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Who’s listening? Civilized debate is dead

Posted by $ Solver 3 months ago to Culture
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“Today nearly all real public discussion has become impossible. Which is why nearly all public thinking has become impossible. Which is why the thinking has gone bad on nearly every major issue now facing us.

It isn’t just politics that is finding it hard to operate. It is also the media and every other piece of sense-making apparatus we used to possess. The negatives accrued to any individual or institution for thinking or saying anything remotely controversial now means that they don’t bother any more. We’ve lost the art of discussion and with it the ability to find honest solutions.

There are a number of causes. Take the collapse of the ideas of private and public language brought about by technology. Throughout all of human history up until today the idea that you might say one thing in private and another in public was stored wisdom. It could lead to double-speak, for sure. Hypocrisy, certainly. But it was also recognized to have a utility: people — including politicians — needed to try out thoughts and ideas. No longer.
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https://spectator.us/whos-listening-c...


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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 months ago
    It's not just civil discourse, but the lack of rational argument that's been killed. I've had polite debates with liberals, who seem just fine with illogical, nonsensical ideas that are impossible to implement. They are convinced they are intrinsically right-minded, and anyone who has a different view is simply wrong and mentally ill.

    Liberals also seem to think they are the only ones in charge of "facts." A logical thinker immediately discounts any argument that begins with "Everyone thinks (believes, does, is in favor of, etc.) . . ." as they know "everyone" is never in agreement, and discounts the statement as fiction. Liberals have no trouble using such declarations, supposing them to be unchallengeable evidence of the truth of their argument.

    Another phrase, borrowed from the Communist lexicon, is "the people." Supposedly if they throw in a declaration that their position is for, by, or from "the people" it is indisputable. The use I most often hear is "the people want socialism, because what we have isn't working."

    Truly frightening.
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  • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 3 months ago
    There is a global push for anti-freedom dependence (socialism, communism, islam, etc). In the US, for me personally, there is little, if anything to debate. I don't need to hear about the virtual of socialism or communism or how islam is just another religion competing for followers. I don't need to talk to someone who says they are a democrat to already know exactly what their national and world view is (and to know they will go rabid and shout me down 9 times out of 10 is my points make more sense than theirs).

    Frankly MY desire to debate is gone because those with opposing views I no longer consider to be American, America-centric or Constitutionally motivated..

    My debate stands ready with a bat or s shotgun for when todays brown shirts come. The time for talk has all but passed.I fear that this country will erupt in bloodshed before things correct or damn themselves.

    I'm glad I'm on the downward slope.
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    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 3 months ago
      That is certainly one approach, sort of the Ruby Ridge version. Can't disagree with your thinking. I am still hoping people start reacting negatively to this massive Right Speak/Think cloud or nonsense.
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    • Posted by $ exceller 3 months ago
      Enjoyed your thinking.

      I see it the same way.

      "Frankly MY desire to debate is gone because those with opposing views I no longer consider to be American, America-centric or Constitutionally motivated.."

      Add to it: I no longer consider them thinking humans. What comes back is the communist/international propaganda, unabridged. There is no reason to debate what has never worked and is only in the minds of a segment of the population who are dead set to push it through, even though none of the conditions are in place.

      "The time for talk has all but passed."

      Correct. There is nothing to indicate that anything will change, if we extrapolate from the events of the last 30 years or more.

      The result is the total isolation of the two sides from each other (disregarding auxiliary groups).

      "I'm glad I'm on the downward slope. "

      I don't think you are. IMO, normal people stayed their course while the other side is careening out of control. So much so that I read the other day that Hussein cautioned the left not to run completely headless off the cliff. Of all on the left, Hussein! Not that it has any effect and it is good because they are on the sure path of self destruct.
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      • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 3 months ago
        By the downward slope I'm referring to past 50 on the hill of age. I may get to 100, even do I've crested the hill.

