/debate? (from MeFi's own Jscalzi)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 28, 2012 - 136 comments

Paul Ryan as Romney's running-mate

Paul Ryan. Seven-term congressman for Wisconsin's 1st District. Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Architect of the controversial Ryan Budget -- a "Path to Prosperity" [PDF - video - CBO] that would slash trillions from the federal budget, sharply curtail taxes on the wealthy, and transform Medicare into a private voucher system. Proponent (vid) -- and renouncer -- of Ayn Rand 's Objectivism. Social Security beneficiary. Hunter. Weinermobile driver. And as of this morning, the 2012 Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 11, 2012 - 1550 comments

The Right Time To Shoot

Should a photographer document or intervene? In the wake of the recording of a sex attack in India, The Guardian interviews several photojournalists who have experienced doubt and regret over their actions. [more inside]
posted by Magnakai on Jul 28, 2012 - 105 comments

The Argument Clinic

Would you like to get an anonymous phone call from a stranger who is diametrically opposed to your own political views? Sure, we all do. Now, Political Screaming Match Dot Com is here to help, and can solve this age-old problem in 15 minutes or less.
posted by schmod on Jun 29, 2012 - 57 comments

To Profile or Not to Profile?

To Profile or Not to Profile? A Debate between Sam Harris and Bruce Schneier.
posted by brundlefly on May 29, 2012 - 150 comments

The Man Who Thought He Was King

"I want to know how I am a small press, if I am outselling Robin Hobb and Terry Goodkind and Tolkien?" Fantasy author M.R. Mathias has a disagreement with Fantasy-Faction.com.
posted by Avenger50 on May 21, 2012 - 68 comments

Hanging judged

"Nooses spotted at Cal State San Bernardino" An art project garners attention and sparks debate, as reported in the San Bernardino Sun today:
A trio of nooses spotted Friday at Cal State San Bernardino drew some attention on the serene campus, and it wasn't all positive.
[more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Apr 27, 2012 - 37 comments

Well, I never hated you.

Jake Cole of the film blog Not Just Movies discusses the semi-legendary hour-long debate about Monty Python's Life of Brian on the BBC Four program Friday Night, Saturday Morning. The debate features Pythons John Cleese and Michael Palin on one side and opposite them broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood, the Bishop of Southwark.
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 28, 2012 - 38 comments

Security theatre theatre.

In the latest (ongoing) Economist debate (run Oxford-style), security expert Bruce Schneier and architect of the TSA Kip Hawley are facing off to respectively defend and attack the motion "This house believes that changes made to airport security since 9/11 have done more harm than good." Overview. Opening statements. Rebuttals. (Surprisingly cogent) comments from the floor.
posted by unSane on Mar 23, 2012 - 32 comments

Scoops, Swoops, and Perry's "Oops."

Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 10, 2011 - 208 comments

...a fundamental element of human nature LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Chomsky-Foucault Debate in 5 seconds (SLYT)
posted by cthuljew on Oct 3, 2011 - 73 comments

What if we treated the rest of science like climate science?

Sure, the diamond planet is real....if you believe the liberal media. One of the scientists involved in making this discovery (actual abstract here) discusses how his experience would have been different if he was a climate scientist. [more inside]
posted by lumpenprole on Sep 13, 2011 - 83 comments

Ethics in America

In 1989, The Columbia University Seminars on Media and Society (later called the 'Fred Friendly Seminars') produced a ten-part series entitled Ethics in America, hosted by Fred W. Friendly [obit]. The show, which aired on PBS, featured prominent American thinkers of the time -- including psychologists, philosophers, doctors, lawyers, theologians, professors, business leaders, district attorneys, politicians, journalists, and a supreme court justice -- engaged in round-table debate concerning hypothetical ethical dilemmas. It was reprised in 2007 as Ethics in America II. Both incarnations [I; II] are viewable for free at Lerner.org, which describes the original version thus: This series uses the Socratic method to build analytical skills and examine ethical questions. The programs aim to sharpen moral reasoning without favoring a particular position by exploring ethical dilemmas in legal, political, medical, corporate, and military arenas. Panelists include Antonin Scalia, Faye Wattleton, and Peter Jennings. [more inside]
posted by troll on Sep 7, 2011 - 15 comments

China in the World

Be it resolved: The 21st Century Will Belong to China. At tonight's Munk Debates, Niall Ferguson and David Daokui Li debate Henry Kissinger and Fareed Zakaria [more inside]
posted by HLD on Jun 17, 2011 - 60 comments

"Here, eat this root."

The Triumph of New-Age Medicine "Medicine has long decried acupuncture, homeopathy, and the like as dangerous nonsense that preys on the gullible. Again and again, carefully controlled studies have shown alternative medicine to work no better than a placebo. But now many doctors admit that alternative medicine often seems to do a better job of making patients well, and at a much lower cost, than mainstream care—and they’re trying to learn from it." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2011 - 278 comments

And there were moments of symbolism.

It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.
On 1 March 1985, New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon David Lange (Previously) addressed the Oxford Union in support of the proposition that "Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible". That speech is online at publicaddress.net (audio, transcript, highlights) and still resonates today. [more inside]
posted by doublehappy on May 23, 2011 - 30 comments

US High School student challenges Rep. Michele Bachmann

"I, Amy Myers, do hereby challenge Representative Michele Bachmann to a Public Forum Debate and/or Fact Test on The Constitution of the United States, United States History and United States Civics."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 14, 2011 - 42 comments

Over 2.7 million nations served.

