New Ideas/Persuasion


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I had an idea that might be an epiphany... I think human nature is so important to understand, because it is our nature and it affects how we see and feel about everything. It also helps us understand the people we interact with. One thing I've found interesting about human nature is the way infants and young children learn, which is mostly by imitation. We learn how to walk, talk, and eventually think by imitating the people around us. I was reminded of this fact when thinking about why it is so hard for people to be persuaded.

 

I thought of a hypothesis that perhaps it's not ideas that change people's minds, but rather respect for the person with the new/different idea. A person is not persuaded by information as much as the source of that information, because the effect of changing one's beliefs is not simply changing one's beliefs, but to change one's beliefs to match the source. The goal of persuasion is not to make someone believe something in particular, but to persuade them to be more like you.  That is the biggest hurdle, especially when the person may not like you to begin with.

 

I  was just kicking this idea around in my head... I don't have much to say on it, but I thought someone might relate to this.

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2 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

I had an idea that might be an epiphany... I think human nature is so important to understand, because it is our nature and it affects how we see and feel about everything. It also helps us understand the people we interact with. One thing I've found interesting about human nature is the way infants and young children learn, which is mostly by imitation. We learn how to walk, talk, and eventually think by imitating the people around us. I was reminded of this fact when thinking about why it is so hard for people to be persuaded.

 

I thought of a hypothesis that perhaps it's not ideas that change people's minds, but rather respect for the person with the new/different idea. A person is not persuaded by information as much as the source of that information, because the effect of changing one's beliefs is not simply changing one's beliefs, but to change one's beliefs to match the source. The goal of persuasion is not to make someone believe something in particular, but to persuade them to be more like you.  That is the biggest hurdle, especially when the person may not like you to begin with.

 

I  was just kicking this idea around in my head... I don't have much to say on it, but I thought someone might relate to this.

There's precedent for that...
"I like Ike"...
"I wanna be like Mike (Michael Jordan)"...
"Girls wanna be here, boys wanna meet her..."
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is more interesting to me than my other thread now because the other one is more of a dead end... The issue with this one is that it is almost a paradox. How do you persuade someone through leadership? This means demonstrating that persuasion is not the goal... the truth is the goal. You'd have to show them that you are open to being wrong, so that they may do the same.

 

I heard the expression "lead from the front" for the first time about a month ago, and I always loved the idea of leading by example... it's just so pure. But it supersedes any debate or argument and it becomes an issue of one's general life philosophy. And it's not an issue of the style of leadership (from the front), but whether you look at yourself as a leader at all. If you aren't seeing yourself as a leader, any debate is a waste of time (this is debatable, but I'm just following this premise)... this cuts out a lot of crap. This is interesting to me right now because I've never really thought of the importance of leadership vs not except in regards to raising children.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is different than the rest of this thread but I wanted to write it down...

 

Capitalism is a bottom-up system, but the debate (between capitalism and socialism) is framed in a top-down way. I was thinking that it's almost impossible to persuade a leftist because they view every component of the system differently, and to address each of their warped ideas you'd have to first painstakingly identify where the discrepancies are, then try to offer them another option that's detailed enough that they can actually trust it's possibly true. You can't do this in a single conversation. So it becomes frustrating for both parties, the leftist spews vitriol  immediately when they decide this is a difference in politics (yours being the side of bigotry and oppression, you being a "bootlicker").

 

And I don't want to get into deduction vs induction, but a bottom-up, DECENTRALIZED form of argument might be beneficial. What does this mean? This means not arguing about systems, but focusing on a single element of the system. The entire argument will not come from one person... but be spread out (like market forces) among whatever people will have the knowledge to persuade the leftist on the specific issues. Now this seems like it would be organic and uncoordinated, like Darwinism...  but perhaps if this is truly the most effective process of persuasion on complex and emotionally charged issues, maybe it's the best option? Maybe the debate of "capitalism vs socialism" is counter productive, and avoiding these sorts of debates is beneficial in practice...

 

Earlier in this thread I was basically talking about how "selling yourself" is the most important part of sales, with my own logic behind it, and that seems to fit with my decentralized argument theory here. Because you cannot sell yourself to a leftist if you are a "capitalist." You can't sell yourself in order to promote capitalism when someone thinks all capitalists are evil... The implication here is that maybe persuasion itself is not a good goal, even though that is the goal from the socialist side...

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