Challenge Match. chissler vs. semperfortis: Digital Ego

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posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 05:09 PM
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The topic of this debate is "The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America".

  • chissler will be arguing the pro position and open the debate.
  • semperfortis will be arguing the con position.

    Each debater will have an opening statement, two rebuttals, and a closing statement.

    Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted. This prevents cheating. If you make an honest mistake which needs fixing, you must U2U The Vagabond. He will do a limited amount of editing for good cause. Please use spell check before you post.

    Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

    Character restrictions are in place, and will be governed by the two participants. Opening and closing statements are restricted to 5,000 characters and each rebuttal has a 10,000 character restriction. If either competitor uncovers a violation, The Vagabond should be contacted to make the necessary edits.

    Responses should be made within 48 hours. If necessary, one 24 hour extension can be requested but must be submitted before the initial 48 hour window expires.

    This is a challenge match. The winner will receive 2 ranking points, the loser will lose 2 ranking points, unless the loser already has zero ranking points. This debate will be judged by a secret panel.



    [edit on 31-1-2008 by chissler]




  • posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 06:34 PM
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    At long last, my rematch with the dreaded semperfortis. I have the unfortunate title of being the first to fall to our reigning champion, so I fully intend to be the first to offer a blemish on his perfect record. So let us get down to it.

    "The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America"

    Let us begin with first looking at the term, the "Digital Ego".

  • The Digital Ego

    On the above link, our local amigo explains this new phenomenon that is sweeping the online world. This online persona that knows no boundaries is released and begins to behave in a manner that is not a strong representation of the individual that this ego has consumed. The shy and bashful person looking into the monitor is replaced by an arrogant and abrasive person who speaks down to others. The digital ego is real and anybody who has spent any amount of time online can vouch for this.

    But has it actually made an impact on anything in the real world?

    It has, and throughout this debate I will prove this.

    As we as a race evolve, everything around us evolves. Our technological capabilities are increasing at jaw dropping paces, and internet access is rarely out of arms reach. Since 2000, the number of people in North America using the internet has gone up 120% In other parts of the world, it has increased as much as 920%. These are staggering increases in less than a decade. So to see this ego as a new phenomenon is only logical.

    What I will emphasize throughout the course of this debate is as follows:

  • The increase in severity of youth crime in Canada & the United States, such as aggravated assaults and sexual assaults.
  • A strong assessment of North American youth crime statistics, along with why certain trends occurred in the manner that they did.
  • The correlation between the online persona that fosters the digital ego and the real individual, and how our youth have a problem differentiating the two after an extended period of time.
  • The increase in online cyber crimes among youth, and the mainstreaming of such crimes.

    What is key here is the severity of crimes being committed by our youth. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, youth crime skyrocketed, particularly in Canada. But through heightened awareness and legislation reform, we turned a corner and witnessed a consistent drop throughout the remainder of the 1990's. Then we suddenly seen a shift in the numbers at the turn of the millennium. When the number of online users began to skyrocket, the number of crimes committed by youth begins to increase. With a noticeable jump in assaults and other more serious crimes.

    Why?



    Youth today are spending several hours a day participating in real time chat environments, message boards, etc., and are afforded the opportunity to create a new persona. When engaging this persona for several hours a day, the impressionable mind of a youth will begin to blur who is real. This has been a proven fact for recent school shootings. Quiet individuals by day, but absolutely fearless when they log on. This lack of fear and sense of invincibility invariably leads to these youth being prime candidates for crime.

    How many times do we hear of a murder where the accused parents say they were a good kid who made good marks, just spent a lot of time on their own. Locked up in their room, fostering their ego online, and counting the days to when their new found strength will take over.

    Freud described our Id, Ego, and Superego. Had this online environment existed at the time, the online persona that is the digital ego would of been long since discovered.

    It is real, it is impacting us, and throughout this debate you will see how our crime rates reflect it.



  • posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:27 PM
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    Challenge Match

    Chissler vs Semperfortis

    "The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America".

    Semper’s Opening:

    I would like to initially thank my Opponent and good friend Chissler for agreeing to debate with me. I also extend my thanks to TheVagabond for not objecting when we asked to increase the work load on the debate forum.

    As for my friend’s somewhat premature prediction, I guess we will see.

    Opening:

    This debate topic is not only controversial, but of great concern to all of us, especially those with children or those planning children in the future. The children are our future and we must ask ourselves if we have created the great and mighty “Boogyman” that we and our parents so feared was hiding under the bed. The Internet, Digital Age, the Digital Ego.

    I would like to say that I am not going to argue absolutes and would not expect my esteemed opponent to use this tactic either. I will concede from the beginning that there have been incidents that have occurred where a youth has committed crime due to or significantly effected by some digital influence.
    I believe what we are debating here is a trend in the overall population and not solitary incidents. As I believe my opponent will agree, I will proceed.

    I will show you throughout the debate that not only has youth crime been in decline, but that decline is significant. You will see that the premise of the debate can not be true on it’s face in a society with declining crime rates committed by the young.

    I will further show you where the incredible recent proliferation of mass media and the “instant on” information age has placed “shock value” on crimes committed by children and pasted those incidents into every aspect of our lives.
    We will all look at the subtle and not so subtle emotional manipulations of the media and how this effects our perceptions of crime and criminals. How this manipulation has resulted in outcries against the internet, threatened and proposed limitations of constitutional rights and even debates such as this.

    I will walk you through studies that directly indicate that it is our perceptions of crime and criminal behavior that has changed; not the number and severity of those acts.

