[eDebate] Secret Topic Committee insight

Joe Patrice joepatrice
Thu May 24 18:14:54 CDT 2007

To be fair, the discussion Andy was asking about in our conversation
yesterday was why the resolution eschewed "including" for "and it should
include" which is the kind of hypertechnicalization of the topic writing
where I had little constructive to add.

But it's a good segue to my general rant, which is that our topic process is
a representative democratic process -- everyone on the committee did a great
deal of work and strived to create the best possible topics from their point
of view.  They were elected because the community (either polled as a whole
or within constituencies) wanted them to exercise their judgment (either as
committed topic drafters or in my case as a CEDA administrator).
Personally, I share the opinion of some of those complaining that topics are
increasingly, unnecessarily complex and had I wrote the topics myself they
would have been different, but that's not how a deliberative democratic
process works.  In the meeting, I raised various issues, the other members
of the committee listened intently, we engaged in a fair debate on each
subject, and if an idea of mine was accepted, it was accepted and if it was
not, I did not stand in the way of the process, rather I respected that,
after fully airing my objections, the other members of the committee did not
share my opinion.  My point is, if a healthy group of the community
shares a view (such as the one that apparently makes Korcok, Elliott, and
myself unlikely bedfellows), then find people with that opinion to run for
the topic committee because the committee will listen and if enough members
share an opinion then it will be represented on the ballot.

At the end of the day though, I don't believe there is any crisis.  Every
one of these topics will provide for a year of good debates.

And Oden is going to be awesome even if Durant may, at first glance, fit the
system better.  He was only in the Big 10 for a year -- playing
unbelievably boring basketball didn't have a chance to totally sink in.

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