Structural Stupidity

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to have better conversations, mainly spurred on by a book I’m reading: “I Never Thought Of It That Way,” by Monica Guzman.

Here’s an off-the-top-of-my-head collection of “Truths” I think I’ve collected in the past few months. As always, subject to change…

  • A conversation is an exchange of ideas, and a productive one requires that both parties are interested in exchanging ideas in both directions.
  • An argument, in contrast, is when each side wants to be right, and wants to prove the other side wrong.
  • Critical elements for a real conversation are mutual trust and respect.
  • Social media is a terrible place to have real conversations. Best to disengage altogether. Social media encourages “structural stupidity.”

Here’s a Braver Angels podcast in which “structural stupidity” is discussed.