    I will not spend an inordinate amount of your time examining whether or not the Digital Age has changed us. I would suggest to you that is has in many aspects both good and evil. I will however present you with the concept that nothing in our lives is either good or evil; it is always what we do with it. I will also show you where no matter what my opponent may want you to believe, we are still the masters of our destiny and in control of our lives.

    We will examine the “excuse” syndrome currently very active in our society; the phenomenon of refusing to take responsibility for our actions; choosing instead to blame someone or something such as a Digital Ego.

    We are going to be treading on some very controversial aspects of our own psychology and perhaps along the way we will learn a little about ourselves and the reasons our perceptions have changed.

    I also intend on taking you into the world in which I venture each and every day. On a personal level, I will take you on duty with me and allow you to see how my own personal experience with youth crime is pertinent to this debate and directly indicative of my contention that “The Digital Ego” has not contributed, in any significant amount, to Youth Crime in North America.

    I am going to relate my experiences, all supported by factual material, in the surreal world of “The Streets” and their effect on the youth of today. We will use this to examine at length the real reasons for youth crime and the psychology behind our readiness to place blame on the digital age.

    We are also going to examine together the relationship between the creation of the “Alter Ego” in the digital age and the normal fantasies of childhood and how they may affect the actions of our children.

    For those of us with children, some of this may hit home and cause us to question our actions or to look for that “Boogyman” in our own homes. I caution you to remember that this is a debate and should not be used to directly affect any relationships or perceptions in a family setting. However, we should always remember that “the truth will set us free”.

    At the end I will leave you with no doubt in your mind that ,

    The emergence of the digital ego has NOT contributed to youth crime in North America.

    Thank you

    Semper



    posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 08:51 AM
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    Would you believe that I had my post typed out, almost 10,000 characters.. and my hand slipped and clicked an active link! ...Gone! After I kick myself in the ass once or twice, let us try this again.

    I would like to begin my first rebuttal with a quick examination of what exactly my esteemed opponent has stated in his opening, and then move into a few details of my own. Here is a short overview of what I hope to present to you in this rebuttal:

  • My opponent's contradictions.
  • Youth violence statistics.
  • Why some statistics can be trusted, and why others can not.
  • How our new age has fostered this digital ego with every waking hour.
  • The online gaming community, and what it is doing to our children.
  • Simple facts on how youth mature, to show how impressionable their minds are, and thus a prime candidate to fall victim to this disease.
  • An introduction to, The Digital Ego: Social and Legal Aspects of Virtual Identity.

    Allow us to begin by looking at my opponent's opening statement.

    Contradiction


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    The emergence of the digital ego has NOT contributed to youth crime in North America.


    A bold, strong statement to close a well-written opening statement. But my opponent overlooks how he opened his reply...


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    I will concede from the beginning that there have been incidents that have occurred where a youth has committed crime due to or significantly effected by some digital influence.


    Well my friend, it appears that you have gotten off on the wrong foot here. You presumed that we would agree that we're talking about overall trends, but I see one subject matter in play here.


    "The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America".


    An emphasis here, contributed. My opponent has openly stated in his first reply that it has in fact contributed to youth crime.

    Flawed Approach


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    I will show you throughout the debate that not only has youth crime been in decline, but that decline is significant. You will see that the premise of the debate can not be true on it’s face in a society with declining crime rates committed by the young.


    It is true that some statistics show a consistent drop in numbers. What my opponent fails to state is that a drop in numbers was unavoidable given the huge increase throughout the 90's. What goes up must come down, at some point. So this could be correct, in a sense.

    However, just because some statistics indicate that some youth crime rates are dropping, does not indicate that the digital ego is not contributing. It is and it has contributed, which my own opponent has already admitted. A drop in statistics indicates one thing, fewer crimes being reported. It doesn't mean fewer crimes, it means fewer crimes reported. And later in this reply I will examine how statistics can not always be considered accurate. But it should be emphasized that the digital ego can be contributing to crime, even though statistics may show a decrease in reported crimes.


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    We will examine the “excuse” syndrome currently very active in our society; the phenomenon of refusing to take responsibility for our actions; choosing instead to blame someone or something such as a Digital Ego.


    I like this. It was to be expected, but still enjoyable. But what my friend is failing to grasp is how impressionable the mind of a youth is, which is not my opinion, but is a fact. The human brain is one of the slower maturing parts of our body. Teenagers make uninformed, abrupt, and careless decisions every day. They do today, just as they have in the past. Why? Because their brain has not yet matured. They fail to look at things holistically, and they approach issues with a narrow mind viewing themselves as the earth's axis.

    The "excuse" syndrome is applicable to matured, high functioning adults. But has no lane in this race, since we are dealing with youth.

    Any quick look into a study will show what part of the brain matures last, and it what it is responsible for. The frontal cortex is the last to mature, which is responsible for reasoning, planning, abstract thought and other complex thinking functions in addition to motor function.

     
     


    Youth Violence Fact Sheet

  • In 2003, 5,570 young people ages 10 to 24 were murdered—an average of 15 each day. Of these victims, 82% were killed with firearms.

  • In 2004, more than 750,000 young people ages 10 to 24 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained due to violence.

  • In a nationwide survey of high school students:
    - 33% reported being in a physical fight one or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey.
    - 17% reported carrying a weapon (e.g., gun, knife, or club) on one or more of the 30 days preceding the survey.


