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ISF Essay Competition: Judges & Entries
A list of your most controversial opinions...
In October we launched the inaugural ISF essay competition. The instructions were simple, but the execution fiendish. Entrants had to defend their most controversial opinion (or a confected one) AND steelman the opposition to it in under a thousand words. Today I’m announcing the judges for the competition and listing all of the entries.
Children don’t need adults to teach them for them to learn anything
Western Societies Should Encourage Public Shaming
We need the psychopaths to help elevate society
The chaos of womanhood in the west is caused by the shattering of feminine archetype
Switching the Populations of Universities and Prisons would Speed Up Scientific Progress
Simulated (AI) Child Porn Will Be A Net Positive
The modern woke movement and the national conservative movement are competing factions of the same, neo-Marxist philosophy
World Trade Center Building 7 was a Controlled Demolition
Liberalism = Nihilism
Aliens have visited us
Democracy is bad, actually
Germany’s rejection of its Nazi past means it is doomed to die
Drugs are good, actually.
The Elgin Marbles Should Not Be Returned To Greece
Total suffering would be reduced more with an all-meat diet instead of an all-plant diet and veganism is tied to a mistaken believe in childhood innocence and purity.
If I have missed any of your entries, please let me know by email.
Nathan is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. His focus is the philosophy of biology and ethics, and the intersection of these fields. He is particularly interested in scientific and ethical controversies connected with evolution-informed social science. Find him on Twitter here.
John writes the popular blog Everything Studies. He coined the term erisology to refer to the study of disagreement (as in, difference of opinion) and argumentation (actual argumentation, not the idealised type you study in philosophy classes). The idea being to draw on many bodies of knowledge to make sense of the background reasons for the complicated process that is verbal conflict. You can read his blog here and follow him on Twitter here.
How are the judges sorting the entries?
The judges are looking at how well the two arguments are put forward. They are not looking for highly controversial or highly original arguments, but if you’re arguing for something that really isn’t controversial they will deduct marks.
The judges sort the essays into four piles:
A* —Potential winner
A — Excellent
B — Good, requires substantial improvement
C — Bad
All A* essays will be assigned a mark from 1 - 3:
3 = Perfectly executed given the word limit
2 = Slight error or oversight
1 = Obvious error
Highest score, when combined from all three judges, wins.
When will the winners be announced?
We have two payouts: $500 for 1st place and $100 for 2nd.
Any particularly hilarious/good essays will be published before the final winner is decided.
We hope to announce the winner before Christmas!
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