TOTW: The Mechanics of Conversation

  • Posted on: 21 May 2018
  • By: SUDS

How can we have good conversations? Discourse can be challenging, even while talking with an agreeable audience who share an intellectual lineage. But, what makes a good conversation turn bad, or worse, boring?

There is a centuries old history of conversation, but while there is much written about anarchist manners--prescribed principles and actions and those to avoid--there is little content regarding the mechanics of conversation from an anarchist perspective.

Specialization has made conversation a chore. It can take many lengthy conversations to define terms with someone we share context with, and even more when we converse across disciplines. While some see the efforts that conversations take as worthwhile, others choose isolation.

Is conversation the foundation of our culture? If it is, then the value of practice seems evident. But, how can we avoid the traps consistent with bad discourse?

There may be cognitive biases, fallacies, and rhetorical devices that can make discourse manipulative rather than informative or useful, and our ability to identify the mechanics at play can make the difference between an enjoyable or a regrettable conversation.

What are the mechanics of good conversation and what expectations seem reasonable?

Join the first conversation on this topic Saturday May, 26th at 2:00PM EST at



1. good?
2. bad, or worse, boring?
3. our culture?
4. bad discourse?
5. reasonable?

there is no good conversation. there is only good conversation.

It's 5/21 time to smoke some weed! I'm a month and a day off, but, you know, weed. Weed is a conversation starter.

no expectations, i find helps tremendously.

accompanied by ... numerous others. the herb, as anonymous said of 5/21 (tho dont both those numbers need -1?), can indeed be a facilitator, opening minds to other/broader possibilities, and better so than a well known social lubricant, which has a narrower dose window of efficacy.

if even just one participant of the conversation is considerate of the aptitudes of those in the conversation, especially if they have a decent wisdom/emotional/interpersonal/social aptitude quotient themselves, the conversation is better facilitated. even more so, the more participants are so considerate (+apt aptitudes).

fervency of idea importance, oft needs wilfully put on a back-seat, to listen to the other's ideas, or else they will be less inclined to listen to yours when you find your time to speak. not thinking your ideas are THE ideas, or THE truth, goes a long way to helping the most important part of what you need to do in a conversation, the listening.

sometimes one needs listen to how well the other is listening, and attempt to adjust, to speak at where they can hear (and not just increase volume, verbosity, fervency). it may seem counter-intuitive at first, but a lot of the good interpersonal interaction is born from good intrapersonal introspection. i.e., sort it out in yourself first.

... and beware of entraining to the manipulative devices of others. in the shorter-now, it seems like a win, and in the hostile intensity, it can be harder to step back calmly to see the longer now, but ever worth striving for. deeper longer causalities. helps you stay calm in the storm.

I say all this, as someone still working on this issue. lots to learn yet.

is a topic that everyone is interested in. In the context of this forum it's nice because you can post a monolithic comment and it stays long enough for others to read and reply over a longer duration. In the IRC channel it's a faster pace and by the time you type your comment the topic might have changed and half the people could have left. Listening and engaging with the content is important otherwise it's like we're not on the same page. Sometimes you can hear someone's discourse and just take it or leave it if it's obscure or incoherent and let it ferment in the unconscious until a response bubbles up to the surface. Some things go in one ear and out the other and are unworthy of consideration. GO3

Good comment. I think trolls should be given more leniency sometimes it's refreshing to have a comment such as this ----- " STFU YOU ARE A TOTAL FUCKING MORON EVERYTHING I SAID YOU HAVE TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT GET THE FUCK OFF THIS SITE ! " It sort of clears the air in the same way that a brawl down at the mall makes for an entertaining day out of an otherwise dull repetitive one.

Good faith <--- I use this term a lot, makes me sound like a whiny nerd

But it's my default assessment for all communications with strangers and acquaintances, whether somebody's asking to bum a smoke or dropping off scientology literature at my fucking house (?!?!!?) or whatever the case may be.

