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User talk:Brooks Lindsay

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Thanks, Ali Thanks, Ali
 +==Issues with the cost of calories==
 +I'm going to be honest, I spent around an hour, if not more scouring the internet for more cost articles, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding things. I'll keep looking, but I doubt I'll be able to find much more. Sorry.

Revision as of 05:52, 20 August 2009

Editing locked pages

Brooks, how do I edit the main page - it is still locked. Matt 03:30, 13 April 2008 (CDT)

Idea: Feature debates on main page

Hi Brooks, still not sure how to edit main page.

When I can, could I put a "feature debates" section. My idea is that there are 3 or 4 really interesting debates that can be drawn attention to. I could update it every weekend with another 3 or 4 debates I think would be really interesting for the public. So could I please do that?

By the way, honestly, don't be afraid to say no if you think it's a bad idea. --Matt 04:12, 13 April 2008 (CDT)

Editing Main page

Hi Brooks - I can now edit the main page - thanks. With the interesting debates, I was thinking that it could be for debates that were interesting but not necessarily lengthy in information or up to Daily Debate Digest standard. Things I was thinking of were things like the common tomato - fruit or vegetable question (Debate:Tomato:Fruit or Vegetable).

Also, could I right now have a go at updating the Daily Debate Digest to the Iraq debate and adding to the past debates list? Matt 23:03, 13 April 2008 (CDT)


Great, thanks. And also, thanks for the quick reply. Matt 23:09, 13 April 2008 (CDT)

Updated main page

Brooks, I've updated the Daily Debate Digest to the Tibet debate, I hope you don't mind. You may want to edit it or put in a different "primer" video - it's up to you. Thanks Matt 06:30, 15 April 2008 (CDT)

CJ Portal

Thank you.


Accoring to the message you get when editing all pages are licensed under the GFDL. If this is th e case it should be indicated at MediaWiki:Copyrights Jonathan Winterfield 13:35, 15 April 2008 (CDT)

I've just checked and actully it needs to be MediaWiki:Copyright, sorry. Jonathan Winterfield 02:08, 16 April 2008 (CDT)


Sorry about publishing the debate too early Matt 16:44, 15 April 2008 (CDT)


Okay,thanks for the formatting tips Brooks, I'll fix some of it up now. Matt 16:46, 15 April 2008 (CDT)

Tibet Debate

Could I post Tibet debate on the main page now? Is it at good enough standard? Matt 23:35, 15 April 2008 (CDT)

Publishing Tibet debate

Okay, I'm about to publish the Tibet debate. I do think it's currently at high quality - I've checked it out. Terribly sorry if you didn't wanted it published yet but you're not online so I'm going by what you said this morning. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I'M DOING SOMETHING WRONG!!!! Matt 00:38, 16 April 2008 (CDT)

Earth Hour

Hi Brooks, this doesn't really have much to do with Debatepedia, but I was just wondering, do you know if they have Earth Hour in America? Thanks -- Matt 18:34, 16 April 2008 (CDT)

Argument of the week

Brooks, the 'Argument of the week' has been the same for over a month. Could I start updating it on a weekly basis? I was thinking for this week of Argument: Boycotting the Olympics only deprives athletes. I think it was suggested by Bronwyn on the suggest a debate forum. Please let me know what you think -- Matt 23:34, 17 April 2008 (CDT)


Brooks, when I'm writing about weight, should I use pounds or kgs? I know it's a US based site but most countries use kgs including me (I live in Australia). Matt 17:18, 18 April 2008 (CDT)


Okay, thanks Brooks. Matt 19:25, 18 April 2008 (CDT)

Australia republic debate

Hi Brooks, right now in Australia, the Australia being made a republic debate is a huge issue. I've put it next on the publishing calender: Do you mind if it's next on such short notice? -- Matt 03:46, 21 April 2008 (CDT)

Pesks ruining some pages

I think you may have noticed Brooks, but if you have a look at recent changes and following the links to the pages edited by users with their IP addresses showing, they are ruining pages and adding random, unnecessary blank subquestion sections. Could I block the people causing havoc? I thought it would be better to ask you first. Matt 19:56, 22 April 2008 (CDT)

Argument 2 deleted

You have probably noticed this but argument 2 on the European Union debate appeears to be deleted - Now what?? -- Matt 20:13, 22 April 2008 (CDT)

I think it's over

Hi Brooks, the pesks appear to have stopped editing and the ones who aren't blocked, I issued warnings to them - I think it worked. For now anyway, I think they've gone (or at least stopped editing). Matt 20:36, 22 April 2008 (CDT)

Blocked users are still vandalising pages

Brooks, if you have a look at recent changes, 1 particular IP address account is adding many subquestion sections to random debates and vandalising pages. Their account is blocked - I don't understand how they're editing when they were blocked this morning for two weeks - ??? -- Matt 23:38, 22 April 2008 (CDT)

Australian republic debate

Brooks, I think the republic debate is really good and has a lot of key information. For me, there was just one thing that was missing. The Commonwealth Games is like the Olympics and runs every 4 years (the next games are in India in 2010). You may or may not have heard of them. They have a huge national spirit and Australia usually does very well. In 2006 they were in Melbourne (Australia) and it was a massive event. I noticed that you didn't mention the Commonwealth. You might want to add a section about the pros and cons of missing these games (they're only open to the Commonwealth.) -- Matt 17:56, 25 April 2008 (CDT)


I am very sorry i didn't reply sooner i was out of town up in the mountains! I am back and willing to prepare some arguments.

