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Old 06-18-2019, 08:35 AM
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Debates should be scrapped


In 2020, I'd like to see a PowerPoint Presentation competition.

We don't teach rhetoric anymore. You might as well have the candidates hold a goat sacrificing tournament for all they're liable to be able to compete at any level that means anything to any of the viewers. They'd have no idea whether it's a win, loss, or cheating when one of the competitors killed the other person's goat first, before their own.

If you want to sell people on your brilliance these days, we do PowerPoint Presentations. People have experience creating and watching them. They can follow when the presenter is making sense or just threw some stupid stuff together and hoping to BS their way through.

Independent of whether this would advantage any particular party, next election, it would make for better hiring decisions to start nixing the debates - even at the Primary level.

I want to know that these people have a plan and I want to know what that plan is. I want to be able to get a sense for whether they've actually thought that through and whether they have the ability to get their ideas over others (like their Cabinet).

How well they can give a BS answer, off the cuff, and swipe at other people has zero correlation to how good that person will be as President. You're wasting all of our time. Do better.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-18-2019 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
If you want to sell people on your brilliance these days, we do PowerPoint Presentations. People have experience creating and watching them.
Do they? I'm going to guess, straight out of my ass, that the median voter created and watched zero PowerPoint presentations in the last year.

Anyways, good luck getting people to watch your slideshow competition, which will be aired at midnight on C-SPAN6. Meanwhile, a real channel will be offering time when people are awake, and offering the opportunity to say and do things that will actually be on the news the next morning.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 06-18-2019 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:55 AM
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I'd like to see an actual, formal debate, eg: "RESOLVED: Implementation of single-payer health insurance would not benefit most Americans". Have one side present the case for the resolution, the other side present the case against, followed by responses from both the for and against sides, followed by the audience deciding who carried the argument. In the primary stage, you could have a 90-minute event, with three questions argued by six different candidates, taking 30 minutes for each question.


Yes, I did help judge the state debate finals a few years ago...
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:02 AM
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PowerPoint - the means by which a laptop becomes the keynote speaker.

I think once it has been adopted for debates next should be trials.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:03 AM
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You think the President of the United States ever gives PowerPoint presentations? They have people who give presentations to them, not the other way around. On the other hand, arguing with people is something Presidents have to do all the time. The public needs to see that they can pull it off.

Last edited by Alessan; 06-18-2019 at 09:03 AM.
  #6  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:22 AM
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Anyways, good luck getting people to watch your slideshow competition, which will be aired at midnight on C-SPAN6. Meanwhile, a real channel will be offering time when people are awake, and offering the opportunity to say and do things that will actually be on the news the next morning.
a) Gore made decent money with his filming of one.
b) Excitement isn't exactly the name of the game with the Oscars and yet everyone tuned into them for decades in the basis that they're expected to, socially.
c) If the goal is to be exciting, rather than to learn something useful, then why not scrap the debates for American Gladiators style jousting?
  #7  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:30 AM
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You think the President of the United States ever gives PowerPoint presentations?
Probably not, but I wouldn't say that it's a good thing that they don't.

The tech world uses such presentations quite effectively to explain and lead the workforce towards a particular course of action for the year/quarter.

The President is meant to actually do things, not just smile, wave, and hug flags. I want to know what his or her plan is and how they plan to get there. Wouldn't you like to have a feeling like the country is in the hands of someone with an actual plan, that they can concisely walk through in a way that makes sense?

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On the other hand, arguing with people is something Presidents have to do all the time. The public needs to see that they can pull it off.
Not to say that a boss never argues with their employees, but I wouldn't call it a key feature of their workday by any means. Asking questions, sure, but why argue when you're the one who gets to decide in the end?

And certainly, to the extent that they might argue something, I'm pretty confident it's nothing like how a televised debate works.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:48 AM
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We don't really get debates in a crowded primary, we get those near the bottom delivering a well-rehearsed sound bite and those at the top trying to appear above the fray. They're all looking for a sound bite for cable news to repeat and get their face on the air.

It's worse in the general election. The only people that watch are those that are cheering for their candidate, whom they will declare won the debate.

Maybe we need them in the primaries just so we can compare the contenders and pretenders, but scrap them for the general.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:37 AM
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Without debates we would have missed trump's stage-stalking Hillary. Seriously, the debate was the chance for folks to see his unpresidentialness on full display. It's hardly the fault of the format that it just didn't register with some folks.

Last edited by E-DUB; 06-18-2019 at 11:38 AM. Reason: speling erors
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:35 PM
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I'd keep the debates, but put the microphones on a timer.

You get two minutes to answer the question. At the end of two minutes, the mike cuts off. No talking over each other.

Regards,
Sho -(click)

Last edited by Shodan; 06-18-2019 at 12:35 PM.
  #11  
Old 06-18-2019, 12:53 PM
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Without debates we would have missed trump's stage-stalking Hillary. Seriously, the debate was the chance for folks to see his unpresidentialness on full display. It's hardly the fault of the format that it just didn't register with some folks.
I'm reasonably doubtful that Trump would fare better trying to give a PowerPoint presentation.

