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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 15 Dec 2006 10:23:10 +0000
Simon Buckingham Shum <[log in to unmask]>
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Simon Buckingham Shum <[log in to unmask]>
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Dear Colleagues

May I invite you to consider whether this experiment intersects with  
your own projects to participate. Relevant fields include information  
design, e-democracy, critical thinking and argument/information  


Dr Simon J. Buckingham Shum
Senior Lecturer in Knowledge Media
Knowledge Media Institute & Centre for Research in Computing
The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK

Experiment 2: Iraq Study Group Report, and subsequent debate


On 12 Dec 2006, the Iraq Study Group, convened at the request of the  
US administration, published the findings of its assessment of the  
current and prospective situation on the ground in Iraq, its impact  
on the surrounding region, and consequences for U.S. interests.  
According to one of the assisting institutes, the US Institute of  
Peace, the group's make-up and activities are summarised as follows:

Ten public servants—five Democrats, five Republicans—make up the ISG.
Four organizations facilitated the ISG: The United States Institute  
of Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS),  
the Center for the Study of the Presidency (CSP), and the James A.  
Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
44 people served in four Expert Working Groups to advise the ISG.
The Iraq Study Group spent 4 days in Iraq in August/September.
There were 9 plenary meetings of the ISG.
The Iraq Study Group consulted with 136 people in and out of  
government before September 19, and 171 people total as it prepared  
its report.
Members of the Iraq Study Group are not being paid in any way for  
their work.
Following the report's publication, there is now wide-ranging debate  
on the different options rejected and recommended in the report.

Experiment 2 asks:

How can computational tools assist in understanding, communicating,  
searching and tracking the debate?
While we are of course concerned with Computer-Supported  
Argumentation tools, given the quality of resources on the Web, we  
welcome Players working with other kinds of tools for summarising or  
analysing internet discourse (e.g. blogs, feeds, social tagging,  
public forums, video, citation analysis). In internet debate, it is  
likely that such tools will play an increasingly important role in  
Computer-Supported Argumentation, and this experiment provides a  
testbed for Players to share demonstrations.

If you are running a project working on the challenge of raising the  
quality of critical thinking, whether in private or public  
deliberation, we encourage you to consider participating in this  

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