Dogs, also, bark at what they do not know.
It’s hard to beat the entertainment value of people who deliberately misunderstand the world, people dying to be insulted, running around looking for a bullet to get in front of.
Taking a moment to hunt for an interpretation that makes an argument good — before you denounce it as a bad argument — is a nice heuristic that forestalls the tempting leap from “There exists an interpretation that makes this a bad argument, but it may not be what he had in mind,” to “This is a bad argument!”
Philosophy Referee Signals. Created by Landon Schurtz of the University of Oklahoma. Q.E.D.!
Odds are good that you primarily know one sort of person: highly educated, high-achieving, extremely cerebral, etc. Odds are also good that you give too much weight to feedback and ideas from this sort of person, while discounting arguments and complaints from people who don’t know the right way to persuade you. Try to keep that in mind.
You can tell when rhetoric is empty — and therefore should be cut — because it would never be possible to say the alternative.
When Charlie and I disagree, Charlie says, “In the end you’ll see it my way, because you’re smart and I’m right!”
Ideas and views that differ from one’s own should not be targets for demolition, but whetstones for sharpening one’s own thoughts.
Anger is an attempt to coerce a person into surrendering their reality, so that there’s only one reality in the relationship instead of two. And when the anger triggered by the anxiety doesn’t work, people experience depression. Depression is the experience of the loss of power: “I can’t make my world happen.”
Once they go into depression, couples—if they stay together—will then enter a bargaining stage. The bargaining goes like this: “Well, OK, I’m different and you’re different, so let’s make a deal about whose reality is going to be in the forefront.”
Use meaningless but weighty-sounding words and phrases. Memorize this list:
- Let me put it this way
- In terms of
- Per se
- As it were
- Ipso facto
- So to speak