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new rule for myself

i do not get to criticize something unless i have done a lot of research into how and why it works, and also how it came to be

there is almost always more to it than the immediately apparent, and there might be interesting opportunities in either the thing itself or in the components that comprise the thing applied in a different way

i want to be right more than i am wrong, and as far as i know there are two tactics to do this:

(a) never say anything solid and definite, or that anyone will push you on. you won't be wrong, but you won't really be right either. nor will you learn very much. this is what i was and am still in the habit of doing, but it isn't very effective.

(b) do the work to really make sure you're right before you say it, and have good sources to cite and a good understanding of the thing. this way, you do learn something and if you get into an argument you stand a pretty good chance of either winning it outright or learning something else new. it does, however, take quite a bit of time and effort and organization to pull this off, but the upside is you can probably also blog about it too.

it is important to really get to the primary sources where you can on this stuff, with things like wikipedia as an index to know where to start.

otherwise, you know, someone you don't know on the internet will probably tell you something that sounds convincing with some of the facts, and if they know your emotional hooks they really can pull you anywhere they want.

why do you think propaganda works so well? this is why you are not immune to it. because you just don't look into everything, because it's a lot of work and you don't have a reason to be all that interested in the topic.

but you also don't hold those sources accountable, and they hold a lot of power that most people don't think about very often.

@KitRedgrave Dear, your hacker witch is showing 💜

But yea I think this is important especially if you find yourself wanting to criticize something because either you find out something you didn't expect to work, or you find yourself better equipped and justified. Maybe both, even.

@Kyresti heck, thanks for noticing ♥️

yeah. and also, things change and the conclusions you came to 5 years ago may not be the ones you would come to now. either because things happened in that time, or because you've learned things that have given you new context to revisit what you knew.

@KitRedgrave There's also an option c if you're not dealing with an adversarial crowd.

Say something you're not 100% on, or even just plain ask and say you wanna talk about it. People may judge you but in good faith most won't hate you just for a slip-up. At that point unless it's something I feel -super- strongly about I'd even just say "Why do you think X? Where are you coming from, I wanna see your take." than so much as an "I disagree."

And consider we may be adjacent to communities that explicitly like to argue for discussion's sake. :3

@Kyresti ah, yeah. that's the thing i didn't say, but it is completely valid to say "I don't know enough to hold a real opinion about it, but I am inclined to believe X; is that reasonable?" or some variant of it

and, hehe. ✨dialectics✨

@KitRedgrave Chesterton's fence supports this idea. (It's a good idea! Hard to do consistently, but hey, good to do.)

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