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Sunday, May 13 at 9 p.m. – Intelligence Squared: When It Comes to Politics, Is the Internet Closing Our Minds?

(Rochester, NY) – Does the internet poison politics? It’s been argued that the rise of “personalization,” the use of algorithms to filter what you see online, and easy access to the like-minded, have served to reinforce our pre-conceptions. Is the information bubble a myth, or is it undermining civic discourse? Is the rise of social media really broadening our world views, or narrowing them? Intelligence Squared U.S. presents Siva Vaidhyanathan and Eli Pariser speaking for the motion and Evgeny Morozov and Jacob Weisberg arguing against the motion. Moderated by John Donvan, Intelligence Squared U.S.: When It Comes to Politics, Is the Internet Closing our Minds? airs Sunday, May 13 at 9 p.m. on on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2.

Recently in the U.S., it seems as if partisan rancor has replaced reasoned debate; mainstream media has become contentious and ideological; and discussions of important issues are being dominated by emotion than by facts and analysis. The debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) attempts to change this trend and raise the level of public discourse on the key issues of our day.

Modelled on the British program Intelligence Squared, IQ2US is an Oxford-style debate that is provocative, intellectually rich, humorous, and dramatic. For each debate a motion is proposed. Then, two panelists argue for the motion and two argue against it, with a moderator controlling the proceedings. After the formal arguments, the debate is thrown open to the floor for questions, triggering a lively interchange among the speakers and audience members. Each side attempts to persuade the audience to vote their way. This adversarial context is electric, adding drama and excitement to the pro-ceedings. The live audience will vote on the motion both before and after hearing the arguments, so there is a clear measure of how far people have actually been swayed. Those votes are tallied during the evening and announced at the end with a clear side winning.

Pictured: Moderator John Donvan

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