Is this rhetorical?

8 things we found worth sharing this month.


It’s been a while since my last post, but summer is now over, kids are back in school, and spontaneous vacations are much less likely to happen. Here are some things related to biases, disagreement, and related topics that were shared in my Discord channel during the last month or so.

  1. WHAT IS MEANINGFUL? This is a great example of how arguments flare up when you mix up an argument about what is true with an argument about what is important/meaningful:

    People who consider themselves rational thinkers (myself included) often get stuck in this trap of getting too attached to undisputed facts, and missing the fact that the real disagreement being voiced is about urgency, priority, and creating a process for grieving/solidarity.

    Even in his apology he's refusing to acknowledge the fact that words are not just pure information, they also carry feelings, judgments, and power dynamics in them. And usually it's those in power who claim ignorance of this dimension of language.

    I've found that separating "what is true?" from "what is meaningful?" and sometimes "what is useful?" will almost always show you how an unproductive disagreement is due to mistaking one realm for another.

    The 3 realms of disagreement:
    🧠 what is true?

    ❤️ what is meaningful?

    ✋ what is useful?

    Once you notice start noticing these, you'll see them everywhere.

  2. WHO ARE WE? I have a feeling that Wait But Why’s answer will be weird, in the best possible way. I must be in a self-reflective mood because this article, How Aging Shapes Our Narrative Identity, about how we use the symbols generated in our early lives to tell the story of our later lives, also resonated with me strongly. And this older article on Solitude and Leadership was worth a re-read.

  3. IS AMBIGUITY MEANINGFUL? In this lovely essay by @sarahdoingnothing, I began to appreciate the many different ways we translate the ambiguous wilderness of the universe into something legible, but by doing this we also make it less profound.

  4. WHAT REFLECTS YOUR BEST SELF? A lovely short post about Ani DiFranco (a recurring topic in the Discord) and the surprising joy of being seen, even briefly.

  5. DO YOU LIKE POPPING BALLOONS? Probably not as much as this guy.

  6. WHAT IS WORLDING? Worlding is basically imagining a new reality that you can believe in. This is a new obsession that has gripped a few people. Starting with this Ribbonfarm guest post by Ian Cheng, author of Emissaries Guide to Worlding, and this really beautiful post, The Form of Formats, by @dschorno.

  7. CAN ADVERSARIES COLLABORATE? I believe they can. I’ve signed up to write an essay about guns with an adversary as part of Slate Star Codex’s Adversary Collaboration Contest. Speaking of experimental disagreement spaces, if you are interested in this idea and haven’t checked out Change A View yet, you should definitely sign up immediately. I have 2 Δ so far.

  8. WHAT TIME IS IT? 10 ways to answer.

Thanks for reading. If this list of things isn’t interesting to you, you can unsubscribe here. If it is interesting, I’m always open to feedback and suggestions for improvement. If you’d like to join the Rickshaw Discord community where all these links were originally shared, just reply to this email and I’ll send you an invite.

Last question. HOW ARE YOU?