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Sean Plunket wants a high stakes $1M debate to determine who is telling the truth. Game on!
Sean Plunket of The Platform in New Zealand, challenged me on Twitter to a $1M high stakes debate. My response? I'm all in for raising the stakes. Here are the rules I propose.
UPDATE 12/12/22 8:22 PT
One of my readers alerted me that Sean just posted this after reading my article:
What?!?! My written offer on my Substack said “… bet me $1M …” (see below). My offer was in writing. Sean’s acceptance was in writing.
Now he’s saying, just kidding… that I should risk my money and he has no skin in the game if he loses?!?!
Sean spent the entire time in our discussion attacking me personally, rather than focusing on my views.
My offer to him was to set up a fair discussion of the issues by experts. There was an option for him to place a $1M wager if he was so convinced he was right, but I said this was optional.
My focus is clarifying the issues: separating truth from fiction. Isn’t that what Sean’s The Platform is about?
As a side note, money is a great way to expose people who spread false information because as soon as there is personal monetary risk involved, the people who say stuff that they are not confident of will rarely “put their money where their mouth is.” It’s a very reliable way to determine whether people believe what they say.
But as I said, if Sean lacks confidence in his beliefs, he doesn’t have to wager any money. I’m fine with whatever he wants to do.
Sean, you should read the comments in response to your tweet from YOUR followers after you backing out. They aren’t supporting you. My favorite one which translated your tweet into plain English:
YOUR followers want the debate to happen because they want the TRUTH exposed. Why don’t you want the truth exposed???? By showing the world how EASY it is to debunk people like me with FACTS, you will actually be doing the world a HUGE service by discrediting me and my “misinformation spreader” friends.
Isn’t it odd that NOBODY wants to debunk us in a fair debate??
My suggested format is totally fair. The rules apply equally to both sides.
Sean: What is it going to take for you to accept?
Today was an exciting day for me. Sean Plunket, founder of The Platform, accepted my offer of a debate.
Sean, if you are so sure you are right about those clots like you said, would you like to bet me $1M? This is a quick way to double your money without risk.
He accepted on Twitter. This is going to be game changing because it will be the FIRST EVER high stakes debate to resolve an issue that the pro- and anti-vaxxers disagree about. We’ve waited 3 years for a face-to-face discussion and now, thanks to Sean, we are finally going to have it! I am so excited.
And because I don’t want Sean to accuse me as a grifter, I will let him know up front that the cells don’t lie and it’s impossible for you to win the bet on the clots.
I wrote a Substack article challenging the founder and editor of The Platform, Sean Plunket, to resolve our differences in a debate after appearing on his show on Dec 12 (New Zealand time). I also offered to bet him $1M on his claim that the strange embalmer clots are primarily (or wholly) formed post-mortem.
Cam Slater then posted this on Twitter:
You’ll never guess what happened next. Cam did it!!!!!!!!
Sean replied to Cam’s post and accepted the challenge and told readers to check Sean’s own Twitter account.
Here are the comments from Sean’s followers on his post:
I gotta tell you. SuperPsi (see box in red above) gets my vote as the funniest response (while also being 100% true).
Note: I’ve got two lifetime bans on Twitter, otherwise I’d comment directly.
I also want to acknowledge the assistance from Jonathan Jarry and Debunk the Funk who collectively convinced Sean that I’m not serious about my offers. Jarry and Funk are both misinformation spreaders who refuse to debate me ON CAMERA. Sean clearly relied on them in accepting my offer. I keep telling Sean he has to LOOK AT THE DATA and not trust the “experts.” By the end of this, Sean will see that I am right.
Sean: feel free to put Jonathan Jarry and Debunk the Funk on your team. See, I’ve made it easy for you!
Let’s clarify the bet terms for all to see
Here is my proposed term sheet for the contest. It is completely neutral with neither side having an advantage. Sean, if you want to limit it to $1M on just the clots being formed post-mortem, I’m absolutely fine with that. Or we can make it more general purpose and interesting as I’ve proposed below:
Teams A (misinformation spreaders) and B (narrative pushers) will each deposit $1M (or whatever amount is mutually agreed) in cash into an escrow held by a third party law firm that is engaged by both team. The $2M “pot” is reduced by the expenses incurred.
