Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Year's Resolution

My goal for this year is to never use an angry tone when discussing politics. Anger is powerful for rallying the base but it is useless in convincing others to come to your perspective. As someone with extremely heterodox politics I have no base to rally, so anger has no utility for me.

Living in the SF Bay Area, I'm often exposed to bad arguments against fracking, GMOs, or whatever is causing the latest environmentalist panic (environmental issues tend to tug at the heart and therefore silence the brain more than other issues). I need to prevent my frustration from wearing through. In any given conversation, it may be the hundredth time I am hearing their perspective but it is likely the first time they are hearing mine.

This quote from the year's best rationality quotes leaps to mind:

[About the challenge of skeptics to spread their ideas in society] In times of war we need warriors, but this isn't war. You might try to say it is, but it's not a war. We aren't trying to kill an enemy. We are trying to persuade other humans. And in times like that we don't need warriors. What we need are diplomats.
So if you see me getting testy on any political issue, feel free to call me out on it and remind me of this resolution.

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