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146. Observing Politics Without Going Crazy

The important thing in observing politics is to maintain objectivity and ability to discuss politics in a disassociated manner. This allows one to evaluate the actions of politicians based on the outcomes rather than one’s opinion of them. Recognizing good politicking is not supporting someone, just acknowledging skill.

Machiavelli was an astute political observer, capable of detesting someone and at the same time recognizing their skill. To be able to succeed, you have to do the same: know where the political winds are blowing, even if you disagree or don’t like where they’re going.

“To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.”

Niccolo Machiavelli

Some principles for observing politics:

  • Know what you believe and why
  • Separate discussions of ideas from people and maneuvers from beliefs
  • Acknowledge what you want to happen and think will happen might not match up
  • Don’t let yourself get too angry or worked up (if you do, take a break)
  • Remember that politics is people and people are fickle

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189. Learn How to Discuss Ideas from Plato's Symposium Conversation of Our Generation

Plato's Symposium is a great guide on how to discuss ideas. In this book, you'll get an in-depth look at a lengthy discussion about love. Despite having competing theories, the people in this book are able to discuss their ideas amicably. Furthermore, they ask good questions and understand each other's ideas. This helps the conversation dive into a deep discussion, rather than staying at the surface-level. If that interests you at all, listen here to learn more. Learning How To Discuss Ideas This book is a discussion on love between several friends. One is a doctor, some poets, and others are philosophers, but each has an insight into what love is. What I found helpful in learning more about discussing ideas was that the Symposium is written in the form of a dialogue, like Plato's other works. The men take each other's ideas seriously despite being very different and having conflicts. Although they could attack each other's arguments, they decide to put forth ideas and seek truth. Learn About What Socrates Was Like Another part of this book that I love is that you get a good description of Socrates (check the meme below or in this tweet). He was constantly aloof thinking about some other idea, much like a daydreamer. In the beginning of the book Socrates is snapped out of an episode like this and brought along to the party. And, it's at this party where the dialogue for the Symposium begins. "Socrates dropped behind in a fit of abstraction, and desired Aristodemus, who was waiting, to go on before him. When he reached the house of Agathon he found the doors wide open, and a comical thing happened. A servant coming out met him, and led him at once into the banqueting-hall in which the guests were reclining, for the banquet was about to begin. Welcome, Aristodemus, said Agathon, as soon as he appeared–you are just in time to sup with us; if you come on any other matter put it off, and make one of us, as I was looking for you yesterday and meant to have asked you, if I could have found you. But what have you done with Socrates?" -Symposium — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 189. Learn How to Discuss Ideas from Plato's Symposium
  2. 188. Finding Unity and Mending a Divided Nation
  3. 187. The Common Sense We Need | Book Review
  4. 186. Smiles Matter, Problems With COVID Lockdowns
  5. 185. Civil Unrest in Shakespeare's Henry VI
  6. 184. Crazy Elections in America's Past
  7. 183. Top 25 Must Read Books for 2021
  8. 182. What Divides Libertarians – My Conversation with Sean Boston
  9. 181. Have a Merry Christmas!
  10. 180. Talking Politics And Virtue

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