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(meta: holy smokes, I'm getting a particularly strict timeout for posting "too fast" today)

> I asked you how you would convince Trump, as an example of a specific individual we both "know". Your answer is to study someone else, to just assume I haven't thought or observed anything, and that I just declare people as evil or deficient because it's easier.

Ironically, you are assuming a fair amount of detail about my beliefs about you.

What I said was: "It's not Trump that needs convincing, it is the public." I mean, if you think energy should be invested in changing Trump's mind, knock yourself out, but that seems like an incredibly ambitious task, and he might be out of office soon, replaced by someone else who may pay a lot of lip service to climate change, but continue kicking the can down the road when it comes to action.

I do recommend studying public opinion in depth though, I'm not sure if you are disagreeing with this idea or not. Hopefully not.

> That not all of this is based on misunderstandings and able to be resolved peacefully is not a happy insight, but it's what my data points to, if you will.

My data (to be fair, little more than paying very close attention to the nature and content of individual conversations) suggests that a massive misunderstanding (particularly: the perceptions individuals have for the thoughts, motivations, and desires of other people) is at the core of the gridlock. It's not everything, but it's a key component.

> Just take the stories about (not always) elderly relatives being radicalized by some fake news on FB: these may be well meaning people, but they are in the clutches of not so benign people. Confront and overcome those, and then we'll see how much remaining confusion even exists.

An excellent point. I wonder though, how "radicalized" are these people, really, as opposed to just frustrated, confused, and illogically angry in general about a complicated mixture of this and that? If it was me, I'd put some effort into finding answers to questions like these, rather than guessing (which typically takes the form of assuming the worst).

> Last but not least, if someone gives their child poison

I would advocate for taking the child away. If it was my child, depending on the circumstances that person may suffer extremely negative consequences that may not be proportional to the harm they inflicted.

On the scale of the population of the planet, or at least the individual citizens within democratic countries, you can't just take these people away or execute them, you have to persuade them, within the incredibly flawed framework of governance that we call Democracy. I am simply saying that the current approach doesn't seem to be successful, and we should expend some effort in figuring out why. That this idea seems so offensive to so many people to me seems more like a symptom of the problem I'm describing, rather than a problem with my idea. I believe there is a strong but unrecognized element or tribalism at play in this debate, on both sides, that is holding back progress. On the right, this manifests as people saying utterly idiotic things about climate change, and on the left this manifests as things like getting angry at or downvoting someone for suggesting we stop mistaking our perceptions of reality for reality itself, and think and study the issue more deeply.

But of course, all of this is just my personal opinion based on observations, it's completely possible I'm wrong. But it seems worthy of some thought and investigation, considering the gravity of the situation and the current state of gridlock.




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