Capital Punishment

Im sorry for the confusion I spelled Capital Punishment wrong when searching. Who decides the "verdict"?

Im sorry

I know I have made a lot of mistakes thus far... I'm really sorry about all of my mistakes so far and I'm doing everything to correct them and learn as I go. I am pretty much a technical noob. And i meant who is deciding the victor of the debate or case we are arguing on capital punishment (Verdict). Im sorry for being unclear. Any advice you can feed me will be greatly appreciated. I have honest motives and I am dedicated to making this site more filled with knowledge. Also thank you for taking the time to contact me with actual "personal messages" instead of stock computer generated responses. Thanks a bunch. Shredyourfaceoff


Ok, sounds great. Once again thanks for the continued input. I will do everything I can to contribute. Once i get the hang of this open source, what are the requirements for being an admin? --Jeremy McNutt

Capital Punishment

Oh, actually I was just fixing up a weasel edit. I haven't been on much lately - are there any major edeiting tasks? Matt 01:07, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

Not a proper page

What do we do with these kinds of articles - Disadvantages of Modernization ?


I think Debatepedia is a fantastic idea. I would be glad to add to the section on condoms in schools. Note that I am also working on the vote for ex-felons. I have a friend who is a professor of criminal justice so I will rely on her for that. Also I started a debate on photo identification of voters.

Volunteer Work.

Whoops I forgot to add the tildes. I would be glad to volunteer to add some material to the debate on condoms in schools. Note that I have started 2 new debates: photo id of voters and votes for ex-felons. Debatepedia is a very exciting idea. Jane 11:54, 12 May 2008 (CDT)

NYC Condom Dispensers

This does not fit in the condoms in schools debate, but it has some relevance. The NYC Department of Health is conducting a Condom Campaign. They plan to put up 2,000 especially designed condom dispensers in health care facilities, clubs, barber shops etc. You can find a picture of the dispensers at this site: [1] --Jane 13:12, 12 May 2008 (CDT)


Hi Brooks

Thanks for getting back to me. I am very interested in helping editing and tomorrow I will start looking for pro/con resources for animal rights.

and I will also start going through the list of what is needed concerning the editing.

Thanks again Clodagh --Clodagh 13:14, 12 May 2008 (CDT)

Style Guides

Hi Brooks, Have you thought of having a consistent style for references? I don't know what Wikipedia does, but here is a website that describes the most commonly used styles. [2] --Jane 13:35, 12 May 2008 (CDT)

Re:How's it going?

It's been going alright. I have however not got many editing tasks that interest me. There's always the underdeveloped debates but most of them don't interest me. Any suggestions? Matt 23:21, 12 May 2008 (CDT)

Hi Brooks,

I have been so enthusiastic about jumping into Debatepedia that I have not read all the instructions. I will do that before going any further. Probably for that reason I don't understand what you mean by credentials for quotes. Plus, now for some reason I can't seem to get back into my references to put them in alphabetical order. Hopefully my reading will help me with this.

I looked at the debate about the Iraq war, and it is awesome.

Jane--Jane 07:05, 13 May 2008 (CDT)


Is there a page where users can request that other editors help with adding to debates? Jonathan Winterfield 11:12, 13 May 2008 (CDT)


I will happily Volunteer for one hour a day.Jonathan Winterfield 11:14, 13 May 2008 (CDT)

Hi Brooks, Somebody really cleaned up my section on ex-felon right to vote last night. It looks great! I have used it to send out a soap-box alert on I did give an attribution to Debatepedia.

I plan to work on cons next. If I can't find anything, I will try calling Florida Republican legislators.--Jane 08:18, 14 May 2008 (CDT)


I suggest that Debatepedia release press releases about monthly and provides a way for the media to recieve update by email. My other organizations do this and I think that it would be helpful in expanding Debatepedia


Jonathan Winterfield 09:59, 14 May 2008 (CDT)

Media Kit

As I explained on the community forum, I have redesigned the Media Kit as I think that the previous Media Kit needed improvement as many journalists prefer to see all important information linked to from the top of the page. I hope you don't have any problems with this. Thanks,Jonathan Winterfield 11:29, 14 May 2008 (CDT)

Libertarianis debate

Great work on the Libertarianism debate! Thanks, Jonathan Winterfield 10:15, 16 May 2008 (CDT)


I think the inputbox mediawiki extension would be useful for this wiki as it would allow a debate creation box on pages. Thanks, Jonathan Winterfield 15:56, 16 May 2008 (CDT)


Brooks, do you advertise Debatepedia at all? Where? Just wondering. Matt 02:18, 17 May 2008 (CDT)


Okay. How would you do the monthly newsletter? I have seen some ads for this site on YouTube? Who is in them? What are you doing with them - If you could afford it they would make good TV commercials I think.

