There are three good ways I know to trip an assumption

*There are three good ways I know to trip an assumption, if you must know. All start by politely leading it down a dark alley, i.e. some consequence it is not considering.

If the assumption is small, you can try just jumping out and screaming “BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS THOUGH!” If it says “Oh,” you have won.

If the assumption is REALLY big, it will not say “Oh,”; it will bash through a wall of one of the neighboring buildings instead and say something like “THERE ARE NO DICTATES BUT THOSE OF THE PRIMAL DIRECTIVE!” Giant assumptions like this are actually easy to take out: just go IN them, by asking what exactly the primal directive dictates for your life, for example. It should be obvious how to proceed from there.

Medium-sized assumptions will respond with silence. They may “tut” or shake their heads a little, which can be very dangerous, so stand back. Sometimes the only way to level these is to make sure you leave part of them outside the next dark alley you lead (another part of) them down. Then at the end of the alley, just as they are about to punch you, slam open a door so they punch themselves instead, while you…well, if you’re me, you run away.

[It has been brought to my attention that the preceding few paragraphs have been confusing for some people; and this confusion has brought me no end of difficulty; and so let me clarify: this is a discussion of rhetoric, the ancient practice of talking to people until they are sure you are right, and not actually beating people up in alleys. Thank for you noting the distinction.]

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Closest I Have Come to Losing an Argument in 4 Years

There was one time in a Starbucks when someone showed me another side to something I was saying, and that other side showed that part of what I was saying was wrong. But we weren’t arguing.

And that was the neatest thing that had happened to me in a long time. In a Starbucks of all places!

I have notes on it right here (the “other side” is in all caps): whether human-developed systems are inherently unsuitable for some/all natural problems compared with natural systems AND WHETHER I AM DRAWING AN ARBITRARY LINE ABOUT WHAT SHOULD BE ON WHICH SIDE OF THAT LINE.

Eh? I told you it was neat. Still glowing now.

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