    Truly take a moment to look at these statistics and consider what they are saying. Aside from the amount of gun violence, which we will attribute to shortly in this reply, look at the number of students that have carried a weapon in the last thirty days. This is a huge number. These numbers would indicate that a handful of weapons would be brought into each and every school, every day.

    Ask yourself, Why?

    Children are supposed to feel safe at school, why don't they? I'll tell you why. Because the digital age has taught them no boundaries. When they are home in their bedroom, with parents in the next room, they are vulnerable to cyber bullies and degradation. In a classroom with their teacher, or in their home with parents, children are no longer presumed safe. These are not dramatic tactics, these are simple facts.

    Now that we have taken some time to view the mindset of the victim, let us take a moment to view the mindset of the aggressor and attribute these unwanted behaviours.


    Violence in Online Gaming

  • One third of purchased video games are of a Mature rating or higher.
  • Youth who play mature games for forty minutes a day will witness on average almost 200 violent acts, and almost 6000 monthly.
  • 98% of games surveyed had the violence going unpunished, and often rewarded it.
  • Only 10% of gaming characters were considered "good" or "pro-social".
  • 78% of underage, unaccompanied youth were able to successfully purchase a video game that had a rating higher than their age.
  • In one year video game sales jumped 43%. This was eight years ago! Where do you think we are now?

     
     


    The facts are simple and the truth is clear. We have offered our youth an online environment that has no rules, knows no boundaries, and promotes violence. All at a time when they are incapable of making an informed decision or logically reasoning with the facts at hand, which is scientifically proven.

    The term digital ego is catching on and taking a life of it's own. Jacob Van Kokswijk has recently authored a book on this very premise, and counters the notion that the digital persona is turned off when the computer is turned off. The book highlights the fact that the online persona can take hold, and the individual encompassed by the ego will have difficulty differentiating the two.

  • The Digital Ego: Social and Legal Aspects of Virtual Identity.

    Review...

    To summarize what we have talked about in this reply, I will create a short list so we can see exactly what we are dealing with.

  • Brain Maturation: with a slow maturation process of the brain, and the frontal cortex in particular, youth are at a disadvantage when trying to make informed decisions.

  • Crime Statistics: While my opponent is relying on a subjective decrease in youth crime, I have clearly shown that the number of severe acts of violence is still alarmingly high. I have shown that some methods of gathering statistics can not be deemed accurate, but when we consider the self-reporting methods, the statistics indicate that almost two in every ten kids carry a weapon to school.

  • Online Gaming: Kids as young as twelve and thirteen are being afforded the opportunity to purchase games that are rated for adults. Possibly even younger kids are getting their hands on this material. Material that promotes and rewards violence, while injecting humor in the pain and suffering of other people. Is it any wonder why kids are carrying weapons? Whether it is a sign of aggression or defense, kids today are taught that carrying a weapon is a necessary response.

  • Contradictions: Last, but certainly not least, do not overlook the contradiction(s) of my opponent. To open the debate conceding that the digital ego has in fact contributed to youth crime, this should be a shot in the foot that needs to be considered.

    "The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America"

    semper and I both agree on this one. It has contributed.


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    I will concede from the beginning that there have been incidents that have occurred where a youth has committed crime due to or significantly effected by some digital influence.


    What else is there to say?

    Grab your shoes semp, the floor is all yours.



  • posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 11:56 PM
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    Challenge Match

    Chissler vs Semperfortis

    "The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America".

    Semper’s Reply #1

    Definitions:

    I don’t believe I have ever debated anyone and not had them try this trick. Perhaps however, this is the most flagrant display I have yet witnessed.


    My opponent has openly stated in his first reply that it has in fact contributed to youth crime.


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    I will concede from the beginning that there have been incidents that have occurred where a youth has committed crime due to or significantly effected by some digital influence.


    You presumed that we would agree that we're talking about overall trends, but I see one subject matter in play here.


    As so many of the more recent debates have digressed into combat over who has the more accurate definition, I thought a reasonable defining of the topic material was in order. Especially as it was my opponent who picked out and worded the topic. Was I wrong in assuming all of us want a reasonable debate?

    If my opponent is to argue that if he can prove one instance where anything connected with the internet is directly related to any one instance of criminal behavior, and thus prove his point, well how silly is that?

    If that is my opponent’s contention, we may as well stop the debate here.
    I can show you one instance where an apple was the cause of criminal behavior, a Barbie doll, piece of chalk, or the internet. Of course my opponent can show you where a single incident of crime is the direct result of some form of digital influence.

    I thought this was going to be a real debate over a real issue.

    As I had hoped for such a debate, I will continue with my previous premise, which all of you can clearly see is not contradictory and I will dispense with the arbitrary battle over definitions and provide for you at least one side of a good debate. It is my hope that my opponent will join me.


    Rebuttal:


    It is true that some statistics show a consistent drop in numbers. What my opponent fails to state is that a drop in numbers was unavoidable given the huge increase throughout the 90's. What goes up must come down, at some point. So this could be correct, in a sense.


    No it is more than correct “in a sense, it is correct period.

    What better place to start than the “Center on Criminal and Juvenile Justice”?

    Here is a graph on youth crime in the 12 largest counties in California. This comparison has been proven to be directly reflective of the country as a whole.



    CJCJ

    As you can clearly see I have completely debunked my opponents assertions in regards to Youth Crime Rates and his “HUGE INCREASE THROUGHOUT THE 90’S.

    Yet my opponent goes on to “cover his bases” by stating this.


