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I do not have a lot of strong opinions (jaspervdj.be)
18 points by swook 1238 days ago | hide | past | web | 3 comments | favorite

To riff a bit on the topic of the post.

Most of the time, I have little desire to argue with anyone on any topic. But, unlike the author, this doesn’t mean I don’t have strong opinions. I know exactly what I think on near any topic, and I know exactly how well grounded in fact those strong opinions are.

For me having strong opinions is orthogonal to arguing. So much so that it’s been noted that I’m a somewhat difficult person as you can get into an argument with me, which you "win" and afterward I’ll keep on doing what I said I was going to do at the beginning of the argument°.

And it’s also somewhat orthogonal to knowledge - I can have strong opinions on topics for which I know little about (more knowledge helps of course). These amount to a course of action, or a compass. Largely these are opinions of metaphor - I believe "X" holds for a topic in which I know a lot about, so I’m going to assume "X" holds for this topic I don’t know a lot about, and I will act on that assumption. And if pressed I will tell others about that assumption. Of course more data changes these opinions quickly, but your opinion when not backed by more data, isn’t going to change my course of action at all.

° Which is not to say that I can’t have my mind changed, but conflict is such a turn off that I rarely have my mind changed in an "argument". And of course conflict is such a turn off, that my main goal, when no real world consequences exist, is just to leave the argument, and probably the room.

I think it is very good to view our opinions as a constant process, rather than a collection of results. Almost everything we believe can change. The only permanent thing is when we truly improve how effective we are at processing data.

The ones who yell the loudest seem to be favoured in today's society. Without that trait, you're unlikely to be a good politician indeed. And a great deal of other things! For better or worse

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