The Instigator
holla1755
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
levi_smiles
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Information Transferred over Older Mediums Is Always More Legitimate

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
levi_smiles
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/22/2017 Category: Technology
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 295 times Debate No: 104078
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

holla1755

Pro

The older the medium over which information is transferred, the more legitimate the information is. For example, information received face-to-face from another person is always more legitimate than information received through texting on a smartphone.

My thesis for this debate is similar to a quoted claim I made on Twitter on December 28, 2016 (https://twitter.com...), "'The older the medium that information is transferred, the more legitimate the information or transfer is.'"

My thesis for this debate seems to make intuitive sense. Mediums of communication that have been around for longer have withstood the test of time and thus seem to be more reliable, more trustworthy, and more important.
levi_smiles

Con

Thanks, holla-

Pro's theory is interesting and may even contain a kernel of truth: as Pro states, the notion of "time-tested" satisfies a certain intuitive sense. As with many an intuition, however, the application of consideration quickly disproves the theory.

I'm not sure that Pro's use of the adjective legitimate (conforming to law) is as constructive to the case as reliable (consistently good in performance), trustworthy (honest), and important (of great significance or value).

So far, Pro has offered one example: face-to-face communication vs. texting. I think we can agree that talking is generally more reliable and trustworthy then texting. Texting depends on good network connections. It is probably easier to lie by text. But I can think of exceptions: if one person is deaf, for example, or heavy accents. I think I might understand a person with a provincial Scottish accent more effectively by text.

I'm less convinced about importance. Texts can be saved and referred to later. This has a tremendous advantage in terms of correcting misunderstandings or poor memory. Which testimony would you prefer in a court of law? Two peoples recollections of a face-to-face conversation or a print out of their texted communications? Texting, in this context, would seem more dependable.

Pro's principle, then, is highly reliant on context.

Which medium would be more reliable for communicating the wind speed of a hurricane, the time-tested windsock or a satellite image?
Which medium would be more trustworthy for warning of a terrorist attack, time-tested smoke signals or an emergency radio broadcast?
Which medium would convey greater importance for a presidential speech, a time-tested post card or a new fangled television address?

If Pro's proposition proved always true, what prevents people from reverting to more legitimate communications? If a telegraph is always more legitimate than a telephone, why haven't we returned to communication by cable?
Debate Round No. 1
holla1755

Pro

When I use the word "legitimate," I may be using it in sense 2 of Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, located at https://www.merriam-webster.com.... This sense relates to being true, sincere, and genuine. It seems I'm not using the word "legitimate" in the "conforming to law" sense you've mentioned.

I'd like to give examples such as the following two, but I'm afraid they can be complex.
1. Receiving information on a touch-tone telephone is more legitimate than receiving information on Skype.
2. Receiving information in handwriting on paper through the mail is more legitimate than receiving information on a touch-tone telephone.

The reason I think those two examples can be complex is because it seems the entire path of transfer of information of an information transfer must be older than the entire path of transfer of information of a second information transfer in order for the first information transfer to be more legitimate than the second. If at least one part of the entire path of an information transfer involves brand new technology, such as a brand new type of telephone line, a brand new composition of paper or ink, or a brand new method used to produce the gasoline in a mail truck, that may affect the legitimacy of the information transfer. It seems an information transfer can only be as legitimate as the least legitimate part of the entire path of the transfer.

It seemed to me that more legitimate people actually do use older, more legitimate communications more often than less legitimate people do. But as I think about it more, it seems that more legitimate people may actually use newer communications more often than less legitimate people do. Nevertheless, it may be possible that: those newer mediums of communication are less legitimate than older mediums of communication, and more legitimate people use newer, but less legitimate mediums of communication more often than less legitimate people do.
levi_smiles

Con

P: I may be using [legitimate] [as] relates to being true, sincere, and genuine.

C: Fine

P: I'd like to give examples such as the following two, but I'm afraid they can be complex.

C: Ok, but you've ignored my refutations in R1. I pointed out cases using your example, face-to-face vs. text when texting might be more legitimate (deafness, accents, permanent record, court). I went on to cite 3 more examples in which the older media (wind socks, smoke signals, postcards) was less useful, dependable, legitimate.

P: touch-tone telephone vs. Skype

C: It would seem that touch-tone shares most disadvantages with Skype but Skype confers some advantages of face-to-face: facial expressions, gestures.

