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Agree in principle, but one thing that threw me off off the bat- it asked if I was for or against trump. My views are more nuanced than that- to the point I wouldn't feel comfortable selecting either. Not sure how to best express that in the app, but I do think it's one of the things people misunderstand about "the other".



This tool is mind-blowingly effective a warding off the sort of concerns that you raise, of a tool not capturing and reflecting users' many complex viewpoints: https://blog.pol.is/pol-is-in-taiwan-da7570d372b5#.1pbjuwoqa

It's mainly geared toward single-issue consultations and discussions, but definitely worth understanding.

I know some folks who facilitate municipal consultations in one of the largest Canadian cities, a job for which helping often divided participants to arrive at meaningful consensus is high-priority. Their comment after the demo was "My mind is honestly reeling right now. Never in my life did I think any part of my job could be automated and democratized, because what I do is synthesize fuzzy participant feelings in a very unscalable way. But this tool just might automate away some of what we do."


https://pol.is looks like an awesome tool that needs more publicity.


I was hoping it was a text entry box too!


Agreed. Interesting idea, but limits the discussion too much.


Maybe 'rate your support of Trump/the outcome of the election on a scale from 1 to 10'?


Thinking about it, I think maybe four groups: For, somewhat for, against, somewhat against. The app could still match up the "for" with the "against", but users wouldn't feel so gross choosing just for or against.


Even that is not enough. It's still a bipolar scale, and humans are politically multipolar.


You're right. People are "multipolar". There is a way to think of a binary choice being useful here. By looking at a single, big question like this that clearly has a lot of nuance underneath, you can provide the opportunity for people to find common ground even when they are at opposite sides of the overly-simplifed binary decision.


If it didn't divide people into two groups then how would it match them up? Just pick the answer that best fits. If you're really in the middle then you presumably wouldn't need to have the conversation.


You could divide into four groups: For, somewhat for, against, somewhat against. It still wouldn't be ideal, but would be more realistic. I don't think I'm "in the middle"- I simply agree with some policies of Trump's, disagree with others, and have serious reservations about him personally. That said, people "in the middle" deserve to be a part of public discourse just as much as those on each side.




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