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Learning from people who we don’t agree with

Learning from people who we don’t agree with

I recently read this article, shared with me by a friend, and written by Mark Brandi a former ministerial adviser in the Bracks Labor government in Victoria, Australia.

The article got me thinking of the many conversations I have had with good friend James Ellis over recent months, where we have talked about the importance of learning from people who we don’t agree with, or who share different views from our own. Image Source

For me, the following quotes from the article sum it up well, and form my thesis for this piece:

“Online forums have become echo chambers where polemic masquerades as discussion and devotees crave the “gotcha” moment that confirms their prejudice. On Facebook and Twitter, participants seek out those who reflect or reinforce their own views. Real conversations are rare.  Without doubt, social media enhances our ability to connect and share knowledge. Paradoxically, the lack of engagement with opposing views disconnects us from reality.

Retweet. Like. Share. This could be doing us a disservice. If we are isolated from opposing views, we cannot test the strength of our arguments. If we surround ourselves only with those who agree, we will not convince anyone.

Online activism, while alluring, is not a replacement for real conversations.”

This resonated with me as I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we deal with, and make sense of the views and thoughts of people who don’t agree with me.


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