Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Entrenched argument open-mindedness award ceremony

  (+9, -3)
(+9, -3)
  [vote for,

This would be a big, glitzy, red-carpet award ceremony. It's goal would be to award honours and cash to people who have participated in online discussions on one of a variety of contentious, entrenched topics (gun control, religion, the Israel-Palestine conflict, abortion, whether tea should be made by putting the milk in first or last, etc.) and, following reasoned argument, changed their mind on the topic in question. Obviously, most years the awards ceremony will be cancelled because they won't be able to find anyone but it'll be worth it for the times they do find someone.
hippo, May 19 2014


       This is a stupid idea.   

       No, wait, you've convinced me. [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, May 19 2014

       I'd like to see a contest to see how many times somebody can get the man on the street to go back and forth on their support of polar opposite ideas. "Do you support less government spending?" Yes. "Do you support more funding of any and all government programs that somebody says will do good stuff?" Yes. "Do you support taxpayers having more money to spend to better their lives as they see fit? Yes.
doctorremulac3, May 19 2014

       The point of debates, in general, is not to sway the participants. It is to sway the audience. At least some of the audience of any given debate should be interested but undecided, or minimally swayed individuals who can be persuaded by a well reasoned argument.   

       Obviously most disputants would love to sway their opponent, and this, in theory should be possible if one side is supported by overwhelming evidence, and the other isn't, but reality intervenes.
MechE, May 19 2014

       Propaganda does change minds, or it wouldn't be used so often. It is effective.   

       If someone changed their mind, it's often due to them finally caving to the influence of one side's propaganda, not them having any virtuous real open mind.
sophocles, May 19 2014

       + I change my mind all the time! It's the ability to finally see the other side. It doesn't often happen at higher levels, so this would be nice.
xandram, May 19 2014

       On some things (not everything) being debated, there actually is a Right Answer. An example: during the 1500's there was debate regarding whether or not the Earth was the Center of Creation (was it stationary or did it move). This award would be useless with respect to those Debates.
Vernon, May 19 2014

       //This award would be useless with respect to those Debates.//   

       You'd think. Yet there are still people out there who argue the contrary. The could be said with regard to Young Earth Creationists today, and yet they still exist in absurdly large numbers. As I said, just because one side is right doesn't guarantee sanity on the other.
MechE, May 19 2014

       What a great idea ! No, wait ...
FlyingToaster, May 19 2014

       I don't agree.
not_morrison_rm, May 19 2014

       Another common propaganda tactic is to take some fact you don't like, (for example: 2+2=4), and then pay someone with a title to say, "2+2=5".   

       Now, it's DEBATABLE!   

       See, when it's not possible to really convince many people of your side, you just need to make the truth "debatable". Then, you paralyze action for those on the fence.   

       So, if someone actually is "open minded" & decides 2+2=5 after all, they get an award here?
sophocles, May 19 2014

       Listen ya'll, it's very hard being right all the time. You lose so many friends and spend countless nights alone, on the sofa, with your kitty, being right. It's a tough life, but one I've grown used to. Gray areas don't exist in my life, because, quite frankly, I'm always right. (EXCEPT WHEN I'M SITTING ON THE LEFT) Hahahahahaha, had you all didn't I?
blissmiss, May 19 2014

       You're fighting biology here. You've heard of the 200% better product being required to overcome buying preference? Here you are fighting the same principles that v drive speciation. You need to demonstrate real survival advantage
theircompetitor, May 19 2014

       I liked this idea when I saw the title. I read all the annotations explaining clearly why the idea wouldn't function in real life but I'm sticking with my original assessment no matter what. [+]
AusCan531, May 19 2014

       // If someone changed their mind, it's often due to them finally caving to the influence of one side's propaganda, not them having any virtuous real open mind.//   

       Well that's just sad.   

       //See, when it's not possible to really convince many people of your side, you just need to make the truth "debatable". Then, you paralyze action for those on the fence.//   

       See the trick is to know when you don't know, and then you don't really have any sides.
...but then, what do I know?

       [+] If you never change your mind, you're not using it properly.   

       Nobody should be afraid of being wrong.
the porpoise, May 20 2014

       ... except a pilot on final approach,
8th of 7, May 20 2014

       Hehe, he makes a valid point.
blissmiss, May 20 2014

       I would agree that no one should be afraid of being wrong, but they should be afraid of, or at least embarrassed by, continuing in error when it is pointed out to them.   

       Your pilot will make errors on approach. That's why they start with instructor pilots, and have various instruments to show them what's right.
MechE, May 20 2014

       It could be called the Flip Flopper award. Slomo video of flopping fish could be shown. Aspersions could be cast. Sometimes recipients of the award might get a wedgie on stage or otherwise be roughed up by the square jawed and certain host and hostess, to demonstrate the virtues of certainty over fishy flipfloppedness.
bungston, May 20 2014

       // Your pilot will make errors on approach //   

       Feel the fear and do it anyway ... errr, actually, you have no choice. Sooner or later, the aircraft and the ground will come in contact - how it happens is up to you,   

       ALL pilots make errors all the time. The test is how the pilot recognises and recovers from them.
8th of 7, May 20 2014

       How long does a pilot have to entrench an opinion on final approach?
the porpoise, May 20 2014

       Seconds rather than minutes,   

       1 Nm out and 300' above the threshold, in a puddle jumper you have less than 60 seconds to get up close and personal with the Deity of your choice. In a large civil aircraft, about half that, depending on the headwind and how much you trust P2 to step up if you call "you have control".   

       On aircraft carriers, well ... you don't want to know. 200kts+ to a dead stop in 10 metres, if you get it right,   

       If you get it wrong, don't worry, You won't worry about anything ever again.
8th of 7, May 20 2014


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