Looking for a Devil’s Advocate

March 26, 2009
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I blog a lot about the virtues of exploratory search and the narrow-mindedness that Google and others exhibit in their focus on ranked search result lists, as well as about my skepticism about the value and longevity of the ad-supported model. I think it’s safe to say that I’m largely preaching to the converted–if anything the comments often amplify rather than challenge my premises, or even go further, arguing that I’m understating my arguments.

On one hand, it’s reassuring to hear validation for deeply held but hardly uncontroversial views. On the other hand, I’d love to find passionate advocates for the other sides of these issues who are interested in debating them. I’d like to believe I’m open-minded, even about the beliefs I hold most deeply, and in any case that I’ll offer an opposing argument a fair hearing and serious consideration. I trust that readers here would be just as fair-minded.

The problem is that those advocates don’t seem to show up, even in the comment threads. Perhaps that is because of my incredible powers of persuasion, but I imagine that no one wants to be a lightening rod for criticism, so those

I blog a lot about the virtues of exploratory search and the narrow-mindedness that Google and others exhibit in their focus on ranked search result lists, as well as about my skepticism about the value and longevity of the ad-supported model. I think it’s safe to say that I’m largely preaching to the converted–if anything the comments often amplify rather than challenge my premises, or even go further, arguing that I’m understating my arguments.

On one hand, it’s reassuring to hear validation for deeply held but hardly uncontroversial views. On the other hand, I’d love to find passionate advocates for the other sides of these issues who are interested in debating them. I’d like to believe I’m open-minded, even about the beliefs I hold most deeply, and in any case that I’ll offer an opposing argument a fair hearing and serious consideration. I trust that readers here would be just as fair-minded.

The problem is that those advocates don’t seem to show up, even in the comment threads. Perhaps that is because of my incredible powers of persuasion, but I imagine that no one wants to be a lightening rod for criticism, so those with opposing views lurk quietly or simply take their eyeballs elsewhere.

What to do? Is there any chance that someone who strongly disagrees with me on at least one the aforementioned points would be interested in writing a guest post? I’d even be willing to post it anonymously. I just want to make sure we’re not getting into the intellectual rut of a mutual admiration society.

Please contact me if you are interested; this is a serious offer, and I’m quite open to suggestions on how to make it work.

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