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Same here, but  I am not sure if there is a name from rhetoric (other than a derogatory one) for the 'arguments' I often get involved in: they are usually creative brainstorms whose kinetic force is in the direction of the outlandish. In other words the 'debaters' run with ideas, building on each others crazier ideas until a point of total impracticality is reached. Then take one or two steps back from that point and there's your concept ;-)

But that's marketing communications...

As I have noted before, I am fascinated by a First Nation notion of debate in which 12 elders sat in a circle. Depending upon their position in the 'compass', they had to argue from the point of view of their position in the compass, not from their own view. Also one could only talk when in possession of the 'talking stick' which was passed around. These positions represented different polar aspects of tribal life and decision-making. For example, the person at North position would argue from the tribal view, opposite would be a person who would argue from a view from outside the tribe etc.

I've never tried it, and I assume that it wouldn't work in our culture, because most people wouldn't be able to get their heads around the idea of arguing another point of view. And it is not the same as playing Devil's Advocate.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 08:11:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I assume that it wouldn't work in our culture, because most people wouldn't be able to get their heads around the idea of arguing another point of view."  

School, university debaters, lawyers, people in most forms of advertising/marketing ? :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 08:49:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wrote 'most'.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 01:36:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The list was not meant to be exhaustive, and already includes a lot of people, and if all these can do it, why couldn't many others if asked to do so?  So there's no reason to suppose "it wouldn't work in our culture".

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 04:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was speaking of the 'compass' method of discussion. I have never seen it in operation. But from what I understand of how it is conducted, it is not a rhetorical form of discussion.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 04:29:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This seems to be a rhetorical reply - confuse the issue :-) I know what you were referring to - the issue was not whether or not it was rhetorical, but whether or not you were justified in claiming it wouldn't work in our culture.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 05:29:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cows can certainly fly, if taken as freight on an airplane.

Our w*estern culture - for want of a better description - has not used such a multidimensional fixed position structure of equals in formal decision-making, as far as I know. Naturally that lack of use does not mean that such a structure be forever incapable of being tested or adopted. It just hasn't been yet.

Thus my doubts that it could work in our culture, where decision-making has been practiced in various adversarial forms for several millennia. It's a different mindset, like the difference between an axonometric or perspective proscenium view.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 07:03:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Despite the waffle :-)  - it comes back to this: "It's a different mindset". I gave just some examples showing that it wasn't, and if those people can do it in our culture, others can too. Simple point really. Want to go round again - without the irrelevant similies ? :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 07:37:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Going by the spirit of debate, I suspect you and Sven have a difference on what 'it' is. Arguing the other side is something that I could see being manageable for a lot of people. Certainly those who actively engage in politics. But it doesn't necessarily get you out of the two dimensional style of adversarial debating.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Dec 5th, 2008 at 06:07:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wiki, "hermeneutic circle" (Westworld varieties). Note also in cosmology, "trickster" figures such as Hermes (Trismegistus), Es(h)u, Coyote and Rabbit that represent the necessity of interpretation.

Opposed to "rule of thumb."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Dec 5th, 2008 at 02:23:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the interesting link ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 5th, 2008 at 08:16:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I picked up somewhere that before Sweden entered the 30-years war, the king arranged a series of debates where he issued roles (though I think it was mainly pro et contra) to his advisers. It ended in entering the war, which probably was the right decision from their pow.

To take more recent and similar activities I have participated in role-playing exercises where the goal was to better understand a situation through assigning different positions. In some ways that resembled the compass.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Dec 5th, 2008 at 04:56:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting...

I think it would be very interesting to try the compass method in a workshop. I'm happy to hear of your experiences, because we need more of this imo. Empathy is a casualty of capitalism - any method for experiencing and understanding empathy is useful and evolutionary.

My own baseline for consulting on communications with different companies always, as far as possible, stands on their particular audience. There are always perceptual people at the other side of the dialogue, and empathy is a very important method of communicating with them - if it is genuine.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 5th, 2008 at 05:53:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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