I'm Right and You're An Idiot

I'm Right and You're An Idiot

The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It up

Book - 2016
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"Just as the natural environment can be polluted, so too can public discourse. I'm Right and You're an Idiot examines the sorry state of today's public square, showing how polluted, polarized conversations discourage people from taking action on critical issues such as climate change, and demonstrating how we can clear the air and become more powerful and effective communicators."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Gabriola Island, BC, Canada :, New Society Publishers,, [2016]
ISBN: 9780865718173
Branch Call Number: 302.2 Hoggan 2016
Characteristics: xxi, 249 pages ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Litwin, Grania - Author
Alternative Title: I am right and you are an idiot


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Jun 23, 2017

Not a brilliantly insightful or extremely informative book, but interesting and worthwhile. Taking the conflict over climate change as the common thread, author James Hoggan looks into the failure of opposing groups to not only convince each other, but even talk rationally to each other. He dedicates each chapter to a different aspect of the problem, co-writing most of them with experts in law, politics, psychology, ethics, corporate influence, and propaganda, including well known figures such as Noam Chomsky, David Suzuki, and the 14th Dalai Lama.

Mar 29, 2017

The title would have been funnier, and more accurate these days, if it was written as, "I'm Right and Your an Idiot"

Mar 17, 2017

I gave this only three stars because I thought some of the narrative was quite hard to follow. Yes, I understand that we need to stop and reconsider how we relate to others and how to more effectively share our points of view in order to effect real positive change. This came through in the writing but to reach more of the rank and file I think the message could have been a bit clearer. I thought the end summary was fine as far as it went but still not as clear as it could be. Also, I wanted to know why I was an idiot and this book didn't tell me that. I did appreciate the publisher's end of book chart showing the ecological impact of the printing of this title. Very responsible.

Nov 04, 2016

When being right isn't helping

This book has changed the way I think, which was exactly as stated in the title.

The premise author James Hoggan advances in "I'm Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up" is that the most pressing problem society has is not climate change, but the pollution in the public square - where "adversarial rhetoric and polarization is stifling discussion and debate creating resistance to change and thwarting our ability to solve our collective problems."

In a summary of interviews with outstanding thinkers he reveals "the importance of reframing our arguments with empathy and values to creating compelling narratives and spur action", - fancy words for really taking into consideration your opponent's point of view.

There are issues that are too important to me to go unresolved, even if I have to concede what I always considered the moral and empirical high ground. I now, somewhat reluctantly, realize that if I feel passionately for something I'm probably not thinking clearly - not seeing the full picture and other people's (that would be the idiot's) valid points of view.

I urge you to take a look at this book and consider your approach to vital issues you're involved with, especially if you're interested in climate change and a way forward. The debate is stalled, and as the title says the public discourse is toxic.

What does it matter if you're right and the planet burns?


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