P: letter vs. touch-tone

C: A touch-tone has some advantage: immediacy, the capacity to cross-examine without preparation. A letter might be a more legit medium for serving a subpoena but less legit for breaking up.

P: An information transfer can only be as legitimate as the least legitimate part of the entire path of the transfer.

C: Ok, but I don't think this ammendment to your theory disproves any of my counter evidence: wind socks, smoke signals, & postcards are not distorted by partial reliance on newer technologies.

P: More legitimate people use less legitimate media & vice versa

C: Even if you could prove this true, such a condition would make your main postulate harder to prove: personal integrity distorting the legitimacy of media. I can't see how this forwards your argument either way. If this was meant to resolve the question about what prevents people from returning to older technologies as they prove more legitimate, I don't think it does.

If Pro's theory is always true, grunts and gestures (as the oldest forms of human media) ought to always prove most legitimate. I don't think Pro's theory is holding up under even this brief examination of cases. I hope Pro is prepared to explain in R3 why my contradicting cases don't break his theory.
Debate Round No. 2
holla1755

Pro

Ultimately, face-to-face communication is more essential than texting is. If the electricity goes out for an extended period of time, there will be no power to text. If an electromagnetic pulse bomb goes off, or a geomagnetic storm disrupts life on Earth, texting may be impossible. Texting is done on the terms and conditions of the telephone company and the government. There are people that come between a sent text and a delivered text. Those people may include employees and shareholders of the telephone company, government legislators, and civilians with the ability to cause mischief by destroying the avenues through which the text would be transferred. All texts are transferred under the contingent will of all those people. There are people that constructed and allowed a smartphone to reach its owner's possession. All information sent and received by that smartphone is sent and received under the discretion of all those people. Materials to build a smartphone may sometimes be unavailable. Face-to-face communication is not as contingent on other people and on other intermediate factors such as weather and the telephone company's technology. Texts may be preferred over a face-to-face conversation for testimony in a court of law, but what was texted at some time in the past is not as meaningful as what is happening immediately before a person. For the sake of living life, the present time is more legitimate than the past. For all these reasons, face-to-face communication is ultimately more essential and more legitimate than texting is.

Information transferred over newer mediums may be more trustworthy and more immediately useful than information transferred over older mediums is. That I do not deny. My main thesis regards the ultimate legitimacy of that information.

There's the adverb "down to the wire" (https://en.wiktionary.org...), which means at the end of something, or ultimately. The "wire" is in opposition to "wireless."
levi_smiles

Con

P: Ultimately, face-to-face communication is more essential than texting

C: We're back to Pro"s first example which we established was true in some contexts, less true in others. Yes, f2f communications would be more reliable than texting in the wake of an EMP. But f2f communication would be a distinct disadvantage in other contexts. I've already given a few but here"s another: sending out an AMBER alert after a child has been kidnapped. A law enforcement official who eschewed text alerts because f2f communication was deemed more legitimate would lose her job. The question Pro failed to answer was how the "time-tested" media theory overcomes such obvious exceptions to the rule.

P: F2f communication is not as contingent on other people"

C: Pro is raising the virtually axiomatic concern that increased complexity in any system introduces more points of failure, more possible outcomes, less predictability. But complexity is fundamental to modernity & we"re back to my unanswered question about why people don't return to grunts & gestures if that form of communication is patently more legitimate than any newer media. In my view, the comforts & potentials of modernity are unsustainable by old ways & methods.

P: ultimate legitimacy

C: As used in the sense of authenticity. Consider Trump. By Pro"s theory, Trump"s use of older media- speeches, meetings, press conferences ought to ultimately always prove more legitimate than Trump"s use of social media because those methods are more personal, less complex. But does anybody really doubt that Trump"s tweets aren't the more authentic, legitimate expression of Trump"s personality as opposed to when he reads prepared remarks?

I think Pro"s theory has been disproved. Intuitive as it may seem there are many cases & contexts in which newer media are ultimately more legitimate than older media. If a painting of a murder scene was intrinsically more legitimate, detectIves would always sketch a crime rather than take a photo
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Arganger 3 months ago
Arganger
holla1755levi_smilesTied
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Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm giving pro the more reliable sources as he used the dictionary to support his use of the term, "Legitimate". Con on the other hand made better arguments for the original topic, being, "Information Transferred over Older Mediums Is Always More Legitimate" Of which pro even admits being faulty by the end of the debate here, (Keeping in mind the keyword Always), "Information transferred over newer mediums may be more trustworthy and more immediately useful than information transferred over older mediums is. That I do not deny."