How to Encounter Disagreement

I am writing this with Eric Weinstein in mind. But this general approach to learning and cooperating with a large community can be implemented by anyone who has a sufficiently large following. I am excited to see people trying to figure out how to improve the sense making organ for a large community of people.

You have realized that you need to put forth some effort having conversations with new people who have new ideas. You are popular and many people disagree with you. And it is in your best interest to figure out if any of those people have some ideas which you need to learn about and integrate. Because you are popular and your time is precious you can’t have conversations with everybody all the time. So you need to figure out how much time you are willing to invest into having these kinds of conversations with new people. Maybe you are willing to put in 1 hour per week for example.

Now that you have figured out how much time you are willing to invest, you will need to decide on a medium of communication. It seems to me that Discord is offering a good way for popular people to develop a community so that a popular person can delegate to volunteers. I know Eric is already doing this. Your choice of technology may end up being inferior to others, but this entire process of allowing people to provide valuable feedback to you should eventually make you aware of better processes, protocols, and platforms.

Now that you have a platform which allows volunteers to help, you will need to figure out a selection process. How will you decide which person you will begin having a conversation with? You will need a way for people who are interested in having a conversation to register. I think you can have a Discord channel where people get to make one post with a video which introduces them. The purpose of this video is to help the community detect if anyone tries to register more than once. A Discord bot collects the user info for the people interested in having a conversation. And the simplest process for selection is a lottery. I think you will want to decentralize so that you end up choosing representatives who can help filter out the noise within a multi-tier selection process. When you have a hierarchical process you must make sure that you are doing the occasional skip-level oversight in order to verify that your representatives are doing good work.

Once a person is selected for a conversation they are invited to a new Discord channel which can be thought of as an arena for the two people to have a long form asynchronous recorded conversation. Now you must decide on rules for the conversation. How long will the conversation last? I think the conversation should last for your entire life if you happen to meet the right person who is avoiding wasting your time. But I would put forth a minimum amount of effort with each person selected through the process. Maybe that minimum is 1000 words each. Once each person writes 1000 words the conversation can be ended. Each person is assured that you will read at least 1000 of their words and you are willing to produce 1000 words in response to that person.

Now that conversations are happening, you will want to provide a means by which analysis takes place. This retrospective analysis is an opportunity for you to assign some heuristics and allow your communities to weigh in as well. You want to make sure that you don’t miss something important. Your representatives may help you identify something important that you missed. And the community at large should be given the opportunity to provide feedback in such a way that if they are ever selected and raised within the hierarchy you can review their past analysis on past conversations. I am imagining a tool which allows users to highlight text which they have some sentiment about. The most valuable kind of sentiment would be that the community detected that you misunderstood or ignored something important.

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