I asked Brooks to send along a post I could forward to DoWire about his interesting Debatepedia.Org wiki project. I encourage you to take a look. I’d be interested in learning about other political wiki initiatives that accommodate people with diverse political views. I know about OpenPolitics.Ca and Campaigns Wikia. What else should be on the radar? Use the blog comments to add more.
From: “Brooks Lindsay”
Subject: Debatepedia.org – a solution to a question at the intersection of “wikis” and politics.
Dear Steven Clift:
I’m Brooks Lindsay, the founder of Debatepedia.org, an organization of relevance and importance to your mission.
Debatepedia is the new “wiki” encyclopedia of arguments and debates. It empowers the general public to objectively frame public debates as they exist in the public sphere between the relevant players. It enables users to present all of the *unique* pro and con arguments that have been made by scholars, experts, leaders, etc. It also allows editors to present the overall positions of politicians, think-tanks, interest and activist groups, foreign leaders, etc. It does not allow users to present their own arguments and opinions.
Debatepedia helps resolve an outstanding question: how can “wiki” technology be successfully applied to politics, which is divisive by nature, when “wikis” are a medium of “consensus”. The important insight and bridge is that a public debate and its public arguments can be treated as documentable facts, and that the general public can arrive at a consensus in the framing of these facts.
Under these strict rules, the public can successfully document a debate as if it were an encyclopedic entry, and present all of the information necessary for any individual (citizen or leader) to develop a calculated and rational position. This has large social implications.