Affectations, such as of speech, are mires for those trying to live well; this labelling takes a fraction of the work you need to do your own thinking, and of the time you need to move others. You can live a good life even if everyone else disagrees, or if no one knows or cares.
Game theoretically, the person that never interrupts will be hindered during a debate by someone who does. One solution: adopt a posture so magnanimous that an aggressive response falls flat. Another: threaten to disrupt the conversation totally unless both sides behave.
If you disengage from other people, you get solipsism; if you don’t exercise your personal faculty of reason, you will fall prey to false gurus, cultists and demagogues. If you can face down a mob, and the mob of one in your head, you have at least a shot at freedom.
“The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.” ―Glenn Gould
An idea is clarified by collision with a counter-argument; this is partly why listening is so important: your ideas are only as strong as your apprehension of another perspective.
“If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.” —John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
Hypothesis: low-integrity people have few qualms about expressing their views; high-integrity people are more cautious. Recommendation: high-integrity people should consider it their duty to publish, and their friends should consider it their duty to encourage them.
If you hold a position, you must name at least one piece of evidence that would cause you to change your mind or adjust your level of certainty; if you can’t or won’t, how can we tell if your views are tethered to reality?
Writing and meditation are two shadows cast by the same faculty: the ability to direct one’s own thoughts.
In John Carpenter’s “They Live,” the main character dons a pair of shades that reveal reality, undistorted: billboards read “CONSUME,” “OBEY,” etc. I need a pair that filters out speech (especially mine) arising through herding and imitation, and not conviction and thought.