"This is a discussion that's going poorly, I know what will fix it, let's expand it to an immensely larger group of people!!!"

How often has this seemed emminently reasonable to you?

Boosts appreciated.

Discussion / Spoilers 

Discussion's also invited, though I prefer use of CWs until the poll's completed (3 days from now).

As I'd commented a few times and the hashtag should have made clear, this poll is about the "Marketplace of Ideas" concept, which in one interpretation seems to suggest that if you've got a contentious discussion, the apparently obvious solution is to expand it without limit.

(Other interpretations exist, including that arbitrarily limiting who can discuss a topic at all might be discriminatory, but the question as posed captures a flavour frequently encountered.)

On reflection, the notion does appear rather rediculous. I'd suggest that more contentious questions needs more structured, rather than less structured, discussion. Often with specific expertise or qualifications.

Discussion / Spoilers 

@dredmorbius hm, very contextual. if there is a decision to be made after a discussion and it is in the form of a conclusion/consent then it can make a lot of sense to include more affected people.

if it is about finding a narrative, figuring out a shared understanding, few people are better.

re: Discussion / Spoilers 

@woodbark That seems to me to be a subtly different goal: finding concensus.

In which case it's not so much about having a conversation as coming to an agreement. It's not unrelated, though it's also not quite what I had in mind.

A very good observation though.

Discussion / Spoilers 

@dredmorbius if I expand the table temporarily from 1-2 people to 3-5, I'm trying to brainstorm our way out of a rut, which often works. If I expand the table from 3-5 to 10-15, I'm making sure they stall out bike shedding, in order to get the group out of my way while I do something about it solo, which also works but not as the group intended.

re: Discussion / Spoilers 

@feonixrift Right, and there are any number of similar specific and limited expansions you might invoke for similar reasons:

  • Two parties stuck on a specific point? Call in a mediator.

  • In need of specific expertise? Bring in an expert.

  • Seeking to avoid group-think? Recruit and bring in a specifically diverse panel to contribute ideas / challenge assumptions.

  • Larger group that needs to have specific discussions? Break-out sessions. Or mediation between specific groups or individuals wih conflics. Or you just put a lot of air between those parties.

There's even the case of needing to sell an idea to a large group and so you bring in that group (or take

I was kind of hoping it was a bit more obvious that the specific practice I was calling out and ridiculing is the "Marketplace of Ideas" --- which seems to argue that in a very heated discussion, the best way to get a rational conversation and bring out the truth is ... to involve everybody all at once.

Because the more I think about that, the more redic it seems to be.

(In the original spirit of "don't arbitrarily prevent a minority voice or viewpoint from being heard, on its own merits", there's some value. That ... doesn't seem to be where the discussion usually goes, if it goes anywhere at all. The cliche has a remarkably-strong thought-stopping power.)

re: Discussion / Spoilers 

@dredmorbius I guess my take is largely that beyond a certain scale, expanding a group is more likely to be an effective tactic to stall it than to speed it up.

@dredmorbius This reminds me of the episode of The Office where two people disagreed whether or not Hilary Swank was hot or not. By the end of the episode, everyone was involved in the debate and it hadn't really gone anywhere.

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