Sunday, 15 January 2012

Edge is a Conversation?

Something about Edge bothers me - it bills itself as a 'Conversation' and supposedly its all about getting smart people to talk to each other. According to the Guardian, its the "world's smartest website" and its partially based on the ideas of James Lee Byars - "gather the 100 most brilliant minds in the world in a room, lock them in and have them ask one another the questions they'd been asking themselves"

So it makes it sound like its based on dialogue ... That would indeed be a fantastic site. Socrates showed us how to arrive at the truth through dialogue. And as Wittgenstein said "A philosopher who is not taking part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring".

But the reality of Edge seems to be occasional open questions, with long essays for answers, and none of the thinkers ever being challenged on what they said or entering into a dialogue with any of the others.

If they really want to advance knowledge, it should be a forum, where maybe only certain people are allowed to post, but everyone is allowed to read. Then we'd get some really interesting discussions.

They are missing this obvious direction (allowing dialogue) in such a huge way that it must be a deliberate ommission. In its current form, Edge seems more optimised towards selling books than advancing knowledge.

(Originally a comment on this metafilter thread)

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