Day 1. 57 pages, 20,973 words. Don’t get too excited though, most of that was stuff that I’d already written as part of the series arc and is now (obviously) going into the final book: I didn’t write 57 pages in a day.
I ran into an interesting link a friend posted on Facebook the other day. It was about debate, and how to engage ideological opponents without condescension or mockery, and thus be most likely to achieve a successful outcome. Here’s the important excerpt:
How to compose a successful critical commentary:
- You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.[“]
- You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
- You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
- Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion.
It was all pretty obvious when you look at it, but it’s nowhere near as easy as it sounds. And I speak as someone who has been trying to live by these rules since … ooh, at least 2013. And I started debating online in the late ’90s.
I did, however, also debate – and coach debate, a bit – at school in the early ’90s, and back then these rules were golden. If you couldn’t adhere to them, then you had no place debating. Now of course, the aim in an academic debate is to make your own argument and destroy the opposing argument, so you want to get through these stages as quickly as possible and get on with your “But…” statement. Still, the philosophy was there.
I wonder why it went away. I suspect it’s as simple as “the Internet made it easier for us to be lazier, and angrier, and have our opinions validated.”
Well, this is unfortunate, but I will do my part to ensure that it remains a tradition.
Oh, and by the way. I figured out what is wrong with the world today, and how we can fix it. I’m going to provide an itemised list and take us point by point through the issue, and solve the collapse of our species into a heavily-armed mass of foaming hate-monkeys once and for all. Stay with me on this, it gets a bit complicated.
- A lot of people still haven’t watched Zootopia.
Yeah, no, that’s all. That’s all it is. Holy shit.