A Practical Reminder From My Peer Mentor: Don’t Argue With Idiots
July 22, 2015
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Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. ~Mark Twain
Even while intending to enjoy a quiet evening surfing the Internet, today’s increased interconnectivity means higher chances of interacting with people who’re very different from you (e.g. at different developmental stages with different capacities to understand various subjects). Unexpectedly, you may find yourself slipping into a debate and committed to seeing it through to the end.
It’s during times like these when I appreciate being reminded to pull back and take stock of other people’s capacity to understand the topic at hand so that I don’t wind up banging my head (or theirs) against the wall trying to prove a point. Such a task may be likened to explaining calculus to the average 1- year old and, as the preceding video illustrates, persistence in the endeavor may make you look like the fool instead.
Run-of-the-mill conversations (or, rather, the geeky 2-person debate club) between me and my peer mentor revolve around deeper, abstract, and often esoteric topics (which I’ll cover in the future). However, even if needed just once in a long while, timely reminders of life’s little lessons are just as important.
For instances where he’s suggested I think twice about various, potentially silly, courses of action and everything he’s contributed in the past 14 years, here’s a brief shout-out to the one I’ve come to consider “the other half of my brain,” a brilliant devil’s advocate and worthy opponent, my right-hand man, best friend, and peer mentor. This post is dedicated to him. Happy Birthday N.M.!
In conclusion, here are some questions for my readers. What are your thoughts on the video’s message? How do you judge if a debate (particularly one that occurs online) is worth pursuing?