Sunday Morning Open Thread
I liked this post by Kevin Drum on persuasion:
My own experience, which I think is fairly generalizable, is that within the course of a single conversation hardly anybody ever changes their mind — including me. Arguing is a dominance game, and in a face-to-face confrontation over anything of significance (virtual or otherwise) we hairless apes will go to considerable lengths to avoid conceding dominance. So if we find ourselves on the losing end of a confrontation, we end up simply switching to new arguments, trying to redefine the terms of debate, cherry picking our evidence a little differently, burrowing down into ever more trivial subarguments, or reverting to mockery and then walking away. In other words, pretty much anything other than actually conceding that someone else is right and that our worldview might need to be updated.
That's lawyering. Kevin extrapolates to discussing politics - "arguments will start to sink in maybe a day or a week later when the emotional charge has worn off. You'll probably never know that you've successfully persuaded your adversary, since it's a gradual change that happens offstage and is rarely acknowledged (dominance games again), but it happens. [. . .] Thus politics." I disagree with that - that's political punditry. In politics, a large swath of the electorate has no commitment to a particular belief - if they do have a commitment, it is to jersey color. If there is, it is jersey color commitment. Generally, folks will agree with whoever does best for them- the old "are you better off now" question. Most people don't think about policy, and process even less, than pundits think.
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