Show of Courage

I’m sure that anyone who is reading this saw Jon Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire. I myself do not watch television. The only reason I saw this occurrence was due to a nice BitTorrent I found after a friend told me that it happened and I should watch it. I can say this about that show. It makes me feel worse. Up until watching that show I would complain. I would think that someone should go onto television and take out all these stupid assholes. Try to break them. But now, I have lost hope. Jon Stewart did exactly what I asked, and was unable to break the bastards. They held firm to their stupidity and there was nothing he could do.

Let me tell the fun analogy I came up with. So there is this dragon terrorizing the village, but nobody does anything about it. Me, the meek little village man goes to the strong knights and says “why do you not slay this dragon brave knights?” They sayeth “We cannot beat the dragon, we are not that strong, nobody is.” I say “bah! you are just cowards!” And life goes on, me always waiting for someone to slay the dragon. Then Sir Jon of Stewart, a 20th level Paladin arrives to slay the dragon which has terrorized our town. I cheer him forth “Go Sir Jon! Save our town from the fiery wrath!” 15 minutes later the charred corpse of Sir Jon is buried. Hope is lost, it is true that the dragon cannot be slain. Of course, in real life it is no monstrous dragon, but instead it is the Monster of which Steppenwolf spake.

So I had an idea, as usual. We should have a new tv show (which I have no name for yet) where we have real debate. We keep score according to an impartial system. We pick an issue for the show and get two experts, one from each side. They bring 5 fact-finders each. They also bring 2 judges each. The show itself will provide 3 impartial judges for a total of 7, a nice odd number. The debate will consist of one question at a time. The debaters will know of the questions a week or so before the show and will have time to prepare. And they will debate in the classic style. Points are lost if you interrupt, lie or make a logical fallacy. Points are scored if the other debater concedes or you “win” a given question. Exact scoring will be figured out later. The 5 fact-finders you bring with you are there to provide the actual empirical evidence to back up any claims you make. Any claim which has no supporting evidence is disregarded. Any claim which is proven false by evidence found by the other teams fact-finders is considered a lie and points are lost. The judges do all scoring on a majority rules system. I also had the idea of maybe electronically shocking anyone when they lie. The show will also be show absolutely live and uncut. Maybe a 5 or 10 second delay can be added to appease censors.

At first, people would be afraid of coming on this show. People like presidential candidates would avoid it like all hell. Obviously this is because they are full of lies, and they don’t want to make fools of themselves coming off of a real debate where they both end up with negative scores. It would be incredibly damaging and embarassing. However, the show would start out with braver souls having real debates. And I am sure that it would get many viewers, especially intelligent people looking for real action. The Live factor would also draw a crowd. And if my predictions of popularity increasing are correct, soon the show could force guests. What I mean is that anyone who refuses to come on the show is obviously wrong and too cowardly to defend their position in an arena where truth prevails. So once the show is popular it can run around calling people cowards until they come on the show. Then it can tear them to shreds. I only found out about these guys on Fox News a couple days ago when I downloaded and watched Fox News. Imagine if they couldn’t interrupt or insult people! Maybe they would get so pissed off that they would start swinging fists. This is good because it jacks up our ratings a-la Jerry Springer and it also locks up crazy nutsos in jail.

Because I will probably never get a TV show I have found a way to start small. I can set up an IRC channel. Then let two people go at it in IRC. All supporting empirical evidence will require bibliographical citations to back it up. After the debate is done I can take the logs and give them to impartial people to score. The scores and logs can be posted unedited on a site. That site will be super cool, super popular, and will provide the basis for the eventual TV show.

I do not know if this will actually ever be pulled off, but I do know this. I know that it will be a show of courage. People who lack confidence or bravery will not watch this show. Weak willed people will be crushed by it because it will denounce many of their personal beliefs and outright and falsehoods. And stupid people will come on and be publicly humiliated. And all of this is fantastic. Why? Because it is a way in which we can combine the coercion and entertainment value of television with enlightenment. The key to maybe improving the world a little bit by making stupid people a little more informed. And I’ve got the balls to give it a try.

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