The contest issues will be determined by a panel of 40 judges. There are up to 20 issues that will be decided in up to 20 separate votes. To win on an issue, you must have 25 or more votes on that issue; otherwise the question is a draw.
The pot is allocated to the parties based on the results of each vote. So if Party A wins 3 issues, Party B wins 5 issues, and the other 12 are draws, then the “pot” will be split in the ratio of 9:11 (i.e., 3+6 : 5+6).
The judges will be selected at random by a mutually agreeable market research firm from the public at large by asking the question: have you been vaccinated. The firm will randomly select 40 neutral people who have consented to come to a central auditorium to view the 2 hour event on a livestream and vote after each issue is discussed based on who had the most persuasive argument. Ideally, the firm assesses each person’s confidence in the vaccine and selects people who are relatively neutral in aggregate.
The moderator will announce the judges vote on each issue after the time expires on that issue.
Team A will submit a list of 80 or more debate topics. Team B will have 15 days to let Team A know which questions they would like to debate; a list between 10 to 20 questions long. Clearly, Team B will pick the questions for which they think they have the best case of winning. It’s structured this way so that if Team A wins all the question, we can logically infer that Team A would have won on all the others issues as well, had they gone to a full debate.
Once the questions are selected, each team will have 15 days to create what slides they will use for each question and give those slides to the other Team to review. Each team will have 10 days to review the slides before the debate. Teams can have up to 3 slides per debate topic and all slides will be made publicly available.
At the end of the review period, the teams will submit the names of their team members to the moderator plus up to two alternates in the event that 1 or more team members is not available. If a team submits no team members, that team will forfeit on all the questions.
Each team will consist of up to 5 members.
The moderator will read the questions and enforce the rules. So the questions and team members are submitted to the moderator. If anyone breaks the rules, the moderator may have them removed from the event.
The moderator will be someone who is mutually agreeable to both parties.
The debate will be all virtual to make it easier on the team members to attend and schedule. This also minimizes expenses and allows each team to recruit the best possible players on each side.
The debate will be livestreamed to a worldwide audience.
Each side will be allotted a total of 3 minutes of total talk time on each topic. They can yield the floor at any time for the other side to respond.
When a team has the floor, the opposing team cannot interrupt them. A team can only speak when the moderator hands over the floor to them and should signify to the moderator when they are done speaking.
No ad hominem attacks. All team members are expected to remain respectful and polite.
The minimum talk time for each side is 15 seconds. If they use less than 30 seconds, they will be assessed as if they had spoken for 15 seconds. This is to ensure that the teams don’t just keep yielding each time (playing a game of “hot potato”).
The debate will be in a single 2 hour session. It will be publicly recorded.
The questions will be asked in the order presented by each team.
A coin toss by the moderator will determine which team starts. The moderator will read the question from the winning team and the opposing team will have the floor to answer.
The moderator will schedule a mock practice session to ensure both teams are familiar with the rules and resolve any ambiguities.
The terms in this offer are open to negotiation. All negotiation sessions shall be done in a recorded Zoom call between the parties that is live-streamed and made publicly available. The moderator will moderate these negotiation sessions. Any proposed modification must be party-neutral, i.e., cannot give either side an advantage.
I’m open to other options for any of the terms listed above so long as they are fair.
What will Sean do?
This is an offer Sean can’t refuse. He can’t argue my terms aren’t fair because if he doesn’t like any of the terms, he can propose an alternative that is fair and balanced. Also, my terms are fair as his followers would agree.
If he backs out now, it looks bad… really bad because he’s already accepted. There is now no way to back out without it being interpreted as a tacit admission that I’m right and he’s wrong.
So there is no way out. I think the “rock” option in the poll above is starting to look pretty good. At the time this is being written, more than half of my readers think Sean will take that option.