How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
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14-02-2012, 03:30 AM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
(13-02-2012 09:32 AM)lucradis Wrote:  I think you may be mistaking disagreement with stupidity, as though any conclusion rather than the one you have made must be made out of willful ignorance. I've watched your threads and I would say this is the case, which is the reason I have not participated.
Every one of them has seemed less like an invitation for debate and more as a lecture on how things are. I may be wrong as things tend toget lost in text that would otherwise be obvious in person.

I will admit, I have felt this before on a post or two, and that I often (often) don't engage in threads because I can see this unfolding with others. Sad Spoken to but not spoken with. Sometimes people just simply disagree or take a different view. A debate isn't necessary and simple exploration of a subject will do.

(13-02-2012 10:31 AM)Zat Wrote:  Part of my problem is my background.

I spent a lifetime doing science, writing scientific papers, debating scientific issues.

The way we do it in scientific papers is be as thorough, as complete as possible, investigating the topic from every possible angle and going from initial definitions and assumptions to final conclusion in a clear, logical chain, making sure we left no missing links.

This may work in science, but not so much for things like psychology and philosophy.

Science works as a formula. Maybe like a paint by numbers. Psychology is more like an abstract painting. You can have the same colours but paint a different picture every time.

I think you are right in searching for a solution on how to deal with the frustration you feel. Perhaps there are other ways to communicate than the scientific formula you've previously used and applied. There is more than one way to cook an egg Wink

A good step to start would be to decipher between the situations where someone is denying a fact or someone is simply disagreeing or simply taking a different view, and then decide whether to engage or not.
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14-02-2012, 06:29 AM (This post was last modified: 14-02-2012 10:45 AM by Zat.)
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
(14-02-2012 03:30 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  Perhaps there are other ways to communicate than the scientific formula you've previously used and applied. There is more than one way to cook an egg.

Vaclav Havel's political speeches and writings were published under the title: "The Art of the Impossible"

I have spent a lifetime pursuing "The Science of the Possible".

Looks like I need to learn a different language?

At least when I try to communicate with people who don't think the way scientists do? Huh

A course in Psychology could be a good start, as Observer suggested (rather, let me think of it by myself! Big Grin )

(13-02-2012 03:38 PM)Observer Wrote:  
(13-02-2012 03:25 PM)Zat Wrote:  You just told me that clever manipulation is more effective than honest and rational argument!

It is.
Ideas are sown, not planted. Planting is too invasive to ones ego. A clever idea is sown, and the subject gets the feeling he thought it up himself.

What you call manipulation, I call diplomacy. Wink

However, DLJ's advice seems the most practical so far:

(13-02-2012 10:35 PM)DLJ Wrote:  So, to deal with your "fools" try thinking of yourself as a doctor with an ignorant (not medically trained) patient. The danger sometimes is that (as with doctors) there is a risk of acting "superior" which certainly pisses me off i.e. when a doctor or a Service Desk agent simply sighs at me (it makes me go to instant psychopath-mode)... empathy (or the ability to fake empathy) is needed and then follow the Incident Management steps then it will be more like a team effort between you and your "fool" working through the process to achieve closure.

In other words, it's about Management not Psychology.

Maybe in conjunction with Peterkin's advice:

(13-02-2012 05:11 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  The trick, my dear Zat, is not minding that it hurts.

However, GirlyMan's advice is worth serious consideration:

(13-02-2012 09:28 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Can't help other than my own principles which I try to consider ...... First, "Can we both have fun with this?"

kineo's observation was right on spot in some regards:

(13-02-2012 11:35 AM)kineo Wrote:  When you're debating with people outside of science you're working with people who, if they research the details of the subject at all, will be researching details from sites of their subjective preference. Those sites may not be intellectually honest on themselves and the debater may not know this. But they're not going to accept your sources, because they already have their own that disagree with your conclusions from the start. was NEOA's advice with which Stark was in agreement with:

(13-02-2012 08:58 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  
(13-02-2012 08:53 AM)N.E.OhioAtheist Wrote:  You must over look foolishness. You will become one of the fools trying to change a fools mind. You can't change someone who don't want to be changed. You can't teach someone who won't learn.

