Debateoke

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If you've been following the presidential debates at all, you've probably found yourself thinking, following a few botched answers: "Man, these guys do all that prep and I still could've answered better than that." Well, a friend has devised a way to put that to the test: Debateoke.

Thanks to the wonders of TiVo, you can just pause the debate as it's airing after the moderator's question. Assign one person to defend Bush's position, another Kerry's, and give them a minute each. Then see how the actual candidates do. Sound geeky? Sure. But you're reading a libertarian political news & opinion site; you're a geek, embrace it.

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  1. Or you could just videotape it and do the same damn thing.

  2. Jason Bourne stole my thunder to the effect: Reasonoids are lucky to be able to afford TiVo.
    What’s WalMart selling it for these days?

  3. Of course. But most people (around here, anyway) want to watch the debates at least approximately as they’re happening. And it doesn’t really work the same if you’ve already seen them before you give it your own shot.

  4. I’m not a geek, just a geek enabler! 🙂

  5. I don’t get it. If you’re reading a libertarian political news & opinion site, why would you want to defend either candidate’s position?

    The only exception I can think of is Social Security reform, where Bush has some good ideas. I’d like to think he’ll bring them out or (even better) endorse Cato’s plan, but based on the past two debates I suspect he’ll play it safe and not mention them.

  6. Hm, I pay an extra $10 a month for a PVR from my cable company. Not really breaking the bank for that.

  7. Actually, I picked up my TiVo box for $50 (after rebate). It’s the service fee that’s hard to swallow. But at $300 for the lifetime of the box, I figured it wasn’t THAT bad of a deal. Hell, VCRs were more expensive than that when they were first available, and they didn’t have 1/10th of the features that TiVo does.

    Hmm…if I could find anyone who actually cared enough to try to defent Bush or Kerry’s position, I might try this. heh

  8. Well, there’s the game. Can you mount a coherent sounding defense of either with a straight face?

  9. It sounds really fun. And, we can do variations of making either the most logical statements OR the most politically marketable statements. We also could do the same thing with video taped academic type debates between scholars and also between ideological types.

  10. Just checking in from my conference. I’ll probably miss the debate tonight. There’s a reception and an interesting symposium. My Wi-Fi access sucks right now. I think something is wrong with my laptop.

    Gave a good talk yesterday. Afterwards a lot of people congratulated me on my results and asked a bunch of questions. I got to have dinner with a good research group.

    Hope things are OK on the forum. I’ll be back to more frequent commenting over the weekend. Gotta go.

  11. We need a way to incorporate the internet and do this through the blog.

    joe would be a good Kerry, and we’d have to nominate a Bush …

  12. Yeah if you got directv the TiVo fee’s only 5 bucks or so, but otherwise its pricey. Still R0X0RZ though.

  13. “OR the most politically marketable statements.”

    THAT’s fun? You got some whips and chains in your closet, too? 🙂

    Actually, I can think of a certain perverse charm to that. Would you have to consider having your statements used against you in the future, too?

    Ooh, ooh, whip me harder!!

  14. “We need a way to incorporate the internet and do this through the blog.”

    Hey, you Reason staff types. How about a simultaneous live blog from each perspective? One guy gets to be Bush and the other gets to be Kerry. Gillespie already told us how you are voting, so you could pick your favorite. Use TiVo if it helps you formulate …

  15. Since it looks like the LP and the Greens won’t be debating tonight, why don’t the third parties set up a debate with TiVo? They could do something similar and still have bush and kerry there? That would be hilarious. Do a webbroadcast. I’d have that running while I watch the debate on tv.

  16. Damn, I came here to suggest what iconoclast just suggested. I think some cable network could run it as a “four-way” debate, and put them at podiums just like the other two. It would be great telivision.

  17. Maybe they should do an MST3K thing. It might fit in better with the…ummm…somewhat less than serious public images they helped foster at the St. Louis debate, among other places.

  18. thoreau got results!
    Film at 11!

  19. Iconoclast has a great idea, but my head already feels like it’s in a blended just from contemplating it.
    I’m old, understand.
    Laugh-In was always a little too quick for me.
    I wanted to see Goldie Hawn in slow-mo.

  20. Jason Ligon,

    Pick one of the rabid Bushophiles like Mona.

  21. thoreau,

    Tell us about your results, sans equations.

  22. Rick-

    I studied what happens to waves when you stack a bunch of materials (imagine a sandwich of many layers) randomly, and then add in small particles. That may sound pretty abstract and dull, but such a system is a good model for elastic waves in the earth’s crust, electronic waves in some materials, and optical waves in a variety of materials being proposed for optical integrated circuits.

    Theorists thought that they had this model nailed down pretty well. I had no clue that theorists had already solved it, so I managed to find an exception. Mathematically my exception is a rare one, but because it’s a fairly simple system it’s one that’s frequently studied (both mathematically and experimentally) it’s an important one.

    I proved that waves in these systems are not always trapped the way people thought that they are, and that when they become “delocalized” they behave in a very interesting manner that has ties to all sorts of interesting concepts in physics.

    I don’t claim that it’s the world’s most useful result, and I’m certainly not the biggest story of the conference, but I was pretty popular during my particular session.

    To me, the most important thing about this result is that I proved that I can do good theoretical physics. I shot a hole in a theory put forward by a very prominent guy and showed that the physics behind this exception is quite rich. I also followed this work up with some easier but more practical calculations for a chemical company that needs to optimize some of their plastics, so I can be a practical theorist in addition to working on abstract models.

    I got an offer of a postdoctoral research position at a good university today. There will hopefully be more offers, and this offer is contingent on putting together a good research proposal, but my prospective advisor is confident that she can obtain funding if we put together a decent proposal. Even if the proposal isn’t accepted, she has funding for some other projects where she could use me, so I have the security of knowing I have this offer. I’ll know in a few months what my definite plans are.

    Anyway, right now I’m in 7th heaven. My shuttle back to the hotel is about to arrive, so I have to go. I suspect this thread will be buried by debate threads, but so be it 😉

  23. Jason-

    We need a way to incorporate the internet and do this through the blog.

    joe would be a good Kerry, and we’d have to nominate a Bush …

  24. thoreau,

    Thank you for the info. It all sounds very exciting. Congratulations to you. Could it have application in “quantum dot” research…

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/046504428X/reasonfoundation-20/#product-details

    …or earthquake theory?

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