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Discussion Basics

you have a problem. e.g. you want an answer to a question like whether the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics is true. or you want to know how to build a submarine. or you want to know how to win Overwatch games. or you want to know how to treat your children.

this leads to other problems:

  • how do you ask a question?
  • how do you read the answer to a question from someone else and understand it?
  • how do you judge if an answer is good or bad?

and working on this leads to other problems, e.g.:

  • how do you take one or more answers with some value, but some flaws, and improve them into one good answer?
  • how do you know if you understood an answer well enough or should ask clarifying questions?

and working on those leads to other problems, e.g.:

  • how do you communicate effectively instead of ineffectively?
  • what info should you include or not include in communications?
  • what are examples useful for?
  • how and when should you use examples, and how do you make them effective?
  • what topics should i be interested in and talk about and ask questions about?
  • how do you use abstract ideas in your life? what do you do with them besides remember them and occasionally mention them in conversations?

(and you need to be able to come up with questions like these on your own, and come up with more detailed ones and come up with your own thoughts about it, not just ask a really broad generic question with none of your own thinking in it. don't use my list. make your own list. this is a demo, not something you should copy. pursue your own questions, not my questions.)

lots of these problems involve basic stuff that comes up over and over when dealing with many different problems.

things like asking questions and communicating are skills that you'll use over and over. that's why they are basic. they are so important to so many things that people figure you need to learn them early on so you can be reasonably effective in life. everyone is expected to know them.

but most people are awful at lots of basic stuff like this.

and then they keep trying to have discussions while fucking up the basics, and so the discussions fail.

and they never find their way from the discussions to the basics. they don't, on wanting to ask a question, wonder about how to ask questions. they don't, on wanting to communicate something, wonder about how to communicate. they don't take an interest in the skills they are trying to use.

this is horribly broken and is a huge part of how people suck so much and stay so shitty.

you need to learn basic skills. you need an understanding of how to discuss, how to communicate, how to ask and answer questions, how to judge ideas, etc.

if you aren't interested in this, you should become interested in it by seeing how it's needed for dealing with more or less all of your actual interests. your interests lead to these basics (this needs to be an active process of you finding and following leads, not a passive process of being led). unless you're blocking and sabotaging, or passive and helpless.


Elliot Temple on December 23, 2016

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