Spoken like a man with real life intelligence.

...although, I have to admit, aurora2020's reaction certainly resonated with me:

(13-02-2012 09:10 PM)aurora2020 Wrote:  I try to keep away from them as I can tolerate them at first but then I find my fist just wants to punch their face for some reason Big Grin

Gee, guys, you have been really helpful.

Thank you all for the valuable feedback! Smile
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14-02-2012, 08:29 AM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
None of us are the stupidest and none of us are the cleverest.

We are all sorta bobbing round the middle.

I think Jeff nailed it with his suggestion.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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14-02-2012, 08:32 AM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
(14-02-2012 08:29 AM)bemore Wrote:  None of us are the stupidest and none of us are the cleverest.

We are all sorta bobbing round the middle.

I think Jeff nailed it with his suggestion.

TBH I don't think most people in this forum are 'round the middle'. Probably top 5% of IQs in the world.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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14-02-2012, 08:52 AM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
Here's how I deal with "fools", illustrated using pictures. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words.

Everything you read or hear, be it from the Internet, the newspaper, the television, your friends, or even the crazy hobo across the block, there may be things you agree with (Great, but let's remain skeptical), or things you disagree with (Hmm, I disagree unless you show me the evidence). But once in a while, you see something so wild, so insane, you say:

[Image: 76c0534a-45ac-48ab-b151-c0e1d451b8ea.jpg]
[Image: dc6f9572-3b2c-4e7b-8605-63618341a9bd.jpg]

Maybe it's something insane, yet if a majority of the population agrees with such an idea, society going on a water slide of doom. For me, I feel the urge to correct others, out of hoping that I can present them my alternative viewpoint. Initially, I have no idea whether the person I disagree with sincerely believes his/her opinion, is batshit insane, just confused, brainwashed, or all of the above.

My first stance would be the accepting stance. I would let the person do the talking, and understand why he would speak of such things. I usually question, to learn about his motives. I then present my stance nicely. Usually if the person is just confused, he would most likely be more understanding towards my alternative viewpoint. Maybe a bit of disagreement, but still accepting.

How about the rabid believer, the batshit insane, and the brainwashed? For these people, reason may not be the most effective weapon, or may be even out of the league. As a student of science, I understand how you feel when rational argumentation falls to deaf ears, and instead being accused of something irrelevant. At these times, we may feel like this:
[Image: c14aa3fc-80e6-4f0e-8cd8-6a784bf8eb52.jpg]

Technically, the most ideal, respectful response would be...
[Image: 7d699d92-8148-4e44-b0d9-c0e652decadb.jpg]
... leaving the debate where it is, as there is really no point arguing over things like "Prove that the articles you read were not written by Satan" or "Then explain MY personal ghostly experience. See, you stalled, therefore I'm right."

For me, either I give up being rational and go embrace the spirit of trolling and go on an all out insane rampage of madness, creating a whole new level of insane.
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQe803_sOOchtJqzCd03yD...a3NO_F06vQ]
But I understand this can hurt the person's feelings if he/she really believes what he/she said to be true. Trolling only works for the batshit insane.

My second stance, would be my defensive stance. I have to first acknowledge that both me and my "opponent" sincerely believe in what we believe in, based on different factors, and view the other as wrong. It will be unlikely that my opponent will have a sudden lapse of realisation, or to put it more crudely, a sudden lapse of common sense. I have to understand the origins of my opponent's ideas. Most probably the environment, or some radical book that sounds utterly convincing yet its just a load of misinformation.

I usually start questioning the source of my opponent's ideas. The source can be physical (a book, a website), which allows me to do some research and subsequently show the person why the source is biased and flawed. The opponent can do the same to me, and I respond by backing up my claims, hoping they are open minded enough to accept my arguments.

