Me in brief:
- I coach people in clearing anger, bitterness & other negative emotions. I'm keen to be evidence-based about this, but in this field, evidence is often fuzzy, and experience is an important guide.
- I've worked in sustainability knowledge-sharing.
- I know about wikis, and help run Appropedia, the sustainability wiki.
A communication sequence
(Work in progress. Suggestions appreciated.)
Social aspects of communication (or is that a tautology?):
- Levels of communication
- Reasoning isn't about logic (it's about arguing)
- Correspondence Bias (also known as the fundamental attribution error) in brief on the wiki)
- Ask and Guess
- Tell Culture
Emotion, making sense, and anticipating reactions:
- Politics is the Mind-Killer – Avoiding emotional & tribal identity triggers. "Politics is an important domain to which we should individually apply our rationality—but it's a terrible domain in which to learn rationality, or discuss rationality, unless all the discussants are already rational." & "it doesn't matter whether (you think) the [specific political party] really is at fault. It's just better for the spiritual growth of the community to discuss the issue without invoking color politics."
- Policy Debates Should Not Appear One-Sided – "there is no reason for complex actions with many consequences to exhibit this onesidedness property." "Two primary drivers of policy-one-sidedness are the affect heuristic and the just-world fallacy." Avoid using arguments as soldiers.
- Policy Debates Should Not Appear One-Sided (discusses arguments as soldiers)
- Philosophical Landmines – "If something you say makes people go off on a spiral of bad philosophy, don't get annoyed with them, just fix what you say. This is just being a communications consequentialist."
- Responding to a landmine explosion: It may be best to "abort the conversation." Alternatively, a commenter suggests, "stop taking sides and talk about the plus and minuses of each side."
- (Something more about emotional triggers?)
Understanding and being understood:
- Off-LW: Be a Communications Consequentialist, Jesse Galef.
- Inferential distance:
- "a gap between the background knowledge and epistemology of a person trying to explain an idea, and the background knowledge and epistemology of the person trying to understand it." Inferential distance (LW wiki).
- Explainers Shoot High. Aim Low! – "we tend to enormously underestimate the effort required to properly explain things."
- Expecting Short Inferential Distances – explaining in evolutionary terms why this is such a problem today.
Biases, heuristics and fallacies that affect communication:
- Illusion of transparency
- Generalizing From One Example (the Typical mind fallacy)
- The Halo Effect – "You should be suspicious if the people you know seem to separate too cleanly into devils and angels."
- Better Disagreement.
- Related: Steel man (in brief on the wiki). Principle of charity (Wikipedia). Unpopular ideas attract poor advocates: Be charitable. Dangers of steelmanning / principle of charity.
- Ideological Turing Test (Wikipedia). First described(?) at http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2011/06/the_ideological.html by Bryan Caplan. (As Mill states, "He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.") Also see: Noahpinion: Against the Ideological Turing Test. Related: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Argument
- The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world? (e.g. "Martin Luther King was a criminal!")
Online communication (for further exploration):
- Text-based communication
- Dealing with trolls
Dealing with negative emotions