The Main Options in Human Conflict.

The fundamental options (means to an end) to consider in every human conflict:

  1. Changing minds (possibly even your own mind)
  2. Compromise
  3. Separation
  4. Use of Force
  5. Surrender

Obviously, where reasonable, the first three options should be used instead of the latter two.  And I’d include a wide range of things (perhaps even verbal abuse, certainly verbal harassment) in the category of “use of force” even if it is intended to change minds.  Some people even physically strike someone over the head and shout “think”, and that could be an attempt to change minds too, but certainly involves physical force.  See also:  Conflict Escalation, and De-Escalation.

On the topic of changing minds, it would be nice if we could spread values that made people tend towards correction. Such as:

  • strong curiosity and good epistemology
  • valuing learning more than being right all along (this will even make you have less fear of admitting error):
    • recognizing that learning happens all our lives, so we might be able to improve past what we currently think.  If so, wouldn’t you want to?  The advantages to your own future are clear.
    • Here’s some tips from Julia Galef:  How to want to change your mind.

(and I think these could be used for conflict prevention, too)

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Collection of ideas for improving Democracy.

(Feel free to offer feedback or suggest more!)

My list of ideas so far, that I’ve either been told about or dreamed up:

  • Enable voting for more than one option, so that votes are not split between two similar positions, but can be given to both.
  • Vote only for individual laws (and policies?), never for people.
    • If some people think this is too much work, then perhaps they could choose (yes, choose, not vote for) a representative (which could be an individual or a group) who will vote for them.  This representative’s vote would count for as many people as they represent.
  • Proportional Representation, so that everyone’s vote counts regardless of who their neighbors vote for.  I think the NDP in Canada are currently pushing for this ^^
  • Draw one (or a small odd number, like 13) ballots from all ballots cast.  Use this draw to pick a winner.  I forget what benefits this was supposed to have, but it gives close ties a more even chance of winning.  Voter supression, and other methods of manipulating close ties, would be less effective.  Over time, all closely tied parties would have won about an equal number of times.