    A drop in statistics indicates one thing, fewer crimes being reported. It doesn't mean fewer crimes, it means fewer crimes reported. And later in this reply I will examine how statistics can not always be considered accurate. But it should be emphasized that the digital ego can be contributing to crime, even though statistics may show a decrease in reported crimes.


    My opponent is apparently going to argue that only his statistics are correct and that any I post are merely indicative of “unreported” crimes, well again, my opponent wishes to debate fantasy and not real life. This is simply another debate tactic so common and yet so transparent. As you will see, I will post scientific statistical data to refute my opponent’s opinions.

    We may always ASSUME something is incorrect because it does not fit within our little world of accepted facts, but in so doing we turn from fact and as my opponent is doing, make up excuses and his own numbers.

    The graph I have provided you and the site provided, is a scientific work. It should not be “explained” away simply because it does not fit someone’s agenda.



    But what my friend is failing to grasp is how impressionable the mind of a youth is, which is not my opinion, but is a fact. The human brain is one of the slower maturing parts of our body. Teenagers make uninformed, abrupt, and careless decisions every day. They do today, just as they have in the past.


    I am going to address what I was referencing here in a moment, but first let me draw your attention to this little tidbit.
    They do today, just as they have in the past.

    If my opponent is confident about this assertion, where is his argument? Has he not come out and supported my side of this debate?

    If teens are doing just as they have in the past, as my esteemed opponent has stated, then how is it this new digital ego is making any impact at all?

    I would present to all of you that apparently my opponent agrees with my side of the debate.

    My opponent apparently has some problem with my statement here.


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    We will examine the “excuse” syndrome currently very active in our society; the phenomenon of refusing to take responsibility for our actions; choosing instead to blame someone or something such as a Digital Ego.


    Reading and rereading his post, I believe he thought I was referring to the child not taking responsibility. Perhaps I should not so readily assume my thought process is going to be followed so allow me to explain to you what I meant my valued opponent.

    Parents.
    Caretakers.
    Aunts, Uncles and other members of the family group. ETC

    Those people that are directly responsible for the care and well being of the children we are discussing.

    Those same caregivers that refuse to take responsibility for their failures in caring for the children and instead choose to sit back and blame the internet, games or the digital ego. Failing that, I am sure they will turn their blame on the government. It can’t simply be their fault after all. Right.


    Apparently a renowned Senior Educational Psychologist with the West Sussex Youth Offending Team agrees with me:


    Yet good parenting is one of the key ways to prevent serious problems, including youth crime.

    Source

    You will notice that no where in that research does anyone blame a video game for bad parenting.


    Next:

    My opponent’s assertion that the maturity level of the human brain is in part responsible for criminal behavior in youths is completely supported by me. In fact it goes a long way to proving my point.

    If you look at my opponent’s own link and this one:
    Springer Link It is very clear and yet not once is the “digital ego”, “internet” or any other subject related to the debate mentioned.

    I ask my opponent this:
    Are you arguing the “age of the brain” or the “digital ego” is to blame for youthful criminal behavior? Please clarify.

    My opponent states that in 2003, 5570 young people were murdered. ETC.

    But what do the numbers he is posting actually mean?

    This?


    Offending rates for children under age 14 increased in the late 1980's and early 1990's, but fell to the lowest level recorded in 2003.

    DOJ

    You will notice that as we move into the “Digital Age”, the offending rates for children fell to the lowest levels.
    If the digital age has done anything, it has apparently helped to reduce crime. Notice my friends, not a single shock number, but accurate statistics from a certified source.

    As we progress I will show you where the Department of Justice, Department of Juvenile Justice and many other organizations contribute the vast majority of violent crime committed by youthful offenders to the rise in drug use, drug sales and gangs.

    My opponent would have you believe that violent video games are causing our young people to become foaming at the mouth zombies.

    I would ask if any of you have watched an old Bug Bunny Cartoon, or Road Runner. Violent? Absolutely.
    Is my opponent going to contend that the majority of youthful violence in the 50’s is because of Bugs Bunny or the Road Runner?

    Summation:

    My opponent’s Brain Maturation and Online Gaming have been effectively debunked as root causes of violence in general and youthful violence specifically.

    As for his contradiction assumption, I certainly hope that you the readers of this debate, can see thorough this and come to the same conclusion I have; the only conclusion possible. That in order to win the debate, my opponent is willing to sacrifice research, dedicated opinions and intellectual property in exchange for a trick of debate titling and semantics.

    I came here to debate folks and I still think that debating the intent of the topic, using common sense and research is far better than winning by using semantics and ignoring the topic all together.

    So I will finish here by asking my opponent again his intentions.

    Dear valued opponent,
    Is it your intention to argue that any one single instance of youth violence that can be contributed to anything digital, to include the internet, digital egos or games, is conclusive proof of your debate?

    Are you going to continue to argue semantics and ignore the real debate?

    I would appreciate it if you would advise me of your intentions.

    As the debate title is this:

    The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America

    And I have already effectively shown where, as of the emergence of the digital ego, crime rates among youths have actually decreased. Therefore the digital ego has not impacted youth crime or contributed to it in any significant amount.


    Thank you

    Semper



    posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 02:09 PM
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    I am going to begin my second response in a similar fashion of my first. I'll begin with a direct response to my competitor's previous post, followed by the rest of the case that I am going to present to you.

    Contradictions & Errors

    My opponent has adapted an approach that leaves me scratching my head. I have merely quoted his own words back to him, and he points a finger in response stating that I am somehow manipulating the topic at hand. A predictable response to a grave mistake made so early in a debate, but I am confident that our judges and our readers see it for what it is worth.


