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RedBlue

A note came across the anthrodesign list earlier this week about redblueus.org, a website on which people who disagree about a certain issue are paired up, given some guidelines for productive conversation, and then have a facilitated discussion in reaction to a provided scenario.

One of my concerns about virtual community and online discourse has been the ease with which people can choose to associate primarily with people who agree with them. This is particularly true in the blogosphere and is why I stopped political blogging after the 2004 election. Lately I’ve been looking more towards online interactions that are not overtly about politics as a possible source for building mutual respect and understanding as a foundation for constructive civic engagement. I suppose that this is a more subtle approach.

RedBlue, in contrast, is anything but subtle. I’m very interested in seeing where this goes. They’re currently recruiting testers, and if anyone happens to give it a try, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Brian | October 30, 2006 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    This looks pretty interesting; I know a few other projects which seek to defuse polarization by giving people in a defensive posture–who would otherwise be excluded–a microsoapbox to talk with one or a few people about their concerns.

    A lot of our public decision-making processes are optimized for ease of data collection and providing speedy, unambiguous results. This is starting to look like a premature optimization: a society that relies on a winner-take-all method can’t learn enough about itself to survive in the long term.

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