An easy way to participate is by contributing links to other sources of information that relate to these problems.

Public policy issues often range widely across domains that are fuzzy or poorly documented.  As a result, debates over things like poverty or education or political corruption are filled with a lot of hand waving and rhetoric and appeals to plausible-sounding but unproven conjecture.  Often there are widely accepted “truths” that turn out on close inspection to be shared misconceptions.

As a result, we are always looking for documentation for the assertions made about the nature of these problems and the interrelationships between them.  Sometimes, the best we can do is to examine our mental models of how the world works and make our assumptions visible, so that others can critique them.  But where there is hard data or reliable expert opinion, we should at least provide links to the sources so that others can investigate and decide for themselves how much confidence we should have in our assumptions and beliefs.

So please post links in the comments, or email them to an administrator!  If you know of a reasonably authoritative book, journal article, website, or other source of information that either supports or opposes any assertion made in these discussions, please tell us about it!  Include an evaluation of the source and a description of its relevance if you can, so other participants will have a sense of what is out there.


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