Right now I don't really have any suggestions. Most of the things I can think of would cost a fair bit of money (Eg. Newspaper advertising) but I'll think about it -- Matt 18:05, 17 May 2008 (CDT)


I will help with adding the links back to the parent debate. The community forum seems good and it may get more attention now it is moved to the top of the sidebar. Also, I added the section “Evolution: Should animals be given rights on the basis that humans have rights?” but it hasn’t formatted correctly. Do you know any way to fix this? Thanks, Jonathan Winterfield 13:55, 19 May 2008 (CDT)

Thanks for fixing the formatting for the section "Evolution: Should animals be given rights on the basis that humans have rights." Jonathan Winterfield 13:57, 19 May 2008 (CDT)


What needs to be improved on Debate:Vegetarianism before it is added to the main page? I will happily develop it but I am not sure how it should be improved? Jonathan Winterfield 12:48, 21 May 2008 (CDT)

Debate:Drinking age, lowering of

Sure Brooks. I'll start working on the drinking age debate. Maybe we could put it into the daily debate digest sometime next week? -- Matt 21:19, 23 May 2008 (CDT)


Well Brooks, the debates I'm currently interested in are the drinking age one, the kangaroo culling one (however that's already developed well), the Wikipedia debates ie. Are wikis reliable (which I think they are) & Wikipedia inclusionists vs deletionists, and environmental and animal rights debates in general (eg. light pollution). I'm constantly intereested in new debates however. Would you like to start working together on something. Matt 01:32, 27 May 2008 (CDT)


Yes Brooks, I would be happy to work on the wind power, or any other debate with you tomorrow. Please let me know what you want to work on. I probably won't be available however tomorrow until about 5pm my time and that is when you usually stop editing for the day (presumably you go to bed for the night).

Saturdays suit me better. That is your Fridays. Probably better to talk to me about colaborating then. Also, just to let you know, you forgot to sign your last message to me. Matt 01:38, 28 May 2008 (CDT)


The new title for the wiki debate is great. Also, thanks for improving it. Jonathan Winterfield 02:08, 28 May 2008 (CDT)

Could you please help me?

Hi, I'm new to Debatepedia. Could I get a little help, please? I'm looking for anything really in today's society that represents conflicting views about whether or not they reflect the constitution and/or democratic ideals. Any ideas?

Updating main page

Brooks, when you're updating the main page (eg. putting in a new argument of the week), please try to remember to update the past arguments of the week page as well. Thanks -- Matt 03:58, 30 May 2008 (CDT)


Hey Brooks, I'm free tomorrow (today by the time you see this message). Would you like to work togethter on any particular debates? If I could make a suggestion, what about the veil ban in France one or many the laser pointer ban debate? What do you think? -- Matt 03:58, 30 May 2008 (CDT)

Server problems

Brooks, I'm having problems with the "server." On the page Argument:It is easy to catch people with laser pointers, but it's not easy to catch people using them improperly. it will not edit. No problems on any other pages.

I don't know if you have the same problem, but could you try and write this on the page for me? Otherwise the page is half-blank. Under "Supporting quotes", could you write:

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said that making it illegal to carry lasers will help police crack down on the improper use of the devices.

"We have had incidents where we have detected somebody with a laser in a vehicle, we weren't in a position to act," he said.

Thanks, Matt 22:35, 31 May 2008 (CDT)


Brooks, I'm a bit confused - what did I post? Matt 00:57, 3 June 2008 (CDT)


Okay; I might have actually ?? Doesn't really matter anyway -- Matt 03:27, 4 June 2008 (CDT)


Dl you think we should use the sitenotice to display highlight debates needing improvements/good debates instead of leaving it blank. The sitenotice appears at the top of every page on this site (but it can be changed to be visible to logged in users only). Jonathan Winterfield 12:47, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

It appears at the top of the page when there is actual content in the sitenotice, more than the default -.Jonathan Winterfield 13:42, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

Here is an expample of the most basic sitenoitce, the text size and other things could be change like with all other pages. The welcome to debatepedia is the page title and the thing above is where sitenotice would be:


Jonathan Winterfield 13:46, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

messages at tops of pages

Hi Brooks, I've noticed that in the last few days, you've had messages at the tops of all the pages. How have you done that? Has it worked? -- Matt 02:05, 7 June 2008 (CDT)

Updating SiteNotice

Brooks, how do you update SiteNotice? -- Matt 17:19, 7 June 2008 (CDT)

Press Release

Shall I submit the press release to some press release sites so it is more visible on the internet? Jonathan Winterfield 12:09, 10 June 2008 (CDT)

I've submitted it to several press release sites, now we just have to wait to see if they approve it. Sending the release to publications that might be interested into the article would certainly be a good idea, although I cant think of any to recommend. Jonathan Winterfield 12:31, 10 June 2008 (CDT)


Hi Brooks. Sorry, I haven't been on too much lately. I hope you don't mind that I've just updated SiteNotice. I'm assuming that tomorrow's daily debate is the one about adoption by same sex couples. If not, just change it and/or let me know. -- Matt 18:58, 13 June 2008 (CDT)


The site notice needs updating. Have you got any suggestions for a debate the could be on the sitenotice? Jonathan Winterfield 11:42, 24 June 2008 (CDT)

revise the edited arguments

Hi, Brooks. I've being reading the resources and the edited arguments in "Decriminalizing marijuana possession debate" page. Could I revise the edited arguments if I find it not appropriate?

