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Welcome and Introduction

Hey all, welcome to my blog!  I’m running this blog as part of CollectKnowledge, an initiative of the Choate Debate Team, so I’d like to take a moment to introduce the project and talk about how my blog fits into it.

My name is Evan Goldstein, and I am a senior at Choate, a boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut, where I am heavily involved with the debate team.  For the past year, I have been in charge of a “pod”, or a group of young debaters (primarily freshman) just starting debate.  While at the outset, being a pod leader was primarily a teaching role for me, it has become a more profound intellectual exchange.  As the members of my pod became adept debaters in their own right, they no longer needed my support with the basics of debate, and as such, our pod became akin to a team, a unit.  Much of our time in the latter months was spent discussing relevant issues within our society, like government policy, the Israel-Palestinian crisis, and philosophy.  We all greatly enjoyed this exchange, and feel that we have grown as debaters and as people as a result.

When the school year ended, two of my friends approached me with the idea of continuing this discourse during the summer.  After some initial planning meetings, we decided to launch CollectKnowledge, a network of blogs run by members of the Choate Debate Team, designed to facilitate our continued interaction and discourse on the most profound issues of the day.  The project is so called in reference to the theory of collective intelligence; which is to say, a diverse group of individuals, each with different strengths, weaknesses and backgrounds, will reach a more effective conclusion through collaboration than any individual could.  Each week, our bloggers will write on one topic, taking a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach.  The topics will be selected for relevance, complexity and opportunity for discourse; we want to pick topics that have many aspects, so as to create numerous areas of inquiry for bloggers to examine.  The goal here is dialectic, not debate.  We have spent nine months on the debate team trying to prove ourselves right; now, we will try to discover what is right through collaborative discourse, not adversarial contention.  Through this discourse, we hope to continue to become more knowledgeable in our daily lives, as well as to sharpen our skills of argumentation and reasoning.

All of the blogs will be public, and are open to comments at any time.  We encourage anyone, debater or not, to participate in our dialogue.  We have high hopes for this project; it will be enlightening, it will be relevant, and above all, it will be fun.

 

Stay tuned!

-Evan Goldstein ’12

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