Posts Tagged Understanding

What is a good discussion?


Many online discussions feels like a war, everyone fights as if their life depends on it, but it should be possible to work together finding new insight instead of fighting for our static opinions. I have used the word idea-exchange instead, to indicate that it shouldn’t be a fight on ideas, but I am not sure that it really makes any difference, both indicates a static exchange of views.

I believe in understanding, exploring Ideas, like building a sculpture, adding new or removing what’s not belong, an interactive and dynamic way of exploring ideas.

And to do it together with others, where ideas and questions probe all possibilities, is a joy.

Aristotle have said this:

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

This is central in developing new insight, exploring new territory, where we haven’t been before, don’t know if it’s right or wrong, until we have investigated it thoroughly.

It’s fun to investigate ideas, and both a joy when oneself or others understand something new, or as Goethe says:

Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though ’twere his own.

It’s the path for new understanding that is interesting, not knowledge, or as Max Planck says it:

It is not the possession of truth, but the success which attends the seeking after it, that enriches the seeker and brings happiness to him.

Too many people make large speeches where they present their views, but often it’s mere words without content, when trying to keep the concentration reading it, it feels like eating air. Einstein likes to keep things short:

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

When creating a bust, we changes small things, we can’t make it all in one giant splash, and the same way with ideas, we move around with the puzzle pieces, find or create new, and the best way to find new puzzle pieces is by questioning, questions forces us to think, forces us to leave the comfort zone.

And, we should never be afraid to think wrongly, for all development goes through correcting errors, and every time we find out we are wrong we have learned something new, and that’s worth celebrating.

And it’s vital to have a good atmosphere, as Steiner says:

The fact is, no art of any kind can be mastered without humour, especially the art of dealing with human beings.

And enthusiasm:

That is what you need – an enthusiasm in the experience of truth. This enthusiasm is an absolute sine qua non.

And we should be delighted whatever the truth turns out to be:

Truth has to conquer its domain with complete disinterestedness.

The last thing is, that I have found out that the more I formulate things myself, the better I understand it, so I seldom use quotes, neither my own nor others, in the comments, only in the postings to specify the problem or idea, but references to what is explained is ok, but it must never stand alone, its not part of the argument only a service for interested readers.


See also Nothing is such a joy as to learn something new, so enjoy each time you are wrong, you get wiser.

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