Latitude of acceptance: pitch arguments so they are in the range of a bubble around your current beliefs


(ACD) #1

Illustrative case in point:

"I’ll tell you about my new favorite idea, which like all new favorite ideas, is really an old idea. This one, from the 1960s, was used only in a couple of studies. It’s called ‘latitude of acceptance.’ If I want to persuade you, what I need to do is pitch my arguments so that they’re in the range of a bubble around your current belief; it’s not too far from your current belief, but it’s within this bubble. If your belief is that you’re really, really anti-guns, let’s say, and I want to move you a bit, if I come along and say, ‘here’s the pro-gun position,’ you’re actually going to move further away. Okay? It’s outside the bubble of things that I can consider as reasonable. We all have these latitudes around our beliefs, our values, our attitudes, which teams are ok to root for, and so on, and these bubbles move. They flex. When you’re drunk, or when you’ve had a good meal, or when you’re with people you care about versus strangers, these bubbles flex and move in different ways. Getting two groups to work together is about trying to get them to a place where their bubbles overlap, not their ideas, not their beliefs, but the bubbles that surround their ideas. Once you do that, you don’t try to get them to go to the other position, you try to get them to see there’s some common ground that you don’t share, but that you think would not be a crazy position to hold. There’s the old Carlin bit about when you drive on the road: anyone going faster than me is a maniac and anyone going slower than me is a jerk. That that’s the way we live our lives. We’re always going the right speed, and everybody else is missing the boat.

https://www.edge.org/conversation/matthew_d_lieberman-latitudes-of-acceptance


What do you believe to be true that not many others believe to be true?
(Bill Ames) #2

The problem is that a lot of these beliefs are not actually valid. Some bubbles are based on beliefs that can actually hurt them or others around them. In my world it is governed by facts, by science, by the parameters of the universal constants. If I must deal in beliefs I just negotiate with my cat for access to my keyboard.


(ACD) #3

So would this be an example of a very narrow latitude of acceptance?


(Bill Ames) #4

Go out in your back yard, ask the world you see, do you not feel constrained, are you not all bound here?:


(ACD) #5

Yes, we are very similar to each other in this respect.


(Bill Ames) #6

No, none of us has anything not in the table. The only difference is arrangement and quantity.


(ACD) #7

My point is that we are all nearly identical, so it should be possible to find mutually overlapping latitudes of acceptance and to discuss even conspiracy theories on that basis.


(Bill Ames) #8

It is difficult to discuss things with people when their argument is “because it is” and they can not prove their position and it is a waste of your time to show them the error of their ways.


(ACD) #9

Who made this argument? Are you arguing with yourself?


(Bill Ames) #10

911, vaccination, moon landing, flat earth, fat is good, walls are bad, people will have their ideas of events and are not able to think well enough to see the errors of their ways.


(ACD) #11

To whom do you refer? I do not accept the 911 Commission Report. It is obviously erroneous.


(Bill Ames) #12

I did not read it. Did it say it never happened? Did it say no plans crashed into the buildings? Who wrote the report? Did they have bias? Is all the evidence used in the public record? Are there competing reports from authoritative sources? If it is obviously erroneous why have there not been law suits challenging it? What is its biggest error in your opinion?


(ACD) #13

This is very typical: uninformed but strongly opinionated.


(Bill Ames) #14

I watched it happen, I listened on the radio until I got home from work. I saw it play out in real time. I did not have any questions that were not discussed at length in the media. I do not recall complaints about the report being false when it came out. I had no reason to read it.


(ACD) #15

This is very typical: uninformed but strongly opinionated.


(Bill Ames) #16

If being uninformed can be defined as not having data that you may have then I am often uninformed compared to almost anyone. I just do not have the time and resource to collect data and validate it. I am strongly opinionated, that I will agree. But my data is usually science related. Science people can have an opinion but they usually attempt to prove that opinion. Just opinions by people in the non science world are seldom tested and proven. Do you have an opinion on AIs? We can start a new thread to discuss if you do.