Imagine trying to create your own Wikipedia just because you don’t agree with what’s written there. It doesn’t make much sense. You can create your own closed world of blog posts and so on, but you can’t really ignore what is written in the separate canonical place that everyone else uses (and that you probably use for the arguments on which your side is actually winning…).

IF the idea is successful, and I agree that’s a big “IF”, you can’t ignore the canonical site without looking like a hypocrite. If you have counter-arguments, why are you running away and posting them somewhere else, rather than engaging directly in the debate?

Now, imagine a popular news site: CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Breitbart. What are they going to do to make their points and list their “facts”? Run away and pretend the universal fact-check doesn’t exist? If Steve Bannon really believes what he says, how long can he go on convincing readers and fans that he’s right without participating in the main debate? At some point, this becomes a serious challenge to reputation.

Consider another point here: the motivation for creating your own separate debate would be that you believe the canonical one is someone slanted, right? Where will you create it? On your own debate site? What’s to keep people from posting the arguments from the canonical site to the new site? To prevent it, you essentially have to apply censorship, which is obviously more slanted than a fully open debate. And any argument you can propose to call the debate “slanted” can, well, be debated.

In fact, the motivation to create your own separate debate would be based on the fact that you’ve given up winning the canonical debate. Up UNTIL that moment, you would believe that you are going to “win”… which means one would only break away AFTER having given it a shot in the main debate. And here’s the main point: At some point, the thought leaders of the world, the epicenter of the various herds that we are discussing, will have engaged with the main debate. And by seeing that the leaders are engaged there, it will encourage the rest of the herd to be there to try and “win”. Seeing your idols engaged head-to-head is what will draw the rest of the population to the site.

Founder of The Canonical Debate Lab

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