The quarter-finals of the St. Petersburg major league debates were held on February 14, 2012

16 february 2012 2012-02-16

The St. Valentine’s Day has long been the festival of manifestations & declarations of the true love and other pleasant smoochies. The quarter-finals of the St. Petersburg major league debates, whether by accident or design, were held on this remarkable day. More importantly, the event pit against each other teams of the opposite gender: “Cutwater Spikes” (Andrei Molchansky, Ivan Fyodorov) and “Speaking of Gender” (Kristina Voloshina, Anastasia Pakhomova). The teams were expected to answer the following question: “Should electronic books be offered to people for free?” Young men played the role of “Government”, while girls stood up for “Opposition” (American parliamentary debate format).

The event dedicated to reading from paper versus screens was hosted by the book store "Bukvoed" (Gostiny Dvor metro station), therefore discussion was of both theoretical and practical interest. Should one choose electronic gadgets or traditional paper books lying on the store shelves, or in mysterious calm of libraries? And Saint-Petersburg, as the cultural capital of Russia, is the right place to ask such a question.

“Government” spoke about the importance of e-book readers as a new stage in the development of the country - availability of equipment with free, updatable books will promote a significant increase in the education level of the population. “If you call yourself an author you should send new messages to society!” The statement also revolved around improving the quality of life in the not so well equipped, remote areas of the country: “The more people can access the information, the faster society develops”.

The opponents adhered to the principle that “all work should be paid”. Should all books be absolutely free and easily accessible, how shall we compensate people working day and night to promote cultural progress of the nation? “Global trends consist in respecting the intellectual property rights, as everyone needs to earn one’s “potatoes” not less that to earn fame. Authors are humans, so nothing human is alien to them”.

The jury was made of members of the St. Petersburg Debate Federation: David Bokuchava, Madi Shakhrur and Yevgeny Sesyavin. The jury also included partners of the St. Petersburg Debate Federation: Irina Kruzhilina, the editor of “Next” column in “Delovoy Peterburg”, and Petr Nabutov, the representative of legal firm S&K Vertical. Denis Kotov, director of “Bukvoed” chain and the main guest of the event (directly relating to the game topic) made many skillful comments upon termination of debates.

Finally, the victory and affection of severe jurors went to charming members of “Opposition”, which managed to prove their point in an interesting, compelling and consistent way! The world still loves and reveres “live” books, paying a tribute of respect to those who create them.

Of course, debates on modern reality as such are fine, however, they are pretty much shaped by constant partners: the book store chain “Bukvoed”, the Northwest branch of Megafon, Web-channel Piter TV, law firm S&K Vertikal, newspaper “Delovoy Peterburg”, and social network “Vkontakte”.

Well, the countdown began. The first game session is completed. We anticipate for no less hot debates and meetings. The team “Speaking of Gender” should face some worthy opponent in the semifinals.

The next quarterfinals shall be held on February 28 and pit against each other the following teams: “Your Favorite Nightmare Creatures” (Sofia Vengerova and Sergei Danilov) and “Russian roulette” (Ksenia Ryabchikova and Mikhail Potepkin)

“Read good books, but remember to pay for them”

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