We Now Know Why We Are Yelling!

O. M. G. My book is finally out! In the beginning, it was like this:

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And now, I do know know why I’m yelling, at least. Because I’m excited! It’s been so rewarding to talk to people who have read the book that I’ve poured 3+ years of my life into. It feels genuinely productive. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, etc in hardcover, audiobook, and ebook. Requesting it at your local book store or library is also an option!

If you want a signed copy, I’ve been telling people to just mail the book to my house with a note about your address and I’ll sign them and mail them back to you. Hand-delivery also works. Obviously this doesn’t scale, so it’ll be a limited time thing that starts now and eventually ends. Just DM me on Twitter (they’re open) and I’ll let you know the address to mail them to. I’m also willing to do this for multiple books at a time, if you wanna do a bunch for gifts or something. (Am I crazy?) (Don’t answer that.)

A token of thanks

I’d like to give you a few free reference guides that you can print out and put on your wall, or fridge, or by your desk. Thank you for the time and attention you gave for this book. Download the printable references and templates here.

There are also instructions on how to get even more bonus stuff if you do buy the book. See instructions here.

  1. Disagreement Template w/ Examples. A simple template for having productive disagreements with several real examples from the book and from life.

  2. Printable Reference Guides. You'll get some downloadable PDFs with all the guidelines for productive disagreement and the cognitive bias cheat sheet.

  3. Companion Reading Guide. A series of emails with additional insights that complement the 8 tips given in the book.

  4. Cognitive Bias Desktop Wallpaper. Get a light and dark mode downloadable wallpaper version of the popular Cognitive Bias Codex.

A favor to ask

Do thank yous always come with favors trailing? In a world of being an independent creator, sometimes it does seem like that is part of the package. And so does constant apologizing for the one-two-punch of gratitude and requests. So let me just get it out of the way.

  • The time is now. My book and ebook are both 40% off at Amazon. I’m not sure how long that lasts, but it’s there now. If you think you might buy my book sometime, this is the best week to do it. For whatever reason, publishers, book stores, reviewers, etc all look to a book’s first week as a gauge of its future success. Ugh.

  • Reviews help! But of course, read the book first.

  • Spread the word! Sharing the book with people who you think will like it would really help me. I don’t have a big budget for promotion and rely mostly on word of mouth to get noticed. But don’t feel obligated.


The real mission, tho

The real mission and change in the world I hope to impact is helping stuck and frustrating conversations get unstuck. Let’s stop arguing at the gate and start working on problems even if we disagree about exactly how important they are.

I feel really lucky to have had a chance to write this book. Everyone on this newsletter has played a part in supporting, encouraging, and even contributing to the process. My goal during the entire process of writing this book was to end up with something I felt proud of, and I can honestly say I’ve achieved that. So I can now mark off that item on my bucket list

Write a book I don’t hate about a topic I think is important

Of course, the real mission is that I’m still looking for ways to tangibly improve the quality of our disagreements in the world, and the book is a small part of that. But there are many ways to do this, some involving the book and others going beyond.

💫 I’m donating 5% of the advance and royalties to GiveWell, which is an amazing meta-charity that identifies the charities that use their money to the greatest impact.

💫 I’m looking for ways to more directly improve the quality of conversations happening today… like using the disagreement template out in the wild.

💫 I’m doing a lot of interviews to help bring this call to action to a broader audience.

On that last note, here’s some early coverage, if you want to check it out or share it with people :

Video interview with Rebel Wisdom

If you only watch or read one interview about this whole project, watch this one:

This video interview is probably the most polished interview I’ve ever done. It covers a bunch of my favorite topics: impossible conversations, the metaskill of disagreement, my complicity in problems created by the tech world, the relationship between curiosity, psychological safety, and diversity, and my hope for how we each play a role in improving the quality of our conversations.


Podcasts

The Next Big Idea: How to Have More Productive Disagreements
An amazingly well-produced interview with Rufus and The Next Big Idea Club that has voice actors and dramatization and all kinds of fun polish. Also, really excellent questions and summary of the book’s major points.

The Extraordinary Business Book Club: Why are we Yelling? with Buster Benson
A really enjoyable interview with Alison about the process of writing a book and basically being weird on the internet.

Curious Humans: Eating Knowledge & The Art of Productive Disagreement
Jonny Miller is a truly curious human and asks great questions. We explore the source of curiosity and dive into the topic of the 3 misconceptions about disagreement and the nature of our conflict avoidance.

And more! I have a growing list of all the podcasts I’m a guest on as part of this “virtual book tour” here on Breaker, and will be adding to it as a bunch continue to land over the coming weeks. 👉 Check out my podcast tour playlist.

Articles:

99u: 8 Ways to Flip Your Fear of Conflict

Better Humans: The Best Book I Read in 2019
A hard-hitting interview with Tony Stubblebine, editor of several of the largest publications on Medium, which was the starting point for my Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet post that kicked off this adventure three years ago.

Nir and Far: How to (Finally) Put an End to Pointless Arguments
The catch being that it’s all about creating more pointful arguments. I also loved this question from Nir, “What’s the most important takeaway you want people to remember after reading your book?”


That’s more than enough for this promo-heavy edition of the Rickshaw. Thank you for indulging my excitement during this week. It’s been intense. But these things ebb and flow and I’m also looking for a return to normalcy soon… I haven’t done much thinking at all about what comes next after this book stuff all happens. All I know is that I’ll be processing it out loud, probably here in Substack.

Thanks for everything.

Buster

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