Sometimes, I honestly can't tell and points to you for good trolling, if so! But only good faith results in good conversation IMO. You can certainly learn a lot from hostile debate and rhetoric when you're still figuring out the basics on any given topic but an in-depth discussion needs a lot of good intentions to balance out the natural jagged edges of relationships.

When the bad faith radar goes off, I do a sharp turn and start slapping you around to the best of my ability. I'll do what I can to find your last little feeling and hurt it, you know? We're all accustomed to rolling around in the sewer together, in the late-stage social media era. I didn't make this game and I don't really care for it as a pass time but if I sense any sadism on your part, there's another game called who's-the-bigger-sadist? That game, I like!

Oh, so you spout Good faith yet enjoy slapping around naive mischievous kids on the internet?! WELL SLAP ON MY BONER YOU FREAKIN SADISTIC TROLL MURDERING SEWER DWELLING SELF-RIGHTEOUS DOUCHEBAG!!

uhm … yes? You've heard of this before. I'm pleasant until you're not, then I'm more unpleasant than you. What is it about this concept that bothers you?

Hi dude :) , hey, you know that challenge you threw out to trolls, for your own wellbeing, I'd withdraw it, I don't want to see you hurt, I'm a compassionate person, just drop it and all is forgiven, mmkay?

So what's your deal? You're the defender of the @news trolls? What's in it for you?

I think a Haiku is appropriate now.

A giggle to a guffaw,
Something to always try to look for,
On this sad side of life.

Aren't you so clever! Look at you, all pleased and proud! CUTE

Don't tell me I didn't warn you, no hard feelings ;)

try 10 seconds, your delusions of grandeur really factor in to every single thought you have, hey?

Neo-Warhol, get your 10-15 seconds on a forum site, watch the end of the world on TV.

A haiku is composed using 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables. Your doggerel is not a haiku

A giggle to a guffaw
There's always something fun to look for,
At any time and place.

Enlightened now?

When do you start talking about professional baseball?

not really; next time
try counting the syllables
all are under ten

A/ gi/ggle/ guff/aw,/
Some/ thing/I/try/to/look/for/

Whoopee, 15 syllables, and it actually sounds like a real Zen haiku, excellent, thanks coach <3

Um 17 syllables

Haiku are spooks because they are linguistic grammatical icons worshipped by people.

Okey, now that I've satisfied your obsessive grammar rules, I warned you before mmkay!


Umm 14.52, we're all waiting with baited breath..........

You have bait breath? Stop eating the bait the fishermen need it! I think the word you were looking for is *bated*.

Hard to say. Depends on the purpose of conversation. Practical communication is best kept short and efficient. Theoretical discussion, a lot of it's about bridging. Getting the listener from the stuff they know to the stuff they don't. It also depends whether you're trying to persuade (rhetoric) or make a good argument (logic). Some of the "deep listening" stuff might work OK if it got separated out from idpol double standards and pacifism. There's some good exercises on this in Postman and Weingartner. Like, see if you can rephrase what the other person has said, don't move on until you can.

08:32 - That last point is really good, and not one I have thought of explicitly in those terms. So often we move on from one point to the next but are actually still in very different places about what the other person actually means. I tend to try to paraphrase back what I've heard in what the person I'm talking to says, allowing them the chance to correct any misunderstandings I have of what they really mean.

Yes, all politicians are driven by their need for power, and any ideology, whether left or right, provides an opportunity to obtain it. The psychology is complex, but one could connect complex elements of inadequacy and inferiority during childhood. My field of expertise concerns the development of the infant into a self-reliant and independent being, capable of living a productive reproducing life and upholding the values which prolong its tenure upon Earth, a mindset resistant to the doctrine of oppression which is plaguing my generation, the incel, who have become disempowered, infected and neutered by the PC Idpol valuas. Once there were just the Apollonian and Dionesian influences coursing through our veins, finding a balance, the equilibrium which needed no politician to judge and pass sentence upon. One took what one wanted and played the debt one way or the other, through pillage, rape or conquest, life was never dull, and innocent people were spared any inconvenience, only the players of this game were the heroic men who made life a challenging adventure,,,it was never dull, always bold and with a clean backyard and attic, a place where a child could still without fear venture, knowing that The clan's values took care of decency, based on purity of an iron will, nay, of a titanium mind.

and sex is not a right or entitlement. Luckily you can do it yourself so you can still have a sex life and avoid frustration even without a partner.