For example,under the subquestion "Would decriminalizing marijuana possession increase other drug use?, in Pro column should say "yes" which is "increase" but an argument is saying "reduce", I think it should be in the Opp column.Jing 21:20, 26 June 2008 (CDT)

about work report

Brooks, I want to make sure that u want us to write the work report on our user page where we writer our introduction? I've done that, if I misunderstood your command and wrote at a wrong place, pls let me know. thx.Jing 17:48, 27 June 2008 (CDT)

Tomorrow's daily debate

Sorry, I've just edited Sitenotice. I should have checked more thoroughly - is tomorrows daily debate confederate flag banning? -- Matt 18:49, 27 June 2008 (CDT)

Assigned task on user page?

Hey, you said you assigned a task on my user page on NAFTA reading 5 pro and con articles but I can't find where the task is? Where's my user page etc. I know this sounds incredibly stupid but I am very confused. Thanks Ali. Ali 17:26, 28 June 2008 (CDT)

Needs attention

If you see recent changes, as you've probably noticed there are a couple of new debates that need attention :) -- Matt 07:14, 30 June 2008 (CDT)

daily debate

I understand that you are not currently focusing on a particular debate to put into the daily digest. I don;t think it's such a good idea to leave any debates (currently GM foods) as the daily debate for too long, so what I propose is that we put in the nuclear power debate today or tomorrow. It won't need much more work as it is currently of fairly high standard. And remember, they really don't have to be too lenghty to be a good quality debate. If you like I can work on it tomorrow afternoon to bring it to better standard and then post it while you continue cleaning up the site. It's up to you really :) Matt 07:18, 30 June 2008 (CDT)

Debate:McCain vs. Obama

I have just started Debate:McCain vs. Obama and it would be great if some of the editors could help develop it as, although I will try to edit it as much as I can, I think it would be great if this debate became very developed due to the fact that the presidential election debates are very important. Thanks, and sorry I haven't been editing as much lately, I had a lot of work to do so I didn't have much time for editing, but now my work level has returned to normal , I should be able to edit every day again. Jonathan Winterfield 15:27, 30 June 2008 (CDT)

Thanks for the advice, by the way, according to the count of articles on the Main Page you have just created the 7000th page. Jonathan Winterfield 16:08, 30 June 2008 (CDT)

Capital punishment

Hi, Brooks. Do u still need help on "capital punishment" edition? I'd like to. I've scanned the page (organized!).Jing 09:37, 2 July 2008 (CDT)


Brooks, pls tell me which part needs more focus (which parts are vacant and need more support) so that I can accumulate my effort to do it. Otherwise, I don't know where to begin since some arguments have been almost finished.Jing 13:25, 2 July 2008 (CDT)

read "politicians" ??

do u mean that I should read what u have got and summerize or make them like a "polished"(good) claims?Jing 14:03, 2 July 2008 (CDT)

Ohhh, I see.

finally, I understand. thx.Jing 14:18, 2 July 2008 (CDT)


But all the "politicians" are against C.P. and most of their words just declares they opposed it without giving any essential reasons.Jing 15:50, 2 July 2008 (CDT)

Hmmm, thanks for the example. I understand. But the more arguements have been quoted, the more difficult to get new arguments from that.Jing 17:07, 2 July 2008 (CDT)

Changing username/password

Is it possible to change my username or password or both? -- Matt 19:30, 4 July 2008 (CDT)

China one child video

You might want to try playing the video on the main page. It's not working. -- Matt 20:24, 12 July 2008 (CDT)


I updated the sitenote to show tomorrows daily debate according to the publishing calandar. I hope this is not a problem. Jonathan Winterfield 12:32, 15 July 2008 (CDT)


You might of noticed that I have been adding supporting videos to a few of the NATO argument pages. I just wanted to check that policy allows supporting videos on argument pages. Jonathan Winterfield 13:52, 15 July 2008 (CDT)

Blurppy issue

We are in Turkey and there was a tehnical error setting up the page. That Blurppy thing was done to see if a change could be made. The problem was fixed, but the topic couldn't be deleted. Jonahabe 22:33, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

Recent activity from Turkey

Hey Brooks, I'm sure you've noticed that lots of (generally poorly formatted) debate pages have been popping up on debatepedia over the past couple of days. The British Parliamentary class here at the Turkey Institute is learning how to write issue briefs, and they're using debatepedia for it. I apologize if there are redundant topics, but we needed them to learn how to start important issues from the beginning. The pages can be merged soon if there are any strong redundancies. Also, apologies for any formatting and page-naming disasters; all of our students are new to debatepedia and editing wikis in general. I will do my best to clean up errant pages.

Also, the country pages I posted were written by the students as well; I just posted them for them. If all goes well, we'll have 25 country briefs up in a few days. The ones up there right now are unedited, and as some of them were written by kids from the relevant country, they can be very one-sided right now. We are currently working on peer revisions, though, so the ones that go up over the next couple of days should be stronger. I created a category page for the country briefs (category:country briefs). I'm also going to create a category for our issue briefs (category:bp issue briefs 2008) so that the kids in our class can see the full list of what we worked on.

JTowsen 04:11, 17 July 2008 (CDT)


- THBT is used expression not only in World Schools, but also in other debate format (Karl Popper etc.) - THBT stands for This House Believes That...


Hi, Brooks. Should I continue to edit "Marijuana" debate or move to a new one? There is one problem happens when I open the "Marijuana" page and the left part, the whole "search" column can't be seen.

