How to Disagree

By Paul Graham / paulgraham.com
Sep 15, 2015
6
How to Disagree

The web is turning writing into a conversation. Twenty years ago, writers wrote and readers read. The web lets readers respond, and increasingly they do—in comment threads, on forums, and in their own blog posts.

Many who respond to something disagree with it. That's to be expected. Agreeing tends to motivate people less than disagreeing. And when you agree there's less to say. You could expand on something the author said, but he has probably already explored the most interesting implications. When you disagree you're entering territory he may not have explored.

The result is there's a lot more disagreeing going on, especially measured by the word. That doesn't mean people are getting angrier. The structural change in the way we communicate is enough to account for it. But though it's not anger that's driving the increase in disagreement, there's a danger that the increase in disagreement will make people angrier. Particularly online, where it's easy to say things you'd never say face to face.

If we're all going to be disagreeing more, we should be careful to do it well. What does it mean to disagree well? Most readers can tell the difference between mere name-calling and a carefully reasoned refutation, but I think it would help to put names on the intermediate stages. So here's an attempt at a disagreement hierarchy:

Read the rest at http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html
 

Trending Videos
TraumaZone (2022)
350 min - An epic documentary by British director Adam Curtis illustrating in seven parts state and decline of the Soviet Union and the development in Russia 1985–1999 using material from the BBC archives.
'Anti-Woke' Bank COLLAPSES After 3 Months | The Kyle Kulinski Show
13 min - The bank that went 'anti-woke' has apparently... gone broke.
Born Sexy Yesterday: A Hollywood Movie Trope That Maybe Needs to Die
18 min - "This video essay is about a gendered trope that has bothered me for years but didn’t have a name, so I gave it one: Born Sexy Yesterday. It's a science fiction convention in which the mind of a...
Before You Have Sex, Watch This
4 min - Some people claim THIS is better than sex. Do You Agree? - Prince Ea
Systemic Racism
The Corporation is at the Root of our Uncivilized, Inequality-Driving, Earth-Killing Economy
Watch On Demand
Recommended

Films For Action hosts a subscription service that currently offers 56 highly-curated, solutions-oriented films to Patron subscribers donating $5 per month. 

Subscribe here. Your support helps grow our 5000+ video library, which is 99% free and contains no ads thanks to our patrons.

 

How to Use and Contribute to this Library

  • Use the Explore menu to filter content by type and topic. Selections stack, so you can view Film Types about Specific Topics.

  • Submit videos directly to our library! Just sign up and click +Add Video at the top of the site and paste the video URL to get started. 

  • Create an account to save videos and articles for later and rate content for others

  • Filmmakers: Interested in our TVOD or SVOD services? Films For Action is one of the best homes for paradigm-shifting documentaries.

  • Contact us if you have a site or film suggestion, question, want to volunteer, or you're a filmmaker looking to collaborate. 

    Let's be the media!