The world is always dangerous. Even in the most safe and secure societies or in the wild there is risk and hazards.

On the question of power, is the glass half empty or half full, or just full? What kind of power do you want? The power to control people or yourself? I would suggest a book that may seem silly but is surprisingly insightful by Ashida Kim called Ninja Mind Control. GO3

Feel free to laugh it up, dudes, but of personal experience I can testify that even self-sex can become very unhealthy, in how it affects your views of others, and -stating the obvious- your endeavor with others will be greatly affected by these views.

While having sex with others has its share of pitfalls and hardships, it is adjusting us to the reality of the Other. Some people just fail to adjust adequately; their heads may be filled with shitty preconceived representations or whatever else. InCels seem to be a defensive emboldening of that inadequacy. I agree with today's feminists positing that porn is a huge problem, for how it distorts this reality of the otherness. Tho of course not every self-sex has to be contaminated by porn, it just gets... contaminated.

The problem lies in how it does not appear to be predominantly an actual self-sex -as enjoyment of your own body- but rather a projected sex, made upon yourself but projected upon others, or your representation of the other. Not very healthy... yep.

My first sexual intercourse was with myself (a "cis" dude), after having learned that from other dorks at the summer camp. I'll avcoid the pesky details, like my crush on my female English teacher, but for the rest of my teenage and also adult life I always had this mental/linguistic handicap towards females, that involved, of course, their sexualization. Public-shaming and calling me out at two occasions in the past, hasn't solved anything (last time it happened, it even turned me into an InCel for a day or two!) and the same can be said of any other call-out.

But besides this I would like to know how far does the fact of being first introduced to sexual intercourses through relations with others changes that in someone's mind. For some, I guess, masturbation was this surrogate sex they learned as a means to cope with the absence of their sex partner. Of course, sadly some ppl were also introduced to sex through rape or abuse exerted on themselves by others, so I can't be crybabying about ppl like myself. Rape is the worst imaginable form of sexual "education".

Incels/MRAs like this laughable caricature JP -who comes out as a real-life Simpsons character- won't ever have the honesty to admit this stuff; they're just too scared of their own shadows. But I could say that also Left IPs are hyper-moralizing it?

Abolishing sexualization within an amoral approach is what's needed.

FUCK morality, just one ethic is required, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and if someone does something to you which you don't like, then deal with them or put up, simple. This precedes X-tianity, this is a universal innate individual instinct which is made impotent and denied from children's own will within capitalist societies, where competition and rivalry are made the normal mindset. They are not instructed in refining and evolving their inborn qualities of compassion, everything is given a materialist value, a rationale is attached to servitude and reward, women are denigrated to be sex machines, guys become this weaker entity and forget that crisscrossing was originally a parody and satire, a means of entertainment and theatre to bring the sexes together, to open a dialectic between the genders and level the playfield. Now,,,,it's just a rugged mountain range of jagged identity groups scrambling and lost in the canyons of their own minds, forever having dramatic emotional breakdowns and bringing disharmony to the nursery of infantile prosperity.

*Crossdressing, not crisscrossing.*

is when you wear your pants backwards except I think it's spelled with a K like Kriss Kross.

Oh FUCK, I'm a member of the Kriss Kross Klan, awesome!

your variation of the ‘golden rule’ is actually 100% xtian. the older versions are expressed in a negative formulation: what is hateful to yourself, do not do to your neighbor. this translates to minding you own business, whereas the xtian formulation creates an imperative to be all up in other people’s business.

