It comes up often between good humans that they disagree — and not how they disagree.

And there are ways to disagree stupidly, and ways to disagree awesomely. In an ideal world, no one disagrees stupidly. In the real world, most disagreements that matter are not “This side is right and this side is stupid.”

And I think life is groovy, in one of the realest states true for lots of us, because we can be safe, have healthy happy bellies, and enjoy the tech of our days. Everything from facebook to twitter — all the ‘interactive’ platforms make it pretty clear how many of us spend a good portion of our day, and a good amount of our energy and hours being pretty pissy because of disagreements.

And I’m not an expert, but I’m very confident that I’m not the worst either about how people disagree. I think there is a level of wisdom that should be fundamental — bare basic. Fun-da-mental, that level just beyond elementary that prepares people for adulthood. In fact, recently I think all this increased access over the last couple decades has led people to be able to seek out people who are also not operating like a cognitive adult, and it leads to a lot of the stuff that makes the stereotypical teenager at their worst a pain in the butt. These clumps of hur-durs have implications on a larger scale that make me go “oh dear, let’s avoid” so I’m kind of carving out this understanding for myself so I can know what to look for — I think. I’ve also noticed all of the below just makes interactions more seamless, comfortable, and valuable when dealing with my favorite people. Hell, I think they’re basic agreements that’ve led to my best relationships with folks being what they are today. So to start, here are semi-random 3 golden rules, because I’m pretty damned sure the world would be a better place if we all embraced this:

  1. Relevance assignment should be one of the earliest stages of information processing. If someone cares enough to carve out an understanding for their self, and get rooted in an understanding that to them feels deep and unmovable, they need to also understand the reasons why they care. That personality part in most of us — the one that gets pissy when people start to scoop reason-dirt over a mind that wants to tread the surface only — is very aware of this. This is why curiosity shouldn’t lead to war. Why trivia shouldn’t lead to fights. And why people sometimes need double down when a deep understanding is in danger of being moved. Basically, if people are arguing passionately, it’s really questionable if they can’t dispassionately say why if asked reasonably.

2. The Burden of Proof. I used to feel like the general majority definitely cringes when someone is an aggressive jackass about their point of view — unless it’s definitely funny. And today, after a certain guy became president by being an aggressive jackass about his point of view, I feel that most of the general majority cringes when someone is an aggressive jackass about their point of view. This is still ok. It still means that the resting state of collective social will is “don’t be a dick.” Messing with the burden of proof tenant is the most general way that people can be a dick:

If you make a claim, it is up to you to be able to prove it. If you make a feeling statement, that’s sharing a thought-probe, and that’s different. So if you say, “Bill Ted is evil and wants to eat all my cabbage” and want that to be taken seriously, you need to be able to evidence why you believe that. One of the most toxic and unpleasant people I’ve ever met crossed ways with me about 6 years ago, and this person would make outrageous claims like that lost Malaysian flight disappeared because passengers were experimenting with new black hole technology and that’s why they’ll never find the plane. When I tried to explain why I found it hard to believe that a black hole had probably not been formed on planet Earth I was clapped at, and told “Do your research!” with a real life exclamation point. This person had successfully blown my mind, I went out for a happy hour, and before my first sip was suddenly burdened with disproving that some scientist-agent had detonated a black-hole bomb on a passenger plane. The debate ended there because of golden rule #1, although I thought it was funny how that works and still do.

3. Know when you’re exploring something that you don’t know, and let’s call it insight arrogance. Thinkers and listeners are both responsible for managing insight arrogance. And insight arrogance — that false belief that you know or already understand more than you do, is a tricky thing when, at the same time — people should want to carve out an understanding for themselves when they believe they can.

Again, feeling statements make a big difference. Yes, sometimes people feeling something out like the confidence of hearing someone else say something like “You’ll have to….” because that’s so, much, easier than figuring out a whole understanding — but someone who is helping, and not certain, can just as easily say “I think you’ll have to…” because those two words add a lot. Those two words go to ownership of a belief more than a statement on objective reality.

Basically the smartest of us know when they don’t know something. This is why dumb psychologist wanna-be’s start diagnosing people in ways they shouldn’t. And this is where flat earthers line up with people eating tide-pods. This is why it’s called taking responsibility when you choose to ask questions, over asserting false answers. Easy example would be, if you don’t like vaccines, you could ask if the ingredients are harmful, rather than insist they are harmful and then make experts #2 for you. Basically, I think only fools think they’re an expert when they’re not.

Anyway that’s my random garble for today time to 5am workout now.


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