NationStates is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry back in 2002 (previously). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government, the game starts by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum, practice wargaming in International Incidents, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly (so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki, which provides a detailed legislative record, gameplay guide, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations, 8,000 player regions, and countless characters that currently make up the game world.
posted by Rhaomi on May 9, 2011 - 62 comments

The Moral Crusade Against Foodies...and against people who have a moral crusade against foodies

BR Myers thinks foodies are obsessed with food at the expense of morals. Rancher and writer thinks it's a shallow and warped attack on people trying to make the food system better.. [more inside]
posted by melissam on Feb 18, 2011 - 85 comments

Open Sourcing Intelligence Analysis

In an age of information wealth, how do we decide what's true & what's not? Allow me to introduce the world of discussion mapping. First up we have zest (demo here), a simple tool for threading mailing lists for easier navigation. It lacks the advanced features of the others but it's an easy starting point for structuring your discussions. [more inside]
posted by scalefree on Jan 10, 2011 - 6 comments

Is Religion a Force for Good in the World?

In tonight's semi-annual Munk Debate in Toronto, Tony Blair and Christoper Hitchens square off over the topic "Is religion a force for good in the world?" For those who couldn't get tickets, you can watch a live webstream (PPV, $5) of the debate this evening, starting at 7pm EST.
posted by modernnomad on Nov 26, 2010 - 106 comments

Could you really care less?

"I couldn't care less" vs. "I could care less"... A letter to Ann Landers in October 1960 is credited with starting the debate over "one of the great language peeves of our time." Via. [more inside]
posted by amyms on Oct 31, 2010 - 167 comments

The dark horse of the campaign

"If you want to marry a show, I'll marry you." Jimmy McMillan, of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, steals the show at an NY gubernatorial debate.
posted by Rory Marinich on Oct 18, 2010 - 81 comments

Great Debate Disasters, Pt 45

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer blanks catastrophically in a TV debate. No matter how strongly you feel about her immigration bill, it's hard not to feel for her. After all, public speaking is America's greatest fear, so the trainwreck might conceivably even help her. But then, here's her equally terrible reaction to press questions afterwards about her false claims that immigrants behead people. Not a good day for the controversial Arizona gov, who has now sworn off debates. [more inside]
posted by CunningLinguist on Sep 3, 2010 - 175 comments

War of Every Man Against Every Man

Alan Jacobs laments the Hobbesian reality that is modern Internet discourse in his article "The Online State of Nature" at Big Questions Online.
A now-famous cartoon on the xkcd “webcomics” site shows a stick figure typing away at his computer keyboard as a voice from outside the frame says, “Are you coming to bed?” The figure replies: “I can’t. This is important. . . . Someone is wrong on the Internet.” I have thought a lot about why people get so hostile online, and I have come to believe it is primarily because we live in a society with a hypertrophied sense of justice and an atrophied sense of humility and charity, to put the matter in terms of the classic virtues.

posted by ob1quixote on Aug 31, 2010 - 84 comments

Go stuff it up that hole of yours which is shared by both male and female jackasses alike.

In his Scientific American column Bering in Mind, Jesse Bering wrote an article about why we masturbate (previously). Emily Nagoski, a self described feminist "with strong opinions and a big vocabulary", took offense to a line in the column in which he expressed disgust about the idea of researchers gathering and studying vaginal secretions, and wrote about it in her blog Sex Nerd, accusing him of anti-feminism. Bering responds. [more inside]
posted by DZack on Jul 22, 2010 - 118 comments

Lincoln/Douglas/Foucault/Zizek

"Only if the opposing team can prove that the material world of our perceptions is real, and not a hallucination, do they earn the right to have their arguments considered on their merits." High school debate used to be the province of fast talkers with notecards full of facts and figures -- until literary theory got into the act. Kritik, a family of tactics derived from au courant Continental thinkers like Foucault, Zizek, Spivak (and old favorites like Nietzsche and Heidegger) aims not merely to counter the opposing team's arguments but to expose them as manifestations of implicit oppressive paradigms. Kritik was pioneered in the early 1990s by Ft. Hays State University debate coach Bill Shanahan (who later experimented with another novel tactic by mooning a rival debate coach in a college meet.) [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Jun 7, 2010 - 128 comments

I agree with Nick: you're no Jack Kennedy.

Yesterday, the leaders of the three largest political parties in the UK engaged in a live televised election debate for the first time in history. Most commentators seem to agree that Nick Clegg, the leader of Britain's perennial third party the Liberal Democrats, made the best impression in yesterday's first of three weekly debates leading up to the general election on May 6. The progressive-leaning Guardian even goes so far as to claim that he is now prime ministerial material.

This being Metafilter you will undoubtedly ask, "how does Cory Doctorow figure into all of this?" Well, he agrees with Nick on the Digital Economy Act. Then again, Nick is agreed with quite a lot.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 16, 2010 - 54 comments

Wolfgang Pauli was a Gargoyle?

The Bohr-Einstein Debates, With Puppets
posted by lenny70 on Dec 1, 2009 - 7 comments

Murdoch v. the BBC

"If you think you can get fucking angry, I can get fucking angry." [more inside]
posted by Jakey on Sep 1, 2009 - 43 comments

Healthcare on 4 Napkins.

The healthcare debate explained on the back of 4 napkins. Napkin 1: The health care equation. Napkin 2: It's not about health care. Napkin 3: The plans on the table. Napkin 4: What's it mean to me?
posted by lunit on Aug 26, 2009 - 95 comments

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