The Paraphrase Challenge: How to understand what your opponent is saying

Earlier today, John Zande clued me into an awesome science fiction novella by David Brin called ‘Stones of Significance‘, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in AI, post-singularity fiction, and the nature of reality.

By coincidence, the author, David Brin, tweeted this video earlier which, given the epic online fights that have happened recently, should be watched by many people.  There’s a good amount of wisdom here.

It’s a bit ironic that he posted this on Twitter, not exactly a forum conducive to these techniques, but still an effective one for getting a message out.

6 thoughts on “The Paraphrase Challenge: How to understand what your opponent is saying

    1. Interesting. I see AC Grayling wrote a forward to the latest edition.

      The older I get, the more I’ve found the advice in Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friend and Influence People’ to be accurate, that you can’t win an argument. People just dig into whatever position they started with.

      That’s why my general philosophy has become that when I sense an argument developing, I try to stick to information mode, asking the other person for clarification of their position, and letting them know why I hold my position, and do my best to avoid participating in escalating rhetoric. (Although I make no claims to always succeeding 🙂 )


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