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    If my opponent is to argue that if he can prove one instance where anything connected with the internet is directly related to any one instance of criminal behavior, and thus prove his point, well how silly is that?


    Ironically, my opponent has chosen to bold the terms "one instance". I am confused to why he would do so, when it was his own words initially that completely contradicts this statement. semper's own words again...


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    I will concede from the beginning that there have been incidents that have occurred where a youth has committed crime due to or significantly effected by some digital influence.


    semper, you may point fingers all you wish, these are your own words. We are not talking about one incident, we are talking plural as you have chosen these words yourself. You have not conceded of one incident, you have conceded of more than one. Off the top of my head, I can think of a lot of numbers that are greater than one. So which one is it?

    semper's Choice of Graphs

    I must say, I love your choice of graphs here. Not only are they severely restricted in what they represent, they also favor exactly what I have been saying. I'm faulted for manipulating numbers, well how are you going to spin this one when it is your own statistics that are biting you on the backside?

    Graph 1



    Conveniently, semper has displayed this one in the thread itself. But let us take a look down some more. We have a link posted by semper right here. Located on this page is another graph, that somehow didn't make it into semper's reply.

    Graph 2



    Before I comment on this, let us take a look at another direct quote from semper.


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    And I have already effectively shown where, as of the emergence of the digital ego, crime rates among youths have actually decreased. Therefore the digital ego has not impacted youth crime or contributed to it in any significant amount.


    Well, this is a little funny. Look at the blue line and the purple line, that represent ages 14-17 and 18-24. Both dramatically increase at the exact time that I said they had in an earlier response. But my opponent has stated that he has debunked my assertion with his cold, hard facts. Well, my friend, that would be incorrect and I have proven so with statistics that you have provided for us.

    If anyone takes a moment to read some of the text on the pages that semper has linked, you will also see that much of the information will also substantiate my position. I'll refrain from posting it here, because I have a character restriction, and it's merely the information that I posted in my first response.

     
     



    Analyzing the Statistics

    It's no secret that at the turn of the millennium .com businesses, internet usage, anything that pertained to the internet skyrocketed. Computers were much more accessible and more kids were spending their leisure time online performing various activities. Now at this same time, let us consider what is happening with crime rates. As I've stated previously, crime rates in the early 90's were skyrocketing. Both of semper's graphs indicate that crime rates were alarmingly high at the precise time that I have stated previously. But they slowly began to fall in the mid to late 90's, and decreased consistently for several years. We can accredit this to heightened awareness and legislation reform. Such reform in Canada would be the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

    This explains the decrease throughout the 90's. But I ask this question, why did it stop? Why did the numbers somehow plateau after 2000? Everything is going smooth for half a decade, numbers are always on the decline. Then somehow they stop, they flatten, and we're seeing an increase in violent crimes among youth.

    What happened?

    What happened was the digital ego! As crime rates stop decreasing and suddenly start to rise again, and youth are beginning to spend large parts of their day online, is this a coincidence we are choosing to overlook? Material does not exist to currently link these two phenomenons together, but it will soon. This is a concept that is not very old, and it takes time to gather numbers and material to empirically prove what is attributing to youth crime on this side of Y2K.

    Which is exactly what Van Kokswijk's book will do.

  • The Digital Ego: Social and Legal Aspects of Virtual Identity.

    A Holistic Approach is Necessary


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    Are you arguing the “age of the brain” or the “digital ego” is to blame for youthful criminal behavior? Please clarify.


    Again, some of these comments leave me astonished. semper, do you truly not see the correlation here? Rocks, glass houses, my friend. I am faulted for not researching the material and manipulating facts. But you simply choose to ignore what it is that I have to say. Or is the obvious the case? You slander what you can not refute.

    I have empirically proven that youth have an underdeveloped frontal cortex, that is responsible for reasonable decision making. In lehman's terms, they are not playing with a full deck. If a child has a fractured spine, he or she can not walk. If a child has an underdeveloped frontal cortex, they can not make an informed, reasonable decision. They have an inability to look at the issues holistically, which I am afraid you are guilty of as well.

    If you fail to see the connection between the two, then you are the one that is being left in the cold.

    If you mix gas with fire, what happens? Exactly. We're giving children unlimited internet access that houses information on everything. We offer them video games that promotes and rewards violence. What's even more alarming is that we present them this information by the time they are twelve or thirteen. Youth in their late teenage years still have an undeveloped frontal cortex, so where do we expect a twelve or thirteen year old child to be? And then we scratch our heads and wonder what happened?

    Not everybody is going to agree with this, and semper's reply is as predictable as any. Since he watched Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner without killing anybody, clearly nobody else will. Same old story that is getting a little old. Everyone has their own story, right? Give one kid a gun, he might put it down. Give another kid a gun, he might shoot somebody. Let's not fault the second kid for shooting somebody because the first kid didn't, lets try to educate the second child and take a second look at the person providing the gun.


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    My opponent would have you believe that violent video games are causing our young people to become foaming at the mouth zombies.


    Dramatic.

    No, but I would hope parents would consider is that we are sending mixed messages. As a child, I watched violence on television and played violent video games. I turned out ok. But others who played these same games, did not. This material is not the determining reason in what path a child will choose. Nothing is. But everything contributes. And that is the crux of the matter on this one.

    What we have been asked is, does it contribute?

