Following up on what I posted earlier today, here are some other comments from an r/philosophy thread that was discussing the brainpickings article.
"I feel that most people will fail at step one. I’ve found that too many people (especially on here) are unable to objectively rephrase my arguments, without putting words in my mouth to exaggerate my statements to extremes, which in turn changes the actual argument, and appears to favor their position.” -/u/ZachSmash
That’s something I’ve consistently faced while disagreeing with people. That is probably the most frustrating part of arguing with a person, and probably reasons why I prefer to avoid confrontation with some people I’ve argued with before. THAT exact behaviour.
I’m now increasingly become more conscious of how I communicate with people and the impact of what I say on their responses. Two things I always keep in my mind now -
1) Conversation is a skill/art that you get better at by conscious practice.
2) Being aggressive is the most useless thing you can do when disagreeing with someone.
I’ve discussed this in a lot of detail with a close friend who I live with. She seems to be having a very positive influence on me =)
How to compose a successful critical commentary:
1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
From a recent brainpickings article.
Daniel Dennett lists out this excellent way to have a conversation that involves disagreement. The more arguments I have with people, the more I realize that you can’t go in to conversations with the sole aim of proving the other party wrong. Unless you acknowledge their viewpoint and try understanding where they’re coming from, there’s no real way to advance the discussion. I should probably make a poster of the quote that Maria Popova starts that article off with - “let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery”
I haven’t written anything in a long time. So as to not break my super regular writing streak (ahem), I will post about something totally pointless today.
I re-visisted one of my favourite web comics - THE SPAGHATTA NADLE. And I realized how intensely I miss Allie Brosh’s comics. The 6 part comic is one of the most ridiculously hilarious things that ever happened on the internet and has the capability to make me happy EVERY TIME I SEE IT.
Thank you Allie. If I ever meet you in person, I will give you such a big hug.
Revisited RHCP after so long. I literally love the shit out of EVERY song on this album. It’s not even funny how good their Greatest hits album is!
John Oliver brilliantly rants against native advertising. Amazing!
This is absolutely priceless. Oh god. Can’t stop laughing.
Discovered this comment on a completely random r/funny thread and it made me smile. I thought of my closest friends as I read this and the mundane nonsense we talk about 90% of the time.
The older I get, the more I realize….that’s what all the good friends are for. In ordinary situations, that’s all they are: story listeners. The really good ones listen to all of your stories, and you in return listen to their stories. It doesn’t matter whether the stories are interesting, or mundane, they just listen.
You tell them about how work is hard and how you’ve been looking for a new job but there’s nothing in the area, and how you read a good book, but it wasn’t really that great because of all of the cliches. They tell you about the car they think they want to buy, and all of the cars within their price range that they found on cars.com, but the closest one doesn’t have 4WD and that’s just a deal breaker.
There are people you get wasted with, there are people you play video games with, there are people you work with (none necessarily mutually exclusive) …but the people you tell your stupid blunders, your boring discoveries, your tiny victories against mundane daily routines…those are the real friends.