Don’t lose focus on the *real* issue

“Blueberries keep falling out of the wheelbarrow.” Jack was frustrated. He pulled his wool scarf up over his ears, which was odd considering it was August. Jill glanced skyward and shook her head. “Birds keep eating the blueberries.” She didn’t add “you simpleton”, but it was implied. “That’s not the point, Jill. It’s like you’reContinue reading “Don’t lose focus on the *real* issue”

Protesters are …

Protesters are … Black people are … White people are … Police officers are … Politicians are … Reporters are … Christians are … Muslims are … Jews are … Celebrities are … Men are … Women are … Americans are … If you’re about to end any of these sentences with something other thanContinue reading “Protesters are …”

Winsome or lose some

If you want to push people away, shut them down, and make them dig their heels in … criticize them, not just their viewpoint or behavior get angry or impatient use sarcasm don’t play fair use deception If you want to draw people in, open them up, and maybe even persuade them of your wayContinue reading “Winsome or lose some”

Pundit attacks comedian and loses — the argument

It was all going so well. A comedian tweeted his viewpoint regarding lockdown protesters. A pundit retweeted it, adding his viewpoint. The first two sentences comprised a valid argument. Then came the third sentence. “We can’t all be wealthy overrated comedians.” It took a hard turn from a valid argument straight into a personal attack.Continue reading “Pundit attacks comedian and loses — the argument”

What do we mean by “tolerance”?

“I like him personally; we have a different view on this.” I heard this on NPR today. A congressman said it about another congressman, each of whom was interviewed about the situation between the US and Iran. It’s a great example of classical tolerance: egalitarianism toward persons, and elitism toward ideas. Congressman A made aContinue reading “What do we mean by “tolerance”?”

What did Mr. Rogers think about?

Did you watch Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood when you were a kid? I watched it a bit, but now I wished I had watched it more. I say that, now that I know more about Fred Rogers. We watched the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? at a recent meetup with The Thinkery in Vancouver. We all wereContinue reading “What did Mr. Rogers think about?”

What is The Thinkery?

What the world needs now … people who freely exchange ideas in an atmosphere of truth and respect people who value substance over trifles people who remember history’s evils and build on its virtues people who know what’s going on in the world today and understand what it means for tomorrow people who consider othersContinue reading “What is The Thinkery?”

What you think of Bill Cosby matters

“I am thrilled about Bill Cosby being convicted.” That’s just one of the many happy tweets I’ve seen the last couple of days. There’s so much joy out there! Some are “in celebration”, with one merrymaker attaching multiple tears-of-joy emojis to his tweet about the prospect of Bill Cosby dying in prison.     Cosby was convicted on threeContinue reading “What you think of Bill Cosby matters”

99.9% agree about school shootings

Everyone but a small handful of evil people agree that school shootings are horrific and that we should seek to stop them. The disagreement is about how we should seek to stop them. Yet, from the tone of much of the debate, you’d think we’re not in agreement on the first point. This is notContinue reading “99.9% agree about school shootings”