    The obvious answer to this question is, yes it does contribute. No we are not talking about one isolated incident, or even a handful. We are talking about a general trend that has spread across North America. It is contributing, and the mixed messages we continue to send is confusing our children.

    What is Being Said, and What is not Being Said

    I must admit that I am somewhat disappointed in my opponent on this approach. I have presented a strong case and touched on several aspects that are directly contributing to the digital ego and correlating this ego to current youth crime statistics. I have even analyzed the statistics presented by my opponent to show how they are in complete agreement with my position.

    Shortly after the turn of the century, something happened. Just as in the early 90's when crime was skyrocketing, something had to happen for it to stop. Heightened awareness and legislation reform contributed to maintaining the skyrocketing levels of youth crime. Over time, and after much success, things slowly began to change again. The case that I have presented here will make you look, think, and decide for yourself.



  • posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 09:53 PM
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    Challenge Match

    Chissler vs Semperfortis

    "The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America".

    Semper’s Reply #2

    Observation:

    Apparently my opponent will not answer direct questions but chooses instead to continue with his rhetoric and off the wall accusations.

    Again I choose to continue the debate even if it means only I am debating a fair and equal topic.

    Rebuttal:


    I have merely quoted his own words back to him


    Perfect example of my opponent trying to divert attention away from the fact he has little substance to provide.

    I pose this to you the readers.

    Is my opponent saying that he did not say this?

    You presumed that we would agree that we're talking about overall trends, but I see one subject matter in play here.


    Has my opponent forgotten his not so subtle attempt at the manipulation of the topic to his advantage?

    I would also like to ask the reader if they want to read a discourse on semantics and the use of the English language or the debate on the topic. Everyone here reading this knows exactly what I was referring to in my comment in regards to incidents or my opponent arguing a single incident.


    they also favor exactly what I have been saying.


    I wonder if my opponent even looked at the graph.

    Quote by Chissler.


    What my opponent fails to state is that a drop in numbers was unavoidable given the huge increase throughout the 90's


    Note: HUGE INCREASE THROUGHOUT THE 90’S

    Now examine the graph…

    Both the graph I posted and the one my opponent has provided, show a MASSIVE decrease in the very figures my opponent insists are on a HUGE increase. I am sure that you the readers can see this even if my opponent seems unable to.

    As these graphs in response to my opponent’s comments are very clear and concise in their debunking of my opponent’s very base, I will not waste anymore of your time on them.

    More on my opponents fantasy assumptions.


    As I've stated previously, crime rates in the early 90's were skyrocketing.


    Apparently my opponent has missed some things.


    Crime in the United States fell again in 1999, the eighth consecutive decline, with the murder rate dropping to 5.7 per 100,000, its lowest level since 1966,

    NY Times


    A six-year decline in murders by teen-agers brought the 1999 homicide arrest rate for juveniles down 68 percent from its 1993 peak to the lowest level since 1966, the Justice Department reported Thursday.

    CBS

    Remember this:

    Delphi was the first national commercial online service to offer Internet access to its subscribers. It opened up an email connection in July 1992 and full Internet service in November 1992.

    Internet History

    The internet was not even in general use at the times my opponent references the rise in crime. My opponent has again referenced an increase in the crime rate in the 90’s and this is simply not true. In fact it is clear that the opposite is true.


    This explains the decrease throughout the 90's


    WOW!

    My opponent really needs to find something and stick to it! He is changing his statistics so many times and switching his opinion, I can’t keep up!

    Was it a decrease as I have proven, or an increase that you postulate?


    Material does not exist to currently link these two phenomenons together, but it will soon.


    Although I probably will not get an answer, I will ask anyway.

    If the material does not exist, what are you basing your contention that “it will soon” on?
    An opinion?
    A hope?
    A fantasy?

    Is it anymore scientific for me to say “the material will never exist”?


    If you fail to see the connection between the two, then you are the one that is being left in the cold.


    It is not what you are saying my valued opponent, it is the reach you must make to get there.

    Studies upon studies have determined that it is several factors that are involved in youth crime.
    The break down of the family unit being foremost, drugs, economics, gangs, all related and if you notice, the digital ego is not present.

    However if you want to make a connection, one can connect sharpening a pencil as being a root cause, or the intake of Beef, all can be warped around to fit an agenda, all are false, but they can be connected.


    Give one kid a gun, he might put it down. Give another kid a gun, he might shoot somebody. Let's not fault the second kid for shooting somebody because the first kid didn't, lets try to educate the second child and take a second look at the person providing the gun.


    Let us also look at the REAL problems causing youth crime and not try and be politically correct and avoid the real issues because they are disturbing.

    It is easy to blame the internet, myspace etc. It is much harder to blame the family unit. So we pick something that is not so personal to us and we try and put all the blame in society on that one thing, Thereby avoiding the unsavory and uncomfortable idea that we may have to look at ourselves for the real reason.


    As a child, I watched violence on television and played violent video games. I turned out ok. But others who played these same games, did not


    As a child I ate liver, I turned out OK. But others that ate liver, did not.

    Makes an equal amount of sense.


    We are talking about a general trend that has spread across North America


    Well FINALLY!

    So we are talking about trends. Excellent, see the graphs on the previous post for proof that :
    The emergence of the digital ego has NOT contributed to youth crime in North America.

    Thank you very much.


    Now that we have established that Youth Crime did not “rise” do to the digital ego, let us look at some real reasons why we may be so inclined to perceive that the internet, digital ego and video games are somehow evil.

    The prevalence of the media in our everyday lives.

