A short mention – Neil on debate versus dialogue

Last week, Neil posted a brief little gem on the difference between dialogue and debate. I’d just like to expand on this a little, because it’s something that’s been going through my mind a bit of late, what with what this Rousing Departures thing is all about…

Neil ponders a few distinctions surrounding the adversarial nature of debate versus the cooperative nature of dialogue, and the idea that debate can stimulate dialogue. At the risk of being adversarial (or am I being cooperative?), I’m not so sure it’s entirely that clear-cut. It can be clear-cut if you want; you can have debate-and-that’s-that, or debate I think, can be far more integral to dialogue than in just the role of stimulating it. I guess it depends on what you mean by ‘stimulate’.

All I’d like to say at this point, is that at base, I think debate is best viewed as being a bit like a particle collider. You have two cases wound-up and fired into a direct collision with each other, the various statements, assumptions and arguments being broken down into their base components according to their respective strengths. What you are then left with is the job of interpreting the results of the collision, which requires some kind of team.

I think I’m going to use this analogy again sometime in the near future.

~ Bruce


The new home is built, the power is on, the phone hooked up and the migration has more or less finished. Here we are.

Feel free to slump on the lounge, or at least the parts not occupied by all the packaging. All the critical chores are finished. It’s time for a little relaxation.

I’ll call up and order some takeaway, if you can open the wine and get the nibbles out of the fridge. Perhaps we can see if we can get something on the telly, or set up the stereo.

If we still have enough energy, maybe we can unpack a few more boxes a little later. Just be sure that if we do, not to open the ones marked ‘id’. Those are personal, thanks.

A few pieces of furniture are still to arrive, and I’ve got spaces marked out for where I plan to put them. See the masking tape?

Mind you, I’m still not completely decided on where I’m going to hang things. Perhaps you could have a wander around and make suggestions, or point out anything that looks wrong.

I’ll be assuming a relaxed pace for the time being, probably keeping closer friends around until things are ready for the house-warming. But still, maybe we can have a bit of fun before then.

~ Bruce