It's been a bit since I pontificated on discourse. (I know PhysioProffe really misses these types of blather.) I do recommend you read those prior comments.
For today though, a more conciliatory note.
While we might ferociously stick to our position, talking points and arguments in certain scenarios, if we really genuinely want to advance a discussion this can be unwise.
It is essential to drop your position and pugnacity for a second or two and really, genuinely consider where the other person is coming from.
To walk the proverbial mile in their shoes.
And above all else, to think hard about how your stance and opinions appear to other people. This requires including how they perceive you instead of how you perceive yourself.
It can also help to credit the other person's concerns as if they were as important to them as your concerns are to you. Because chances are this is indeed the case.
I find myself in yet another knock down argument with a guy who, I am pretty sure, I share a lot of fundamental concerns with. On the face of it.
Yet I am convinced this guy is almost pathologically unable to genuinely recognize and consider the viewpoint and circumstances of other people.
There are generally two reasons for this.
First, a sort of overweening personal arrogance that, I am sad to report, is endemic to academics. This is the sort of arrogance born of a lifetime of being smarter than most other people, burnished by happening into a position of (modest, this is academics, mind) power in which many people do not challenge you. Underscored by a profession in which, despite the credit being supposed to come from the work you have done, obsessively views accomplishments as the subsidiary outcome of personal worth.
I don't think, after a few go-rounds with this fine chap, that this is the problem.
This leaves me with the second problem. Wherein the inability to budge off talking points, the refusal to see complexity of human trajectories and the blindness to others' lived experience comes from a theological adherence to a higher calling.
Religion, in essence.
It does funny things to people.
I do my fair share of preaching around this blog. And I do my fair share of sticking to my talking points.
But anyone who has been around long knows that what I'm really addicted to is the differential lived experiences of those of you more or less in the broader envelopes of academics, academic science and particularly the subfields that fall under the broad scope of Biology.
I am addicted to walking the mile in your smelly-arsed shoes folks.