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From Wiki:SearchForTruth

You can't win in a dispute; you can only lose. (FightingIsBoring) Seek instead to explore, learn, and teach. Then everyone wins.

DaleCarnegie? phrased it this way: The only way to win an argument is to avoid it.

Are you trying to collaborate or convince? If your "common" goal is to prove to others that you're right, I guarantee to you the others don't share your goal. They'd rather prove to you they are right. In that case, you're talking at cross-purposes and you will fail.

Collaboration requires boredom. The secret to building a winning wiki is to be incredibly boring. Passion is the enemy.

Taken to extremes, that sentiment brings you NeutralPointOfView as it is visibly passionless. It acts as a GuidePost, a StyleGuide, a CommunityExpectation, and a RoleModel, not to mention that it will LimitTemptation to argue as there is nothing to argue against. This can become political though; it restrains those with passion. The point was to foster passionlessness within the participants, not just the text, which does not necessary mean be opinionless. Just have no obstinate opinions.

A ColdBlanket is the one role (see CategoryRole) that defends against passion, often ironically too passionately. Everything in moderation, even moderation. Alternatively, a CourtJester can delay passion, by pointing out its ridiculousness, and providing laughter.

Other things to defend against: DefendAgainstParanoia, DefendAgainstCynicism?.

I think this is an interesting idea.

For myself I think one way to do this is to ask for people who are passionately being IdeaGenerators to slow down and do a bit of BasicBuildingBlock? work. Break down large ideas into managable pieces. This helps to focus everyone, IdeaGenerator, readers and other community members. It can simply be done by asking questions.

The issue here is if anyone wants to use their valuable time asking an IdeaGenerator a lot of questions. I think that the role of a mentor would be to do a certain amount of that, but there has to be a way to decide when it is a waste of someones time. I think that point is when you get bored/frustrated trying to mentor someone. --MarkDilley

Just this approach works well on WikiPedia: a knowledgeable newcomer starts making massive changes to a high-visibility page (say, Catholicism) - so I direct them to a more detailed article (say, Pope Paul I) for them to cut their teeth. Once they've got to grips with the wiki way, then they'll be in a better position to deal with the vested interests in favour of the current version of that high-visibility page. --MartinHarper

Often people become passionate in order to win some sort of argument. Some people like winning arguments for the sake of winning arguments. Sure, it's fun to win and fun to keep your wit sharp, but as long as you aren't a sore loser or (worse) a sore winner. Remember it's still BarnRaising in the end. As long as the object of the argument is only to learn something new, this is all good.

Sometimes people become passionate in order to win some sort of disagreement, where the outcome of the decision has a binding effect on the future. The further the SeparationOfPositions?, and the greater the stakes of the decision, the more passionate people become since winning does matter, perhaps a lot, or more accurately: a lot as perceived by them. This can create wide and deep conflicts, such as wars over water sources in drought-striken land. Resources in digital media are different than traditional environments, but there is still the TragedyOfTheCommons, for instance. Time is the ultimate scarce resource. The battle for attention can lead to a lot of conflicts. Also, the formenting of discord leads to a SeparationOfPositions? as it disrupts people's ability to be convinced.

Essentially, that's the point. Be easy to convince, or rather, provide ample opportunity for others to convince you. Employ FairProcess. For important decisions, don't make them time bounded if you can, but instead feel comfortable in the LongNow (WikiNow). Don't act hastily, but act slowly. Try to bring yourself towards other people's perspectives, at least to understand them so they do not have to jump up and down just to get you to listen to them. Listen to them!

That is how you defend against passion. Don't require passion in others.

Sounds like by passion someone meant high-energy dogmatism? I think of passion as powerful caring, and even life energy (dogma optional), and i'll keep mine, thanks. I prefer to DefendAgainstAttachment?. I can care deeply about outcomes, and still accept when something is not going the way i would like. This equanimity is a very powerful place from which to continue the conversation (should i choose to do so). Rather than respond reactively (on some level sometimes a denial of reality), i can pro-actively respond to the current situation. --JohnAbbe

Yeah, I think that as currently phrased this page is wildly overdogmatic. Certainly one way to build a successful ("winning"??) Wiki is to be boring and passionless. But maybe another way is to be exciting and passionate! I sort of suspect that someone's had a rather traumatic experience here, and overgeneralized it to the entire universe. *8) Perhaps this should be refactored as a way that a Wiki can be successfully structured, rather than the way? --DavidChess

If your "common" goal is to prove to others that you're right, I guarantee to you the others don't share your goal. They'd rather prove to you they are right. In that case, you're talking at cross-purposes and you will fail.

Rubbish. To convince is a great thing, to be convinced is also great. If you convince someone of something, it means they have learnt something from you. They have taken on information from both your point of view and their point of view, and they have decided, on the basis of the combined information and rational reflection, that your one is better. A viewpoint taken on by rational consideration of a larger basis of facts can only be a good thing. To convince is to improve another person.

