“Fight me.” (how fighting is way more fun than learning)

Here is a funny, “spot-on” illustration of a key challenge we face in trying to have productive national dialogue.

It’s honestly pretty humorous in how precisely it captures the problem.

Background: one of our current test projects is to help a local community better understand residents’ conflicting views on an issue. One of the steps is to participate in an online survey. We solicit participation in the survey by reaching out through online discussion groups.

In this particular case, rather than participate in the survey, someone proposed that instead we just fight about it on Reddit. “Fight me,” they wrote.

(of course 🙂

We then explained that our premise is that one might learn better about an issue if, while one is studying it, one is not also distracted by having to fight with someone over it (at least for that moment).

Here is the humorous part:

  • Proposal to fight about it: up-voted to 24 by the Reddit community.
  • Proposal to better understand the issue: down-voted below zero.

Now, people will say, “Well, that’s Reddit.”

… Okay.

(Postscript: the survey actually turned out to be a big success, this redditor’s reaction notwithstanding. Indeed, even surfacing and better understanding this “We’d rather fight” sentiment itself was a success.)

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About This Site

Divisive partisanship is preventing us from accomplishing “jack.”

Americans’ propensity to quickly leap to negative prejudgements of ideological opponents poisons our ability to interact with the teammates we need to advance our personal and national goals.

We’re going to fix that.

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Thoughts from across the aisle...

“You know, I went right at those things — guns, God, and Trump — and I was very moved by what I found there. I hope that people who watch the show will feel the same kind of empathy and respect, and will be able to walk in somebody else’s shoes, or imagine walking in somebody else’s shoes, for a few minutes in the same way that hopefully they do with one of my other shows.”

— Anthony Bourdain, on his “Parts Unknown” segment covering West Virginia