I have decided to do another Intellectual Turing Test, by popular demand, and because observably I am really bad at keeping this blog updated and I think other people should produce some content for it for a change.
The Intellectual Turing Test is an idea invented by Bryan Caplan. The regular Turing test is a test for programmers: can you write a computer program which a human being cannot tell apart from another human being? The Intellectual Turing Test is a test for people who believe things: can you explain your opponent’s viewpoints in such a way that your opponent cannot tell it apart from someone who legitimately believes the opinion? If you can, it shows you understand your opponent’s positions on a deep level.
How it’s going to work: once the final topic is chosen, I will write one to three questions and leave registration for the ITT open for a week. I will give everyone (on both sides) two weeks to write answers to the questions from both the pro side and the anti side. I will run first the pro submissions and then the anti submissions, and the audience will vote on whether they think it’s real or a fake. At the end, I’ll reveal who wrote what and give special recognition to the people who did the best job of impersonating the other side. You may read previous ITTs in this blog here.
Unfortunately, in the past there has been difficulty finding a topic where half the participants are on one side and half of them are on the other. Therefore, I have decided to do a questionnaire first.
The questionnaire contains a series of statements and the option to say whether you are on the “pro” or “anti” side, or wouldn’t participate. (If you have a complex special-snowflake opinion that doesn’t fall neatly into pro or anti, please check “wouldn’t participate.” If you find the topic boring and would not want to participate, please check “wouldn’t participate.”) There are a variety of topics, so even if you find the first couple suggestions unappealing, please keep going.
There is also an option to give me your email, so I can email you when I have chosen the final topic.
Please share as widely as you can! The more diverse a set of participants we have, the more interesting the Intellectual Turing Test is for everyone.