    For the first time in man’s history, we can turn a knob, push a button or speak a word and whatever is happening anywhere around the world enters our personal space and invades our lives.

    A few years ago when a 16 year old opened fire and killed, the only people that were immediately aware of it would have been those in that community. Look at:

    Mary Bell.. 10 years old in 1968, considered the youngest serial killer. Digital Ego? No.
    Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, 11 years old. 1993 well before the Digital Ego showed up. Murdered a 2 year old.

    Needless to say the list continues of shocking and horrible events perpetrated and committed by youthful offenders all through the ages. Only now they are all displayed in real time on our 52 inch plasma TV . We get to experience the horror and the trauma like never before. All of a sudden the terror the “Jones” feel in California, hits home here in South Carolina. What do we all do? We look for someone or something to blame. The digital ego is simply the most recent and most politically correct victim of our refusal to accept that it is us, the parents that are to blame.


    On patrol, as promised:

    Friday night I left the house and proceeded to one of the many drug infested areas in my city. I began counting the number of “Youths” standing on street corners all over that particular area. In a 5 block radius, I counted 14 from age 18 to 9. This at 0100 hrs. Now granted they are not “all” out selling narcotics, some are just standing around. But we all know that “Idle hands are the Devils workshop”. I stopped and engaged several in conversation. Now admittedly reluctant to talk open with me, most admitted to not having access to a computer much less a digital ego. While not scientific by any means, you may rest assured this is happening all over the United States and Canada even as you read this debate. Why? Lack of parental control, break down of the family unit, a need to feel like they belong; all good and solid reasons, all not related to the digital ego. (I only found one youngster that even knew what a digital ego was) Want an answer to youth crime, here you go.

    “Where is your child tonight?”

    In all of my years on the street, I could shock you with the stories I have of the living conditions some of these children must endure each and every day. One big reason they prefer to stand on the streets, is the fact it is vastly better than laying on their bed at home being over run with cockroaches. I have been numerous times, in a home interviewing a parent, and felt the little bugs crawling up my legs.

    The last youth I arrested for a violent crime was stealing the shoes of the other child he assaulted. Why? Because they were better than the ones he had on. Digital Ego? Not even close. What did his parent say when I called them? “Keep Him”

    The problem with our youth today is the family unit and its breakdown.

    The problem with society is wanting to blame anything but us, such as the digital ego.

    We have spent years blaming the negative actions of our children on ADHD, The School System and The Television. All the while taking great pride in accepting praise for the good things they do. Hypocrisy at its finest.
    Now it is the fault of the digital ego, what will it be tomorrow? Who can say; you can rest assured it will not be the real cause: us.

    So far I have established that the there was no rise in crime coinciding with the advent of the digital ego, digital age or internet.

    I have shown you where the breakdown of the family is the main root cause for youth crime.

    I have established that:

    The emergence of the digital ego has NOT contributed to youth crime in North America

    Thank you

    Semper



    posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 07:18 AM
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    Allow me to begin my closing statement with a very short rebuttal of semper's second reply, and then a brief summation of the case that I have presented to you here over the last few days.

    Let us Clarify Something...

    semper is hell bent on these statistics and who is right. It's not about being right, it's about representing what the numbers actually indicate. I am going to dedicate a very small amount of this closing to clarify exactly what has been said.

    In the early 90's, the crime rates were very high. Both graphs indicate that in 1990/91, youth crime stats were higher than they had been in over twenty years. It was at this point that we can accredit heightened awareness and legislation reform to turning this trend and the numbers begin to drop. Hence the graphs. I am not sure why this lone aspect of my presentation has received so much grief from my opponent, as it is a minor aspect. Instead of focusing on this one so much, maybe he should of considered all of the other material that I presented, rather than overlooking it.

    In Summation...

    Let us review what exactly I have presented thus far to prove my position.

  • Accurate statistics on youth crime.
  • Analyzed all statistics and explained the trends.
  • Empirically proved why the digital ego can take hold, due to the underdeveloped frontal cortex.
  • Alarming statistics on the online video gaming world and the age of youth who are getting their hands on the material.
  • A current book that is in complete support of my position, which represents that this current phenomenon has merit.
  • Accurate internet stats to indicate the massive increase of online users in the last decade.

     
     


    I have presented a case that is both with merit and innovative. Given the fact that the digital ego is something new that we are beginning to study, I have taken a stance that is not easily backed or proven. But ask yourself one question, have I presented the better case?

    While I have injected much opinion into my presentation, I have also presented a lot of statistics and strong resources to indicate my position. What has my opponent presented? As expected, he has merely chosen to tell us his first hand accounts of his time on duty. While I appreciate these stories, is that actually enough? I could sit here and talk to you about all of my first hand accounts and say why this is this and that is that, but I chose to take some time and research this concept and back up my claims with strong material. My opponent has merely chosen to offer an opinion on the matter.

    The case I presented should stand for itself. I have shown the numbers, I have explained the factors, and I have connected the dots. You do not have to agree with what I am saying, I just ask that you consider what I have presented and ask if this was the better argument. A first hand account is nice, but is it enough? I don't think it should.

    And that's what this is really boiling down to.

    semper spent this whole debate bickering with my statements and trying to slander my approach. He took one aspect of my position and spent the rest of his time trying to prove that he was right and I was wrong. Well, it's not about being right and wrong. The numbers are there, they speak for themselves. I have merely tried to represent these numbers in the manner that they are intended to reflect. But throughout all of this debate, has semper actually tried to refute my whole position? No, he has not. He has either slandered or ignored. Why? Because you can not refute what is fact. semper knows this, and as a strong debater, he has adapted the best approach he knows. While he has done well in sticking to his guns, he has also forgot one key ingredient. A presentation of his own.