Well the negative form was what I meant, so I made a slip up, this is hateful to me, and so I hope you don't make any slipups, or use bad grammar, or cannot spell, or forget to brush you teeth, or,,,ad infinitum at etc blah blah blaaaaah!

its actually not christian. The correct law is Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and your neighbour as yourself. while the conjunction reads as a split, which Kant split and sided, its the former object of desire that translates into the rule cashed out in the latter.

Thats right. Christianity aint no simple easy shit.

But an innate tendency is easy shit, cos it spontaneously reproduces itself without authoritarian interference, like an eye for an eye, or in conversation, you swear at me, and I'll swear back.

I was a Jehovah's Witness kid who was picked on and bullied and shamed by my mom and taught rigorous morality about fornication and masturbation. On the positive side I can say I was raised as a conscientious objector and became a skateboard punk rocker after leaving the church and achieved liberation as a teen. I disagree about self sex, as long as it doesn't become obsessive or depressive I don't see it as a negative and I know the porn industry is rife with abuse but the basic concept of filming and watching people have sex is ok with me. The misogyny is the problem and that is rooted in resentment and can grow with or without the porn. Blaming antisocial tendencies on self sex is similar to blaming violence on video games or heavy metal music.

Not sure you got what I wrote, GO3... I wasn't blaming self-sex, but sexualization. Were you really in the Jehovah Witnesses as a kid? Not everyone had such a terrible religious background, but I understand how liberating it could be to have sex in your teen age.

It's not just the abuse going on in the porn industry, it's the porn industry *teaching* people on how other people are just fuck dolls. That's fucking with the minds of the viewers, in the way as to already make obsessive fuckers out of them, even if unconsciously. But this is only a by-product of a larger media industry where ordinary, consensual sex has been censored for decades, while being hyped about.

Anyways... This TOTW is about a much more relevant subject, the mechanisms of conversation, and I can't wait for these text walls and endless comment casdades to roll out, lol. *goin to get some pop corn*

OMG where would all the sane people be without petroleum jelly *frapping to Trump giving his inaugural speech *

Oh gel, all those poor little spermatoza shot out into cold space, no warm womb or anus to keep them snug, That's why saunas are the best place........Oh I forgot, of course, you already know that ;)

and conventional social mores are a repressive function and I don't find the couple form superior to solitude and autoeroticism. The prohibition against spilling your seeds on the ground originates in the story of Onan who was struck dead by YHWH for refusing an order to inoculate a specified female.

I judge success on a spectrum based on quality of life factors so a miserable couple rates lower than a happy single person. You don't go without food just because you don't have a dinner date right? I believe autoeroticism should be the base of your sex life and coupling should be an added bonus and yes saunas and bathhouses are cool under the right circumstance, too bad STIs put a damper on the sexual revolution, wouldn't it be nice? GO3

Onan was a fool, he could of had a one night stand and then skipped on the next boat to Carthage. Deserved to be struck down!

To 15.18 It makes sense to love oneself, and its easier on the wallet. Oops, I don't want that to sound sexist, I mean, keeping a pet dog can be expensive. Oh nooo, now I'll be called an an animal hater by greenies. OK, keeping another man is expensive, oh shit, now I'm going to be called a homophobic fascist. Keeping my mom at my place,,,,,,,,,,,,stingy ungrateful ass. A blow-up sex doll and porn,,,,,,,deviate incel creep. Just myself and nobody else,,,,,,,creepy anarcho-nihilist guy has sex slave in basement and worships the devil.

the TOTW is referring to audio conversation. The fact that this is even considered as a TOTW is sad, in that there is a need to have this discussion! Anarchy seems a long long way off if this is where anarchists are at: having a lead thread on musing over the mechanics of conversation!

One thing I've deduced is that some trolls are theoretical nihilists and as is their prerogative by observing chaos theory, they must introduce hypothetical situations into any rationale.

has disappeared and so has the comment thread...does thecollective know this???

it was taken down temporarily to fix an issue with the sound. it's back now. thanks for your concern.

I can still hear Aragorn! Ha ha. ;-) I couldn't resist.

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