Chris wrote back to my proposal in this post as follows:
Starting this morning, I'm going to redirect the conversations on FB and Twitter. I will disengage with what few stragglers that are left of Ingrid's supporters on my FB Wall and not engage any new ones that might show up. That will settle things down on my social media.That seems reasonable, Chris. I'll do the same.
I will also hold of on publishing the blog post that I have ready.
Aside from that I cannot offer anything more at this point.
I'm assuming that means we're trying my offer out. Thank you for that. I said "We can talk about what the process would look like, etc. if you're interested," so that's what I wanted to cover now. I hope we can hammer that out pretty fast (I don't want to waste time arguing about the shape of the table we're at, but if the point is clarity and understanding, setting expectations and methodology at the outset seems prudent).
I suggest as an initial step that we isolate and explore the concept of bridger. Put another way:
- I claim you haven't understood the real meaning of the term, so your critiques have been ill-aimed
- You claim the term is inherently fallacious, so using it demonstrates poor discernment
In both cases, the term's definition is central, so I propose a goal of getting to the point where we agree that both of us understand what the "bridger" concept meant to include, as it was originally used. (I know it's a little dangerous to put it that way, because I'm not speaking for Ingrid, and she proposed it. I will be defending my understanding, based on what was written and what I've heard from Ingrid on the radio and on the phone. I believe I've got it right, but I'll grant Ingrid could disagree in the future, especially on any extended applications.)
In scope would be what's already been written, so long as it can be defended as relevant to the goal.
The following discussions/charges would be out of scope:
- Whether Ingrid (or others) have applied the term to people wrongly
- Whether the term itself is reasonable and worth using
- Any comments on the way you (or others) have criticized the term or those who have used it
(I'm not saying these things aren't important or unrelated. I'm just trying to minimize scope to a useful, manageable starting point.)
If we get to the goal, we can talk about a next step, if one makes sense. At a minimum, even if no other step could be taken, I believe understanding on this point would give valuable context to everything else that's been said.
I believe these two characteristics are mandatory in our discussion, to keep to the spirit of the offer:
- It must be limited. That means just the two of us, without comments from the peanut gallery.
- It must be public. The content needs to be available for anyone, to ensure transparency and accountability moving forward.
My thinking is that however we do this, we would be the only ones participating in that arena during the discussion. If other people post stuff elsewhere commenting, we wouldn't encourage it or participate there, but we can't prohibit it; commenting in other places is their prerogative. I'm also not insisting you lock yourself in an isolation booth; I'm guessing we'll both get private side comments from people. Considering those may be part of thinking through things. I'm just saying we are the only ones talking and we're totally responsible for setting the context of the discussion.
I'm flexible. Generally, I'd prefer written communication; with the limited scope of the initial goal, that doesn't seem to be a huge burden, though we'll want to be careful to stay on topic and not shotgun a bunch of points in at one time. We could put it on my blog; I'd only approve comments from you. If you have a different location you think would work and still satisfy the process characteristics I've listed, let me know.
If you'd rather talk over the phone or Skype, that could probably be done for at least part of it. I'd want to record anything and make that part of the record; if it's not hours long, I could probably get a transcript made. I think some sort of written conclusion (giving the final state relative to the goal) is needed, to be given by the two of us (at the same time, if not jointly). I'd want your agreement on that at the start.
We need to decide on a forum, unless you're okay with using my blog, and I'd like you to agree to the scope and goal, the two mandatory characteristics, and the written conclusion, all listed above. If you have questions or points of clarification, let me know.
IMO, once that's pounded out, we'll have set up the ground rules and can get started. I have a starting point in mind, but I'm open to any ideas you have.
I'll post this separately on my blog as part of the process and wait to hear from you.