The love of debate

Alex Tsakumis has said again I have taken his words out of context.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been participating in blogging and discussions on the internet for 10+ years now. When you are debating with bright, engaged, educated people it’s exhilarating…and perhaps the best and quickest way to learn about any given topic. I always seek out places where a variety of opinions are represented. Echo chambers of any stripe are a waste, even if they are filled with the smartest of people (though echo chambers don’t tend to attract the smartest). Simply agreeing with one another leads to the danger that ideas and arguments will become distorted and there can be detachment from the reality on the ground (hence the “echo”). Conversely, if you are the lone voice of opposition in an echo chamber you must be prepared to be ganged up on. Which is fine, it’s just very, very time-consuming. Somewhere down the middle of that is “just right”.

It’s very stimulating to place your ideas up for scrutiny and to engage in the back and forth of debate. It’s like a crucible. Your arguments will either melt away in the heat, or they will emerge stronger for the heat. I’ve had my mind changed many times by a well thought-out counter argument. I’m proud of that.

Debate is great. It’s useful. It’s something one should seek, rather than seek to avoid.