As for the capital punishment, I edited one day but didn't contribute a lot because I felt it's really difficult when the page has been edited a lot so I didn't know how to add new things into it, even the capital punishment has been debated for a looooooong time.

Pls tell me what topic should I work on and if I can do a new topic, I'd like to help with China's "one child" policy bcoz I am in such a generation. And if "Marijuana" needs edition, I'll continue.Jing 15:29, 18 July 2008 (CDT)

Re: Suggestion

OK, thanks for the advice, I will use a better title in future. Jonathan Winterfield 16:43, 18 July 2008 (CDT)


It's excited to explore a virgin land. I've started to collect related material. And I need leave for a while and will come back to work on it tonight.Jing 17:30, 18 July 2008 (CDT)


I'll have a look at the Wikipedia page and see what I can add. On another topic, we seem to be getting lots of new users at the moment. has Debatepedia started advertising or something? Jonathan Winterfield 02:55, 19 July 2008 (CDT)


Sorry about the delay, I'm really back on. i've been trying to do the public forum nfl nationals topic about sep. 11th policies, but I don't know how to start that page can you help? until then, i'll work on the eu constitution debate thanks, --Jenna821 12:25, 25 July 2008 (CDT)

and I've done the wikiquotes thing on the eu reform treaty, but i didn't think there were many quotes to use... i moved 3 and added some external links also, i added you on windows live but you didn't seem to accept? anyway, i'll be working on the developing world debt cancellation until the sep. 11 policies page goes up thanks, --Jenna821 13:26, 25 July 2008 (CDT)

next assignment

Thanks for the advice. When editing it, I also felt it too long but didn't pay much time on polishing it. Well,no preference. Pls assign me one. THXJing 22:11, 28 July 2008 (CDT)

Dear Brooks

Thank You So much for listing me on the Active editors! I actually feel shame since I haven't really done much. Well, at least from now on, I'll work harder! Thank you again :) I think I prefer to just look around for editing tasks. I had a hard time looking for the data for landmine, and realized that I'm not really good at this thing :( I actually have failed many times to complete the task I chose (among the list of editing tasks), and had to look for something else. I think that's why I don't get much outcomes compared to the time I spend in working. Well, I constantly try, though, and I think I'm improving(though it's very slow :D) and I really do love being a part of DEBATEDPEDIA! Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to participate in the internship program!

Have a nice day:D Bye --Eun9038

Thank you

Thanks for helping me start up my debate page. I'm actually a student with a summer assignment to find an interesting topic and then come to this site and start a debate page on it. Once again, thank you.

Matsteo 12:28


Sorry for not being around for the last few weeks. I had a 5 day workshop on debating at one of the universities here in Korea and it was a great experience. I have actually never participated in a real debate, and there were so many experienced debaters so I got to learn a lot from them(although our team lost many times) Also I had two interviews from the universities I applied for so I was quite busy preparing for them. I have another one tomorrow but after that I'll have some time to get back to work! :D I feel bad being on the Active Editors list and not doing anything! Anyways I promise I'll get back and make up the work I haven't been doing! :) Have a nice day! Eun9038

Debatepedia wins grant from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation

I have submitted Debatepedia wins grant from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation to several press release websites to increase awareness of Debatepedia. I hope this is not a problem.

By the way, sorry I haven't edited lately, I have been very busy. I'll be able to edit reguarly again in Septemper. Jonathan Winterfield 04:38, 22 August 2008 (CDT)

I have just recieved an email from i-newswire saying that the release is published at The press release has also been published at I'll wait and see if other sites approve the release. Thanks, Jonathan Winterfield 05:43, 23 August 2008 (CDT)

Of Course. Sarah Palin

Yes by all means you may use what i wrote. I'd just like a link so that i can see what other people post and comment about my ideas.


Good to hear from you

Hi Brooks, I have not been on that often lately, I've been going away a lot. I will try to edit a bit more. It's good to hear from you. Matt 16:08, 7 October 2008 (CDT)


Here in Ontario, it is a major issue. Cottagers face very large tax bills when farms and town homes pay much lower taxes. However, cottagers get fewer services.--SteveHFish 21:22, 6 November 2008 (CST)


I'm sorry I haven't edited over the last few months. I've been very busy. However, my work life has calmed down now and I shouldbe able to edit reguarly again. Jonathan Winterfield 13:59, 13 November 2008 (CST)

I'm trying to add to Debate: Parking Fines, which is currently rather small. I'll also try and add to the fairness doctrine debate at some point too. Jonathan Winterfield 15:36, 13 November 2008 (CST)

Response to your Response

Thank you for replying to my comments. That's encouraging.  :-)

A couple things I believe we agree on:

  • Answers are not entirely possible within the subjective realm of debate
  • Representing the public debate and its arguments are indeed important
  • Providing sources to represent the public debate is important
  • There is some amount of worth in the present setup of Debatepedia and its content (good job!)
  • That there are axiomatic arguments (both fundamentally and assumed) as well as style and taste in choosing between arguments that partially makes up the (valid) subjective realm of debate

Something we may or may not agree on:

  • Answers, or at least partial answers, are possible within the objective realm of debate -- that not everything is subjective. At the very lesat, I think even an absolute relativist would have to concede that an argument is more or less likely to convince people -- that it is impossible to hit an even 50/50 divide -- and that strong agreements could be somehow represented in a rigorous (see below) fashion.

