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For a beginning, it would be good to drive out what we know is "false" from discussions. One of the benefits of scientific peer review is that clear falsehoods are (mostly) booted from any argumentation. Wouldn't it be great if evolution or GW deniers, or political or economy shamans, would not bring endlessly their falsified points?!

On the other hand, as our world enthusiastically becomes more risky, we can less afford to cling only to what we "know". Did we knew the scale of this economic crisis? Well, some of us could reckon that financial flows and games would be unsustainable; we still not surprised enough with what is going on; and we even can add hard prompt energetic and ecological strains to global predicaments soon. But we hardly knew anything empirically, and our understanding was still a broad (even if reasonable) extrapolation. To deal with this uncertainty, we need to theorize more rather than less, and be ready to act on not-so-tight knowledge.

Then there is a question of confidence: the style of rational argumentation neglects a non-verbal show of confidence (or even suppresses it), why opponents lie with straight face. All the distrust of progressive type of governing developed from the politics of confidence show. It all comes down to communication, after all. If hyperbolic or ludicrous formulations bring a true point better than rational pleas, what can we do better? We should not be afraid to believe (rather than "know for certain"), and to show the belief.

by das monde on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 05:15:47 AM EST
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