Dialectic Mode

A variant of ThreadMode in which the participants are DramaticIdentitys rather than real people; a conversation between characters in a play. You, the reader, are encouraged to become playwright and improve the dialog, if you can.

The DramaticIdentitys may have signatures, although they do not need to be Wiki page names. If there are only 2, one may be written in normal text and the other in italic.


In DramaticIdentity the participants signed with Wiki page names. There are similar examples for allegoric identities in GoedelEscherBach, where even animals and group identities of animals took part in intelligent discourses. Wonderful. -- PositiveOne

I don't think we should give the identities too much weight or character. It creates more structure, more ceremony which would just get in the way. New readers may think they need to learn the characters before they can edit - or even read - the script. Still, it's early days. Let's try it both ways and see what works. -- NegativeOne

The SixThinkingHats pages provide ready-made generic names, as do the PositiveOne/NegativeOne pair. All these names suggest a definite role, which may be helpful. -- PositiveOne

I picked Positive/NegativeOne mainly because the wiki pages already existed. And also to demonstrate that such names are artificial, stereotyped and misleading - NegativeOne's final comment above is not actually very negative. -- DaveHarris

[Note: the whole point of using DramaticIdentitys is to not sign your real name.]

DouglasHofstadter uses this in GoedelEscherBach. -- WhiteHat

This will give rise to chat room style handles. Nobody will be able to tell who's written what and there will be no accountability. -- BlackHat

There is an easy work around for accountability. See Integrity of your message below. -- YellowHat

This is a perfect way to fix up all of our ThreadMode. You'll be able to tell exactly what perspective a position comes from by looking at the signature. You won't have to be familiar with the real authors at all and nobody will have their egos attached to the writing so it can all be edited by anyone. -- YellowHat

We could take the names from great books and movies. Like one conversation might have all the characters from GoneWithTheWind? and another could use the characters from WinnieThePooh. -- GreenHat

I like the sense of timelessness this could give to a conversation although I do feel attached to some of the things that I've said. I think that I'd enjoy reading things written in this style but I'm afraid of people chopping up my writing in order to build this kind of dialog. -- RedHat

Integrity of your message? No problem, leave a CritLink annotation for this page here. -- GreenHat

It would be good to have a directory of all the DramaticIdentitys that we can use so people can look them up and pointers to good use of them. -- BlueHat

But that would bias the meaning of the comment, and put a burden upon authors to research and choose the correct identity for the sense they wish to convey. -- BlackHat

Don't get me wrong: I think the "identities" approach is promising. But I think it's really unfortunate that "Dialectic Mode" has been stolen for this usage. There's ThreadMode, and ChatMode, and DocumentMode, and PatternMode ... DialecticMode doesn't not [??] continue that series. The "hats" thing is kewl ... but it doesn't represent dialectics. Socrates didn't rely on anything like "hats" and "identities" but he surely did make use of the dialectic!

For the record, here's what I just jotted in ThreadMode:
"I appreciate the fact that someone brought up the dialectic. To my way of thinking the efficacy of this has nowhere been explored. (http://bentrem.sycks.net/gnodal/ is my coy/cryptic attempt at setting out some thinking on the topic.) Too blithely do we agree with "saying the same thing two different ways" ... what do we mean by "the same thing"? It seems a primordial concept and yet (an aspect of primordiality?) there seems something ineffable about it. Do we actually say "the same thing" when we say it "two different ways"? What I've been exploring (Aharrr, semantic web off the starboard bow!!) is that, like a strange attractor, there can be multiple representations indicating something like an identity, but that what is expressed are actually/merely the more pressing/obvious/operative/salient aspects of that thickening of time/space. (Gack ptui!)"

-- BenTremblay

See also: ThesisAntithesisSynthesis, DramaticIdentity, CategoryMode ConvertThreadModeToDocumentMode, HowToWriteAndEditThreadMode, CategoryWikiMaintenance

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