A couple things I believe we disagree on:

  • I got the feeling that axiomatic arguments were discouraged in favour of arguments for which you could provide a source. The editing policy seems to be like Wikipedia's in that un-cited statements are discouraged. I do agree that, if relevant, sources should be cited. I disagree that all arguments are such that they can or should be cited.
  • I don't believe that Debatepedia adequately provides the public with the sort of structure that can support rigorous back and forth critical thinking -- argument, counterargument, countercounterargument, and so forth. For a chess player, commentary of only the next move, or perhaps two moves, is only so useful. Following out the lines, one can come to definite, or fairly definite, conclusions either by eliminating entire branches of the problem space, preferring other branches, or ascribing yet other branches to be desirable by certain types of players (objective and subjective interplay). Such conclusions through informed rigour are quite valuable, attainable to some extent, and what I (and perhaps others) are looking for. Ideally, I would like to see that informed conclusion alongside the argument, with the ability to click into the argument and see the variations. I'm looking for analysis. Debatepedia currently supports reporting with little analysis, much like amateur chess players correctly finding the options, but just idling about giving only their hunches and not doing any deep thinking.

Actually, I like the game of go as an example better than chess -- it fits the subjective considerations better -- but it's less known.

But, in short, debate is like an internal game of chess. If I argue this way, then this or this may be the counterargument. And I really can't argue this way, or they'll counter with that, and there really isn't any good answer to that, unless you're this sort of person. A good debater can read out the lines just like a chess person can in a chess game. A useful book on chess openings has some fair bit of depth to follow, should you want to, along with general comments. Debatepedia should follow suit, IMHO.

Epte 16:15, 13 November 2008 (CST)

A final thought

I guess all the previous could be summed up by: Breadth is good. But breadth and depth is better, particularly when the depth doesn't get in the way -- you can descend into it if you want.  :-)

This site provides good breadth, but provides only rudimentary depth.

Epte 16:24, 13 November 2008 (CST)

Breadth and Depth, an example

Hi Brooks!

Hm... I'm not sure what _you_ mean now, since both of your options sounded the same to me.  :-)

Perhaps I can clarify through a hasty and incomplete concrete example:

Looking at Year Round Schooling, the first No argument to this particular section basically says that it's an issue of resource allocation -- if you allocate resources for year-round schooling, then you're taking away from continued teacher education, and improved teacher methods. Perhaps they mean that educators themselves get educated during the three months of school break, more than monetary issues. However, suppose I have a counter argument that I'm leaping out of my skin to put forth: cited evidence that, in fact, the large amount of student achievement by having those extra three months AND not having to change gears from idleness to industriousness more than make up for any gains made by increased education of teachers. I would want to click into that No argument, and add an entry in the (nonexistent) counterarguments section. And suppose someone else wanted to say, yes but, education of teachers is a cumulative thing, whereas the study you cited was only over the course of two years (with a wonderful cited study of course), and they would click into that counterargument and provide their own counterargument. And so on...

This could be a great help those those enmeshed in this debate, hearing these arguments and counterarguments. If only argument pages could themselves be something like a mini debate page with counterarguments, that would allow for the depth I'm looking for, but it seems that's unsupported -- I have found no examples of this sort of back and forth in any of the debates and arguments I've looked at. Perhaps it's just not being used and I assumed that this sort of editing isn't supported, but in actuality is, in which case I'm eager to jump in and start providing depth.  :-)

Epte 17:02, 13 November 2008 (CST)

Oh, it IS supported!

Oh, very good then!

By the way, the year round schooling example was entirely made up -- those were hypothetical citations. But I'll find others. *grin*

Sorry to waste your time with what turned out to be just a dumb thing I missed. Thank you for answering my rather dumb and very roundabout question.

When I get a moment, I'll go edit my comments on the comment page appropriately.

What I'd love to see eventually is to come across people having a debate on a forum, and the quality of information presented in Debatepedia prompts someone to refer to one of the argument pages, like how wikipedia gets cited frequently.

Epte 17:33, 13 November 2008 (CST)

Re: Welcome

Hey Brooks,

Thanks for the warm welcome. I apologise for my grammatical/ortographical policing. It just hurts my eyes.

I found Debatepedia this week. It's brilliant! With abundant content on the web, it's refreshing to find a website that both concisely summarises ongoing debates without restricting itself to the so-called neutral common denominator, as Wikipedia aims to do.

Editorial tasks? Throw them over. Not sure what I'll be able to fit in, but if the debate inspires me, you might just be able to twist my arm.

Regards. - André


Hi Brooks,

It's refreshing to stumble across a site that provides an interface for stimulating and civilised discussion on major global issues, by serendipity. I am rather confused with the way the site works so your offer of guidance is graciously accepted.