Similarly, being convinced of something means that someone else has improved your way of thinking. You should be grateful. I love being convinced, it gives me a thrill. I sometimes indulge in irrationally changing my mind just for the buzz, although it's not as good as the real thing.

Providing information using a NeutralPointOfView is one way to convince people. Facts are not boring, facts are interesting and convincing. A person reading facts will take on the given information and consider changing their viewpoint in a rational way. Constructing a neutral point of view requires knowledge of opposing viewpoints, and if you're not aware of an opposing viewpoint, someone will tell you about it. A neutral presentation of all the facts is a way to convince people without the discussion getting heated. But there are other ways. Rational discussion is the obvious one. By rationally discussing something, without anger, it is possible to correct idiosyncratic misconceptions and highlight facts in a body of information in a way which is impossible with non-personal forms of communication. Discussion has more chance of convincing people, and hence is better. However, it cannot reach as many people.

I for one am passionate about presenting truth neutrally. -- TimStarling

I read the Katha Upanishad again last Thursday, the story of when Nachiketa meets Yama and learns the fire sacrifice and the nature of Reality. Then I read the first chapter of A Cripple and His Talismans. India as packaged exported reverie and India as perpetual carnivale of exposed offal.

Saturday morning, when reworking StallmanVsFiddes, I unexpectedly found myself in an old mindset, flow. Thinking about what Yama says, I think to myself "Desire is suffering." (DefendAgainstPassion) One difference I see in myself between 9/11 to M11: then I would spend all day drifting (fist unclenched) or fighting (fist clenched) and now I struggle for more (clawing). But need nothing, want nothing, don't suffer in absence, don't hold onto fictions and confections.

Steve's ExGeek in relation to StallmanVsFiddes made me think about what it means to be a geek. A cloying internal destruction where you don't dare to desire because you have no hope that you will succeed. But that means, really, that you do desire.

The needs theory popular in the West, like Maslow, isn't good enough by itself. It's a construction, not necessarily human nature. I was listening to Brenda Stronach's speech about how every Canadian wants a job, a mortgage, a house, their kids to go to college; maybe too long in FIS questioning the roots of capitalism has made me wonder about this. Maybe Ol' Yama. It's surrendering your identity to externalize the measures of success. Ok, this is an old idea, but an easily forgotten one. How can you reach the apex of Maslow's pyramid if you are focused on constructing the lower ranks:

I need a good house.
I need a good lover.
I need lots of friends.
I need to lose weight.
I need to be smart.
I need to be successful. (What does that mean?)
I need to prove myself to others.

But self-actualized people only worry about one thing

What next.

It's clear what to do next because they aren't focused on the bottom needs; they will simply fulfill them as needed without losing themselves.

When we say that "Meatball should be boring to everyone who is not interested in us," this is a reflection of this as well. Don't worry about TheAudience. Don't worry about power. Don't worry about being loved. Just be yourself. The rest will flow naturally.

Same thing with your own life, I figure. Be boring to everyone who is not interested, and that includes yourself. Don't try, be. Don't act, flow. Don't swear, do. You only have to try, act, and swear about things you aren't interested in. If life is tiring you, boring you, you are in the wrong place. (Hand on oar.)

And of course, above all else, don't be afraid. It's better to live while you can be at peace in the light than stave off Yama's call by cowering in shadows. You can only be hurt if you feel it. -- SunirShah (as duplicated from his diary entry at 1:30am, March 21, 2004)

I came to this page to write down my insight as a motto at the top of the page and I find it is already there. Some days I love MeatballWiki. But I will articulate it again.

If you really, truly, dearly love BarnRaising, your only joy is to see that others win. The goal is to see that everyone wins. If you find yourself wanting to make other people lose, you are in pain and you need help. Rather than striking out to make others lose, why don't you express why you want to make them lose? You have to escape your AngryCloud.

Lately I've felt put upon by a massive number of people who are obsessed with winning because they see this "wiki" thing take off and they want a piece of it. My life would be better off without them, and therefore without this "wiki" thing that is attracting such lameness. I'd rather spend my time seeing that others win, and hanging around people who feel similarly. Otherwise, I have to waste my energy holding ground, and since I'm not getting paid for this, I don't really want to be in a competition. (FightingIsBoring)

DefendAgainstPassion. Passion in this case means the desire to make others lose, or the desire to win. If you are truly Jain, you will only seek to help others win. -- SunirShah

Just now created WikiAsScience page and wandered over here. In WikiAsScience page I used passion to describe what wiki community shares. Although it is possible to reconcile that usage with what's here, I am slightly confused. I am going to stare at the wall and talk to myself now. It always works. --SelvakumarGanesan.

To "DefendAgainstPassion" or "PreservePassion?" ?

This page has been linked to so often lately, that I felt it would be worth re-reading.

In doing so, I recalled another, opposed statement;

"All things being equaly, choose the passionate option."

