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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Tuesday December 11, 2001
11:07 PM

Elgin and argumentation

[ #1607 ]
Dear Log,

Suzette Elgin once suggested this as part of her "Gentle Art of Verbal Self -Defense":

"In order to understand what another person is saying, you must assume that it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of." (George Miller; 1980.)

Our tendency when we hear someone say something that strikes us as unacceptable is to assume that it is false and try to imagine what's wrong with the person who said it. (As in: "That's ridiculous! He's only saying that because he's stupid/biased/ignorant/trying to trick me/..." and so on.) This guarantees communication breakdown; instead, use Miller's Law. The proper response when someone says, "My toaster has been talking to me!" is to give the speaker your full attention, ask, "What has it been saying?", and then listen carefully.

I find that the point is well taken.

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