For a few years now, I've "run" the Facebook group Discuss It. I created it because I was tired of the experience of having a civilized discussion about a controversial topic, only to have it be censored and/or finding myself banned from pages and groups that claimed to be ideologically aligned with freethinking and free speech. So I made my own group, so that I could enforce true hands-off logical consistency. As such, us moderators in Discuss It exist solely to prevent the posting of spam, and to warn the rare person who attempts to abuse mechanics or violate Facebook TOS (since we have to deal with that, for now). All debate is allowed to run wild and free, and the group has a fair bit of off-topic social fun as well.
As soon as it's logistically feasible, Discuss It will be launching our own standalone forum site. We don't yet have the population to justify it, but the fact is that Facebook mechanics suck, and I have some ideas for how we can engineer a forum site to be anti-echo-chamber, unlike the rest of the internet right now. This new community will be named Parrhesia, a Greek word meaning roughly a combination of "free speech" and "speaking the truth to power".
I think it's critically important to preserve a home on the web where all people can express any ideas or concerns or opinions they have, especially as we approach a global reality of an increasingly supervised and restricted internet. No matter what someone wants to claim or exclaim or argue, there should be an arena where they can do that and be met with equal authenticity and candor. Not only is this an essential human right and pragmatic constructive cultural necessity, but also engaging (constructively) in a community like this requires extreme accountability on the part of the individual for their own emotional and intellectual response, and I think it's vital that we cultivate methodically engineered free-for-all arenas like this before humanity forgets these skills altogether. (Let me be the first to point out that I'm naturally very aggressive and impulsive in debate, so I'm into this for the learning experience as much as anyone else. Although I strive to be as objective as possible, I am no paragon of objectivity.) Anyway, this is something that I think is essential to the future of reasoning and communication, and thus survival and development, of humankind. I intend every ounce of weight that that statement carries.
All are welcome, and none will be silenced. If you have felt shouted down or unheard or isolated, this is the place for you. And if you haven't, please still join us. (Seriously ... we need diversity.) Consider joining the Facebook group, and/or keeping an eye on this page for further developments! Thank you for your interest!
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