Discussing ways to combat sophistry and promote rational debate on Newsvine.
It is a natural and valid tendency to be partisan, and many people find it most valuable to debate those with differing or opposing views, but such discussion is rarely fruitful and usually poisonous when based on intellectual dishonesty or ad hominem disrespect. And even with the best intentions, a failure to follow basic principles of reason and consistency leads to a room full of monologues rather than a productive exchange of ideas and opinions.
Many feel that this is a significant problem on Newsvine. The inevitable outcome is that those interested in honest and rational debate and sharing of ideas will not stay long. For them the signal to noise ratio is simply unacceptable. Some wake up one day and suddenly realize that they've unwittingly become party to those very ills described above. I believe these are the reasons some of the best writers on Newsvine who were prolific just months ago now make only rare appearances, if any.
The goal of the Rationalists group is to get people who agree on these points to discuss and implement ways to combat sophistry and promote effective rational dialog on Newsvine. This group is not itself a solution, not a host for rational discussions on articles and seeds, but a forum to spawn one or more solutions.
The above is taken from Rationalists Group: Brainstorm I.
The Group Brainstorm did not arrive at a consensus on how exactly to actively foster rational discourse on Newsvine. No further efforts have been sparked since then. The group remains live right now simply as a way to express support for the concept (over 300 people have!). If anyone has a viable idea and a commitment to drive it, email me.