To make one, he would have to have an actual plan. He doesn't, not for anything. But he would want to have the best one ever, better than has ever been done before, more planny than D-Day itself. So he'd tell Jared or someone to do one up, then get up on stage and realize that he hates having a plan and give up after a slide or two and get angry because of people trying to force him to straighten up and actual think about something like an adult.

While it is true that he didn't fair well in the debates, a large percentage of the population still thought he won because they didn't understand anything and they just trusted the body language. Trump's body language while lambasting someone else is fine.

Trump's body language while failing at being an adult, while all on his own up on a stage.....
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:24 PM
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If they do Powerpoint presentations, they will be coached, rehearsed presentations, using professionally created slides, tested in front of focus groups and refined over and over until they are perfect. What exactly would we learn from that?

Also, don't we have those already? They are called "TV ads."

Last edited by scr4; 06-18-2019 at 01:26 PM.
  #13  
Old 06-18-2019, 01:47 PM
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If you want to sell people on your brilliance these days, we do PowerPoint Presentations.
Interesting. I have never seen a PowerPoint that convinced me of anyone's brilliance. I've seen quite a few that did the reverse.

It's a minimally useful media for getting some particular types of information across. For most even of those types of information it's for many of those stuck with watching the things more annoying than useful.

It's not in any way useful for finding out how people handle themselves when others disagree with them; which ought to be part of the point of watching/listening to any political debate.

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Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
I'd like to see an actual, formal debate, eg: "RESOLVED: Implementation of single-payer health insurance would not benefit most Americans". Have one side present the case for the resolution, the other side present the case against, followed by responses from both the for and against sides, followed by the audience deciding who carried the argument. In the primary stage, you could have a 90-minute event, with three questions argued by six different candidates, taking 30 minutes for each question..
Sounds good to me.

I would also want to see questions taken from the audience, with the candidates not allowed to know what those questions will be in advance (they should probably be screened by the moderators in advance to remove entirely off the wall rants, ad hominem attacks, and repetitions.) And I would then very much like to see either the moderators, or the person who asked the question, or ideally both, say when applicable "You did not answer the question. Please address the question that was actually asked" and keep on doing that, interrupting as necessary, until the candidate either did so or ran out of time without getting a chance to give whatever speech they were trying to give instead.


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Not to say that a boss never argues with their employees, but I wouldn't call it a key feature of their workday by any means. Asking questions, sure, but why argue when you're the one who gets to decide in the end?
That's one of the major differences between being POTUS and running a business. The POTUS, with a few exceptions, doesn't get to just decree stuff. It's necessary to get Congress to go along with it: which involves a great deal of argument, usually in both senses of the term 'argument'.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:55 PM
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Yeah, I'm not entirely sure why it's even being called a debate. It seems more of an expository on respective positions. Nobody is debating anyone. Everybody is simply answering questions posed by the moderator. Can you even imagine a live stage debate between 10 individuals? It would turn into a shouting match and eventually, if we're lucky, a brawl.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:16 PM
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Everybody is simply answering questions posed by the moderator.
What have YOU been watching? The assclowns pretty much ignore the moderators. But a brawl would be pretty cool to watch.

Frankly I'd be good with a 10-15 minute one-on-one with an interviewer just so I could get a sense of what the person is about. Having candidates interact is just a circus.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:26 PM
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What have YOU been watching? The assclowns pretty much ignore the moderators. But a brawl would be pretty cool to watch.

Frankly I'd be good with a 10-15 minute one-on-one with an interviewer just so I could get a sense of what the person is about. Having candidates interact is just a circus.
I guess my memory is failing me. Last one I remember seeing was the one with all the republicans on stage. I may have had it on mute to keep from dry heaving.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post

How well they can give a BS answer, off the cuff, and swipe at other people has zero correlation to how good that person will be as President. You're wasting all of our time. Do better.
And what makes you think a change of medium would make any difference?
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:20 PM
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Haha. One of Andrew Yang's talking points was that he would be the first President to use Powerpoint slides in the State of the Union address to show how the country did with the Humanity First goals (like increasing life expectancy, decreasing substance abuse and resulting deaths, increasing geographic mobility, increasing happiness/well-being and mental health, decreasing wealth inequality, etc.)

When he would say this at rallies, the crowd would chant Powerpoint! Powerpoint! Powerpoint!

Stephen Colbert made a whole joke [at minute 1] about this, saying that the chant made him cringe more than Lock her up!

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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
I'd keep the debates, but put the microphones on a timer.

You get two minutes to answer the question. At the end of two minutes, the mike cuts off. No talking over each other.

Regards,
Sho -(click)
This debate is rigged! The mic should have cut off at least 30 seconds earlier.

Last edited by Heffalump and Roo; 06-18-2019 at 04:25 PM. Reason: added decreasing wealth inequality because. . . important
  #19  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:36 PM
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That's one of the major differences between being POTUS and running a business. The POTUS, with a few exceptions, doesn't get to just decree stuff. It's necessary to get Congress to go along with it: which involves a great deal of argument, usually in both senses of the term 'argument'.
If you're arguing, you're past the point of sales.

