Reading: Trump has exposed a huge weakness. Democrats should pounce. – The Washington Post

From Trump has exposed a huge weakness. Democrats should pounce. – The Washington Post

it’s only a short leap to making the point that a major impediment to achieving this is Trump’s pathological need to cast everything on his watch as smashingly marvelous. …

This criticism will stand even if officials do ultimately manage coronavirus effectively. That’s because such an eventuality will effectively take place behind Trump’s back — officials will be succeeding despite the obstacles created by his pathologies.

That’s a case Democrats should not shy away from making, despite screams that they must not “politicize” the outbreak. This is exactly the debate the country needs right now — even or especially in the very political context of the presidential race.

New Media

debate in sl

200901241005.jpgI found the note that SJU was going to hold a debate in SL underwhelming at first.

This week Stephen Llano, the director of debate at St. John’s University, in New York, announced what is billed as the first tournament debate held in Second Life. It will take place on February 4 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time in the university’s virtual campus (shown below).

[From Wired Campus: College Debate Teams to Face Off in Second Life –]

But, as The Chronicle points out, the event will test how effective debate modeled on face to face exchange works when mediated by SL:

College debate matches can be physically intense — with participants rattling off arguments at top speed and gesturing dramatically. So it will be interesting to see if a debate contest can work in Second Life, the virtual world.

What they find might inform our ideas about how lectures, student exchanges, and even guide-on-the-side mentoring work in SL.

My sense is that the debaters will adapt their vocal delivery to the 2D cartoon world, and I’d bet they’ll find that the appearance of the avatar is going to be pretty significant to the effectiveness of the argument. It’s not just canned gestures here. Gender, wardrobe, hair, height and weight and body shape are all rhetorical affordances in SL.