Discussion structure in self-discussion vs multi-person discussion

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GISTE

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Jan 25, 2020, 6:44:31 AM1/25/20
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While working on my discussion methods mindmap[1], I was focussing on
batching all the purely self-discussion stuff together and batching the
multi-person discussion stuff together.

I noticed one of the links said tons of stuff about multi-person
discussion that I thought (based on vague memory) didn’t say much or
anything about self-discussion. And I wanted to reread the link to find
out what I can learn about how the ideas apply to self-discussion.

Here’s the link:
https://curi.us/2143-discussion-structure

> Dagny wrote (edited slightly with permission):
>
>> I think I made a mistake in the discussion by talking about more than
>> one thing at once. The problem with saying multiple things is he kept
>> picking some to ignore, even when I asked him repeatedly to address
>> them. See this comment and several comments near it, prior, where I
>> keep asking him to address the same issue. but he wouldn't without
>> the ultimatum that i stop replying. maybe he still won't.
>
>> if i never said more than one thing at once, it wouldn't get out of
>> hand like this in the first place. i think.

This applies to self-discussion too. People who are bad at thinking
should focus on one point at a time. I notice that I was doing that in
my mindmap answering the question “How do you know which ideas are
good?”[2]


Back to the link:

> I replied: I think the structure of conversations is a bigger
> contributor to the outcome than the content quality is. Maybe a lot
> bigger.

Managing the structure of a self-discussion is a bigger contributor to
the outcome than the content quality is. I think that helps reduce
overreaching.


Back to the link:

> In other words, improving the conversation structure would have helped
> with the outcome more than improving the quality of the points you
> made, explanations you gave, questions you asked, etc. Improving your
> writing quality or having better arguments doesn't matter all that
> much compared to structural issues like what your goals are, what his
> goals are, whether you mutually try to engage in cooperative problem
> solving as issues come up, who follows whose lead or is there a
> struggle for control, what methodological rules determine which things
> are ignorable and which are replied to, and what are the rules for
> introducing new topics, dropping topics, modifying topics?

All of these things apply to self-discussion too. What are my goals for
the self-discussion? Do I want to resolve conflicts of ideas as they
come up? Am I letting one part of me control another part of me (as
opposed to letting both parts of me be heard)? What methodological rules
determine which things are ignorable and which are replied to? What are
the rules of introducing new topics, dropping topics, modifying topics?


Back to the link:

> it's really hard to control discussion structure. people don't wanna
> talk about it and don't want you to be in control. they don't wanna
> just answer your questions, follow your lead, let you control
> discussion flow. they fight over that. they connect control over the
> discussion structure with being the authority – like teachers
> control discussions and students don't.

A standard way to react when someone is emotional when trying to deal
with some explicit ideas is for the emotional side to pressure the
intellectual side to quit discussing. The emotional side of the person
is trying to control the intellectual side. The emotional side doesn’t
want to answer questions, follow the lead of the intellectual side, let
the intellectual side control discussion flow. It’s a fight. The
emotional side is trying to be an authority.


Back to the link:

> people often get really hostile, really fast, when it comes to
> structure stuff. they say you're dodging the issue. and they never
> have a thought-out discussion methodology to talk about, they have
> nothing to say. when it comes to the primary topic, they at least have
> fake or dumb stuff to say, they have some sorta plan or strategy or
> ideas (or they wouldn't be talking about). but with stuff about how to
> discuss, they can't discuss it, and don't want to – it leads so much
> more quickly and effectively to outing them as intellectual frauds.
> (doesn't matter if that's your intent. they are outed because you're
> discussing rationality more directly and they have nothing to say and
> won't do any of the good ideas and don't know how to do the good ideas
> and can't oppose them either).

When somebody is self-discussing a conflict of ideas, sometimes one side
can trigger negative emotions which are designed to try to prevent
change of itself. That’s what static memes do. The static meme side
says non-content things to defend itself but it doesn’t have an
explicit discussion methodology to talk about. Your static meme side
can’t discuss discussion methodology, and it doesn’t want to.


Back to the link:

> sometimes people are OK with discussion methodology stuff like Paths
> Forward when it's just sounds-good vague general stuff, but the moment
> you apply it to them they feel controlled. they feel like you are
> telling them what to do. they feel pressured, like they have to
> discuss the rational way. so they rebel. even just direct questions
> are too controlling and higher social status, and people rebel.

Suppose somebody is self-discussing discussion methodology stuff like
Paths Forward but the discussion is not connected to anything specific
about the person. At this point there’s no conflict. No static memes
are active. But the moment that the person tries to use that discussion
methodology on some specific things about himself, static memes could
activate. The static meme side feels that it’s being pressured, and it
rebels.


I’ll get back to the rest of the blog post later.

[1] https://my.mindnode.com/KWbaXWGeV3gYpWmhoQbAssbbWLaLMKaVWEMYEN48
[2] https://my.mindnode.com/xf35zJs5T3f8r1ySZ6wQsGGQxY4NJA5KWYPrgwED

-- GISTE

GISTE

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Jan 25, 2020, 9:23:53 AM1/25/20
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On Jan 25, 2020, at 5:44 AM, GISTE
<cuz.good.is.str...@gmail.com> wrote:

> While working on my discussion methods mindmap[1], I was focussing on
> batching all the purely self-discussion stuff together and batching
> the multi-person discussion stuff together.
>
> I noticed one of the links said tons of stuff about multi-person
> discussion that I thought (based on vague memory) didn’t say much or
> anything about self-discussion. And I wanted to reread the link to
> find out what I can learn about how the ideas apply to
> self-discussion.
>
> Here’s the link:
> https://curi.us/2143-discussion-structure

> I’ll get back to the rest of the blog post later.

