CreateDebate


Debate Info

10
13
Good Idea Bad Idea
Debate Score:23
Arguments:19
Total Votes:24
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 Good Idea (9)
 
 Bad Idea (10)

Debate Creator

jessald(1913) pic



What do you think about paying experts to post?

Good Idea

Side Score: 10
VS.

Bad Idea

Side Score: 13
2 points

Do you ever get the feeling that CreateDebate is just a bunch of people speaking loudly about things they barely understand? Sounds like life in general, I know, but I think we can do better...

In my experience there are basically two types of debates:

1) Knowledge vs. Ignorance. One person knows more about the issue than the other person. The more ignorant person throws out his or her uninformed opinion and the more knowledgeable person explains to them why they're wrong. The knowledgeable person is essentially tutoring the ignorant person, except they're not getting paid for it, and often their "student" isn't interested in being educated.

2) Knowledge vs. Knowledge. Both people have a more or less equal understanding of the issue. They both state the reasons for their beliefs. Both sound reasonable. This is where things get tough. To find out who is right you have to start doing a lot of unpaid research.

To give an example, in this debate, David said, 'The basic premise behind the idea of a "corporation" is a way for the people who run a corporation to absolve themselves of any responsibility, while at the same time reaping any financial rewards.'

Now, I'm not trying to pick on David, here. He's a good guy. I'm just using this debate as an example.

While I'm pretty sure that there is a grain of truth to his statement, I'm also pretty sure it's exaggerated quite a bit. But in order to disprove it, I'd basically have to become an expert in corporate law. I actually started down this path -- for about thirty minutes a day for three days, I read up on corporations and the issue of "corporate personhood". At the end of those three days I had a better grasp of the issue, and was more convinced that my initial reaction was right, but still didn't have a solid enough understanding to refute him. Eventually I just decided I didn't care enough and stopped reading.

Now this got me thinking, what if there was someone on this site who actually did understand corporate law well enough confirm or deny David's statement? What's more, wouldn't experts weighing in on various issues really help raise the quality of debate around here?

So how could experts be drawn to the site? How about by paying them? But where would the money come from? How about by making their arguments "premium content"? The arguments posted by experts could be blurred out unless the user has paid a fee. You would still be able to see the arguments from the "normal people" for free.

I think this would be a great way to turn "a bunch of idiots shouting at each other" into a productive and educational experience.

Side: Good idea
frenchieak(1131) Disputed
2 points

I don't really think that's the feeling the site is supposed to be. Granted, I could be wrong, I don't know what the creators were thinking, but this is what I think.

If that were to happen, which I think we both know is pretty unlikely because of the costs involved with finding and paying experts in areas so diverse as those debated here, then I think it would drive away input from the average user, besides creating debates just to have experts answer and see what the "right" answer is, even if there may not be a right or wrong answer.

It would change the site from one where people can discuss opinions and dig up facts when needed, even if that is happening less and less often these days, to an educational site where people come to read what experts have to say on a subject or ask them a question.

Even less appealing is a debate where someone posts information and then the expert comes in and corrects arguments and tells people they're wrong or their information is wrong, and this is the way it really is.

Now that I've said that, I would also like to say I agree with you on parts of this argument, mainly the two types of debates, and that drawing experts into this site wouldn't be a bad idea at all. It's just that making people pay must be tough. Free things are way more popular than things you have to pay for, but there may be other ways to pay for it.

I'm tired and this argument might ramble on... But I hope you get the idea. It's a mixed response.

Side: It's hard
jessald(1913) Disputed
1 point

Here's how it could be paid for:

Let's say a user pays fifty cents to "unlock" an expert argument. The expert receives 90% of those $.50. The other 10% goes to the site maintainers. If 50 people paid to view an argument, the expert would make $22.50. If the expert were to spend 1 hour crafting each argument, and post 1 argument every weekday, at 5 arguments per week, 260 per year and if they got around 50 viewers per argument, then they could make around $5000 a year. This number would grow as the site grew and the expert gained renown. And if the expert chooses to spend more time making more arguments, they could also make more money.

Everything else could be the same as it is now. The majority of the content would still be free. People could still regale us with their uninformed opinions if they chose to do so. Amateurs could still dig up facts and make compelling arguments if they really care about an issue. If an expert informs them of their mistakes or inaccuracies... well, I don't see how that can be anything but good. Experts are not infallibe and people would understand that.

Side: Good idea
1 point

I like this side of the debate better, because I'd like to point out the last form of debate: ignorant vs ignorant. Also, for any of the types you can easily add offensive, because I think most of us, at one point or another, have either intentionally pissed someone else or become angry enough to be mean.

However, this is the point of having an open site. If everyone had to be an expert on what they argued, it would be very lonely. Adding experts isn’t going to make everyone else smarter, it’ll just make some arguments have intelligent commentary that they’ll probably already get.

Side: bad idea

I wouldn't mind someone on here that could intelligently defend their side or at least point out someone is full of shit. Having comments added by a few so called experts; one might actually learn something or at least have a good laugh.

