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It's depressing the term has become that. "Strong opinion" used to mean "I've looked at the arguments and the counterarguments closely, and I've developed the arguments to the point where I'm convinced this is the right answer".

Not "I shout the loudest about it".

And "weakly held" meant "I am willing to believe there's data out there showing I'm wrong, and I will look at any new data with an open mind". Not "I'll flip if somebody shouts louder".

And sure, on the face of it, the proposed solution here addresses that, but... we don't know "how sure" we are of something. It's a made up number. And I'm willing to take bets that the same people who do the loud shouting will be the ones who just declare every certainty 100%. (The smarter ones will pick 98%).

The key to making this work is openness to new data.

If you want a rhetorical trick to facilitate debate, I prefer the old "Tell me what I'm missing" - it presupposes you don't have all the data, nudging you to be open to counterpoints and validating people who might want to offer counterpoints.




This is what happens when society views itself through a prism of most popular (i.e. social media). Certain topics and ways of communicating are more viral so they "win." Signaling allegiance and conviction without accompanying reasoning is easy to do, easy to digest, and contributes to the ongoing popularity of the desired message. It is a great strategy and is effective to the point of being required. If your opponents do it and you don't you will lose. The real problem is people thinking (and being lead to think) that the social media discourse corresponds to reality.




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