As I understand it, this has been used to make a couple of points:

Thinking about the pleasures and motivations of Passions, versus the "DefendAgainst?..." advice of this page, it strikes me that this may be another example of Wiki:TriteSayingsComeInPairs -- HansWobbe.

My vote would be for PreservePassion?. People should be passionate about promoting ideas, defending ideas, criticizing ideas. Otherwise you have no energy, life is boring, and nothing much gets done. Interestingly, I got this reply from Sunir, on another page:

"I think calling the confrontation of ideas 'justified' in this case is overstating the case. The discussion is not about a current and relevant decision that is within our sphere of influence. Let's keep some perspective here. -- SunirShah"

My perspective (that I'd like to keep) is that a confrontation of ideas is never "unjustified". What can be unjustifed is passion raging out of control, but other than that Wiki:CriticsAreYourBestFriends. From a confrontation of ideas everybody should win, and especially if it's carried with passion. It's true that "everybody" loses can also be the case if the passion goes out of bounds. But imagine this dialogue

 1 X : I have idea (i)
 2 Y : I have the exactly opposing idea ( ! i)
 3 X : yours is nice too.
 4 Y : so is yours.
 5 X : bye
 6 Y : bye
Or even worse, Y thinks X's idea is bad, but keeps it to himself. In the end nobody wins. If a "confrontation ensues" it can be the case that both X and Y win. I expect from both my immediate and virtual friends to tell me swiftly and promptly what they have to say, and even say it with passion. Passion creates energy.

There two positive claims on this page with which I disagree very strongly:

Having not seen a successful wiki yet that feeds itself on passion, I cannot positively refute the second one, but I think the proponent has to provide some kind of evidence for it. All I can say is that the first claim is simply false. My best collaborations were with people who were passionate about what they were doing. Again, one has to learn that Wiki:CriticsAreYourBestFriends. --CostinCozianu

Defend against passion has always felt wrong to me. I feel like what we are talking about is the OverEnthusisticNewbies?, or just OverEnthusiasm?. It is an imbalance with the community, because a healthy community isn't filled with over enthusiastic members, including newbies. There is only so much energy that can be devoted to newbies. The goal as I see it is highlighted in wiki, is to move to the least amount of energy to get newbies involved. But it does take energy, like it or not. So what are the ways to help people? That is what I am trying to express. What is the road map. What are some of the basic principles needed to be taught? etc. etc. etc. -- MarkDilley

I believe there are at least two divergent ideas here. One of them that I can attest to is the need in a fit of passion about a page, when I am at a differing opinon than one or more other editors, I need to walk away from the project for a little while. WikiIsSlow? is something that I think relates to the other idea. Best, MarkDilley

This page appears to prove that the passionate claim DefendAgainstPassion neutralizes itself. Fostering enthusiasm or cooling down overheated emotion; both engagement, depending on context may help the community to CreateAndShareWealth. -- FridemarPache.

TwinPage: <=>


This page feels out of place. I think the target is not well chosen. Passion is the target. But Passion is an emotion. Emotions are simply consequences of actions. Rewards if you will, which are our feedback and perhaps feedforward loops. So then passion can lead to more action. I put it to Meatball to target the pre or post actions not the consequences. There is nothing wrong with experiencing passion. What might be wrong is the cause of this experience or the action that such passion then encourages. What is it that is really not desired? Opinion domination? Factual distortion? Also, passion, like other emotions, is a human element and to defend against it is to attack humanity. Because defense is often an assault in disguise. This is Meatball home to very human issues, is this a smart path to follow into the depths of dispassionate cold boring lifeless perfection? Did anyone come here with no passion for the subject matter at all? Why are we here? -- AaronPoeze


NathanielThurston -- Wed Sep 9 10:30:24 2009

A person under the influence of a PassionateCloud? is not in a position to judge the NonViolence of his or her actions; may forget the need to listen; and may be in denial about side-effects. I should know -- I've been there myself, and expect to spend the next couple of years cleaning up the mess I created while under the influence of a PassionateCloud?. For these reasons, I would argue that while having passion is a fine thing, allowing oneself to be driven by passion is not.

PassionateCloud?s are quite similar to AngryClouds and other EmotionalCloud?s in effect and in proper treatment; the main difference is that conventional wisdom indicates that AngryClouds are destructive, but doesn't have much to say about the PassionateCloud? (likely because the AngryCloud is far more common). But both are highly destructive to the possibility of successful collaboration.

The sense I get is that the controversy on this page is largely divided into two camps: the "pro-passion" camp, and the "anti-passionate-cloud" camp. I agree with both! My opinion is that if we can tease apart the two notions in our minds (and in our practice), we can welcome passion into the community and simultaneously strengthen our guard against the dangers of the passionate cloud.

NathanielThurston -- Fri May 7 18:22:24 2010

I've found some new insights here, and am currently actively cultivating passion. The key for me is in spreading it around where it can be put to good use, taking extreme care to ensure that the recipients of the passion are inspired rather than deflated, and in waiting for positive confirmation of the inspiration after each act of passion.

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