Side: Good idea

I'm willing to make a few bucks on the side.... so...., who's gonna pay me ;)

Side: Good idea
2 points

Why not just look up articles by experts on each subject? I would love for experts to post on here, but I don't think it'd be worth the money when we can find the information through research in libraries or online.

Side: bad idea
jessald(1913) Disputed
1 point

Articles by experts are good, but reading through several articles, finding a good one, and then summarizing the key points for others is pretty time consuming. I mean, when was the last time you posted an article by an expert? :) I'm not trying to criticize you, I'm just pointing out that good research takes more effort than most people are willing to expend. And some questions like the one I had about corporate law are complicated and would probably require pulling from multiple sources, multiplying the work involved.

Also, if someone has a question or a criticism of the article, the person who wrote it isn't there to respond.

Side: Good idea
1 point

True, and touche. But I was actually trying to say that if we want to learn about a subject, we can research it ourselves, rather than talking about posting articles on here specifically.

Provided we wouldn't have to pay for EACH new response by an expert, and that the experts were committed to responding, I suppose this actually isn't a bad idea...But I personally don't have the money for it. Haha

Side: Good idea

I'm not for turning this into a classroom of sorts. If a pro wants to post, that's fine, but I wouldn't care to pay for the information. I'd rather take a well rounded class elswhere, thank you!

Side: bad idea
1 point

First, a disclaimer: I'm a n00b to this site.

However, I don't think this is what this site is about, and I doubt there's a budget for it anyway.

What you want here is a reputation system. Unfortunately, while it's easy to build a reputation system that indicates which users have been around a while and appear to say things that other users like (aka the reward points), it's much harder to build a reputation system that indicates which users are right.

Interestingly, the same problem occurs in scientific publications, where you don't want to let any clown spout some non-sense. There, they "solve" the problem by having editors, and peer-reviewers. It has all sort of negative side-effects, such as delays from writing to publication, errors that make it through and facts that are filtered because of editor and reviewer biases, etc.

But if you accept that your system isn't going to be perfect, then it may be worth trying to attract domain experts to your site, verify their credentials, then give them the ability to pass down credibility points to other users based on their posts. On top of that, add meta-moderators on top of it that will mostly check that domain experts only give credibility points for posts that fall within their recognized expertise. Spend a few years tweaking the many variables of such a system just right, and you may have a winner.

Side: It's hard
1 point

No, there are already enough self-proclaimed experts on this site and if we were to give people actual titles of authority like that then they would have this smug feeling of entitlement and think that their title would make them right about everything.

Let the ideas and words speak for themselves, titles are irrelevant.

Side: bad idea
1 point

The very fact that someone would be paid to submit their expert opinion would in fact create more problems than it might solve.

The paid opinions of experts are still opinions of experts. The only difference betwixt them and us would simply be that they are paid to submit opinions. And quite frankly, should we pay someone to submit an opinion that doesn't hold water compared to the opinions of unpaid amateurs? I do not think so!

note: I appreciate your intention!

Side: bad idea
jessald(1913) Disputed
1 point

The difference between an expert and a non-expert is that an expert has spent hundreds or even thousands of hours studying or practicing in a specific field. Yes, experts can be wrong, but on average, their experience would make their opinions far more valuable than those of non-experts.

Side: Good idea
1 point

It just isn't practical. Paying experts for their views would mean the site would need to raise money. How? There are two good ways- lots and lots of annoying ads or this becoming a pay site. Both of those are bad.

Side: bad idea
1 point

Raising the quality of debates is always a good idea but i don't think this method would work. Even if the price to read an argument by a professional was cheap i don't think people would really go through the effort paying for or be willing to spend money on reading a single argument or selection of arguments from a professional.

Also, being a professional doesn't mean by default that you can explain or argue your point so that others can understand it even if they lack much of your knowledge in the field.

In addition professionals can have different views on the same topic and that could make the arguments bias. For instance, there are professionals economists who believe in Keynes economic model and those who don't. what if only a professional that believed in Keyne's model of economics were to add an argument to the debate? having a supposedly superior knowledge of economics, along with a title as being an expert in that field, might make their argument seem stronger against an opponent's argument even if it doesn't fit logically or isn't backed up as well with sources as the non-expert's argument.

in a medium where you can get a lot of relevant information about nearly any topic for free, it seems as overkill or just unlikely that having an expert's opinion will be utilized since people are generally lazy and unwilling to pay for information (other than college) that they can get on-line.

Side: bad idea
1 point

I'm not a fan of this idea. I like CD because I can read people's honest opinions and thoughts about things. If I want to know facts, I will research them for myself.

I understand your frustration. It can be very cumbersome at times to search for the information needed to make a really effective argument. But having experts post wouldn't solve this. We could get experts on both sides of almost any argument.

Side: bad idea

Paying experts to post is a little bit of a insult because it really depends on your definition of an expert. It is it someone with a PhD or 40 years of experience. I have a degree but not a PhD. Maybe someday, yet I am not a expert. I don't know.

Side: bad idea