India Uncut

This blog has moved to its own domain. Please visit for the all-new India Uncut and bookmark it. The new site has much more content and some new sections, and you can read about them here and here. You can subscribe to full RSS feeds of all the sections from here. This blogspot site will no longer be updated, except in case of emergencies, if the main site suffers a prolonged outage. Thanks - Amit.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Preaching to the converted

Are all bloggers with an opinion just preaching to the converted? Matt Miller asks in the New York Times:
Is it possible in America today to convince anyone of anything he doesn't already believe? If so, are there enough places where this mingling of minds occurs to sustain a democracy?

The signs are not good. Ninety percent of political conversation amounts to dueling "talking points." Best-selling books reinforce what folks thought when they bought them. Talk radio and opinion journals preach to the converted. Let's face it: the purpose of most political speech is not to persuade but to win, be it power, ratings, celebrity or even cash.

By contrast, marshaling a case to persuade those who start from a different position is a lost art. Honoring what's right in the other side's argument seems a superfluous thing that can only cause trouble, like an appendix. Politicos huddle with like-minded souls in opinion cocoons that seem impervious to facts.
That isn't true just in America, of course, but also in India. And in the blogosphere as a whole. Even when discussions between people from opposing sides of the spectrum take place, they inevitably result in the two sides talking past each other, often committing logical fallacies and evading tough questions. Still, in India the undecided center is somewhat larger than in America, but that too will change with time.

And if you agree with that, here's a tough question: why is that we are like this?
amit varma, 12:31 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

I recommend: