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@Craig - thank you for stopping by.

@Kevin - if you want to have a conversation, especially when you disagree about something I have not written ;) Freedom of speech is a privilege, one we should endeavor to earn, not an entitlement. We're born and we die, and what happens in between we earn, it's not due to us. Didn't I write that you're free to disagree? I'm seeing a tempest in a teacup in your statement. Unless I misunderstand the intend with which it was made. Indeed, the way you carry your end of the conversation -- or not -- says more about you than what the other ever could. I was made in Italy, do you think I go for sanitized? However, there is also a certain online etiquette, the equivalent of shouting on the street corner, that might be a good idea, don't you think?

@Tom - the premise if, of course, that someone would want to have a conversation. If they don't, they should not pretend to want one, either. That would be hypocrisy.

@Kami - the person putting out the argument is also responsible for its delivery. How does putting the statement out there make them not accountable to it? Disagree to your heart's content, I will fight for your right to do so. However, if you want to have a conversation with me, it might be more productive to engage in it, otherwise you're just pretending. Rhetoric is a lost art.

@Peter - indeed there is. Listening becomes a challenge in 140 characters, when people are getting used to throwing things over the fence and walking away from them. My uncle was very good at that kind of conversation with himself. I also find the third kind of person the most rewarding from a learning standpoint. Thank you for dropping by, even as you were on your way somewhere else. You gave me the chance to further my own thinking.

@Jeff - my objective is actually not to agree or disagree. It's the conversation in which the exchange is made. And yes, not "but's"

@Rich - online, we're not as good at reading the rest of it, all the non verbals. Why do we have so many smileys and exclamation marks? It's an attempt to have an expression and a stance as we talk. You know what they say: it's not what you say, it's "how" you say it. And yes, entities are not at the same level with people.

@Joe - good of you to be considering discussing alternative perspectives.Having beliefs is laudable. Hardening around those beliefs and using them as weapons is the dangerous part. There's a whole conversation around intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in your observation.

Good points.

I found myself thinking about fundamentalism while reading this. Fundamentalists - in religion, politics or economics - are certain that they know the answers, and so don't need to even entertain questions ... unless they offer an opportunity to convert non-believers.

As for placing bets: in the U.S., it seems that fundamentalism is on the rise, a development which I believe is motivated by increasing fear, uncertainty and doubt. While I tend to prefer conversational interactions, I would not bet on an increasing acceptance of negotiated meanings in any sphere, at least in the near term ... but I'd be willing to consider and discuss alternative perspectives :)

Valeria,

For me, I'm putting my money in the same place. For most businesses, they probably need to balance the load. But by balancing, that means including the conversation into the mix.

Hey, conversation has been around a long, long time. I never understood why face-to-face or phone-to-phone could somehow be superior and more meaningful than online account-to-account.

Best,
Rich

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