jerryking + agreeably_disagree   3

Six rules for managing our era’s oversupply of non-stop news, high-decibel outrage
May 11, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | editorials.

Rule No. 1: You don’t need to have an opinion about everything. Shocking but true. ....It’s perfectly fair to say, “I don’t know enough to have an opinion on that," or, “I will leave that to others to debate,” or even, “Both sides have some good points.” You might not please everyone, but see Rule No. 2.

* Rule No. 2: You can’t please everyone. Get over it.

* Rule No. 3: Embrace ambivalence....often misinterpreted as indifference, or derided as indecision. In fact, the ability to entertain contradictory but animating ideas goes to the heart of what it means to be a mature and civilized human being. It’s also central to preserving political freedom. The most dangerous person in a democracy is the blind partisan who outsources her opinions to politicians or an ideology, and who sees those who don’t agree as enemies to be righteously chased from town by a torch-wielding mob. The biggest threat to such black-and-white partisanship is the person who keeps her mind open, is not blindly loyal to any one team and sees people with different opinions not as monsters to be slain but as human beings to be understood, especially when you disagree with them, and they disagree with you.

* Rule No. 4: When you take a stand, be forceful. While the process of reaching a conclusion should involve a lot of “on the one hand” and “on the other,” at some point you have to make a choice.

In a criminal trial, the decision to convict an accused person can only be taken if the evidence is persuasive beyond a reasonable doubt – in other words, if the evidence is irrefutable and the conclusion is certain. But in politics, business and life, most decisions must be taken under conditions that cannot meet that exacting standard. Reasonable doubts are reasonable. Only the extreme partisan is without them.

* Rule No. 5: Set your bottom line. How far are you willing to let another person go before you feel obliged to offer a counter-opinion? Not every take you hear deserves the energy required to argue against it. Sometimes, you have to just let people say things you don’t agree with. You might learn something.

And remember, just as there is no obligation to have an opinion on every subject, there is also no rule that says you must express your opinion every time the chance presents itself. But when someone or something does cross a line, sometimes you can’t hold back. It may be as lofty as a matter of justice, or a simple as a question of common sense, but there comes a moment when your opinion will matter.

* Rule No. 6: Opinions are not the same thing as empathy. Empathy is what makes it possible for people who disagree to live together in peace and harmony – to agreeably disagree. And in a multicultural, multireligious, multiracial, multiparty democracy, people are going to disagree about all sorts of things, all the time.

The world has enough opinions. What it really needs is more empathy. Without it, life isn’t possible.
21st._century  agreeably_disagree  ambivalence  commoditization_of_information  disagreements  disinformation  dual-consciousness  empathy  hard_choices  incivility  incompatibilities  information_overload  news  opinions  open_mind  outrage  partial_truths  partisanship  partisan_loyalty  political_spin  propaganda  rules_of_the_game 
may 2019 by jerryking
Kelly: Sports scribes take themselves seriously at their own peril - The Globe and Mail
CATHAL KELLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jul. 28 2014

Hitchens was a very good writer, but he was a truly great debater. He thought in logical arcs. He was ruthless. Most of all, he was preternaturally articulate.

Regardless of whether you were his target, it was very nearly a physical pleasure listening to him talk....There is a species of this debate that can be fun to take part in or listen to. Reasoned, friendly, inflected with humour and – crucially – the knowledge that none of this is actually very important. A good sports argument is the sort you have with a friend and, eventually, agree to disagree over.

A while ago, someone on the broadcast side of this business asked me how I would change sports radio if I could. I said I’d make it a little more thoughtful and a lot less angry. I think I mentioned This American Life. He looked at me with the sad solicitousness we reserve for the simple-minded....This is the ne plus ultra of where we’ve been heading – a culture of sports argumentation so divisive and compulsively contrarian, it no longer has anything to do with sports. It has no idea what it’s about. Its only requirements are brute force and volume.
agreeably_disagree  Christopher_Hitchens  sports  journalists  journalism  Cathal_Kelly  disagreements  argumentation  divisiveness  sports_journalism 
july 2014 by jerryking
40 ideas we need now -- Unlearning the tyranny of facts
Nov. 2006 | This Magazine | DAVID NAYLOR. Engage in critical
thinking. Pinpoint flaws in logic, dissect rhetorical flourishes away
from the core of an argument, examine issues from different perspectives
and differentiate science from pseudo-science...We are still very
focused on facts—arrayed in patterns, conveyed passively, or uncovered
more or less predictably through cookbook experimentation and
unchallenging exploration. That emphasis seems incongruous. With
computers able to store and search vast amounts of information, facts
are cheap...What might the next generation of learners do instead of
memorizing facts, you ask? Among other things, they could read and play
music. Play more sports. Write prose and poetry. Acquire a skeptic’s
toolkit of sound reasoning skills. Debate highly-charged issues and
learn the lost art of rational and respectful discourse. Study
inspirational biographies, not to memorize facts, but to promote
understanding of how one might lead a more meaningful life.

[From my own note: the presence of facts does not mean that the truth is present. The "truth" is a more complicated thing than mere facts alone]
agreeably_disagree  ideas  critical_thinking  rhetoric  logic_&_reasoning  skepticism  uToronto  infoliteracy  sports  poetry  public_discourse  inspiration  biographies  disagreements  argumentation  David_Naylor  commoditization_of_information  facts 
may 2009 by jerryking

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