What we're about
A collective, societal mind exists whose IQ is greater than the sum of the IQs of the individual human minds that make it up. Collaborative and competitive discourse among these individuals constitutes the mental processes of this collective mind. When we listen to people publicly arguing a controversial issue, we are actually perceiving the collective mind’s thinking faculties in action. Therefore, if we can reform the way argument happens, if we can increase the synergy that happens among the participants in their debates, then we can increase the collective IQ, and with that increase, our world will become happier.
We can, in fact, reform argument, and in a big way; that is, we can vastly increase the IQ of the collective mind: Engine Dialectics is what I call this new style of debate. (The word "dialectics" here refers to argumentation as a search for truth.) If we apply ourselves, this is what our group can do:
(1) We can organize a number of continuing series of informal public debates live-streaming on the Internet, each series on a single topic. (We had originally planned to conduct live debates in the Saugerties/Kingston/Woodstock area, but it has proved too difficult to bring people together in one physical location.)
(2) We can create and manage a book of best arguments, called a "dialectical" book, on each topic. In a positive-feedback loop: the book will guide a debate; then, in response to the debate, we and the audiences will improve the book’s arguments; then the amended book will guide the next debate on the topic; etc. etc. The book will not only keep the debates organized, but since the book’s arguments will be strengthened with each cycle, the dialectical process will more and more powerfully, perhaps much more powerfully, be able to reveal what’s true.
(3) Where necessary, we can train the debaters—and those who will edit the book—in logic and critical thinking. We can even teach debate content.
I suggest starting our debates with fringe themes—UFOs, cryptozoology, ghosts, etc., but if our group expands, we will be able to organize our Truth Engine debates on all popular topics.
This, then, is how we can increase the synergy of debate. I think that this method, if it were to come into popular use (when dialecticians would truly be engineering the World Mind), could represent an advance in civilization’s struggle to discover what’s true, what’s good and what’s beautiful.
At this point, March of 2017, let’s just discuss the possibilities. We can think about organizing, at some time in the future, a series of Internet debates. Although I’m open to other ideas, I suggest that we start with the UFO controversy—I’ve already prepared a book of best arguments (a Truth-Engine book) on this topic. It’s an eBook called The UFO Dialectic. I believe this book will supply a debater with all the content knowledge that he or she will need, and it’s available on Amazon, at http://goo.gl/lxqgs6 . If we do hold debates on this topic, I’ll make sure that any group member who wants a free copy of this book will get one.
—Dr. Richard Crist