Re: Communication and Conversion, WAS:[Re: SOC/AG-BIO: AgBio IndustryBeginning to Wake Up]

From: Dana Hedberg (
Date: Thu Jul 20 2000 - 16:03:27 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > Does calling someone a luddite (whether it is true or not) increase or
> > decrease the probability of converting them to a "better" mode of
> > thought? I'd be interested in hearing everyone's take on this, not just
> > Mike's.
> Since when is converting your opponent to your point of view the
> only (or even primary) purpose of an argument? On a public mailing
I didn't mean to imply that this was the only (or even primary) reason
one should have a conversation/argument. Sorry for the confusion, Lee
(if I may use the familiar). Please take the question as asked, though.
If a goal is to convert others who, in many different ways, hold strong
anti-sentiments to your beliefs, what kind of style of communication do
you think would be most likely to convert them? One that treats them
politely, or one that does not?

> list like this I can think of many other goals: converting the
> audience, clarifying the issues, learning about the opponent,
> measuring response to ideas, making social connections, and probably
> a few I haven't thought of.
Oh, absolutely! Others would be, an opportunity to stretch your word
usage skills ('domestic canine', comes to mind =), clarify your own
thinking on the issues, generate a historical record for future use,
etc. But, let me ask you this: Do you think I would be more successful
at converting the audience, having a chance to clarify issues, give my
'opponent' the chance to give me information, measure their response to
my ideas, and/or make a social connection if I used inflammatory
language and style of delivery or if I took an approach more in keeping
with Bonnie's suggestions?

A silly example (apologies to Bonnie):

1. Hey, luddite, what was the source of the info that led you to be
against GM?
2. What elements of GM do you find disturbing, because of your
3. Is there anything that would lead you and your Army of Lud to find GM
less threatening?
4. What is the level of your understanding of GM - anything beyond first
grade science class?
5. Are you, similar to other luddites, against sophisticated technology
in general?

> --
> Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>


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