Intelligence Squared Debates

Intelligence squared U.S. Logo I spent my evening scraping wallpaper and listening to 2 spectacular Intelligence Squared debates

1) Guns reduce crime Tuesday, October 28, 2008
2) Google violates its 'don't be evil' motto Tuesday, November 18, 2008 (audio here)

Intelligence Squared (IQ2US) is Oxford style debating -- one motion, one moderator, two to three advocates for the motion, two to three against. The goal of IQ2US is to raise the level of public discourse on our most challenging issues. To provide a new forum for intelligent discussion, grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis. - the IQ2US website
One of the interesting things about these two shows was how different they were.  "Guns reduce crime" had an extremely serious tone which is to be expected when most of the discussion is about death.

On the flip side the "Google violates..." debate was much lighter and there was a lot of laughing and joking. The part that surprised me most was when Larry Lessig asked a question from the audience.  He's usually more of a panelist at these sorts of things.

Shows Intelligence Squared and RadioLab are the reasons I support NPR.  Not only are they a phenomenal source of entertainment and thought provoking ideas; they also make scraping wallpaper a relatively pleasurable experience.