Step 1 is to sell people on a vision. Haggling out the details is for the cleanup crew. If you have no vision, then jumping into an argument might be fun and all, but no one's going to arrive anywhere.

The Executive's role, as regards Congress, isn't to argue with them nor trade with them, it's to get them thinking in a particular direction.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:46 PM
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Interesting. I have never seen a PowerPoint that convinced me of anyone's brilliance. I've seen quite a few that did the reverse.
I would imagine that it's because they weren't particularly brilliant. That's the majesty of the PowerPoint. If you go head to head with someone who clearly knows what they're talking about and can explain it to anyone, and you're an idiot, you'll stick out like a sore thumb and flunk out spectacularly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9hFAlqKmfM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBjvklYLShM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P49mwAiAGc

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-18-2019 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:50 PM
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If you're arguing, you're past the point of sales.

Step 1 is to sell people on a vision. Haggling out the details is for the cleanup crew. If you have no vision, then jumping into an argument might be fun and all, but no one's going to arrive anywhere.

The Executive's role, as regards Congress, isn't to argue with them nor trade with them, it's to get them thinking in a particular direction.
Note I referred to two senses of the word 'argument'.

The whole point of

Quote:
a coherent series of reasons, statements, or facts intended to support or establish a point of view [ . . . ] 2a : a reason given for or against a matter under discussion [ . . . ]
b : a form of rhetorical expression intended to convince or persuade
is to get people thinking in a particular direction.


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That's the majesty of the PowerPoint. If you go head to head with someone who clearly knows what they're talking about and can explain it to anyone, and you're an idiot, you'll stick out like a sore thumb and flunk out spectacularly.
That's not a situation limited to PowerPoint.

And IME if you clearly know what you're talking about and can explain it to anyone, then you can do it without a PowerPoint; and very likely do it better.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:43 PM
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And IME if you clearly know what you're talking about and can explain it to anyone, then you can do it without a PowerPoint; and very likely do it better.
I can't think of any talking head who was better without images, a blackboard, or something to supplement his statements.

Minus imagery, you're just giving a speech. To be sure, it's possible for someone to teach / explain without images, but minus the images the politicos would just get up and give a speech, which defeats the purpose.

When giving a speech, word salad works a lot better. You just have to sound passionate and everyone will still love you even though you didn't do anything but make Barnum statements for 30 minutes.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:09 AM
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The problem with debates today is they are negotiated away to meaninglessness by the various participants.

If you want good debates mandate that candidates must show up for <insert number> of debates that must at least have one for domestic policy issues and one for international issues and one for financial issues.

The debates are arranged by a non-partisan panel that decides the questions and moderator(s) with a mandate that the questions are topical to the current times.

Real-time fact checking is in place for all to see (audience, candidates and home viewers).
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:46 AM
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I can't think of any talking head who was better without images, a blackboard, or something to supplement his statements.

Minus imagery, you're just giving a speech. To be sure, it's possible for someone to teach / explain without images, but minus the images the politicos would just get up and give a speech, which defeats the purpose.

When giving a speech, word salad works a lot better. You just have to sound passionate and everyone will still love you even though you didn't do anything but make Barnum statements for 30 minutes.
You may have never experienced a good lecturer working in a classroom or auditorium without visual aids; it's become pretty rare. I've heard quite a lot of them. (Also some bad ones too, of course.) And, because sunlight or the lights were on in the room, more of the audience was fully awake.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:22 AM
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You may have never experienced a good lecturer working in a classroom or auditorium without visual aids; it's become pretty rare. I've heard quite a lot of them. (Also some bad ones too, of course.) And, because sunlight or the lights were on in the room, more of the audience was fully awake.
Staying awake isn't the goal. Hiring someone who can do the job is the goal. If 3/4ths of the population falls asleep because everything is too sane and reasonable, and tires their brain out having to think, well...good. The 1/4th who stayed awake will tell them who to vote for.

We are trying to hire the person to give the nuclear codes to. We're not trying to have a popcorn fest.
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:21 PM
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Staying awake isn't the goal.
Staying awake is certainly part of the goal in a classroom or boardroom or municipal government presentation. If 3/4 of the audience falls asleep, the presenter didn't get the info across, and so didn't accomplish their job.

I was branching out from candidates' debates; I thought that at that point we were talking in general about the effectiveness of powerpoints versus other forms of transmitting information. But it's your thread; so if that's too much of a hijack, I apologize for the hijack.
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:31 AM
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It's an image thing. The last thing a candidate wants is to put people in mind of a teacher giving a lecture. The adult voting public, by and large, does not want to be reminded of high school.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:31 AM
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You think the President of the United States ever gives PowerPoint presentations?
I remember when Nixon went on national TV to explain to the public what his invasion of Cambodia was all about. It probably would have been a PowerPoint presentation if the technology had existed in 1970.
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:05 AM
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And I'm sure that Nixon did it in his usual suave manner.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:56 AM
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I'd prefer to see formal debates in the same vein as Intelligence Squared (debates dedicated to specific issues) moderated by Chris Wallace.
  #31  
Old 06-26-2019, 12:18 PM
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LOL. Awesome idea.
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