Thursday, July 28, 2022

#210 / Let's Avoid The "Debate Team" Model


Jane Coaston writes for The New York Times, among other things. I liked her Op-Ed column in the June 9, 2022, edition of the The Times, in which she contrasted "Debate Team Energy" with "Academic Team Energy." In the hard copy edition of the paper, Coaston's column was titled, "We All Lose When Conversations Become Games of Destruction." Online, the column has a slightly different title, "When Every Conversation Becomes a Game, We All Lose." I suggest you click on that link, keep your fingers crossed that you will be able to penetrate any paywall that may be presented, and then see what Coaston has to say. 

What Coaston has to say, basically, is that conversations with people with whom you disagree should NOT be turned into competitions. 
Coaston suggests that this is just what is happening today with respect to most of the political, social, and economic conversations in which we are engaged.
I tend to agree. Since we are (by any fair analysis) actually "together in this life," and are not (as we often think) just a bunch of individuals, engaged in what amounts to combat with everyone else, hoping to prevail individually, "concession" and "empathy" are the traits we most need to mobilize to be successful. 
Ignoring this truth is not just a minor mistake, either. That's what Coaston is basically saying. 
Check out her column for yourself, and see what you think. 
I tend to agree!
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