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Monday, September 12, 2005

Memory Ln

I was just thinking about how to apply the Socratic method, thus ending the annoying "GT Kid" standoffs common in political conversation. Example:

"Bush = Hitler!"
"Why do you say that?"
"He tortures people!"
"No, he just subjects them to cruel and degrading treatment. They are our enemies, you know. It's not really that bad."
"Would YOU like to be led around naked with a leash?"
"In a prison with concrete floors, no. But it's not that bad."
"You don't know that! They have to sleep on concrete in the cold!"
"I've slept on concrete outdoors in the cold. Concrete is softer than it looks. Incidentally, books make good pillows."
"You're lying! But how can you support the war when you're not willing to fight it???"
"Well, actually, I'm an army reservist. I volunteered the fall before we invaded."
"Do you want to go to Iraq?"
"Of course not. It would inconvenience me."
"Okay then!"

As you can see, this argument never ends- when one person wins a point, the other person gloms onto another topic rather than acknowledge defeat. The loser also tends to talk faster and louder at each setback. To avoid this, I have been considering whether my moderate trojan horse strategy might be modified to use the Socratic method. The difficulty with this is developing a line of leading questions on the fly. Still, the liberal- I mean loser- will not admit defeat, but it may be more impressive to any audience.

Then I recalled a conversation I had, much like the one above. Somehow this guy let it slip that he was an upper middle class suburbanite, living off Daddy's business. Whatever. I think we may have 'discussed' taxes or somesuch. Mayhap it was that I mentioned supporting Bush's retrograde policies?


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