Originally Posted by mafoofan
No, I reject them because they aren't convincing. Which is a pretty damned good reason to reject an argument--the best reason actually. Obviously you believe otherwise:
What the fuck can I say to that? You go live in your world where you believe unconvincing things, and I will stay the fuck away from you and that world.
Holy crap. I get it now. The sun of illumination shines upon me. Foo's entire SF career has just snapped into focus.
Foo does not know what a conversation is. He thinks "conversation" and "argument" are synonymous.
Foo, on a visceral level, this isn't going to make any sense to you, but I'm sure you can follow along on a purely intellectual basis.
First, a conversation is not an argument. It is a very different thing, to quote a quite interesting essay in The Economist on the art of conversation,The first three of those options are plain instrumental speech, and are the sort of approaches that the conversation manuals warn you against. The fourth one alone leads into the realm of conversation as such. Here the purpose of speaking is not so much to get a point across, more to find out what others think about it. This principle of co-operation is one of the things that sets conversation apart from other superficially similar activities such as lectures, debates, arguments and meetings.
Most -- well, some -- of us come to SF to have a conversation. We are not so much interested in finding the correct answer -- or proving that the answer we already have is correct -- as we are in exploring ideas and being exposed to new points of view.
So in an argument you advance a proposition, someone responds with a counter-proposition and you respond with, "No, that's wrong because . . . " But in a conversation, you advance a proposition, someone responds with a counter-proposition, and you might respond, "That's interesting. Would you think the same if [slightly different hypothetical]
Why or why not?" The focus is on getting inside the other person's argument and understanding it and its implications rather than rejecting it or "proving" that it's wrong.
Which leads me to the second point, and this is key. Most of the things we discuss -- and the arguments you have -- do not admit to any sort of "correct" answer.
Rather, there are different ways of looking at the same thing. Many of which, in that they are internally consistent, are equally valid. Even those that are somewhat contradictory can provide interesting insight.
For example, Dopey's observation about pattern matching was both interesting and insightful. It would have been a fascinating tangent to explore. It is -- and there is no other way to put this -- stupid to reject it out of hand, especially on the basis that you cannot apply the same pattern matching rules to interior decor that you apply to clothing. Dopey can and Dopey does. To say that you are not "convinced" is ever stupider. Not convinced of what? That Dopey can and Dopey does? That there is a pattern matching rule in the archetypal realm of home decor rules-of-thumb?
Dopey has a different way of seeing this problem than you do. His way is not objectively wrong. It is just different. And because it is different, it is interesting. If you can come to appreciate how Dopey thinks or, yes, how Stephen Hero thinks, you will have learned something. Once you get inside Dopey's argument, you might even say, "I don't really look at it this way, and it doesn't bother me. But I can appreciate that some people do look at it this way and how it might bother them. Now that I understand how they think, I can make these changes that are perfectly fine with me and address their concerns."
Now, yeah, this might be kind of silly in this context. I don't know how often, if ever, Dopey will be sitting in your living room staring at your carpet. But this is an incredibly useful skill in life. Master it, if you can.
And if you can't, you would be well-advised to fake it.
Originally Posted by StephenHero
This is just begging to be photoshopped. Where's edmorel?