        I wrote Shadows Live Under Seashells because I saw things in society I hoped to overemphasize to have people see what they are doing. I didn't really expect to change the country but what I see sickens me, its foundational to the type of world I wrote about.
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        • Posted by $ gharkness 3 months ago
          AJ, I knew exactly what you meant, sad to say. Every day when I watch the news, I think "I wonder if I am going to HAVE to (not "get" to) live long enough to see that (insert bad thing headed our way) happen.

          I just turned 70, so please, dummy liberals, could you please just hold off a little while?
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  • Posted by $ pixelate 3 months ago
    Indeed ... the joy of conversation in the context of competing ideas has been tossed out the window. My set of family, friends and acquaintances with whom I can share conversation has dropped significantly. This has caused me to become even more a stoic and hermit. I now have more in common with a few on-line individuals than I do with members of my family and some long-time friends. And when I say "in common" I mean those people that are willing and able to have a dialog that explores areas that may expose contradictions in thinking -- both theirs and mine. Of course, there are no contradictions -- check your premise, right? In some of these dialogs I will close with the observation "I need to think about this some more ... let's get back together again next week." I enjoy thinking. I like to reach conclusions in a reasoned manner. As a recently retired 30-year software engineer, I am deeply familiar with logical processes ... mathematics ... and how to connect the dots. When I expose the fraudulent mathematics of statism (socialism, communism, collectivism of any kind), those who carry the torch for statism will do so to their graves. It takes little research to illuminate the source of their beliefs: a dependency on the state, an unwillingness to be held accountable for their prior misdeeds that ushered in their dependency, an incapacity to see the merit of responsibility for their own future. The state is punching their ticket and they would like to keep it that way.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months ago
    In the 90s I remember lurid tabloid headlines at the grocery store, written to be morbidly fascinating. I remember people handing out conspiracy theory zines. Everyone knew it was crap.

    But now technology had given us the ability to see exactly which type of train wrecks truly demand our attention. It's given everyone the ability to have a printing press almost for free. So mainstream news outlets have to run more sensationalism. We used to blame them for not having higher standards. Now I feel like I have to blame myself, at least to the extent I read and interact with lurid stories.

    I wonder if we're in a period of adjustment, where we're still learning to use tools to filter out the tabloid garbage.

    I think it's true that democratization of the media has brought us a lot of crap content, but the other side of the coin is those tools can bring us meaningful content. I'm not sure how it will happen, but people will have to develop new ways to look away from the train wrecks and empty calories.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 months ago
    I will find out how far public discourse has gone the rat hole when my wife and I will attend a neighborhood Christmas Party. Last year when we went to the party a lot of the neighbors were discussing politics and their hatred of Trump. So, I decided that this year I'll let my inner Revolutionary come out and see what happens.
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    • Posted by RevJay4 3 months ago
      That could be really exciting, sorta.
      Hopefully, you'll be surprised by the attendees having come to their senses since the last party.
      Things like the economy and how well their investments/401Ks are doing now. Possibly a business owner or two remarking on the increaase of business.
      Of course, that is assuming you live in a neighborhood full of working folks who see the present prosperity as a good thing. If not, be careful.
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  • Posted by $ TheRogue1000 3 months ago
    I pretty much gave up trying a few years ago. Almost anyone one speaks with has already made up their "mind" and closes off their attention to anything other than full agreement with their concrete pov.
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  • Posted by $ exceller 3 months ago
    Yes, it is.

    Tuning to channels overseas, it is not only in the US. It is global.

    I blame the uncivilized, radical left that consciously worked on alienating people for decades.

    "But it was also recognized to have a utility: people — including politicians — needed to try out thoughts and ideas. "

    I beg to differ: it never had utility. It had a purpose: keeping those in power. It failed because people realized the motive behind it. It is still practiced as politician promise things and some people are still gullible enough to believe it, or simply want to have their guy in power while being aware that he is a phony. Which is saying a lot about the present state of affairs.
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