First, Where Do You Agree?

David Trammel's picture

One of the most important skills a Green Wizard must learn, in my opinion, isn't growing food, learning how to take care of your health, developing an eye on how to take care of your home or your family. All of these are important but they are things that you can be bad at, and still be a competent Green Wizard. No, one of the few skills all Green Wizards, and really, all adults should have is the ability to discuss and argue a concept critically, with recognition where you are knowledgeable and where you aren't and above all without emotions.

You need to be able to argue a point with another person, accepting that no matter what, its ok at the end to agree to disagree.

We here call that "Dissensus", and it is one of the core principles of Green Wizards. Unlike its opposite, "Consensus" where a group of individuals come to a common agreement, Dissensus is the principle of accepting that there is disagreement among individuals in a group, and that it is often advantageous to approach a problem from different directions.

Unfortunately the skill to discuss and argue without emotions and with a critical eye, isn't something often taught in schools today. Which is a shame, since the troubling time of the Long Descent and the collapse of our current economic and political culture is going to have a lot of disagreement.


One of my favorite Youtube channels is one called "Charisma on Command".

Its full of short 10 to 20 minute tutorials on personal interaction, which includes how to argue. While there are somethings I disagree with in them, and occasionally they use as examples people who are controversial, by in large the tutorials are focused examples of ways to improve the way you think about situations and problems.

One way to do this is when discussing a point or problem, find out where you and the other person agree. Once you identify these areas of common ground, you can go on to explore where you disagree.

With that in mind, I'd like to try an experiment.


What ever you think about the current Covid pandemic and the actions by all parties, individuals, scientists, news journalist, politicians, economic and religious figures, I think one thing we can all agree on is the emotional level of the conversations is sky high and not helping at all.

Unfortunately, Covid isn't going to be the last health crisis we face in the Future. Not just health but every other social issue you can imagine is going to be argued about, somethings with the same level of sky high emotion.

What I would like to do, is ask everyone to try a simple exercise without the emotional.

Here are the rules:

1) State a position you about the current Covid pandemic, either about the illness, about the response, or about people's reactions that YOU agree with.

2) The statement should be about something you agree with, or you thought was done correctly and NOT something you disagree with, or that you feel someone else got it wrong.

3) Try to leave politics OUT of it, lol. I know that's gonna be hard. Keep in mind Rule #2.

4) This is an important one, so please try hard. You may REPLY to someone else's posted position with either "I agree with you." or "I disagree with you." Do this by clicking the "Reply" link directly under their comment, not the Reply link at the bottom of the comments. Use that one when you want to post your own "I agree with...". You should also use their name, just to clarify who you are agreeing with, as example "David, I disagree with you."

For now I'm not so much interested in re-arguing something, I think we've all seen argued into the ground with too much emotions.

I just want us to try and hear what people consider as true, WITHOUT making it confrontational or requiring them to defend it, and maybe it will give each of us an example to reuse in other conversations. Finding the common ground of where we agree, before we go on, I believe is an important habit to get into, whether its something as simple as where do we go for lunch, or as important as (insert example).


I'm going out on a limb here with this experiment, and am crossing my fingers this doesn't turn into a real mess. Or that I have to close the comments.

Remember we are all friends here. And no one needs to WIN anything.

David Trammel's picture

I agree that the situation with Covid was a serious health issue, that required extra ordinary responses by the government.

David, I agree.

A great idea! Back when I was in art school, a teacher told us 'when we criticize your work, we aren't criticizing you personally.' That skill of separating what you did from who you are was probably the most important thing I learned there.

On to the exercise (thanks for trying this, David):

During the first few weeks after Covid became a pandemic, and the effects and severity of the virus were still unknown, I agree there was a need for those lockdowns.

David Trammel's picture

Jbucks, I agree with that. Thanks.

I think I'm understanding the directions.

Covid-19 wasn't handled with any nuance at all. It seemed to me to be all or nothing.
Either it was the next coming of the black death OR it was an evil, lying Chinese plot and no one got sick at all.

What I would have liked to have seen was something more along the lines of some people will get very sick, some people will get moderately sick, and some people won't notice. We think that if you have the following health issues (fill in the blank here) you are at higher risk. That is, if you're over 80 or you have cancer or what have you.

We could all agree that we all need to wash our hands more.

David Trammel's picture

Yes, the way it was handled was poor. Thank you.

COVID-19 was handled poorly. Money (i.e. - pay people to take the vaccine) and Patriotism (i.e. #RealPatriotsMaskUp ) are two things that often move Americans to unite and neither has been used in any major way.