I thought of a question while reading this (from the link above):

> memes resist change too. rational and static memes both resist change,
> but in different ways. one resists change without reasons/arguments,
> the other resists almost all change.

Question: what kinds of change do static memes not resist?

Answer: changes that make the static meme more effective at resisting
other changes.

Disclaimer: I’m not sure about this. I should consider examples.

Will reply again.

-- GISTE

GISTE

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Jan 25, 2020, 9:30:04 AM1/25/20
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On Jan 25, 2020, at 5:44 AM, GISTE
<cuz.good.is.str...@gmail.com> wrote:

> While working on my discussion methods mindmap[1], I was focussing on
> batching all the purely self-discussion stuff together and batching
> the multi-person discussion stuff together.
>
> I noticed one of the links said tons of stuff about multi-person
> discussion that I thought (based on vague memory) didn’t say much or
> anything about self-discussion. And I wanted to reread the link to
> find out what I can learn about how the ideas apply to
> self-discussion.
>
> Here’s the link:
> https://curi.us/2143-discussion-structure

> I’ll get back to the rest of the blog post later.

From the link:

>> [Content] Discussion and meta-discussion are related too.
>
> Example:
>
> House of Sunny podcast. This episode was recommended for Trump and
> Putin info at http://curi.us/2041-discussion#c10336
>
> https://youtu.be/Id2ZH_DstyY
>
> starts with music
> then radio announcer voice
> voice says various introductory stuff. it’s not just “This is the
> house of Sunny podcast.” It says some fluff with social connotations
> about the show style, and gives a quick bio of the host (“comedian
> and YouTuber”)
> frames the purpose of the upcoming discussion: “Wanna know what
> Sunny and her friends are thinking about this week?”
> tries to establish Sunny as a high status person who is worthy of an
> introduction that repeats her name like 4 times (as if her name
> matters)
> applause track
> Sunny introduces herself, repeating lots of what the intro just said
> Sunny uses a socially popular speaking voice with connotations of:
> young, pretty, white, adult, female. Hearing how she speaks, for a few
> seconds, is part of the introduction. It’s information, and that
> information is not about Trump and Putin.
> actual content starts 37 seconds in
>
> This is all meta so far. It’s not the information the show is about
> (Trump and Putin politics discussion). It’s about the show. It’s
> telling you what kind of show it’s going to be, and who the host is.
> That’s just like discussing what kind of discussion you will have
> and the background of a participant.

Something is not clear to me. I want to flesh it out.

I remember thinking about social meta discussion and that it is not
actually meta discussion. Here’s what I posted to FI about it.

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/vlcn4lYvVjE/tqZJn0ngBwAJ

> Is social meta [discussion] really discussion? I don’t think it is.
> I looked up “meta-discussion”. It is discussion about discussion.
> But social meta is not discussion about discussion. It is insults
> about a person.

In light of what I read from Elliot’s blog post (quoted above), social
meta is not just insults about a person. It can be stuff about social
aspects of a content discussion. So that’s like two levels of meta
separated from content discussion. I’ll try to clarify this:

- Level 0 (L0) is content discussion.
- Level 1 (L1) is social aspects of L0. L1 is meta discussion about L0.
- Level 2 (L2) is discussion about L1. L2 is meta (non necessarily
discussion) about the L1 meta discussion.

Both L1 and L2 are social meta.

So the blog post says that music can be meta. But music is not
discussion. So I guess I’ve been thinking about meta discussion in the
wrong way. I need to broaden the meaning to include non-discussion so
that things like music can be included in meta.


Social meta is not good meta. Good meta is reality-focussed meta.

-- GISTE

GISTE

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Jun 3, 2020, 9:42:03 AM6/3/20
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On Jan 25, 2020, at 5:44 AM, GISTE
<cuz.good.is.str...@gmail.com> wrote:

From the link:

> i’ve been noticing structure problems in discussions more in the
> last maybe 5 years. Paths Forward and Overreaching address them. lots
> of my discussions are very short b/c we get an impasse immediately b/c
> i try to structure the discussion and they resist.

> like i ask them how they will be corrected if they’re wrong (what
> structural mechanisms of discussion do they use to allow error
> correction) and that ends the discussion.

I’m reminded of a live debate (that I didn’t watch) between a
pro-science person and a religious person about the evolution of humans
(I think that’s what it was about). At the end of the debate the two
people answered the question: what would change your mind? The
pro-science guy said something like “evidence” and the religious
person said “nothing”.

So like I think that should have been addressed near the beginning of
the discussion. What’s the point of discussing if one of the
discussion partners believes that nothing could change his mind? That
conflict of beliefs is an impasse to a productive discussion.

-- GISTE

GISTE

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Jun 3, 2020, 9:42:30 AM6/3/20
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On Jan 25, 2020, at 5:44 AM, GISTE
<cuz.good.is.str...@gmail.com> wrote:

> or i ask like “if i persuade you of X, will you appreciate it and
> thank me?” before i argue X. i try to establish the meaning X will
> have in advance. why bother winning point X if they will just deny it
> means anything once you get there? a better way to structure
> discussion is to establish some stakes around X in advance, before
> it’s determined who is right about X.

I’ve done something like this but in reverse. Like somebody will want
to convince me of something. And I don’t know the value of that thing
yet. And it’s confusing and potentially a big effort to learn it and
judge it. So I’ll ask the person things like: what implications does
this idea have to other important things in my life or the world?

So like I’m trying to help my discussion partner convince me (not just
to convince me of his idea, but also to convince me that I should put in
the effort to learn his idea).

-- GISTE

Jordan Talcot

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Jun 3, 2020, 9:52:16 PM6/3/20
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