As you may recall, Rolf Nelson disagrees with me about Amanda Knox -- rather sharply. Of course, the same can be said of lots of other people (if not so much here on Less Wrong). But Rolf isn't your average "guilter". Indeed, considering that he speaks fluent Bayesian, is one of the Singularity Institute's largest donors, and is also (as I understand it) signed up for cryonics, it's hard to imagine an "opponent" more "worthy". The Amanda Knox case may not be in the same category of importance as many other issues where Rolf and I probably agree; but my opinion on it is very confident, and it's the opposite of his. If we're both aspiring rationalists, at least one of us is doing something wrong.
As it turns out, Rolf is interested in having a debate with me on the subject, to see if one of us can help to change the other's mind. I'm setting this post up as an experiment, to see if LW can serve as a suitable venue for such an exercise. I hope it can: Less Wrong is almost unique in the extent to which the social norms governing discussion reflect and coincide with the requirements of personal epistemic rationality. (For example: "Do not believe you do others a favor if you accept their arguments; the favor is to you.") But I don't think we've yet tried an organized one-on-one debate -- so we'll see how it goes. If it proves too unwieldy or inappropriate for some other reason, we can always move to another venue.
Although the primary purpose of this post is a one-on-one debate between Rolf Nelson and myself, this is a LW Discussion post like any other, and it goes without saying that others are welcome and encouraged to comment. Just be aware that we, the main protagonists, will try to keep our discussion focused on each other's arguments. (Also, since our subject is an issue where there is already a strong LW consensus, one would prefer to avoid a sort of "gangup effect" where lots of people "pounce" on the person taking the contrarian position.)
With that, here we go...