Introduction to Social Objects Deliberation

Written on:April 20, 2014
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Social objects deliberation may be the key to one of deliberation’s most eminent problems. In every occasion of deliberation I have ever participated in, that problem persisted. The problem was defined by Habermas, Cohen and others, as how to let everybody participate equally in the deliberative event? The problem arises because in every event participents can have only limited time to speak, and as the number of participants grows, this limited time is divided by more people, thus resulting less influence for each participent. In such cases, many important ideas and suggestions are lost in the blender of mass communication. Meaningful Discussions, thus, become less possible. To overcome this problem, many deliberative settings are dividing the multitudes in to manageable groups of 6 to 12 participents. But then the problem is that every group may have meaningful conversation on it own, but there is a lack of communication through the intra-groups medium.

To solve these difficulties, one of the solutions could be to create a medium on which, all the groups can discuss simultaneously, and all agreements can be summarized in a comprehensible fashion.

One of these mediums can be the social objects deliberation medium (SODM). This medium of deliberation seeks to map the subjects in discussion into separate-related objects. Every object is related to other objects and influence other objects, while being influenced by other objects. Every object has properties that influence other objects. These properties can be discussed and their truthiness can be refuted or established. Every object and property can be assed individually, by a groups, while other objects and their properties can be simultaneously be assed by other groups, and a network of related objects which their corroboration is regarded as high, will emerge from the separated discussions, thus resulting a highly corroborated social objects network (SON).

SODM is not a new concept. Debategraph, compendium and Ekkli where web applications and a software that tried to materialize this idea. Each of them had its weaknesses and strengths, but as far as I know, all of them were not intuitive enough to become widely used.

A new hope in SODM tools recently appeared in Incoma. Incoma is a new tool for SODM. The new hope in Incoma is not yet coming from its design but rather from it being developed under open-source license, thus letting members of the on-line deliberation community develop Incoma and make it better through collaborative effort.

To be able to mutually develop Incoma, the Incoma team suggested that we will establish a forum on Incoma itself. Although Incoma may not suffice for discussion right now, it will push us to develop Incoma to our own needs so we can have meaningful objects oriented discussion.

One can help Incoma through sharing ideas or by helping with code writing. You are all welcome to sign to this discussion through Incoma, or follow Incoma blog or this blog to participate in the discussion.

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