For issues relating to the economy, science, technology and other fields that involve rationality, a mutual agreement is usually arrived, and we end on a happy note, knowing that we both learnt something. I may be wrong from the start, and I have my opponent to thank, or my opponent may be wrong, but I too have to thank him for allowing me to learn the other side of the coin.

when the topic veers into the heart of religion itself, I think to myself
[Image: 584f30d2-f0d5-4b06-ad10-654a152db1e3.gif]
To me, I abhor talking about religion unless I have constructive input. I have a few bad experiences debating with theists, often ending with a sour note. I made a point to never, ever bring up religion to anyone unless forced to, which I have regrettably done so by stating that one influential book I've read is "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins in a interview.

So, if I'm forced to debate religion, I would use the standard arguments against religion, and the standard retorts to counter arguments for religion. That's it. The debate drags on ad infinitum until my opponent gives up, deems himself more worthy of me, claims that my arguments are fallible, or accepts my stance (currently zero people I've talked to has done so, maybe because I express myself better in words)

Basically, I'll respectfully talk to them, regardless of their level of sanity, and if they are beyond hope of redemption (I believe there is hope for everyone, but there may be a few exceptions)...
[Image: 3100dfe6-bec3-47d1-8c7b-b16983527792.jpg]

[Image: f2600d48-26e1-40c7-b645-2ca8cbd922e6.gif]

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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14-02-2012, 10:00 AM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
I will probably be away for a while, pondering the question of the cost-benefit ratio.

No need to delete my account this time -- I will be back! Big Grin
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14-02-2012, 10:21 AM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
Wow, that is a lot of different and opinionated advice. I hope you find what is good for you. Looking forward to your return Smile
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26-02-2012, 03:52 AM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
Well, as I said, I needed to ponder the cost-benefit ratio of forum-participation, in view of all the excellent advices I received from well-meaning friends.

However, after thinking about it for a while, I realized that the best advice wasn't here and it was an advice I had given myself long before I joined any forums.

It is an advice I have followed most of my adult life, but the temptation to ignore it, when I think I am among like-minded people, can be overwhelming at times.

So I am back, with a completely different attitude that you will notice as time goes by. I am not going to spoil youre fun of discovering the new 'Zat' --it will become obvious soon enough.

One hint though: I will tell you the advice I had given myself a very long time ago, in the format I did -- just for fun!

Here it comes:


I could have become
like most people:
take the world for granted,
accept it and drift with the flow
or hate it and fight it -
but I chose to become a sleepwalker,
treat the real as a bad dream
and when awake - dream on.

All my dreams are naive,
woven on the loom of childhood stories,
sweet fairy tales,
where good is rewarded,
talent given scope,
diligence promoted;
People are friends,
loyalty, honour and fairness
are important values
that everyone lives by
(except for the bad guys,
always defeated).

When finally my childhood ended
and I was ready to live
my adult life
- unprotected for the first time -
I took a good look and decided:
my dreams had no chance
in the real world.
I had to choose, so I escaped
back to my dreams.

I don't know if it was wisdom, cowardice
or just simple pig-headed stubbornness guiding me.
I only know that it means more to me
to maintain this dream,
to be true to myself
than all the rewards,
recognitions, riches and promotions
this 'real' world
could offer me.

I'm not a hero,
I don't do this to please god,
don't hope for reward in some afterlife,
but it is the most profoundly selfish act
of seeking pleasure in the immediate moment:
I can claim my life is
what dreams are made of.

Big Grin
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27-02-2013, 01:09 PM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
ZAT - I rarely participate in forums but I found myself so frustrated (with myself) that I started searching for how to "suffer fools more gladly" at work today. When I saw your post I knew I was on the right track. I struggle with this on a daily basis & you described it better than I could've myself.
The only thing that has helped me so far is to get to know these people. The only way I can deal with them in a meaningful & productive way is to get inside their head.
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27-02-2013, 02:46 PM
RE: How do you suffer 'fools' gladly?
By not thinking I'm better/brighter than "average humanity". And by leaving if someone's way of thinking or failure to understand my point of view starts to annoy me.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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