Think of a person you have troubles conversing with or convincing in politics, maybe a conversation that ruins Thanksgiving or something online that peeves you deeply and you can't figure out an adequate response, and we'll gather for a hike and discuss how to have better conversations.
** The Hike **
10:30am-3pm Saturday 8/24
Up the Claremont Canyon regional preserve, start at the gate at
Tanglewood Path & Stonewall, Berkeley, CA [google map this]
just off Claremont Ave. Please indicate if you can carpool when you rsvp!
==> http://www.ebparks.org/parks/claremont_canyon#howtoreach We meet at the question mark on the map, or at the top of the trail at 11:15 to avoid the steep part.
We'll take "Stonewall Panoramic Trail" up Claremont Canyon to Panoramic Way.
Easy/later option: To avoid the steepest part of the hike, drive up the hill and meet us where dirt trail intersects paved road (or at the bench a few feet down the dirt trail), at 11:15.
We will regroup and reintroduce there.
Then we'll hike the Fire Trail which is much flatter than the hike up.
** Conversation Starting Topics **
Brief moderated introduction: Cognitive scientists have been studying liberals' and conservatives' brains. We'll quickly review Lakoff's "strict father," Haidt's Moral Foundations, Altemeyer's Right Wing Authoritarianism, etc.*
Conversations: Then everyone can explore the political conversations and debates we've had, and whether we think the cognitive science matches our own Thanksgiving debates or not. Can cognitive science help, or can we help each other, make these conversations more effective either for "winning" debates and/or more effective for staying friends with people we disagree with?
I'm particularly interested in how to make political conversations less ugly: how do we not talk past each other, how do calm and compassionate people not give up the floor to angry people but not get sucked into miserable debates? In yoga or in relationships the hard postures and difficult conversations are where we grow -- politics tends to just be miserable, can we change that?
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* If you've read interesting authors on politics+cognitive sci and want to help moderate the brief intro, let me know.