Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Philosopher-Citizen Q&A with Matthew

The problem with being a compulsive reader is that you are always taking in information. Then the questions start coming in your head and next thing you know you are talking to yourself to find the answers because many people are more interested in a movie star's life than their own community. Then those folks start to call you crazy just because you have a head full of stuff and insist upon sharing it. What do they know, invisible people are more fun anyway.

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One of the goals of the Philosophers-Citizen Institute is to create a climate that encourages citizens to talks about politics, social issues and planetary changes in a non-hostile, rational manner. In this Question and Answer with Matthew I asked him about what he gained from the seminar and what are the benefits for future attendees.

I've actually seen this in action. Years ago on PBS there was a test TV program with NPR's Scott Simon. He had two guest from opposite sides of the abortion issue. Each got to state his case, each had to repeat back what he understood the other person was saying and then offer clarification. Then, as I recall, they spent the remaining time trying to find common ground. No yelling, screaming, distorted or misleading point making. It was three people in a rational discussion on a hard issue. The show was never put into production. Grievous error on PBS's part.

For more information visit http://www.pasadena.edu/phil-cit

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