I’m late coming to the party, but I’m quickly becoming a fan of Fausta. I’ve read her blog in the past, but whatever the reason it is lately that I’ve come to appreciate her blogposts. Maybe it’s the favorable conjunction of time and topic.
She’s had a really popular post on the men/women dynamic in culture, which I’ve linked, but here she gets into the fascinating subject of what makes for real communication.
Miller believes that conversation, not talk, but face-to-face conversation, is good for you. In Hume’s words,
it’s good for your psyche, you’re going to be more stable, steady, and you also get more pleasure out of life.
There are many impediments to good conversation these days:
1. we’re flooded with electronic interruptions
2. families don’t feel it’s necessary to have dinner together, when the dinner table’s the one place where most of us learn how to converse
3. many people can’t seem to differentiate confrontation from conversation
4. we’re all trying to come out ahead rather than listen.
I’d like to add to the list the prickly senstivities that people display. On blogs, whenever there is a place for discussion you find many who simply have no patience for dispute or difference of opinion. There is a real desire among people for a false homogenization. You don’t get much good conversation when all that is wanted is “unhuh,good buddy” “you tell ’em”… and withdrawn pouting from those who find disapreement most unpleasurable.
We are different sorts of people, and some of less tolerance for conflict than others, but good conversation has allowances for difference, even occasionally sharp difference which denotes a certain passion on the topic. A bunch of flaccid yes-men are pretty bland to pay attention to after awhile. I suppose this comes under point #3. It is a fine balance though, you don’t want to intimidate and aggresively shout down opposing opinion, but you ought to be able to free and lively disagreement as you work toward seeing the several sides that are suually to be had about most topics.
I had to laugh at this comment, “One can even find a horrible person, such as Omarossa, from one program (The Apprentice), in another program (The Surreal Life)” simply because I genuinely did not like her. She was horrible. Sometimes I say I won’t watch a reality show because the people all seem so horrible ad dysfunctional, but then I give in and watch. Sometimes they redeem themselves and other times I wonder what damage is done to the viewers psyche from having observed such awful behavior.
Fausta mention political talk programs. I occasionally have watched the Charlie Rose show on PBS and though he is quite the liberal, there seems to be a flow of conversation encouraged on his show.