Thank you for your encouraging comments. You may know that I did also comment on your decriminalisation of prostitution page but my comments first appeared under the incorrect subheading, but then disappeared altogether which was rather bemusing


mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients

Hi there, I just wanted to say that I've got this article covered and should be done with it by tonight, though it's been slow going so far.

thanks, Riamia2724 18:59, 28 December 2008 (CST)

question about sources


If a debate page has a pro/con resources section, is having a references section and external links section necessary? thanks Riamia2724 12:44, 18 January 2009 (CST)


Have you made any progress on upgrading your forum? Also, you might want to archive your talk page so that it loads more easily for people with slower connections. We have a decent article on archiving:

--Krystle 23:38, 3 March 2009 (CST)


I'm not familiar with either of those services. I do think, however, that the affiliate program would be an awesome fit for this site. You get a small commission on any of the books that are bought within 24 hours of a person clicking an Amazon link on your site (even if it's a different book than the one suggested). I'm actually really interested in how Amazon's affiliate program would mesh with a wiki. You could have each debate auto-generate a link to relevant books on Amazon. Or when contributors cite a book as a source, that could link to Amazon. Or you could even invite editors to write reviews on books that are relevant to particular debates. Lots of possibilities. =) --Krystle 14:46, 5 March 2009 (CST)

P.S. - I just realized I might've misunderstood your question. Did you mean putting banners on Debatepedia, or putting Debatepedia banners on other sites? I assumed the former. I also wanted to mention that I think banners hurt the credibility of a site, almost as much as pop-ups do. I just read a presentation that banner ads hurt credibility, and even the classiest banner ads are not cool. I'd really recommend text ads (like Google ads, that's what wikiHow uses) or Amazon (and even then, some of those are a little too gimmicky).

Re: Ads

Yeah, the text ads are a little bit in your face, but they're what keeps the site afloat. The good thing is that once you register, you don't see the ads anymore--at all. And even if you don't register, you have the option of turning off the ads. People seem to appreciate that option.

I know that for me, being the dork that I am, I'm much more likely to click on a book link than anything else. Especially if the book is relevant and thought-provoking. --Krystle 15:22, 5 March 2009 (CST)


I am not sure, or at least I don't think I can articulate the improvements I have in mind without a long discussion. Right now I am checking out some of the debates on the site to get a better feel for it. When I come up with something specific I will let you know. What I am thinking of would radically alter the site, and I am not sure if that is what you want. Jake 00:48, 16 March 2009 (CDT)


That is the first time anything I have ever done has been featured on anything. (I am still kind of new at this) As I have time and learn more about wiki markup I want to do a lot more. (I still don't know how to upload an image or YouTube video)

About a year ago I had an idea for a site like yours, and went as far as getting a Mediawiki site up [Debatrix] but then I got frustrated and stopped working on it. A few days ago I picked up the project again, then found your site. With my busy schedule I don't think I will ever have the time to develop my site, so I am going to spend my energy adding new content and making suggestions on how to improve this site. Jake 15:14, 18 March 2009 (CDT)

Re: Comments

4,500 hits a day is great! The best Debatrix has done is 4,400 in a month, and since I don't even have a logo yet I think most people are just clicking on it because they are interested in the name. Jake 18:41, 18 March 2009 (CDT)

Re: Christ Debate

I will try merging the pages with cut and paste. After this is done should I create a redirect from the original page? Jake 22:00, 19 March 2009 (CDT)

I just read both pages, "did a historical Jesus ever exist?" and "Historicity of Jesus" They appear identical. Would it be OK to just create a redirect from the historicity page to the other one? Also, I would like to add a YouTube video to the page but have no idea how to do it. Could you give instructions or point me to a good "how to" url? The movie I want to add to the page is the 9min version of "Zeitgeist" it has a very convincing argument for the side that Jesus did not actually exist. (I would also add a link to the full 2hr version of the movie that is available free on Google video.)Jake 22:23, 19 March 2009 (CDT)

Re: Yeah

I am telling all of my friends about Debatepedia and a link to this site will be the first link I add to my site. (As soon as I figure out how)Also, I plan on mentioning Debatepedia on my Hubpage. I just started working on my first hubpage as a safe way to experiment with working with some of the ad programs like Google's and Amazon's to see if I want to use them on my site. I still haven't decided if I want to create my site as a commercial site or as a non-profit like Wikipedia. By the way, have you organized a non-profit yet? If so I just saw that there is a wiki extension for accepting donations. If you decide to go commercial I think you should add word ads. I know some people are put off by these, but personally I find that I don't even notice them. But if everyone were like me Google would make no money because I never click on an ad. (unless it is a book I want to buy, ha ha). Jake 22:44, 19 March 2009 (CDT)


thanks for the advice brooks. i am in europe so a phone call would be costly. what's the long-term goal for yuorself and debatapedia? - User:Slim husband

Underdeveloped debates

Brooks, I have been going through a lot of the debates in the "underdeveloped debates category". Some of them have nothing but a title and the rest is blank. They have been there, unedited for more than a year, and have been viewed about 10 times. And some were started by users who visited the site once and didn't come back to finish it off. Should we just leave them, spend a period of time developing them all or just delete them.

On the contrary, some in that category were completely developed and shouldn't have been there. Matt 21:42, 27 April 2009 (CDT)

Communtity forum

There is A LOT of content on the community forum. No-one wants to read that much so do you think of we should delete old and no longer relevant posts there? Matt 19:43, 1 May 2009 (CDT)


How can I make a link to the underdeveloped debates category page? Matt 19:45, 1 May 2009 (CDT)


How did you come to get ads on the site?

