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I have been a subscriber and devoted reader of The Economist, the by far best weekly news magazine I know, for almost 8 years now and was very pleased to get informed by them on a debate they are hosting in cooperation with CA (Computer Associates) that deals with information overload. The central statement, put forward by the “proposition”, states: 

“The house believes that if the promise of technology is
to simplify our lives, it is failing.”

The debate is conducted according to the traditional Oxford-line debate rules, hosted by a moderator and taking place between two teams, the “proposition” and the “opposition”. In their own words:

”The proposition proposes a resolution for the debate ‘with constructive arguments and the use of supporting material.’ The opposition then opposes the resolution by rebutting these arguments and by bringing its own supporting material to bear. Traditionally, each side has three opportunities to advance its cause, through an opening speaker, a second speaker and a summator.” 

The Proposition’s opening statement has been posted on the website last Tuesday, and so has the Opposition’s opening statement. Also, the moderator had something to say as well to kick off the discussion. 

The debate will run through March 7, 2008. I will follow the discussion and leave comments; you are invited to do the same on The Economists debate page. You can also follow the discussion on facebook.

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