Standard hang-ups foil urban debate

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By The Staff

People are masters at drawing opposite “facts” from the same state of affairs. An analysis of big cities illustrates how poorly the public forum performs. We see the reasons that public dialogue is so strong a barrier to creating a new idea from parts of differing ideas.

How do cities work? We see they do. Some work better than others.

Does a city work if it has good workers and poor leaders? Or do cities work better if they have top-notch leaders and leaden workers? How do things look from where you sit?

People with either view cite a time and place their view proved itself.

In such ‘n such case, poor leadership caused havoc. In so and so instance, poor work caused havoc. So what? So both reports are true and neither answers the question.

We see here a standard hang-up met in discussions. Call it Hang-Up Type 1: dialogue muddled with handpicked shreds of fact.

Or we can apply the tool of analogy. Use the line about the chicken or egg. Are good workers or good leaders needed first, to get the other one going? Does one matter more than the other for keeping things going? Or does the analogy picked do the deciding?

An analogy clarifies one idea, while confusing other ones. Meet Hang-Up Type 2: dialogue muddled with a shortcutting analogy.

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