Are they costing anything or are you making money? Matt 05:28, 7 May 2009 (CDT)


Well, I'm not a huge fan of the ads but I guess if you're generating profit out of them then that's a good thing. Is it much profit?

By the way I like the new category portal on the main page. Matt 18:44, 8 May 2009 (CDT)


Ok... What does being an intern involve and how is it different to what I am currently doing? Yes I am interested though. Matt 21:40, 16 May 2009 (CDT)

Should War Be Televised

Thank you so much for putting my article on the main page! I am a middle school-er and i was having some extreme problems researching that topic!


You can put me down for internship, but I can't guarantee 8 hours a week - I have other things to do. Matt 05:24, 28 May 2009 (CDT)

Nuclear test ban treaty

Yes I would be able to do that (but not right now)but can you just have a look at the structure of the page. It doesn't look right. Matt 18:54, 12 June 2009 (CDT)

Just to say hi

Hi Brooks Lindsay, I see you have a very successful site going. Actually like Jake, we are facing the same problems, i.e. not much technical know-how, and marketing is a problem. You have solved both of these by collaborating with William Wnekowicz and the International Debate Education Association (IDEA).

I actually started a similar site two years ago because I enjoy intellectual debates. Luckily my attempt failed miserably, otherwise I would have wasted a lot of time. No way I can beat your combination of skills and resources. Your site will trash me to pieces, LOL. Also, your name, Brooks Shields, ooophs, I mean Lindsay Lovelace, oppphhh... I mean Brooks Lindsay, does sound good. It really does make a difference in the internet. — Ekompute 04:36, 15 June 2009 (CDT)

A MediaWiki programmer/developer? No, no, I wish I were! — Ekompute 13:14, 15 June 2009 (CDT)

Thanks for the advice

I'll be sure to exercise better word economics in the future. I wasn't sure about the exact paradigm I was supposed to follow so I went overboard trying to make sure I accomplished what I was supposed to. Thanks, Ali Breland

Can you take a look at this?

I have been creating an argument page (your recommendation) and have been having a hard time getting the sub-questions to fill the whole screen only does half the page...

Argument:Is Life A Discretionary Status/Title

Thanks for any help. --StudentCongress 21:23, 30 June 2009 (CDT)


I am creating Argument:Is Life A Discretionary Status/Title as a sub argument for Debate: Human life as beginning at conception --StudentCongress 16:13, 1 July 2009 (CDT)

Move of my comments re Falklands/Nootka

to Nootka Sound Convention does not apply to UK in Falklands

Thanks for the welcome. My worry about your move of my comments is that it might make it more likely that fewer people will read them. Dab14763 23:42, 5 July 2009 (CDT)

Thanks Brooks. However, the section you've headlined "Supporting Quotations" was not written by me and was there before I wrote my piece, so it is a separate argument from mine.

Too busy

Sorry, I've jsut been too busy lately to make any progress so I'm not sure that being an intern is going to work. Matt 23:15, 6 July 2009 (CDT)


On the debate page about Mars or the Moon mission i noticed how you made the subquestion title misc. arguments to be organized soon. Well i saw that and i decided to try and save you some work. So i tried my best to organize the misc. arguments. --StudentCongress 07:31, 26 July 2009 (CDT)


Thanks : )

Point taken! i will keep that in mind))

cheers Elena Isac 19:46, 26 July 2009 (CDT)

ragarding changes

  • nuclear sustainability - that's fine. i guess it's better this way
  • single-sex schools - most of the arguments are already written in some form, but i'll have a closer look on them

anyway, i will do this the next days. TODAY we have re elections in Moldova. Maybe you've heard about the elections in April, when we had a Parliament in fire. well, we vote today again. and tomorrow we find out the results. it's a really big thing here. and i hope the communists don't win.

here's a link, if interested:

but after the results, i'll get back to editing:)

cheers! Elena Isac 07:00, 29 July 2009 (CDT)


yep! the title works i actually wanted to ask you how to change the name, to make the capital letter and so. but you did so it's fine. however the page is not finished yet.

) cheers!

Elena Isac 18:18, 2 August 2009 (CDT)

Deletion of an (empty) debate

I'd like to ask - is it possible to delete a debate? I've accidentaly created a new debate "Debate: space based solar power", but there is already "Debate: Space-based solar power" and I don't want to duplicate it.

--Renergy 09:09, 4 August 2009 (CDT)

videos and others

Hey Brooks,

i updated the video section according to your suggestion. also, i've put your video which is in the external links, in the pro/con videos section, cause it takes one side. i dont know if you agree with this. it is up to you where it stays, so just remove it from the section you want.

cheers, Elena Isac 18:42, 12 August 2009 (CDT)

Overlooked Issue

I recently posted a new subquestion/subpoint about the Debate: Civil unions vs. gay marriage because i felt that there was a point the either had been overlooked or forgotten.

This issue is the "separation of church and state" and you can find my argument against the gay marriage side on the subquestion which is 2nd from the bottom.

Thanks, --StudentCongress 23:51, 16 August 2009 (CDT)


I'm on to that issue of the calorie count article

Thanks, Ali

Issues with the cost of calories

I'm going to be honest, I spent around an hour, if not more scouring the internet for more cost articles, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding things. I'll keep looking, but I doubt I'll be able to find much more. Sorry.


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