     
     


    So to wrap this debate up, I would like to formally thank my worthy opponent. We post with emotion, but we also post with respect. I feel it is clear that I have presented the stronger case on this debate and hope to finally see semper fall in defeat. But win or lose here today, I tip my hat to a good member and a good person and say "thank you for taking the time to engage in such a pleasurable experience".

    Thank you for listening,
    chissler



  • posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 10:57 AM
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    Challenge Match

    Chissler vs. Semperfortis

    "The emergence of the digital ego has contributed to youth crime in North America".

    Semper’s Closing:

    Another wonderful debate comes too soon to an end. Shame, this was fun.

    I will keep my closing simple and to the point. I have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the emergence of the digital ego has NOT contributed to youth crime in North America.

    No matter how my opponent wishes to skew them, the statistics speak for themselves. At the emergence of the “Digital Ego” we were, and we continue, to experience a drop in youth crime. How can it be contributing, when what it is supposed to be contributing to is decreasing rapidly? Ask yourself where this is common sense.

    Yes, in the late 80’s, 1990 and 1991, crime rates were high, then at about the same time the Digital Ego was being born, those rates fell dramatically and continue to do so.

    Why?

    More and more concentration on improving the family unit. The real culprit in youth crime.

    In my opponent’s summation, all that he listed is for the most part true, except for one very important element.

    He never proved that any of that is relative to the debate topic.

    He never once took anything that he has listed and used it to validate that the digital ego has contributed to youth crime. Not once.

    I noticed several times where my opponent could have tied some of his figures into the debate, yet he did not. I have no answer as to why. Yet we must hold him accountable for what he has presented, not what he could have.

    Want another statistic?

    My opponent only personally used the term “Digital Ego” 16 times in the entire debate. I believe that my opponent’s concentration was elsewhere. He quoted it several more, and referenced it, but he only personally used it 16 times.


    While my opponent has spent a vast amount of your time arguing against me and telling you all what I did or did not do, I have concentrated on the debate and have proven to you that the digital ego has not contributed to youth crime.

    Let’s look at what I have proven to you.

    1. The Digital Ego can not be held contributable to youth crime by the use of statistics.
    2. Several factors have proven to be the root cause of youth crime; the digital ego is not one of them.
    3. Social programs that have concentrated on the family unit have significantly reduced youth crime.
    4. My personal experiences have shown a marked lack of interest in and knowledge of the digital ego by a segment of the population associated with youth crime.


    As a matter of fact, I have proven that the emergence of the digital ego has NOT contributed to youth crime in North America.


    Summation:

    As I began this debate I truly thought I had the weaker side. Like many people I assumed that the digital ego and the digital age had taken terrible tolls on our young people and fully expected to find vast amounts of information in that regard. I expected to be on the defensive throughout this debate. I was completely taken off guard to find that this is not the case.

    I discovered that I too had fallen for the media hype and sensationalist driven news and fully disregarded and somewhat lost faith in the strength inherent within our youth. When I began researching, I discovered that the truth is also hard to accept, that we are the fault for the crimes of our youth, not some obscure digital entity, we are; the family. Yet as difficult as it was to read and research, it is equally as impossible to deny. The statistics, the facts and our conscience knows the truth.

    Though both of my girls are grown and living their own lives, I have learned much from this debate and want to extend my heartfelt thank you to my opponent for suggesting this topic. I hope that you, the judges and the readers, also take away from this some little tidbit that will help you in that most daunting of tasks; raising children to become contributing members of society.

    In the end, I have proven that the emergence of the digital ego has not contributed to youth crime in North America.

    But sadly, I have proven what has.

    To my friend and esteemed opponent, this was a wonderful debate and every bit as educational and challenging as I expected from you. Thank you.

    Thank you

    Semper



    posted on Feb, 16 2008 @ 03:07 AM
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    The results are in. Only 2 of the judges were available, and the decision is split. We have a draw.

    Judges comments:


    There was a bit too much bickering for my taste this time out, and really at a few points I had the impression that the champ was starting to slip. I was almost ready to call the debate after the opening statements, because semper's defintion was simply not supported by the topic itself, and he'd conceded the true topic.

    Then they got bogged down in statistics and never really got around to touring the whole scope of the topic, and it became much closer just by virtue of the fact that Semper didn't have to prove the negative, he just had to stave off proof of the affirmative.

    If I could call it a draw I would. But I've got to give it to Chissler.



    I must say this was not a particularily enjoyable debate to read. While some banter can be enjoyable, there was far too much bickering imo. I had to discount semper's personal trip through "the streets". Not calling him a liar, I believe what he says but it is unverifiable.

    He does make a valid point though, one that I had noticed long before the closing remarks:

    "He never once took anything that he has listed and used it to validate that the digital ego has contributed to youth crime. Not once.

    I noticed several times where my opponent could have tied some of his figures into the debate, yet he did not. I have no answer as to why. Yet we must hold him accountable for what he has presented, not what he could have."

    chissler could have focused on the D-ego and the emergence of online persona spilling over into RL. He didn't, at least not enough to prove his side of the debate.

    The winner semperfortis.



    posted on Feb, 16 2008 @ 03:12 AM
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    GREAT debate Chissler...

    I though your position was very well fought...

    I salute you

    Semper





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